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  #1  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:46 AM
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Default Tired of the Disrespect...

A couple weeks ago, I had to close early on a friday at short notice because my daughter was really sick. I let the parents know thursday night when I noticed that she was getting worse. So when the boy's dad comes to pick him up that friday, he tells me that was his last day and he wouldn't be coming anymore. I told him about the contract and the two week notice but he didn't seem to care. He said to take that up with the mom. So I contacted her and she said that she was taking him out because I was unreliable. I can count on one hand that I have been closed. There have been days 3 days total to be exact within a years time, where I had to close early or open late because the boy is here from 7-7 most days and there are appointments and classes I have to take. Well I let her know about the two week notice as well and she said that I should have prorated her for the days when I close early. He is here 50 hrs per week so me closing early would still put him at the full time rate. I told her that regardless of her reason for leaving she still has to give notice. She said he wasn't coming back and she wasn't paying the $. Today, I sent a letter to her about the fees owed but I know they moved and I don't know the new address so hopefully, it will be forwarded. I doubt if they will pay it so I will be taking her to small claims court for the $. Have any of you had to go to court? If so, what did you have to bring? And do I need to bring something to prove that I do not owe her any money for the days that I closed early? I want to make sure that I cover all my bases so that I get my money back. What sucks about all this is that this family were friends...
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:05 AM
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Do you have a parent handbook with the policies and a signature stating they understand the policies? THat will help. Also, have you thought about sending the letter through email as well?
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:10 AM
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Yes, I have a signed contract and a signed form stating that she has a copy of the handbook that has all my policies in it. I was sending the letter for record purposes. She is well aware of what was supposed to happen but didn't care to follow the policies. She told me that she doesn't care about what the contract says and that she doesn't feel that she has to follow it because this is just a home and not a facility.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:15 AM
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Sounds like she was going to leave with no notice because of the move and just used your few days off as an excuse to blame you. If she really did think that she should have a refund for those days, why didnt she mention it the first day you had off? Pretty shady of her considering you were watching him for 12 hours a day. hope you get your money!
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:12 AM
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Another option is to turn the account over to a collection bureau. They aren't always 100% successful in recouping money owed to you but atleast they continually call and contact the debtor until they pay the amount owed or end up with a bad mark on their credit.

I would personally go to court. She signed the contract so she owes the money. Despite what she thinks...she still agreed. Use her or dad's work address if necessary.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:18 PM
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Aw that stinks! Some people obviously are not going to keep their word.

May I make a suggestion? Please, in the future, have them pay a deposit at contract signing equal to at least one week's tution (to be used for the last week, whenever that might be), and have them pay tuition in ADVANCE of care. Yeah, they could still leave without notice, but it would be a little trickier to rip you off!
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:09 PM
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If you think they moved, how will you serve them papers for court?

Mail her a letter now and put on it "return address correction requested" and the PO will send it back to you with a new address --- that is if they put in a forwarding address.

Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:53 PM
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What does your contract say about you closing early/taking unexpected days off? I think that is what will be the clincher for you.

Personally, I'd let it go. Even three days off, though it seems minimal to you, without at least a week or two notice is A LOT to parents when they depend on you for child care. I haven't closed that many days unexpectedly in over 15 years in this business, so I can understand why a parent would consider it unreliable when it has been three in one year.

It sucks, but it is the reality of this business......you only close when there is absolutley no other alternative whatsoever or you will lose business.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
What does your contract say about you closing early/taking unexpected days off? I think that is what will be the clincher for you.

Personally, I'd let it go. Even three days off, though it seems minimal to you, without at least a week or two notice is A LOT to parents when they depend on you for child care. I haven't closed that many days unexpectedly in over 15 years in this business, so I can understand why a parent would consider it unreliable when it has been three in one year.

