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  #1  
Old 09-14-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default Help- need to get DCF straightened out

Ok so I started the DCF I had posted about a month or so ago asking if there were any "Red Flags", you remember the one that brought their present "babysitter" with them

(Please feel free to say: I TOLD YOU SO )

Please help me out here. I know all of the signs were there, but I needed the enrollment and the DCF schedule meshed so nicely with mine.

Issues:

1. Payment 3/4 times they paid me at pick up on Friday. My policy is "Payment is due at DROP OFF the last day your child is in attendance for the week" I have it in my contract & policy AND I verbally explained to him that we bank at my Dh credit union, he works 2nd shift so he takes it to work with him on Fridays and if I don't get it at drop off it doesn't get deposited until Monday afternoon.

2. Pick up times. When they contracted with me they said they would need 30-35 hours per week and that one of the DCP is usually off at 2, but DCD said he will usually be here before 3:45 because thats when his SA kids get off the bus. DCB has only been picked up at 2:30 once and before 3:45 one other time in the month that I have had him in care. Typically its 4:20-4:30 and DCD is in gym clothes and his SA kids are with him.


I close at 4:30 and I am trying to avoid "telling" DCF's that because they would wait until 4:30 to get here regardless of when they get off work.

SOOOOO today DCD gets here at 4:45 !!!! All of my other kids were gone and he is LUCKY that my DS practice was cancelled because he would've needed picked up at 4:30.

I forgot to add that I have been selected for jury duty and earlier this week I received a card in the mail saying I have to report Monday & I need to call Sunday after 5:30 to confirm. I told all of my DCF and told them to keep their fingers crossed that I don't have to report BUT they need to have a back up plan. Today DCD says have you heard anything about Monday & I told him again that I won't know anything until Sunday & they will be the 1st to know and he said we are trying to figure out who needs to take the day off (and mind you he had some attitude in his voice). I replied I am just as frustrated as they are with this, but there is not anything I can do.

I am ready to throw in the towel and term, but is that fair of me if I haven't given them a chance to correct the issues? I am not confrontational and I had an issue with a different family not too long ago that ended up bad because I WAS putting my foot down and enforcing my policies. How do you tactfully & professionally handle this??

Thanks

Last edited by wahmof3; 09-14-2012 at 02:21 PM. Reason: added more info :)
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:02 PM
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I'm open for suggestions

Can I re-write our contract to list HOURS instead of putting how many hours they need a week?

How do I tell them I need contracted hours? Is it fair to say "It looks like your daycare needs have changed from 30-35 hours a week to 40-45 hours per week. I had over looked that you didn't give me exact hours. When we met you stated you would rarely be here after 3:45p and its closer to 4:30p everyday..."

As far as picking up after I close on friday I now want to change my late pick up fee to $1 per minute late.

I also am enforcing late payment fee to if its not received at drop off it is now late and to add the $10 late fee when you bring it at pick up????

Sorry to be a pain. Thanks!!
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:30 PM
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I always list specific drop-off and pick-up times in the contract. Changes must be approved 24 hours in advance. I would definitely discuss their needs with them.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:56 PM
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You shouldnt be terming them for problems that you have partially created. Give them a chance to work with you.

Write up a new contract for them that highlights the payment arrangement, adding a hefty fee if it is not paid in full and in a timely manner. Be specific and be ready to enforce it.

Talk to them about a specific drop off and pick up time and make sure they know that once they commit to a time, there will be fees for times outside of this commitment. make sure that everything is very, very specific and that you adjust rates if needed.

I know everyone says " but I am not confrontational....." but I really feel that is just an excuse so that you dont have to be uncomfortable approaching people. What you are doing now is not professional....by being wishy-washy on agreements and then resenting them when they dont do what you think they should be doing. You should have had a very specific contract and should have enforced all your policies from day one. The parents arent mind readers. They say "someone will probably be here by such and such time" but then they get used to doing something different and you dont stop them. Its clear why they assume what they are doing is okay.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:07 PM
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I understand all of this

Let me rewind about an issue I had last spring:

DCF (not this DCF) started I was clear about my expectations. I went over policies and so forth. DCF pushed and pushed for "special" I said no every time. I was never paid on time and ALWAYS had to ask for payment and EVERY time I reminded them when their fee was due. They often dropped off early w/out letting me know and EVERY time I had to remind them that they really needed to let me know if they needed to drop off early. I was clear. The last time they dropped off early I had just gotten out of the shower and I was livid. I told the DCD that they really needed to call or text even if it was that morning to see if it was ok to drop off. He blew his top, pulled the kid, & it cost him a lot of money. He tried to talk me down but I didn't budge. By that afternoon I had that weeks worth of fees & my 2 week notice in hand.

