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Parents and Guardians Forum>No Contract and Withdrawing my Children from Unsafe Care
mojoandrojosmama 09:38 AM 09-03-2013
We placed our 3 year old and 4 month old daughter in an in-home daycare. There was no contract, just the state required forms. I can't find any of our paperwork that she gave us for informational purposes, but I do recall it saying that she requested a 2 week notice of withdraw when possible. In our case, this was not possible because we do NOT feel that our children were safe. We needed to get them out of there as soon as possible. Here are just a few of the reasons:

1. For the past couple of weeks, our three year old has said that her teacher yelled at her and she screamed and cried begging not to go.
2. The teacher admitted that she allowed her 7th grade son (not sure of age) feed my then 4.5 month old daughter.
3. Our three year old said she was told there is a “Potty Monster” who will get her if she has an accident.
4. I dropped in early one day and found my 3 year old, my 4.5 month old, another infant (approx 10 months), 2 toddlers, a 5 year old girl and 2 7th grade boys all in a room together. There was no adult in the actual room with them; the teacher was in the bathroom cleaning.
5. I dropped in early another day to see my 4.5 month old daughter sitting in her car seat, unrestrained. This appeared to be used as opposed to holding her or putting her in a safe device such as a bouncer seat where she could easily be strapped in. .
6. After 2 days in care, my then 4 month old came home with a bruise on her forehead. We were told another infant threw a truck at her face. To our knowledge, there was no incident report filed and we are unaware of whether or not the other parent was informed.

If I was happy with the care they were receiving, I would have no problem leaving them there for 2 weeks before withdrawing them. Do I have a right to not pay the "two week notice" period?
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mojoandrojosmama 09:52 AM 09-03-2013
Also, just FYI...We have already taken our children out, there was no way we could continue to send them there. She is now contacting us asking us for the $600.
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Blackcat31 09:55 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by mojoandrojosmama:
We placed our 3 year old and 4 month old daughter in an in-home daycare. There was no contract, just the state required forms. I can't find any of our paperwork that she gave us for informational purposes, but I do recall it saying that she requested a 2 week notice of withdraw when possible. In our case, this was not possible because we do NOT feel that our children were safe. We needed to get them out of there as soon as possible. Here are just a few of the reasons:

1. For the past couple of weeks, our three year old has said that her teacher yelled at her and she screamed and cried begging not to go.
2. The teacher admitted that she allowed her 7th grade son (not sure of age) feed my then 4.5 month old daughter.
3. Our three year old said she was told there is a “Potty Monster” who will get her if she has an accident.
4. I dropped in early one day and found my 3 year old, my 4.5 month old, another infant (approx 10 months), 2 toddlers, a 5 year old girl and 2 7th grade boys all in a room together. There was no adult in the actual room with them; the teacher was in the bathroom cleaning.
5. I dropped in early another day to see my 4.5 month old daughter sitting in her car seat, unrestrained. This appeared to be used as opposed to holding her or putting her in a safe device such as a bouncer seat where she could easily be strapped in. .
6. After 2 days in care, my then 4 month old came home with a bruise on her forehead. We were told another infant threw a truck at her face. To our knowledge, there was no incident report filed and we are unaware of whether or not the other parent was informed.

If I was happy with the care they were receiving, I would have no problem leaving them there for 2 weeks before withdrawing them. Do I have a right to not pay the "two week notice" period?
I do not think that you have a "right" to not pay the two week notice period because a lot of what you listed as unsafe aren't considered unsafe to everyone.

For example;
#1 The provider may have raised her voice (yelled according to your 3 yr old) and now your DD doesn't want to go back..... that is understandable but not considered unsafe or imminent danger.

#2 Unless there are strict rules that dictate an older child not being allowed to feed a younger child, this is also not something I consider unsafe. I have often times allowed an older child to assist with holding a bottle for the younger ones in the past.

#3 Being told there is a potty monster is simply something you need to discuss with your provider.... you don't know who and in what context this subject came up. But again, NOT unsafe.

#4 Not everyone is required to be in the same room with the daycare kids at ALL times. Many states simply require the provider to be within ear shot of the kids. Again, if this is something you aren't comfortable with, talk to your provider. You may consider it unsafe but she may not.

#5 Same thing about the infant seat. Was the child sitting in the seat on the floor or up high? Again, the provider may use the seat as somewhere to sit the baby so the baby is sitting up verses having to lie down. Not the safest move in my book but not unsafe enough to warrant removal of your child without a discussion with the provider about state rules and regulations as well as personal preferences for your child.

#6 Again, bruises happen. Especially in mixed age group care. It could very well have been that someone threw a toy and hit your child. Not all states require providers to fill out written reports for instances such as this one. Not all providers are required to notify the parents when their child throws something.

