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Old 10-19-2012, 11:06 AM
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Texasjeepgirl Texasjeepgirl is offline
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Default Backbone Lately.. in Response to POLL

I celebrated 20 years as a HOME BASED CHILD CARE PROVIDER...this past August..

I started out with a short PARENT HANDBOOK....
Over the years it has grown/changed/evolved...
For the first few years I did charge for the big holidays.. but.. I was CLOSED THANKSGIVING DAY...and reopened on Friday...
I didn't charge for my own sick days.. or vacation..
My closing time was set at 5:30 p.m.. and I had in my handbook that it was $1 per minute past that time..BUT I never charged them.. and I basically barely mumbled a reply if they apologized for arriving 'a few minutes late'...

After a few years I caught on to the fact that it is basically standard to be closed the DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING... ..
After about 8 years I added 'sick/emergency closure' days to the list of paid..
BUT.. it wasn't until beginning of 2010 that I finally added paid vacation..
I state in my handbook that I will close 2 weeks per year...
In 2010 I closed for 1 full.. M-F week...
In 2011 I closed two days.. Thursday and Friday.
and in 2012.. I closed Thursday and Friday once in May..
And Wed, Thursday and Friday in June..
All with a minumum of 4-6 months advance written notice.. and lots of reminders..
This year...because of how the Christmas Holiday dates fall..
With Christmas Eve on Monday...
Christmas Day is Tuesday.. and December 26 is Wednesday...
ALL LISTED IN MY PARENT HANDBOOK AS CLOSED ...
And New Year's Eve is Monday... New Year's Day is Tuesday.. also ALL LISTED IN PARENT HANDBOOK AS CLOSED...
I took the Thursday and Friday, December 27 and 28 as vacation days.. so I will be closed 11 days straight including weekends..
I'm OVER THE MOON EXCITED about this... although so far we do not have plans ....It will be the longest stretch of being closed since I took 6 weeks for the birth of my youngest child.... 18 years ago...

I guess the two really big issues with MOST home PROVIDERS ... when it comes to having a BACKBONE...are PAYMENT...and LATE PICK UP

A few years after opening.... I got my belly full of people crowding my closing time.. or just arriving PAST closing time..
I started being VERY FIRM at enrollment..WHEN I SAY VERY FIRM.. perhaps what I actually mean is RUDE...

I would CLEARLY tell all clients... My closing time IS NOT NEGOTIABLE...
period... If you think there is a chance that you can not arrive before my closing time then I suggest you continue seeking other child care...
I do NOT want your dollar per minute late fee.. I want your child picked up.. and GONE...by my closing time...
That does not mean arrive at 5:29 and a half and then still need to gather your items...and talk.. and slowly leave...it means that as soon as 5 'oclock arrives.. I will be watching for your arrival...At 5:25 I will begin to assume you will be late that day.. and at 5:30...well..you don't want to arrive past 5:30....

OBVIOUSLY I'm aware that there are extreme situations that are beyond a person's control...
Ice or snow on the roads...causing slow travel time...
A wreck on the road...
car trouble... flat tires.. etc..
I am ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY.. do not wait till 5:30 to contact me...
Let me know what's up AS SOON AS POSSIBLE....
Otherwise.. make sure you.. or another authorized person picks up your child by my closing time...



These are a couple of stories about my growing ability to HAVE A BACKBONE and stand up for my self...they've been on my mind ...since 2 of them have taken place just in the last week...


I have a mom that has been with me for almost 2 full years...
Her older child was 14 months when she enrolled him..
I love this girl... She met me at the beauty shop...through our mutual hairdresser... and immediately started asking questions about my daycare...
Apparently she had heard about me.. and was interested...but nervous...Her child was in a church facility daycare...however.. she was very unhappy there... I gave her my business card and over the course of several weeks this mom asked me.. in email .. every thing under the sun.. about my policies.. my fees... what about his paci? what foods do you serve? what if this happens.. what if that happens...?
She finally enrolled...and has been a great daycare parent.. and she and I have become friends also.. she has since had another child.. so the kids are now 3 and 15 months.

