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  #1  
Old 08-28-2014, 06:08 AM
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Default Need to fix these early drop offs/late pickups

DCF has contracted for care from 7:30-4:30.

Their contract is a little vague and I need to fix it NOW. They dropped off at 7:00AM today with a 10 minute text message notice (that I didnt see till after drop off). They have had a ton of late 5-10 minutes pickups and a few early/late drop offs that are driving me nuts. I have them all noted in their file. However, their contract has a small loophole that I fixed later but I never made them sign any notice of the changes. So... This sound ok? Did I miss anything?


8-28-14
REMINDER:

Your contracted time of care is _______ to ________. If you require earlier pickup or drop off, you must get APPROVAL in advance.

Sending a text message of "we will be there early/late" etc. is not sufficient nor approval. If your contracted hours of care are violated in the future without advance APPROVAL, a two week termination notice will be given.

If given approval to arrive early or pickup late, there is a fee of $5 per child for every 15 minutes of extra care beyond contracted hours due at the time of early drop off or late pick up. If you cannot drop off or pick up your child at your contracted time, it is your responsibility to arrange alternative an alternative drop off or pick up person. Do not assume your requests for late pickups and/or early drop offs will be approved.

Thank you,
Daycare Provider, Date


By signing, I understand and agree to all stipulations above.
Parent Sign, Date
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2014, 06:16 AM
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Do you already have a early/late policy in your handbook?

You are giving them another loophole, IMHO.

I'd stick with $1 per minute early/late so that they will stick to their contract. 30 minutes early will be $30, please.

That being said, I'd also give them one more shot at choosing their contracted ** honest** hours and rate, first.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:35 AM
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The policy in their handbook says there will be a late fee and there needs to be approval but doesn't state what the late fee is. I fixed it in everyone elses handbooks but forgot about this one.


How am I giving them another loophole?


My fee for all parents is $5/15 minutes WITH approval. I don't like $1 a minute for me - mine works great for my other parents. My other parents ask and if I can't accomodate they make other arrangements. These parents don't ask. If they tell me at all, its with a text message TELLING me 10 minutes before they arrive a half hour early.



I thought about gving them the option to change contracted hours -- but they made SUCH a huge deal about it during their enrollment in April. "We CAN make those times - we don't want to pay more for more hours of care." I feel like they had their chance to set in hours, I like their hours and they either can make them work, get approval and pay a late/early fee if they need more than that.... or they can be replaced. Sounds harsh, sorry
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorTots View Post
The policy in their handbook says there will be a late fee and there needs to be approval but doesn't state what the late fee is. I fixed it in everyone elses handbooks but forgot about this one. How am I giving them a loophole?




My fee for all parents is $5/15 minutes WITH approval. My other parents ask and if I can't accomodate they make other arrangements. These parents don't ask. If they tell me at all, its with a text message TELLING me 10 minutes before they arrive a half hour early.
Are you charging them a fee for the early drop off or the late pick up?

Are you refusing to take the child(ren) until regular scheduled time if they show up early?

If the answer to either of those is no, then THAT is how you are giving them a loophole. You are allowing it. period.

If you have a policy in place that they must get PRIOR approval and they aren't doing that, then they will continue to do it until it becomes an issue to them. (no care/BIG fees etc)

Right now, it's only bothering you.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorTots View Post

1. If you require earlier pickup or drop off, you must get APPROVAL in advance.
Sending a text message of "we will be there early/late" etc. is not sufficient nor approval.

2. If given approval to arrive early or pickup late, there is a fee of $5 per child for every 15 minutes of extra care beyond contracted hours due at the time of early drop off or late pick up.
1. What is a sufficient manner? Phone call, email, certified letter? 24 hours, 48 hours, 1 week? How do they know they are approved. "I was confused, I thought as long as I emailed you the night before (1130 p) it would be ok. I did not hear back so thought I was approved. Well, I am here, now. Oh, Dad will be picking up late, but not a whole 15 minutes...."

2. So the first 14 minutes are free.

I am not trying to give you a hard time, I am trying to prevent the parents from doing it.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Are you charging them a fee for the early drop off or the late pick up?

Are you refusing to take the child(ren) until regular scheduled time if they show up early?

If the answer to either of those is no, then THAT is how you are giving them a loophole. You are allowing it. period.

If you have a policy in place that they must get PRIOR approval and they aren't doing that, then they will continue to do it until it becomes an issue to them. (no care/BIG fees etc)

Right now, it's only bothering you.
K, got it. But I want to close that loophole. So my thoughts were have them sign reminder notice that states any abuse further will be met with a 2 week termination notice unless they follow the policy in place. (I don't mind ONE reminder).

