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  #1  
Old 01-13-2015, 05:44 AM
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Default Texting Policy?

Hi,
I am new to the forum but have been a Family Child Care owner for over 25 years. I have been very fortunate to have very few problems with clients overall.
Recently though, I've found myself in text conversations with one particular client that leave me feeling frustrated. Because it's easy for things to be taken the wrong way with a text conversation, I have decided to update my policy on texting with parents. I plan on setting limits to what I will discuss via text. I prefer a phone call. Has anyone formed a policy and would share some ideas on what they are using?
Thank you for any input!
Linda
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2015, 07:01 AM
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I don't allow texting. My daycare is a company. If a parent fusses about wanting to text me, I tell them, "You don't text Walmart or the gas and electric company. So why would you think you should text daycare? It is a business, a small business, yes, but it is a business, just like any other business." If you need to communicate with me, you will need to CALL me during business hours, which are Monday - Friday, 7 am-5:30 pm.

If I get a text from someone responding to my ad that I haven't talked to yet to explain the above to them, I do not text them back, I CALL them back and if I think there's a chance they might be potential clients, I explain during that phone conversations that I don't accept texts.

Since we daycare providers are one or two people operating out of our home rather than a building, parents tend to think of us on a personal level instead of on a business level. I make sure they see me on a business level.

I feel that there is too much information to relay back and forth regarding the care of one's child to text. Typically, one question leads to another or to a comment. It could take 10 minutes texting back and forth rather than 3 minutes talking on a phone. Now, I do know some providers who prefer texting. But I can't stand it. I have a hook on the back of my house phone so if I need to, I can hook the phone to my bra strap and be hands free to change diapers, cook meals, whatever I need to do while I'm on the phone with someone. But if I'm texting, I can't do anything other than text. I don't have time for that. Also, like you said, things can be misunderstood through texts. Sometimes, just to not have to type so long, people leave out important details in texts that really need to be said. So no. I don't allow texting and I make sure everyone that inquires about my daycare knows that.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:03 AM
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Too many people rely on texting if it's siomethingI feel needs a conversation I call them. I don't realky care for it, I often forget to check them.

Yes text can be hard to relate to or really understand but they seem to be a preferred method for parents to use when informing about their child begin sick late or etc
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:46 AM
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I am not comfortable one on one or on the phone. I prefer texting, emailing, ect. I do a majority of my shopping online so I don't have to interact with people. Texting then there is proof of what was said.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:57 AM
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Honestly it doesn't bother me at all. I prefer texting and emailing because it is so much easier for me.

I do use text through my doctor, my kids' doctor, teachers, and dentist with no problem.

My question, if you have deaf parents who needs reply texting, what will you do with your policy?? Will you still not accept text from deaf or hard of hearing parents?
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2015, 09:08 AM
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When text first come about, I vowed I would never text because it was sooooo unprofessional....well guess what? yep, I text alot now because I do get replies from text, plus it is the same paper trail as an email. To me there is no difference in text than an email....I do prefer face to face contact on certain issues which I have said in a text to certain clients, but find texting as a good communication tool.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
When text first come about, I vowed I would never text because it was sooooo unprofessional....well guess what? yep, I text alot now because I do get replies from text, plus it is the same paper trail as an email. To me there is no difference in text than an email....I do prefer face to face contact on certain issues which I have said in a text to certain clients, but find texting as a good communication tool.
Me too!
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:15 AM
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I love texting, so much easier to send a quick message that you wouldn't necessarily call for. I do have in my policy that "important" topics should be discussed in person or via telephone but of course that is up for interpretation but overall it hasn't been an issue.

If a parent texted me about something that I feel needs to be discussed I would just reply with "I'd prefer if we talk about that in person, let me know when you are free".
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
If a parent texted me about something that I feel needs to be discussed I would just reply with "I'd prefer if we talk about that in person, let me know when you are free".