First incident..
Earlier this year..she sends me an email with the subject.. need your help..
I think hmmm... what's this going to be about..
I start reading.. and I get MAD..
She starts telling me how she is unhappy with her weight...
and has the opportunity to start working out with a trainer a few nights per week...she would begin promptly at 5 p.m... since her office has a gym and the trainer would be there..
so what she was wondering is.. would I be willing to keep her children.. a few times per week.. past closing time... (for a fee of course)... probably till 6 p.m.. or.. shortly after...
If I didn't want to do it.. of course she understood.... but did I happen to know anyone that would do it?

I swear.. I sat there.. staring at my computer screen.. reading that email.. and I could feel my BLOOD BOIL...
I thought WOW,..
are YOU KIDDING ME??
First of all.. I was clear.. clear.. .double clear.. about how I feel about my closing time.. during all the weeks of emailing.. and pre enrollment of the original child...Beyond that.. we had really hit it off personality wise... so we had various talks... at pick up time... about how exhausting my job is.. about how many years I've been doing this job.. how active my job is.. how stressful it can be if there are any unhappy babies... etc..
and all of those talks included her saying.. Oh I completly understand why you are so firm with your closing time.. I'm sure by the end of the day you are READY TO DROP...
So then why... why on earth.. would this same person find it reasonable to email me and ask if I would consider keeping her children SEVERAL days per week.. atleast 30 to 45 minutes past closing time..
Honestly.. I had to pace myself on typing the reply..
I had to be careful not to say something UGLY...
I just calmly told her that I would not be interested in doing it.. and that I didn't know anyone that could..
she said she understood and she'd probably be asking her parents to help her.. in conjunction with her spouse...

Fast forward to last week..
Same client...
sends me a text message that her dad will be picking her children up while she works out.. .and if it's ok... could her dad just 'hang out here' awhile and let the kids play on the playground... 15 or 20 minutes then he could pack up and she should be done with workout...
I texted back and said... do you mean.. while other kids are still here? or.. do you mean.. past 5:30...? She replied back.. past 5:30... I just hate for him to have to drive around town with kids in car seat.. no place to go.. the little one hates car seat and will cry..

Well here we are again..
Is she KIDDING ME?
I replied back that.. no.. it wasn't ok...
If they were here.. playing on my playground past my closing time.. then that opens up the possibility of needing to come inside...
more water.. use the potty.. scraped knee.. needs a band aid.. etc..
IF I had errands past 5:30 I was also not comfortable with people being on my property with me not home...
She replied back that she completely understood...and no biggie..
ugh.. wow.. why would you even ask?
People JUST AMAZE ME...

This week .. it's 4:30...
one of my newer clients calls...
she is semi frantic.. says she has to drive home.. do 'horse' chores.. and if she is running late to pick up.. she just wants me to know she will get here as soon as possible.. and she's REALLY SORRY if she's late...
I said.. do you mean you will be 'later' than usual.. ( she is normally here by 5).. or do you mean that you think you will be PAST 5:30...?
She says.. well.. I will TRY to be there by 5:30.. BUT.. if I'm 15 or 20 minutes past that.. I'm REALLY SORRY..
I said.. you know what... it's 4:30 now.. I have someplace to go this evening.. I will be waiting for the last child to be picked up so that I can shower and get ready to leave.. so if you can't make it back by 5:30.. maybe you'd better pick her up now..
she kind of stammered.. and said.. Ugh.. ok.. I'll hurry... I"ll be there as soon as possible..
Moments later she sends a text that says.. sorry I was so stressed..
I skipped cleaning out the stalls.. and I'm on my way now...(it was 5)...
I sent her a text back and said.. that's fine... by 5:30 today is fine... AFTER is not.. ANY DAY...
When she arrived she said.. I'm so sorry.. I was stressed.. and rushed for time...but I know your rules...and I'm sorry.. I won't pick up past 5:30... I do know your rules...and I said.. ok.. sounds great..
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:24 AM
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Why why why. Why do they think they can even ask? I just will never understand I guess. Somehow people always think that rules don't apply to them.