It sucks, but it is the reality of this business......you only close when there is absolutley no other alternative whatsoever or you will lose business.
crystal....tells it like it is.. Love that about her

I have to agree. In my 8.5 years, I have never closed for illness, or early for that matter. My days off are given at the start of the year or when the family starts care.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
What does your contract say about you closing early/taking unexpected days off? I think that is what will be the clincher for you.

Personally, I'd let it go. Even three days off, though it seems minimal to you, without at least a week or two notice is A LOT to parents when they depend on you for child care. I haven't closed that many days unexpectedly in over 15 years in this business, so I can understand why a parent would consider it unreliable when it has been three in one year.

It sucks, but it is the reality of this business......you only close when there is absolutley no other alternative whatsoever or you will lose business.
I have to admit I was thinking the same thing.

As someone else suggested I HIGHLY recommend collecting a deposit to be used as their last week (or two) of care. I collect 1 week - mostly because I don't want to be "working for free" for 2 weeks at the end. I just had a situation where a family left without notice and that forfeits their deposit so its like I am being paid for that last week.
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2012, 04:50 PM
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I have to agree with some of the other posters. I have never - in nearly 14 years as a provider - closed for the day without at least a month's notice. I reserve the right to close with little to no notice in the event of an emergency, but that has never been necessary. There's never been a time in all these years that I've called a client the night before to say I would be closed the next day due to illness in my family.

This is one of the things that working parents expect of childcare providers - absolute reliability. Sometimes it's at the expense of our families, our personal time. But it comes with the territory.

Try to build in some personal days in your contract ahead of time, when you give out your contracts for the year. At least then, the parents can plan for them.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
What does your contract say about you closing early/taking unexpected days off? I think that is what will be the clincher for you.

Personally, I'd let it go. Even three days off, though it seems minimal to you, without at least a week or two notice is A LOT to parents when they depend on you for child care. I haven't closed that many days unexpectedly in over 15 years in this business, so I can understand why a parent would consider it unreliable when it has been three in one year.

It sucks, but it is the reality of this business......you only close when there is absolutley no other alternative whatsoever or you will lose business.
Glad someone said this because I thought the same as I read the original post, but wasn't going to say anything. In 17 years I only closed ONCE. That is no exaggeration. It wasn't easy but I always found ways around hurdles. No need to go into a big explanation, and I am not criticizing you, just saying that as a parent, 3 in one year might tend to annoy me too. Please don't be offended. I need to also come clean and say that within 5 months time (after the 17 years), my father died out of state, and my husband had a bypass. I obviously took days off for both of those. Luckily I didn't lose anyone. They were all very supportive. So... no pearls of wisdom here, just observations, for what they're worth.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:14 PM
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So, are you guys saying you never get sick? Or you work through your sick days? Or you hire a sub? I can't imagine working 15 years and only having to close a few days out of that entire time from my own sickness.

I'm lucky because when one of my kids are sick my mom can take them to her house during daycare hours. I also have a sub that is usually available if I'm sick. However, I've had one time in the last 2 years that I've had to close from illness.

Even if I was sick enough to get through the day I'm not sure all of my parents would WANT to leave their kids with me to expose them.

I'm not saying I disagree with yall exactly but just curious to see what you do when you're sick?
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:16 PM
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That's great that everyone here has not had to close much & very praise-worthy but it seems to be beside the point IMO. What does that have to do with the parent giving NO notice? The DCP could give any reason why they are leaving but it still boils down to NO notice. I'm sure most of you would not say "oh, just let it go" if one of your clients gave you 0 notice! Not every provider here has access to back-up. I can not recall the last time I closed with little notice, although I have once or twice over 3 year's timeframe but things do come up that can't be helped.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by small_steps View Post
So, are you guys saying you never get sick? Or you work through your sick days? Or you hire a sub? I can't imagine working 15 years and only having to close a few days out of that entire time from my own sickness.

I'm lucky because when one of my kids are sick my mom can take them to her house during daycare hours. I also have a sub that is usually available if I'm sick. However, I've had one time in the last 2 years that I've had to close from illness.