I love texting for quick easy messages; things that don't need a long conversation.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:38 PM
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With the noise of dcks constantly in the background during the day and my own children at night, texting and emailing are the best. If there is something I need to speak with them about I do what the pp suggested and make a phone date with them via text (so we can both make sure we can give each other attention) or plan a conference.
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  #11  
Old 01-13-2015, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
I love texting, so much easier to send a quick message that you wouldn't necessarily call for. I do have in my policy that "important" topics should be discussed in person or via telephone but of course that is up for interpretation but overall it hasn't been an issue.

If a parent texted me about something that I feel needs to be discussed I would just reply with "I'd prefer if we talk about that in person, let me know when you are free".


I also don't believe in writing a "policy" for everything. My handbook is already 12 pages long.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:58 PM
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Every provider has there own way of doing things for sure. I love texting and emails. Talking on the phone for me is to hard with all the kid noise in the background. If it's something big then my clients are great about talking in person or calling. But for the quick stuff. Texts/emails work for me.
Deb
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  #13  
Old 01-13-2015, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permanentvacation View Post
Typically, one question leads to another or to a comment. It could take 10 minutes texting back and forth rather than 3minutes talking on a phone.
I agree, my goal is to put an end to conversations via text
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  #14  
Old 01-14-2015, 06:20 AM
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I agree that texting is great for short simply messages but anything that requires me to type more than a sentence or a short "Ok" I don't like.

I tell parents that they are welcome to text but I won't engage in a text conversation.

My handbook reads like this:

While texting is an excellent way to communicate, I prefer that other than a quick head's up or short message acknowledging something that parents either call me directly or e-mail so that nothing is misunderstood or taken incorrectly.

Examples of when to text:

Running late, need you to call me, forgot to tell you Billy's hat is in his bag, or Grandma is coming tonight instead of dad.

Anything I cannot reply to in one sentence or less needs to be addressed in an alternate form of communication.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I agree that texting is great for short simply messages but anything that requires me to type more than a sentence or a short "Ok" I don't like.

I tell parents that they are welcome to text but I won't engage in a text conversation.

My handbook reads like this:

While texting is an excellent way to communicate, I prefer that other than a quick head's up or short message acknowledging something that parents either call me directly or e-mail so that nothing is misunderstood or taken incorrectly.

Examples of when to text:

Running late, need you to call me, forgot to tell you Billy's hat is in his bag, or Grandma is coming tonight instead of dad.

Anything I cannot reply to in one sentence or less needs to be addressed in an alternate form of communication.
this!!!!! I don't like to try and have conversations. Anything past a few words I will just call them, I don't even waste my time.
Or I will tell them, this sounds like we need to discuss this, when is a good time to call you?
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2015, 10:03 AM
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A while back I had one of those cell phone plans where I was charged for any overages. I was constantly getting extra charges when a parent would text me back just to correct a spelling error- that's when I had enough. I told a the parents no more texting, emails or calls only. That stopped a lot of the b.s., too. Parents, I found, were much more daring over text, and would ask for late pick ups or drop offs, etc- that all stopped once no more texting was the rule.
Then, I got an iphone and can text away- so that's when the b.s. Started with a new family- challenging my sick policy, vacation policies, etc. I found it incredibly frustrating not being able to understand her intent- was she being rude?! Polite?! It was too hard to read the meaning.
Interestingly enough, when I termed them she started calling, not texting, repeatedly.
I think as long as parents aren't sending lengthy texts, or arguing with you via text, it's ok. If it becomes a problem, block their number and tell them phone calls only.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2015, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi View Post


I also don't believe in writing a "policy" for everything. My handbook is already 12 pages long.
I was required to create "policies" a few years back I joined a program here in Delaware called Delaware Stars. Most every policy was something covered in my handbook. So, now I have my policy pages and everything else remained in the handbook. So, it really isn't much more than I originally had
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2015, 06:31 PM
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I like what permanentvacation has to say she made great points. (I like the clip idea, I need to get one for my phone)

I personal do not care to text, but I really really hate checking voice mail, it is a pain to check. So for quick message, I am running late, just text me.

I have "Your child’s safety & well-being & the safety of the other children in my care is my priority, so continuously responding to text or calls throughout the day is not a priority for me." in my contract because I had a woman want me to text her hourly updates, and I was not about to do that. I also am not willing to take pictures and send them, I have better things to do than text all day long.
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