I like the way you make sure everyone knows that on time pickup is the most important thing during your interviews
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:43 AM
Willow Willow is offline
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To play devils advocate......

There was just a thread here a couple of days ago about a provider who was irritated that a parent sought out other care. Reason being, parent was going to need care beyond the hours that the provider is open.

Provider was irritated that the parent didn't ask her to be available later - and the thread got a lot of support from members here angry at parents who don't ask them first before setting up alternate care.



This is one of those things that is so provider specific.

I too emphasize I don't do late pick ups, ever, extreme emergencies aside. But some providers don't mind and would much prefer a parent have open communication with them if their needs change rather than go elsewhere. They WANT to work with parents on that and have no problems accommodating such requests.


To me that's not as much about having a backbone as it is making it clear to your parents what your individual preferences are. As a parent I can't say I'd naturally assume my child's provider would be that irate if I merely asked the question.

ETA - http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthr...351#post275351
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:43 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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I am VERY clear about my rules and expectations and like Tammy do NOT live in my child care facility so pushing my closing time is NEVER an option or something I am ever felxible with. Whatever a parent needs to get done after 5:30, can surely get done during the 10.5 hours I am already open and watching kids.

I have a family right now that I am struggling with for those exact reasons. They continue to ask and I am not sure I can get any clearer and I always say no but why ask and why continue to ask when I have already said no. I also don't say no to just specific incidences, I say no as in, it is NEVER something I will do.

Then the kicker for me with this family has the attitude "We are so grateful and happy to have you in our lives...but......" or "We are so appreciative of you but can I....?" type talk.....Grrrrrr!

Drives me batty.

I am terming this family for those reasons but have honestly put it off until I cool off because I want to handle it professionally and not with so much emotion. It is most definitely frustrating.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 10-19-2012 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:47 AM
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I hate that they even asked you, but way to go for sticking up for yourself! I close at 6, and had a parent arrive at 6:05 yesterday. He had $5 in hand (actually 10 ones and asked me what time it was) complete with profuse apology.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:47 AM
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wahmof3 wahmof3 is offline
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YOU ROCK!!!

But really, why do people think they can even ask- especially when you have been SO CLEAR about your policy???? Ugh. SMH.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:58 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow View Post
To play devils advocate......

There was just a thread here a couple of days ago about a provider who was irritated that a parent sought out other care. Reason being, parent was going to need care beyond the hours that the provider is open.

Provider was irritated that the parent didn't ask her to be available later - and the thread got a lot of support from members here angry at parents who don't ask them first before setting up alternate care.

This is one of those things that is so provider specific.

I too emphasize I don't do late pick ups, ever, extreme emergencies aside. But some providers don't mind and would much prefer a parent have open communication with them if their needs change rather than go elsewhere. They WANT to work with parents on that and have no problems accommodating such requests.


To me that's not as much about having a backbone as it is making it clear to your parents what your individual preferences are. As a parent I can't say I'd naturally assume my child's provider would be that irate if I merely asked the question.
I love when people play devils advocate!

Always nice to talk about BOTH sides to get a good perspective.

In response to the other thread though, I think what posters were mad/upset about was the fact that the DCM hadn't asked and was obviously planning on leaving her current care provider with little or no notice and it didn't sound like the provider had a CLEAR NO EXCEPTIONS policy to keeping kids late so in that case, the parent should have asked.

I also encourage my parents to come to me about things they need and if I am able to accommodate them I absolutely will as I believe that is best business practice. HOWEVER, I do get angry, mad and frustrated when parents ask for things I clearly said "This is one rule I am very firm with so don't even as for late pick ups" 100X during the interview and repeated IN BOLD and underlined in my contract.

If I don't say that about a topic or subject, my door is always open for parents to ask.

If I can; I will.

If I can't; I won't and will say so.