How does that relate to this? I have all of the last conversations I had with the DCD that pulled his kid running through my mind. I fear (even though I know if they don't like my policies, then I really don't want them here) that I will handle the situation wrong and they will pull their child.

So I thought I was clear when I met with this family as far as payment, policies, etc and they told me they would seldom be here after 3:45 and not one thing that they said they would do has happened.

I try to be very professional and thats one reason I haven't said anything- I don't know how to approach it without sounding like a b*tch. SO what do I say? Is it professional to say: "hey when we met, you stated that you would seldom be here after 3:45 and I have noticed that you have your DCB here until 4:30 most days, I really need to have a written schedule......."

See this part is killing me I can't figure it out!! Ugh sometimes I feel as if no matter how clear you are these DCP just don't get it.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:45 PM
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When is the DCD's contracted pick up time? Is it 2:30 or 3:45 or 4:30? Whatever it says in his contract, that's what time he should be required to pick up his child. And make him tell you whether he needs 30 or 35 hours a week. Those 5 hours is probably the difference in him picking up at 2:30 and picking up at 3:45.

And, if you don't tell the DCF's that you close at 4:30, how do they know? It seems like you do contracted hours, so what time you close should have no bearing on what time the families pick up if they are not contracted until 4:30, kwim? If you are doing open hours, then you should absolutely tell them that you close at 4:30. In any case, the "not telling them" is backfiring, at least with this family.

FWIW, I wouldn't allow him to say he'll be there "before" or "by" or "around" any time, because it's too gray. The rewritten contract should say dcb will be picked up AT 3:45 (or whatever) and no later. If he picks up earlier then its gravy. Some people you have to be black and white with. It's not being a b****.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunni Bee View Post
When is the DCD's contracted pick up time? Is it 2:30 or 3:45 or 4:30? Whatever it says in his contract, that's what time he should be required to pick up his child. And make him tell you whether he needs 30 or 35 hours a week. Those 5 hours is probably the difference in him picking up at 2:30 and picking up at 3:45.

This is my mistake, I let them say most days it will be before 3:45p. There are days the DCD is off at 2, and if they both work later they both get off at 4 so it shouldn't be too long after. I was going by their word and its back-firing. I think all of this was some bull because they were scared DCB wouldn't adjust & now that they know he is fine DCD is going home getting his SA kids, going to the ymca and then coming to pick up DCB.

And, if you don't tell the DCF's that you close at 4:30, how do they know? It seems like you do contracted hours, so what time you close should have no bearing on what time the families pick up if they are not contracted until 4:30, kwim? If you are doing open hours, then you should absolutely tell them that you close at 4:30. In any case, the "not telling them" is backfiring, at least with this family.

I am trying to avoid saying what hours I am open because I know these parents would leave their kids here until closing time regardless of if they are off work or not. Funny thing is thats whats happening now (leaving as long as they want to) & its starting to interfere with my personal time

FWIW, I wouldn't allow him to say he'll be there "before" or "by" or "around" any time, because it's too gray. The rewritten contract should say dcb will be picked up AT 3:45 (or whatever) and no later. If he picks up earlier then its gravy. Some people you have to be black and white with. It's not being a b****.
So as I am responding to this I just realized that they said they are off work by 4 at the latest there is no reason they shouldn't be here by 4:15. So do I redo their contract 8a-4:15p? Or do I go with the 3:45 time that they said should never be here later than that?
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
You shouldnt be terming them for problems that you have partially created. Give them a chance to work with you.

Write up a new contract for them that highlights the payment arrangement, adding a hefty fee if it is not paid in full and in a timely manner. Be specific and be ready to enforce it.

.
I totally agree with cheerfuldom here. Unfortunately if they are still within their 35 hours or so they probably don't see a problem.

My contract has a fill in the blank section for days and hours - they check the days of the week and fill in ______am to _____pm for each day. I would redo your contract ASAP.

I would come right out and ask this family if they did in fact read your contract because they signed agreeing to the terms but are not following them.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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I totally agree with cheerfuldom here. Unfortunately if they are still within their 35 hours or so they probably don't see a problem.

My contract has a fill in the blank section for days and hours - they check the days of the week and fill in ______am to _____pm for each day. I would redo your contract ASAP.