Honestly, if you are concerned about the safety of your children, I would remove them from her care but I would still pay for the final two weeks of care whether you actually bring them or not.

I would talk with my provider about these things though and if there are any state rules/regulations being broken, I would also call the licensor and let them know of your concerns.
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Cradle2crayons 09:57 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by mojoandrojosmama:
Also, just FYI...We have already taken our children out, there was no way we could continue to send them there. She is now contacting us asking us for the $600.
I'm attempting to clarify a few things. First, if there was no contract, where was it written that she was requesting two weeks notice? Generally that information is on the contract? Or was hers in like a handbook. What I'm wondering is did you SIGN e paper stating that?

I can't say I blame you for pulling your kids. And I'm so sorry this has happened to you.

I don't have a lot of advice except that first it sounds to me that she may not be in ratio. It also sounds like she's belittling the kids, also big no no.

If it were me, I'd call licensing and report what is going on. The lack of supervision is a big one as well.
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MyAngels 09:58 AM 09-03-2013
Since you don't have copies of the paperwork, have her forward you copies of anything that you signed so that you can determine what your legal obligations are.

FTR I would have pulled my children, too.

In this case, even if you have a signed contract I would consider fighting this in court if she decides to file a complaint against you for the two week notice period.
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Blackcat31 10:00 AM 09-03-2013
My nephew is in 7th grade and he will be 13 yrs old. In my state, a 13 year old can be a legal "helper" or "assistant".
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mojoandrojosmama 10:05 AM 09-03-2013
She gave us a "packet" of information. There was no actual handbook. There was one piece of paper that said what her hours were, what we needed to bring on the first day and on the first day of every month after that (supplies, snacks, etc) and that she requested two week notice prior to withdraw. We did not sign this peice of paper. All we signed was the information card and some other consent things (sunscreen, outdoor play, etc)., a state required from that was supposed to replace the need for immunization records and a state required from stating who is providing what food.

I just had to go with my gut, my three year old is a very good girl and is pretty brutally honest so if she is this upset about going and tells me she is being yelled at, I believe her.

I just don't want this to turn "ugly". I just want her to understand my concerns and let us go. If I could afford to pay her, I would, but I just can't pay double daycare for 2 children.
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Cradle2crayons 10:07 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I do not think that you have a "right" to not pay the two week notice period because a lot of what you listed as unsafe aren't considered unsafe to everyone.

For example;
#1 The provider may have raised her voice (yelled according to your 3 yr old) and now your DD doesn't want to go back..... that is understandable but not considered unsafe or imminent danger.

#2 Unless there are strict rules that dictate an older child not being allowed to feed a younger child, this is also not something I consider unsafe. I have often times allowed an older child to assist with holding a bottle for the younger ones in the past.

#3 Being told there is a potty monster is simply something you need to discuss with your provider.... you don't know who and in what context this subject came up. But again, NOT unsafe.

#4 Not everyone is required to be in the same room with the daycare kids at ALL times. Many states simply require the provider to be within ear shot of the kids. Again, if this is something you aren't comfortable with, talk to your provider. You may consider it unsafe but she may not.

#5 Same thing about the infant seat. Was the child sitting in the seat on the floor or up high? Again, the provider may use the seat as somewhere to sit the baby so the baby is sitting up verses having to lie down. Not the safest move in my book but not unsafe enough to warrant removal of your child without a discussion with the provider about state rules and regulations as well as personal preferences for your child.

#6 Again, bruises happen. Especially in mixed age group care. It could very well have been that someone threw a toy and hit your child. Not all states require providers to fill out written reports for instances such as this one. Not all providers are required to notify the parents when their child throws something.

Honestly, if you are concerned about the safety of your children, I would remove them for her care but I would pay for the final two weeks of care whether you actually bring them or not.

I would talk with my provider about these things though and if there are any state rules/regulations being broken, I would also call the licensor and let them know of your concerns.
VERY VERY good points BC. I also have allowed older kids to feed younger ones. My ten year old daughter for instance. She's been to the Red Cross babysitting program and knows for and first aid. She's also been trained by my special needs physical era post on how to do torticollis stretches with that baby. I've allowed her to sit on the couch and hold the newborn and feed while i sit with her. Then I go and burp him. She loves children and helping.

I've also had children in e play room while I step across the hall and clean up e bathroom.

I've also sat a reflux baby in their car seat on e floor for 30 minutes after meals if they have reflux.

My real only concern is that the mother wasn't contacted about the toy thrown at the babies forehead. I'd have immediately contacted and done a report. But yu are right, some states don't require that. I do it because I feel I should.