I didn't have the exact fees outlined in their handbook, so I don't feel like its appropriate to charge them for this morning... but this reminder will clean that up and make it so its VERY clear to them and me what happens next time (either approval+fee) or termination notice if they show up without either of those two things...

I can't bring myself to do $1/minute (yes, I should but I'm ok with what I have now) --- but $5 for every 15 minutes per child = $20 extra for a half hour early if I approve it.... I'm ok with that.

Maybe I'm wrong about how I'm charging the fees (the other parents just bring cash when I approve a late pickup) but I want to make sure I'm being CLEAR about what I do expect and not leave any loopholes in the future. I feel that I may have not made it clear when I made the policy clarification before - though other parents got it clear.

Do you think this letter will clear it up to this last family? They may be abusing the current loophole so I'm trying to get rid of it going forward.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2014, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
1. What is a sufficient manner? Phone call, email, certified letter? 24 hours, 48 hours, 1 week? How do they know they are approved. "I was confused, I thought as long as I emailed you the night before (1130 p) it would be ok. I did not hear back so thought I was approved. Well, I am here, now. Oh, Dad will be picking up late, but not a whole 15 minutes...."

2. So the first 14 minutes are free.

I am not trying to give you a hard time, I am trying to prevent the parents from doing it.
Very helpful!

Is this better? I want it to clear up any possible misunderstanding so that everyone understands the policy. It may be my error that they didn't understand before. Or they could be abusing it - regardless - this will stop it or clear up any hesitation I have about enforcement due to me not explaining.




August 28, 2014


Dear Daycare Families,

Your contracted time of care is _______ to ________. If you require an earlier pickup or drop off, you must get APPROVAL in advance. APPROVAL means a reply from the provider stating that the earlier drop off or later pick up time is acceptable.

Sending a text message or leaving a voicemail of “we will be there early/late" etc. is not sufficient nor approval if you don’t receive a reply. If your contracted hours of care are violated in the future without advance APPROVAL, a two week termination notice will be given.

If given APPROVAL to arrive early or pickup late, there is a fee of $5 per child for every 15 minutes of extra care beyond contracted hours WHICH IS DUE at the time of early drop off or late pick up. There is a minimum charge of $5 per child for any early drop off or late pick up. For example, if you pick up 4 minutes late, you owe $5 per child at the time of pickup. If you drop off 17 minutes early, you owe $10 per child at the time of drop off. If you do not receive approval and cannot drop off or pick up your child at your contracted time, it is your responsibility to arrange an alternative drop off or pick up person. Do not assume your requests for late pickups and/or early drop offs will be approved.

Thank you,


X Daycare Provider
X's Preschool & Childcare

By signing below, I understand and agree to all stipulations above.

_______________________ ____________
Parent Name Date
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2014, 09:17 AM
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How far in advance do you want the request from the parent?

Also, just to be clear, you are not charging non approved late fees you are just terming? That's the way I read it but wanted to make sure. So if someone is 4 minutes late and they are not approved then they get a term notice? If that's correct then the 2nd sentence in the last paragraph is redundant.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:29 AM
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In my contract, I also charge $5 per 15 minutes OR PORTION THEREOF, to eliminate "the first 14 minutes free" loophole. Just a suggestion to help close it.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2014, 09:42 AM
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I would add in a minimum time frame to ask for changes. ie "Any request for an early drop off or late pick up must me made at least 24 hours in advance" (or 12, 48, whatever you'd prefer)
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:05 AM
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I have $1 a minute for early drop off and/or late arrivals. The first time they do it I tell them it's going to be an expensive morning coffee with the $1 a minute DC fee. I get a very shocked look but it works here.
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2014, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorTots View Post
The policy in their handbook says there will be a late fee and there needs to be approval but doesn't state what the late fee is. I fixed it in everyone elses handbooks but forgot about this one.

Ok, so what they already signed has this info in it but just does not list that the fee is $5 for each 15 minute period??? If so I would give them a copy of their signed agreement along with a note stating what you've mentioned about texting not being an acceptable form of notice. This way it does not seem like you are "changing" anything - you are just enforcing what they've already agreed to.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
Ok, so what they already signed has this info in it but just does not list that the fee is $5 for each 15 minute period??? If so I would give them a copy of their signed agreement along with a note stating what you've mentioned about texting not being an acceptable form of notice. This way it does not seem like you are "changing" anything - you are just enforcing what they've already agreed to.
Yes - I like this too - I will include a copy that page of their handbook and highlight the portion that is relevant.