I would come right out and ask this family if they did in fact read your contract because they signed agreeing to the terms but are not following them.
I have fill in the blank section for days/hours as well, they just put 30-35 hours per week. They are using 40-45 hours.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:40 PM
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I would explain to them that they told you they would rarely be later than 3:45 and so far, they have been later than that ALL the time. Find out which schedule they want to abide by first. If it's going to be later than the time they said they would be there LATEST and you have after-school things with your kids and cannot accommodate them, you may have to let them go. I would also have them sign a financial agreement. The financial agreement should specify how much you charge for what times the child is in your care. Mine read like this:

I _______________________understand that my daycare fee is $________ based on the following schedule.

Then I listed M T W TH F and they put in the times they needed each day.

I _______________________understand that if I am later than the specified time, I will be charged $1 per minute for any time taken after the first 5 minutes (I was a bit more generous than the other daycares here, as they'll charge if they are ONE minute late) without a phone call. If I receive a phone call and provable extenuating circumstances warrant (such as an accident or illness), I may waive the late charge at my discretion.

Any time I am late without a phone call, all fees will be charged and due payable immediately.

I________________________understand if I am earlier than my designated time, my provider may not be made available. No refunds are given if I need an earlier time, have not discussed with provider, and am late for or miss work or school because my provider was unavailable. ALL earlier times requested must be discussed AND AGREED upon by BOTH parties. Arriving early once does not mean provider will be able to allow early arrivals every time in the future.

I ________________________agree that if my schedule needs changed, I will discuss with the provider and upon discussion/agreement by both parties, my schedule may be changed. I am not guaranteed a change in schedule and will be subject to usual termination notices if my schedule will conflict with the providers schedule to the point provider can no longer provide care.


I was VERY thorough. I had been screwed around way too many times. My contract was very strict and many times, I could swear I lost business over it. BUT, I'd rather lose business to someone who won't pay than to take them and deal with working for free or having other issues with the DCP.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:42 PM
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I have fill in the blank section for days/hours as well, they just put 30-35 hours per week. They are using 40-45 hours.
Then you have to put a stop to it ASAP. You can't be afraid of losing them. You can very professionally let them know they are far exceeding their end of the agreement and changes need to be made. If the alternative is terming them you really have nothing to lose, you know? But I do still agree with cheerfuldom that you brought some of this on by not specifying hours up front and its not fair to term them without clearing things up - they need to know exactly when late fees start - is it 3:45, 4:00, 4:30?? If you don't want to tell them you "close" at 4:30, don't, but then they need to know THEIR closing time is 4:15 or whatever time you want to make it.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:45 PM
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So how do you charge? Do you charge per hour or per day? It seems strange to me that people don't know what time you close. I charge per day. I'm open from 7:30 to 5:30 and they pay for the whole day no matter how many hours they are here.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:32 PM
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Just because a family pulled a child in the past does not mean that you handled anything wrong before. Sometimes people just dont like hearing a "no" but that doesnt mean you are in the wrong for saying it. In fact, I think you were too nice even then. I would have told them to come back at X time (even if it was 15 minutes later) and not let them leave a kid in care before an agreed on time. Shut the door and let them wait on the porch if need be. By saying no with your words but saying yes with your actions (letting the kid come in early and the parent leave) you are still saying yes....actions speak louder than words, especially to pushy daycare parents.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:41 PM
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So how do you charge? Do you charge per hour or per day? It seems strange to me that people don't know what time you close. I charge per day. I'm open from 7:30 to 5:30 and they pay for the whole day no matter how many hours they are here.
I charge per space using contracted hours.

The whole reason I really don't like to disclose hours open is because I was finding that DCFs would tell me we only need care from for example 8-3:30. They would tell me this during the phone interview as well as during the interview. After they found out I was open 7a-4:30p they would complete their contract 7a-4:30p. So in this example its 2 hours of extra care they didn't need. I understand they were just protecting themselves to keep from paying late fees if they were ever late.