I think the important point is to call licensing. And know your state laws. That would prevent a lot of issues. Just because a parent wouldn't do x,y,z, doesn't mean another person wouldn't.

I also agree communication is very important.

And another fine point. What 3 year olds say isn't always what they hear.
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Cradle2crayons 10:10 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by mojoandrojosmama:
She gave us a "packet" of information. There was no actual handbook. There was one piece of paper that said what her hours were, what we needed to bring on the first day and on the first day of every month after that (supplies, snacks, etc) and that she requested two week notice prior to withdraw. We did not sign this peice of paper. All we signed was the information card and some other consent things (sunscreen, outdoor play, etc)., a state required from that was supposed to replace the need for immunization records and a state required from stating who is providing what food.

I just had to go with my gut, my three year old is a very good girl and is pretty brutally honest so if she is this upset about going and tells me she is being yelled at, I believe her.

I just don't want this to turn "ugly". I just want her to understand my concerns and let us go. If I could afford to pay her, I would, but I just can't pay double daycare for 2 children.
Have you communicated this to her?? And you do realize that 3 year olds may think its yelling and instead it's just firm conversation
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Cradle2crayons 10:12 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by mojoandrojosmama:
She gave us a "packet" of information. There was no actual handbook. There was one piece of paper that said what her hours were, what we needed to bring on the first day and on the first day of every month after that (supplies, snacks, etc) and that she requested two week notice prior to withdraw. We did not sign this peice of paper. All we signed was the information card and some other consent things (sunscreen, outdoor play, etc)., a state required from that was supposed to replace the need for immunization records and a state required from stating who is providing what food.

I just had to go with my gut, my three year old is a very good girl and is pretty brutally honest so if she is this upset about going and tells me she is being yelled at, I believe her.

I just don't want this to turn "ugly". I just want her to understand my concerns and let us go. If I could afford to pay her, I would, but I just can't pay double daycare for 2 children.
But you knew when you placed the kids there.... That there was a two week notice. So really, the fact you can afford to pay it isn't her problem. Maybe offer a payment program.
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Blackcat31 10:17 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by Cradle2crayons:
But you knew when you placed the kids there.... That there was a two week notice. So really, the fact you can afford to pay it isn't her problem. Maybe offer a payment program.
I agree. I also think parents have an obligation to speak to the provider about any concerns and issues they have WHEN they have them.

Unless ALL of these things happened on one day you, as the parent have some responsibility in how these things were handled (or not handled if you didn't bring them to the provider's attention) so I don't think it's right to just compile a list of things you are unhappy with now (without trying to talk with the provider) and just pull your kids without being obligated to pay the final two weeks.
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mojoandrojosmama 10:18 AM 09-03-2013
Yes I knew she requested a two week notice, but I never thought I would be so uncomfortable leaving my kids there. She didn't have me sign a contract, so her not getting paid would not be my problem, just as much as me not being able to afford it would not be hers.

Bottom line is, no infant should be in a room with a bunch of little kids to fend for herself. Ever. And, if she wanted to sit her in her car seat, fine...but buckle her in. She was up doing other things and my daughter can arch up right out of that car seat.

As for the 7th grader feeding my infant...I have a HUGE problem with that. You may not, but she isn't your child. I did let her know at the time I had an issue with it, and the next day is when I walked in to see my daughter laying on the floor by herself surrounded by big kids and no adult to make sure she wasn't stepped on.

I appreciate the feedback, but I have already withdrawn them from care so I guess all I can do now is wait and see what happens.
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Laurel 10:51 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by mojoandrojosmama:
Yes I knew she requested a two week notice, but I never thought I would be so uncomfortable leaving my kids there. She didn't have me sign a contract, so her not getting paid would not be my problem, just as much as me not being able to afford it would not be hers.

Bottom line is, no infant should be in a room with a bunch of little kids to fend for herself. Ever. And, if she wanted to sit her in her car seat, fine...but buckle her in. She was up doing other things and my daughter can arch up right out of that car seat.

As for the 7th grader feeding my infant...I have a HUGE problem with that. You may not, but she isn't your child. I did let her know at the time I had an issue with it, and the next day is when I walked in to see my daughter laying on the floor by herself surrounded by big kids and no adult to make sure she wasn't stepped on.

I appreciate the feedback, but I have already withdrawn them from care so I guess all I can do now is wait and see what happens.
I would have done the same thing as you did. I wouldn't pay her either.

You have a right to expect that your child will be supervised properly. The not strapping your baby in the chair would not be acceptable either.

Laurel
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SilverSabre25 10:58 AM 09-03-2013
Agree with everything Blackcat has said.