This is rather stressful. And it's the DCPs fault as they abuse it. I can't believe I let them slide on so many 2 minutes here, 4 minutes there, etc. Now it is so hard to make a stand. But seriously, texting me 10 minutes before drop off that you are dropping off a half hour early? I didn't even read the text until after they arrived as I was making breakfast.... and waaay too flabbergasted upon arrival to say much to DCM.
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoodLife View Post
I would add in a minimum time frame to ask for changes. ie "Any request for an early drop off or late pick up must me made at least 24 hours in advance" (or 12, 48, whatever you'd prefer)
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorTots View Post
Yes - I like this too - I will include a copy that page of their handbook and highlight the portion that is relevant.


This is rather stressful. And it's the DCPs fault as they abuse it. I can't believe I let them slide on so many 2 minutes here, 4 minutes there, etc. Now it is so hard to make a stand. But seriously, texting me 10 minutes before drop off that you are dropping off a half hour early? I didn't even read the text until after they arrived as I was making breakfast.... and waaay too flabbergasted upon arrival to say much to DCM.
Deep breathes.. it IS hard and parents often times don't realize we are juggling/managing multiple families times so the subject is often ones parents feel we are nit picking because they only view their schedules as the only ones that you are considering when making rules or enforcing policies.

Sometimes it helps if you let them know that giving 10 minutes free to ALL 6 of your families is a free hour of care and they certainly don't stay an hour at work AFTER or BEFORE they are clocked in/out for free do they?

I would write the letter and just be really lighthearted about the whole subject and very firm about the consequences.

I ALWAYS try to toss a "Im sure you understand" in there as it usually seems to help soften the blow or at the very least get parents to comply.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
How far in advance do you want the request from the parent?

Also, just to be clear, you are not charging non approved late fees you are just terming? That's the way I read it but wanted to make sure. So if someone is 4 minutes late and they are not approved then they get a term notice? If that's correct then the 2nd sentence in the last paragraph is redundant.
good point, if they (this particular DCF) show up 10 minutes late and didn't call me to get approval, I will be handing them a term notice at pickup AND charging the $5 fee. Correcting that, thanks!
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
How far in advance do you want the request from the parent?

Also, just to be clear, you are not charging non approved late fees you are just terming? That's the way I read it but wanted to make sure. So if someone is 4 minutes late and they are not approved then they get a term notice? If that's correct then the 2nd sentence in the last paragraph is redundant.
good point, if they (this particular DCF) show up 10 minutes late and didn't call me to get approval, I will be handing them a term notice at pickup AND charging the $5 fee. Correcting that, thanks!
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:41 AM
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Deep breathes.. it IS hard and parents often times don't realize we are juggling/managing multiple families times so the subject is often ones parents feel we are nit picking because they only view their schedules as the only ones that you are considering when making rules or enforcing policies.

Sometimes it helps if you let them know that giving 10 minutes free to ALL 6 of your families is a free hour of care and they certainly don't stay an hour at work AFTER or BEFORE they are clocked in/out for free do they?

I would write the letter and just be really lighthearted about the whole subject and very firm about the consequences.

I ALWAYS try to toss a "Im sure you understand" in there as it usually seems to help soften the blow or at the very least get parents to comply.
I like that part about giving a little to every family = working an hour for free.

I'm sure you understand...I'm sure you understand...I'm sure you understand...I'm sure you understand...I'm sure you understand...

I'll try to remember to say that!!!
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:54 PM
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I would also clarify what you mean by approval.......I am assuming they need a verbal "ok" from you or a response to the text stating "ok". Some people will still read your notice like "well I let her know and she didnt say no so that was approved....." whereas what you are intending is "don't do anything outside of contracted hours until you get something verbally or in writing that says yes. Sending a notice or request without a clear response from me is NOT an approval. If I do not have the chance to respond at all, that is NOT an approval"
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:03 PM
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Thanks cheerfuldom - this is what the DCF is getting tonight with a copy of their handbook page highlighted (it states there will be a fee, doesnt state what fee... and it states it has to be approved).

I am also going to mention verbally that if their current contracted hours are not working for them then we can discuss a new weekly rate for additional contracted hours - as long as it is within my hours of operations. That way both DCPs can talk to each other and come back and decide if they want to discuss different contractual hours to avoid late fees and the chance of not being approved for late pick up or early drop off.



Anyway, here it is in its final form:



August 28, 2014


Dear Daycare Families,

Your contracted time of care is ________ to _________. If you require an earlier pickup or drop off, you must get APPROVAL in advance. APPROVAL means a reply from the provider stating that the earlier drop off or later pick up time is acceptable.

Sending a text message or leaving a voicemail of “we will be there early/late" etc. is not sufficient, nor approval, if you do not receive a reply. If contracted hours of care are violated in the future without advance APPROVAL, a two week termination notice will be given in addition to the early/late fees.