Even if I was sick enough to get through the day I'm not sure all of my parents would WANT to leave their kids with me to expose them.

I'm not saying I disagree with yall exactly but just curious to see what you do when you're sick?
I wonder the same thing! I don't have a back-up - it's just me! I've pnly been ill enough to close 1x although my DH is kind enough to help if it's only me who is sick. I've closed with short notice one time when I had a high fever/bronchitis/sinus infection all balled up into one. I also gave very little notice for the death of my dad.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by small_steps View Post
So, are you guys saying you never get sick? Or you work through your sick days? Or you hire a sub? I can't imagine working 15 years and only having to close a few days out of that entire time from my own sickness.

I'm lucky because when one of my kids are sick my mom can take them to her house during daycare hours. I also have a sub that is usually available if I'm sick. However, I've had one time in the last 2 years that I've had to close from illness.

Even if I was sick enough to get through the day I'm not sure all of my parents would WANT to leave their kids with me to expose them.

I'm not saying I disagree with yall exactly but just curious to see what you do when you're sick?
I don't get sick very often. I have worked at times when it was probably better not to. But I seriously go years without getting sick. Just lucky genetically I guess.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:30 PM
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That's great that everyone here has not had to close much & very praise-worthy but it seems to be beside the point IMO. What does that have to do with the parent giving NO notice? The DCP could give any reason why they are leaving but it still boils down to NO notice. I'm sure most of you would not say "oh, just let it go" if one of your clients gave you 0 notice! Not every provider here has access to back-up. I can not recall the last time I closed with little notice, although I have once or twice over 3 year's timeframe but things do come up that can't be helped.
Yes, we did get off track here. Sorry. I would fight them for no notice too. But I take a deposit equal to my notice time period, so I would just keep that and be rid of them.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:47 PM
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Yes, we did get off track here. Sorry. I would fight them for no notice too. But I take a deposit equal to my notice time period, so I would just keep that and be rid of them.
I really want to start implementing that. Even if I just let them pay an extra $25/$50 per week until they get it paid up. I know that an extra $200-$400 is hard to pay upfront for some parents.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:02 PM
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My husband usually covers for me if I am sick but I won't call in unless I am in the hospital and even then I'll watch the kiddos. I had kidney stones and I had to call the parents to come pick up and it was horrible bc I was so sick throwing up from the pain. My husband took care of kids waiting to be picked up and another parent ashually took me to the hospital.
I do think parents need to honor the contract and give a 2 wk notice if they signed on it. If they felt that you weren't up holding your contract then they shld of discussed that with you before pulling him.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by small_steps View Post
So, are you guys saying you never get sick? Or you work through your sick days? Or you hire a sub? I can't imagine working 15 years and only having to close a few days out of that entire time from my own sickness.

I'm lucky because when one of my kids are sick my mom can take them to her house during daycare hours. I also have a sub that is usually available if I'm sick. However, I've had one time in the last 2 years that I've had to close from illness.

Even if I was sick enough to get through the day I'm not sure all of my parents would WANT to leave their kids with me to expose them.

I'm not saying I disagree with yall exactly but just curious to see what you do when you're sick?
I work. Sick or not. I work.

Parents know when I am sick, because I rarely am, so when I am, I AM......some keep thier kids because they can, but mostly they attend.

My hubby works with me, so he can pick up some of the slack, but even before he worked with me and I was solo, I worked. In fact, I was so sick one time, I had menengitis and did not realize it was THAT bad, I worked.

I cannot afford to lose business because I am sick. It's just the way it is.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:28 PM
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I have to say everyone that there are times some of us have to close. For one thing if WE have contracted certain diseases, we are required to give our parents notice, and I think it would be kinder to close than to take a chance of passing these diseases on to the kids. I'm thinking of the more recent re-occurrence of whooping cough, for example. There is NO WAY I could in good conscience expose my daycare kids to that if I knew I came down with it.