While I don't blame you for pulling your children, I don't think that all of those points are in direct violation of safety standards. If you can prove that there was no contract signed stipulating the terms of your agreement, including termination of the agreement, then you would probably win in small claims court.

It sounds like you have an important lesson to learn from this situation: always, ALWAYS, sign something stating the exact terms of your agreement with a childcare provider.

A final thought--I feel like you are judging the 7th grader solely on his gender. Please be honest with yourself and decide whether it would bother you so much if it were a 13 year old GIRL watching the kids, feeding them, etc.
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Familycare71 10:59 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I do not think that you have a "right" to not pay the two week notice period because a lot of what you listed as unsafe aren't considered unsafe to everyone.

For example;
#1 The provider may have raised her voice (yelled according to your 3 yr old) and now your DD doesn't want to go back..... that is understandable but not considered unsafe or imminent danger.

#2 Unless there are strict rules that dictate an older child not being allowed to feed a younger child, this is also not something I consider unsafe. I have often times allowed an older child to assist with holding a bottle for the younger ones in the past.

#3 Being told there is a potty monster is simply something you need to discuss with your provider.... you don't know who and in what context this subject came up. But again, NOT unsafe.

#4 Not everyone is required to be in the same room with the daycare kids at ALL times. Many states simply require the provider to be within ear shot of the kids. Again, if this is something you aren't comfortable with, talk to your provider. You may consider it unsafe but she may not.

#5 Same thing about the infant seat. Was the child sitting in the seat on the floor or up high? Again, the provider may use the seat as somewhere to sit the baby so the baby is sitting up verses having to lie down. Not the safest move in my book but not unsafe enough to warrant removal of your child without a discussion with the provider about state rules and regulations as well as personal preferences for your child.

#6 Again, bruises happen. Especially in mixed age group care. It could very well have been that someone threw a toy and hit your child. Not all states require providers to fill out written reports for instances such as this one. Not all providers are required to notify the parents when their child throws something.

Honestly, if you are concerned about the safety of your children, I would remove them from her care but I would still pay for the final two weeks of care whether you actually bring them or not.

I would talk with my provider about these things though and if there are any state rules/regulations being broken, I would also call the licensor and let them know of your concerns.

I also allow my daughter to help with babies-
OP- maybe splitting the difference will help out this behind you... My recommendation is pay the full amount, I am hearing you can't/ won't do this so at least pay half...
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butterfly 11:09 AM 09-03-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I do not think that you have a "right" to not pay the two week notice period because a lot of what you listed as unsafe aren't considered unsafe to everyone.

For example;
#1 The provider may have raised her voice (yelled according to your 3 yr old) and now your DD doesn't want to go back..... that is understandable but not considered unsafe or imminent danger.

#2 Unless there are strict rules that dictate an older child not being allowed to feed a younger child, this is also not something I consider unsafe. I have often times allowed an older child to assist with holding a bottle for the younger ones in the past.

#3 Being told there is a potty monster is simply something you need to discuss with your provider.... you don't know who and in what context this subject came up. But again, NOT unsafe.

#4 Not everyone is required to be in the same room with the daycare kids at ALL times. Many states simply require the provider to be within ear shot of the kids. Again, if this is something you aren't comfortable with, talk to your provider. You may consider it unsafe but she may not.

#5 Same thing about the infant seat. Was the child sitting in the seat on the floor or up high? Again, the provider may use the seat as somewhere to sit the baby so the baby is sitting up verses having to lie down. Not the safest move in my book but not unsafe enough to warrant removal of your child without a discussion with the provider about state rules and regulations as well as personal preferences for your child.

#6 Again, bruises happen. Especially in mixed age group care. It could very well have been that someone threw a toy and hit your child. Not all states require providers to fill out written reports for instances such as this one. Not all providers are required to notify the parents when their child throws something.

Honestly, if you are concerned about the safety of your children, I would remove them from her care but I would still pay for the final two weeks of care whether you actually bring them or not.

I would talk with my provider about these things though and if there are any state rules/regulations being broken, I would also call the licensor and let them know of your concerns.
Agreed!!
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butterfly 11:13 AM 09-03-2013
I see you've already withdrawn the children from care, but I would strongly suggest open communication with your next daycare provider. I feel as though each and every one of your concerns could have been addressed and resolved if there were open communication happening.
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Unregistered 11:44 AM 09-03-2013
I would not let a 4 months old alone with older kids. That is pretty unsafe. The other points could be discussed with the provider and maybe find a good explanation, but living a 4 months old with other kids is a NO NO he could get hurt.
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Tags:bad providers, contract - not, unsafe
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