If given APPROVAL to arrive early or pickup late, there is a fee of $5 per child for every 15 minutes of extra care beyond contracted hours WHICH IS DUE at the time of early drop off or late pick up. There is a minimum charge of $5 per child for any early drop off or late pick up. For example, if you pick up 4 minutes late, you owe $5 per child at the time of pickup. If you drop off 17 minutes early, you owe $10 per child at the time of drop off.

Do not make the assumption that requests for late pickups and/or early drop offs will be approved.

Thank you,


X Daycare Provier
X's Preschool & Childcare

By signing below, I understand and agree to all stipulations above.

_______________________ ____________
Parent Name Date
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  #21  
Old 08-28-2014, 01:17 PM
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Oh and I decided to not put a set time they have to get approval in -- I don't really care if they ask me that day or that morning, etc. But they have to get a response. No response, no approval....
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:15 PM
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Update: Grandma picked up. She said DCM was worried she would be late. Apparently they are down to one vehicle.


I simply said there was a copy of the notice in the bag for them to review and another note about needed supplies.



I need to print out a termination notice in case 1) parents decide not to sign or 2) parents are late/early again without approval.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:27 PM
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How do you handle car trouble or in the er? I have a family as least once a month they are at the er while I'm watching the kids so instead of having the 4 kids for 9 hours it usually ends up being over 30 hours straight. Or there car breaks down on the way to pick them up after 8 pm so they can't come get them till the next morning normally after noon. I have some friends that their old day care provider would call the cops if you were more then 5 minutes at pick up saying the kids is abandoned. My husband thinks i should put that into my contacts just because of this family.
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:36 AM
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How do you handle car trouble or in the er? I have a family as least once a month they are at the er while I'm watching the kids so instead of having the 4 kids for 9 hours it usually ends up being over 30 hours straight. Or there car breaks down on the way to pick them up after 8 pm so they can't come get them till the next morning normally after noon. I have some friends that their old day care provider would call the cops if you were more then 5 minutes at pick up saying the kids is abandoned. My husband thinks i should put that into my contacts just because of this family.
that just sounds like they are lying and taking total advantage of you. No way in h... I would keep these people
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:41 AM
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How do you handle car trouble or in the er? I have a family as least once a month they are at the er while I'm watching the kids so instead of having the 4 kids for 9 hours it usually ends up being over 30 hours straight. Or there car breaks down on the way to pick them up after 8 pm so they can't come get them till the next morning normally after noon. I have some friends that their old day care provider would call the cops if you were more then 5 minutes at pick up saying the kids is abandoned. My husband thinks i should put that into my contacts just because of this family.
I require parents to have at least one local emergency contact that can pickup their kids if need be. Parents MUST find a backup plan for days off or emergencies. I dont work with families that don't have and use appropriate backup plans. I would term.
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:47 AM
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letter sounds good!

I am always torn on the "I'm running late" texts. I don't want to say ok, because no, its not really ok. But I don't want to say "hurry up" either, LOL! I charge a late fee but honestly I don't want the money, I want the on time pick up!!!
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:20 AM
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How do you handle car trouble or in the er? I have a family as least once a month they are at the er while I'm watching the kids so instead of having the 4 kids for 9 hours it usually ends up being over 30 hours straight. Or there car breaks down on the way to pick them up after 8 pm so they can't come get them till the next morning normally after noon. I have some friends that their old day care provider would call the cops if you were more then 5 minutes at pick up saying the kids is abandoned. My husband thinks i should put that into my contacts just because of this family.
My policies state that parents need to have back-up care for when I'm closed, and WI licensing requires emergency contact information on the enrollment form. In both of these situations I'd call the emergency contact person to come pick up the child/ren.

I have a hard time believing there's no bus or taxi service that could be used to pick up the children, or a family member, friend, co-worker, etc, to give the parents a ride.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:36 AM
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How do you handle car trouble or in the er? I have a family as least once a month they are at the er while I'm watching the kids so instead of having the 4 kids for 9 hours it usually ends up being over 30 hours straight. Or there car breaks down on the way to pick them up after 8 pm so they can't come get them till the next morning normally after noon. I have some friends that their old day care provider would call the cops if you were more then 5 minutes at pick up saying the kids is abandoned. My husband thinks i should put that into my contacts just because of this family.
It's the parents responsibility to manage pick up if they can't make it for some reason.

I am not in the business of covering emergencies and car trouble or an ER visit is their issue to manage not mine.

In my program if a family is late 3x, care is terminated immediately.

As for calling the police for abandoned children, my policies state ANY time a parent is unreachable for more than 30 minutes, the child(ren) are considered abandoned and a call to CPS will follow.

If I reach the parent but the child is still not picked up by the time I close I will call CPS. My licensor said, I am technically not legally allowed to have children on site beyond my recorded business hours.
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