I had a very bad infection and was bed-ridden for almost an entire week. I almost landed in the hospital. I couldn't get out of bed let alone take care of children. It was unsafe to have them here. I could not provide adequate supervision. I had my own 5yo to watch and I could barely do that. He was usually playing in my bedroom or watching movies while I was in bed.

Being a single gmom I have no hubby to take over - those of you who do are very blessed. I cannot afford to pay the "substitutes" around here (if I could find one) because they charge more than I make! So there just is no alternative.

On the other hand I take no sick days, no paid days off, and only take a vacation when I have somewhere I want to go and then at most 1 week per year. I read tons about people on here who take paid all of the above!

I charge only for the hours the children are here with no charges for late show or early pick up. There have been many times already when I've kept the kids late or gotten up early to accommodate the parents.

I think that what I am trying to say is that it sounds like some of you are "coming down on" learnngro for taking off. Maybe I don't agree with all of her reasons for taking off, but I don't agree with some of the other reasons people take off, either. That's a personal decision. If her parents knew the score they should be willing to pay up. If, on the other hand she took off without notice, well, that's different.

What I'm trying to say is that we don't have all the information.

To answer your question, learn, never had experience with taking anyone to court, but I do know it's expensive, even for small claims court. Usually not worthwhile unless you have lost a lot of money. For a couple of hundred dollars it is usually not worthwhile financially.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:33 PM
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I am a wimp. I would probably just let them go without a fight. Of course, I don't have anything detailed in my contract about it so I would not have a leg to stand on anyways. I have quit with no notice and actually refunded that week's fees because I felt so bad about it (long story and, like I said, I am a wimp). Sounds like you have a contract detailing it all though so I would think you could get it in court. I would probably take everything I could think of as proof that you owe them nothing and that they owe you for no notice. Hope it all works out for you!

As for closing with no notice. I have done it at least once in the last 8 years when I developed the most awful migraine in the middle of the night. I almost had dh take me to the er it was so bad. I texted all my families in the middle of the night that I could no way watch anyone the next morning. No one complained. They all had back up or called my best friend if they didn't. I have been very fortunate that my 2 best friends also do childcare in their homes and live on my street so they can often back me up. I think this family has unrealistic expectations if they think thier provider will never have an issue that could cause her to need to close suddenly for a day.

When I used to work full time outside my home, my dh and I chose to send our boys to a center because we were worried about an in home provider closing for sickness or something and we would be without daycare. Well, that was not a certainty either...one very snowy day, I went to work on the bus like always. DH took the boys to the center as usual and it was closed because there was a snow emergency...so centers close suddenly, too. Parents should ALWAYS have a backup.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:00 PM
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This is what I would do, OP, assuming that you have a fairly decent signed contract that requires payment for the final two weeks, whether they attend or not:

I would track down their new address through the post office if possible. Once you get their new address, you can fill out a small claims complaint. Normally the circuit clerk's office will help you with this if you can't figure it out. Then I would send the complaint, along with a letter detailing what they owe and why, via certified mail with a return receipt. Give them a date by which they have to pay, in full, whatever they owe. Let them know that if they don't pay up, you will file the small claims complaint the next day, at which point they will become liable for all costs associated with filing the complaint. If they don't pay, file it.

If you can't get a forwarding address from the post office, do as Blackcat said and turn it over to a collection agency.

I've been fortunate that I've never actually had to chase a client for payment, but I used to work for an attorney who did a lot of collection work. I can also give you some good ideas for collecting on a judgment if you get that far .
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofboys View Post
That's great that everyone here has not had to close much & very praise-worthy but it seems to be beside the point IMO. What does that have to do with the parent giving NO notice? The DCP could give any reason why they are leaving but it still boils down to NO notice. I'm sure most of you would not say "oh, just let it go" if one of your clients gave you 0 notice! Not every provider here has access to back-up. I can not recall the last time I closed with little notice, although I have once or twice over 3 year's timeframe but things do come up that can't be helped.
I answered both that 3 times in a year is a little excessive, not that I never ever closed (I think I'm at about 3-4 unexpected/unplanned closings in 11 years) AND also answered that if someone leaves without notice I keep their deposit. I seriously couldn't be bothered filing claims, etc. so while it sucks when someone doesn't give notice I am not really out any money for it since they pay a week in advance and I get a weeks deposit when they sign up.