If I bolded and underlined; DON'T ask. ever.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:07 PM
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Texasjeepgirl Texasjeepgirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I am VERY clear about my rules and expectations and like Tammy do NOT live in my child care facility so pushing my closing time is NEVER an option or something I am ever felxible with. Whatever a parent needs to get done after 5:30, can surely get done during the 10.5 hours I am already open and watching kids.

I have a family right now that I am struggling with for those exact reasons. They continue to ask and I am not sure I can get any clearer and I always say no but why ask and why continue to ask when I have already said no. I also don't say no to just specific incidences, I say no as in, it is NEVER something I will do.

Then the kicker for me with this family has the attitude "We are so grateful and happy to have you in our lives...but......" or "We are so appreciative of you but can I....?" type talk.....Grrrrrr!

Drives me batty.

I am terming this family for those reasons but have honestly put it off until I cool off because I want to handle it professionally and not with so much emotion. It is most definitely frustrating.
I DO live in my facility...
My daycare is inside our 16,000 sq ft RETAIL FURNITURE BUILDING... We have a private apartment... and the daycare.. all in the back corner of the building.. I have INSIDE entrances to my apartment...and to the daycare.. only accessed by digital entry... but I also have outside entrances on the side of the building..
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasjeepgirl View Post
I DO live in my facility...
My daycare is inside our 16,000 sq ft RETAIL FURNITURE BUILDING... We have a private apartment... and the daycare.. all in the back corner of the building.. I have INSIDE entrances to my apartment...and to the daycare.. only accessed by digital entry... but I also have outside entrances on the side of the building..
Oopsie, I'm sorry. I thought it was something like that but didn't take into account that you do live on site, just not in the daycare area.

Either way, you still close and head to your family's home (apartment) and don't take daycare children into that space right?
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:11 PM
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Texasjeepgirl Texasjeepgirl is offline
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As for DEVILS ADVOCATE... It's a good point...
I agree to a point... that she needed to 'just ask'.. just in case I'd be willing to do it..

Over the last 18 months my life has had a DRASTIC change... My husband took a job working at Peterbilt...building trucks.. second shift..He still manages the furniture store .. with his mom.. until 3 p.m. each day...

This happened AFTER I enrolled this client.. so she KNOWS that now my husband is not home in the evenings... and.. my children are basically grown...
22 year old daughter is married and I have 21 month old granddaughter... 18 year old daughter just graduated from high school..she does live here with me.. but works most evenings...
So I suppose this mom thought that 'since I don't have much to do in the evenings' .. I might as well help her out so she can work out..
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasjeepgirl View Post
As for DEVILS ADVOCATE... It's a good point...
I agree to a point... that she needed to 'just ask'.. just in case I'd be willing to do it..

Over the last 18 months my life has had a DRASTIC change... My husband took a job working at Peterbilt...building trucks.. second shift..He still manages the furniture store .. with his mom.. until 3 p.m. each day...

This happened AFTER I enrolled this client.. so she KNOWS that now my husband is not home in the evenings... and.. my children are basically grown...
22 year old daughter is married and I have 21 month old granddaughter... 18 year old daughter just graduated from high school..she does live here with me.. but works most evenings...
So I suppose this mom thought that 'since I don't have much to do in the evenings' .. I might as well help her out so she can work out..

This is what I feel is one of the BIGGEST misconceptions about child care:

Since we "don't have anything to do" or because we are "at home already" or because we still have "other kids here"

that we don't mind when they arrive or depart or get paid....
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:14 PM
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EntropyControlSpecialist EntropyControlSpecialist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahmof3 View Post
This is what I feel is one of the BIGGEST misconceptions about child care:

Since we "don't have anything to do" or because we are "at home already" or because we still have "other kids here"

that we don't mind when they arrive or depart or get paid....
That is so very true.

I try not to get too frustrated about late pick ups, but it does make me feel like they don't respect my time. They feel like since they pay $1 a minute, they don't NEED to say they are sorry.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:07 PM
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Happy Hearts Happy Hearts is offline
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Congratulations on your 20 years!!
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