From now on I am filling the days/times myself before giving them the contract
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:44 PM
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Just because a family pulled a child in the past does not mean that you handled anything wrong before. Sometimes people just dont like hearing a "no" but that doesnt mean you are in the wrong for saying it. In fact, I think you were too nice even then. I would have told them to come back at X time (even if it was 15 minutes later) and not let them leave a kid in care before an agreed on time. Shut the door and let them wait on the porch if need be. By saying no with your words but saying yes with your actions (letting the kid come in early and the parent leave) you are still saying yes....actions speak louder than words, especially to pushy daycare parents.
Thank you, I know I have a lot to work on, but just saying this helps so much.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:46 PM
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Then you have to put a stop to it ASAP. You can't be afraid of losing them. You can very professionally let them know they are far exceeding their end of the agreement and changes need to be made. If the alternative is terming them you really have nothing to lose, you know? But I do still agree with cheerfuldom that you brought some of this on by not specifying hours up front and its not fair to term them without clearing things up - they need to know exactly when late fees start - is it 3:45, 4:00, 4:30?? If you don't want to tell them you "close" at 4:30, don't, but then they need to know THEIR closing time is 4:15 or whatever time you want to make it.
I keep telling myself what do I have to lose? I am not denying that I am partially at fault with this mess and I need to correct it and learn from it. Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:42 PM
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So as I am responding to this I just realized that they said they are off work by 4 at the latest there is no reason they shouldn't be here by 4:15. So do I redo their contract 8a-4:15p? Or do I go with the 3:45 time that they said should never be here later than that?
So when they both have to work til 4, who gets the kids off the bus at 3:45? Hmmm.

I wouldn't do 3:45 if you already know there is a possibility they may be later than that. That will be setting yourself up for irritation. There will be days you know he got off way earlier and just waited til 4:15 to pick up dcb, but I don't see how that can be avoided.

I'd go on and do 4:15. I'd be clear with him that late fees will begin promptly at 4:20.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:49 PM
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I have fill in the blank section for days/hours as well, they just put 30-35 hours per week. They are using 40-45 hours.
Oh no. Are they paying for 45 hours?

I'd redo the contract for 35 hours a week, which is 9:15, not 8:00, to 4:15. If they must drop him off at 8, would you be comfortable charging more?
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:53 PM
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I have fill in the blank section for days/hours as well, they just put 30-35 hours per week. They are using 40-45 hours.
Then they did not fill out your contract correctly and you should bring it to their attention and require that they commit to certain hours, not to a number of hours per week. And the hours have to be something you are willing to work. My contract had a fill in the blank for each day and a place to list the hours and I held all my dcf's to whatever they listed initially on that signed contract. I never left it open-ended because timely pick up was one of my biggest requirements.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:31 PM
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DCD was late, again. My pick up time on Monday is 4pm because my daughter has an extra-ciriccular activity at 4:30. I am very upfront about this when I meet with potential DCF. I need everyone picked up by 4 on Mondays and that there might be some other days I would request early pick ups but I would let them know ahead of time. EVERY SINGLE DCF THAT ENROLLS IS FINE WITH IT.

So knowing the track record with this DCF, I text the DCM this morning and reminded her of my schedule this week.

DCD was 10 minutes late

I was livid (again) & got his DCK and said sorry to rush you but I really need to get my daughter to dance.

I have to put a stop to this, its not fair to me OR the other DCFs that are working with me!!

So is it unprofessional to type up a letter stating my concerns & new contract?

I thought about scheduling a meeting, but I get so nervous I wouldn't be able to function LOL. I was completely shaking this afternoon when he text me at 5 minutes til 4 saying he was on his way? I totally suck at this part of the business.....
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:33 PM
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DCD was late, again. My pick up time on Monday is 4pm because my daughter has an extra-ciriccular activity at 4:30. I am very upfront about this when I meet with potential DCF. I need everyone picked up by 4 on Mondays and that there might be some other days I would request early pick ups but I would let them know ahead of time. EVERY SINGLE DCF THAT ENROLLS IS FINE WITH IT.

So knowing the track record with this DCF, I text the DCM this morning and reminded her of my schedule this week.

DCD was 10 minutes late

I was livid (again) & got his DCK and said sorry to rush you but I really need to get my daughter to dance.

I have to put a stop to this, its not fair to me OR the other DCFs that are working with me!!

So is it unprofessional to type up a letter stating my concerns & new contract?

I thought about scheduling a meeting, but I get so nervous I wouldn't be able to function LOL. I was completely shaking this afternoon when he text me at 5 minutes til 4 saying he was on his way? I totally suck at this part of the business.....
If you PM me with the points you want to make with this family as well as the consequences to these actions, I can type you up a letter if you want.

I know it is hard to be verbal and outspoken about issues but it is best and it DOES get easier every time you do it.

If you want to take a less confrontational approach to begin with, I can help you write a letter though outlining the offenses and the "consequencces" and if they don't shape up, you will have to speak up and have that meeting with them.

Let me know
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