I don't think ANYONE was justifying the family leaving w/o notice but I think the OP was trying to state that it wasn't that much time where many of us see it as a lot. When she posted she could count on one hand how many times I thought she'd say in 5 or 6 years - but in 1 year I think many of us are just saying that IS quite a bit.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:16 AM
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My husband usually covers for me if I am sick but I won't call in unless I am in the hospital and even then I'll watch the kiddos. I had kidney stones and I had to call the parents to come pick up and it was horrible bc I was so sick throwing up from the pain. My husband took care of kids waiting to be picked up and another parent ashually took me to the hospital.
I do think parents need to honor the contract and give a 2 wk notice if they signed on it. If they felt that you weren't up holding your contract then they shld of discussed that with you before pulling him.
You are very fortunate that your husband can do that and is willing to. My husband works full time and is the primary breadwinner in our home. He makes way more than me so there is no contest with whose job takes precedence (sp?). There is no way he would take off to watch my dck's when I am sick or need to go to an appt. and I would never ask him to do so cuz he would think I am crazy. I am lucky to have some good friends to back me up, though. If I didn't have them, I would have to close, if necessary.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:31 AM
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I have in my contract sick days. I do not get paid for these, but I do close if my child is extremely sick, like say puking or even myself gets really sick. I havent closed for myself getting sick, because I usually dont. (knock on wood)However, I have definatley closed when my children get sick though and even with little notice because usually there isn't alot of notice when a child gets sick. Scenario I would like to know is how you would handle this; Your 2 year old starts puking at 5am with a fever and daycare is comming at 7am, what do you do? How in the world do you handle a 2 year old puking and running a fever with all the other kiddos there? I would call my parents tell them that childcare is not on and they need to use their back up. I have done this the 7 years I have done childcare and have NEVER had a parent leave because of it. For illnesses that might be viewed as more minor like something that isn't airborne, I call and give my parents the option of comming or not, most opt to not come because they don't want to risk getting their own kids sick. I have in my contract that they need to have back up for reasons such as this and I guess I have never had a problem doing so. I think my parents would complain more if I took care of my puking 2 year old while watching their children. Or they would probably even try bringing their sick kids more because Hey if I can have my sick kid there why wont I take theirs......
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
What does your contract say about you closing early/taking unexpected days off? I think that is what will be the clincher for you.

Personally, I'd let it go. Even three days off, though it seems minimal to you, without at least a week or two notice is A LOT to parents when they depend on you for child care. I haven't closed that many days unexpectedly in over 15 years in this business, so I can understand why a parent would consider it unreliable when it has been three in one year.

It sucks, but it is the reality of this business......you only close when there is absolutley no other alternative whatsoever or you will lose business.
Im confused as to how having to close 3 days a year is unreliable.

So what is she supposed to do if she is puking her guts out? Stay open?

What about the providers that dont have any help?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:23 PM
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Im confused as to how having to close 3 days a year is unreliable.

So what is she supposed to do if she is puking her guts out? Stay open?

What about the providers that dont have any help?
3 days in a year is HUGE to parents who are paying for child care. Look at it this way.....

Parent pays for daycare. Provider calls out sick. Parent misses work. Then, child gets sick. Parent misses work. Then Parent gets sick. Parent misses work. THAT is alot of work missed. With the first one being completely unrelated to the parent. The parent faces potential reprimands at work, or possibly even loses their job.

Now, if the provider doesn't charge when she closes unexpectedly, parents might be a little more understanding because they can pay someone else to care for their child with the fees they didn't pay to the provider. However, I seriously caution against taking sick days unless ABSOLUTELY neccessary. Parents WILL go elsewhere if it becomes a habit.

If she's puking her guts out, well then of course she should close, BUT I wouldn't charge OR I would have a substitute on call for those occasions.

My whole point is that parents depend on us to be here, as scheduled. If not, they don't expect to have to pay....which I feel is fair.

Like I said earlier.....in 15 years I haven't taken 3 sick days.....not for myself, not for my own children, whom I am quite capable of caring for with other people's children here.....not for ANYTHING or ANYBODY. Sick or not, I work, just as I would in any job. This job is my livelihood.....I cannot afford to lose families because I close too much.....which, as the OP has learned, is EXACTLY what will happen.

Now, the OP states that she has had to open late or close early because this particular child is there from 7-7.......a simple fix would be to not offer those types of hours so that the provider doesn't HAVE to open late or close early. problem solved.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:32 PM
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My contract says I am not responsible for their back up care. If they bring a sick child to my home and I get sick (even when I send child home after the tylenol wears off) and have to take a day off then darn right they are still paying for that day.

3 days does not sound unreasonable to me at all. However, in this situation, it looks like DCP's were just looking for any excuse to bail when they moved.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:36 PM
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So, can you tell me how closing for three days in a year IS considered reliable?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:44 PM
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I have four days per year written into my contract. It works very well for me and the DCP's I have. I take about 2 sick days per year if I get the flu during the week. Since January 2011 I have taken a half day sick and a one full day from an immediate family emergency. Anything over 4 days and I reimburse fees. Its never been an issue for *me*.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:50 PM
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See that is fair IMO. That is why in my first post I stated that it really depends on your contract and what you have spelled out for the parents. If it states that this is to be expected, fine. But if not, I can understand how a parent would consider it to be unreliable care.

I also have four "floating" holidays in my contract....I don't use them for sick days, I use them for family business, etc. and I give at least one month's notice prior to using any of them.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:53 PM
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My contract says I am not responsible for their back up care. If they bring a sick child to my home and I get sick (even when I send child home after the tylenol wears off) and have to take a day off then darn right they are still paying for that day.

3 days does not sound unreasonable to me at all. However, in this situation, it looks like DCP's were just looking for any excuse to bail when they moved.
Sorry, I too think that 3 days is a lot to close in one year in this bizz.... I have to agree with Crystal
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:55 PM
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See that is fair IMO. That is why in my first post I stated that it really depends on your contract and what you have spelled out for the parents. If it states that this is to be expected, fine. But if not, I can understand how a parent would consider it to be unreliable care.

I also have four "floating" holidays in my contract....I don't use them for sick days, I use them for family business, etc. and I give at least one month's notice prior to using any of them.
Policies are so tricky. It took me years to perfect
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:55 PM
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I've read this thread with great interest because I do believe many of you don't become sick but then what scares me are the ones that are sick (very sick) and you continue to work.

Chrystal I believe you said you were working and had menengitis! That is very contagious and I'm surprised the health dept. didn't close you for awhile and quarentine everyone that had been exposed. Weren't your parents upset for you working while you had that? Mine would have flipped.

Now, I do not charge when I'm off. I have been sick more this year then ever and when one of my parents did ask I gave them a very honest answer. Your child may not be "sick" but when I have 6 that have different symptoms I pick all those up. So one has a runny nose, one a cough, one is sneezing, one won't leave their fingers out of their mouth, etc. The parent had never thought about it that way and totally understood. Then their child just happened to sneeze and filled their hands with yummy things from their nose. The parent didn't say anything after that.

My hubby has missed more work this year also then ever. He goes through a bottle of hand sanitizer a week along with washing his hands. So far whatever the dcks bring in he seems to also pick up.

Two of my moms work as teachers in the classroom. One told me last week about the child that threw up all over. So even though I'm hardly leaving my house I'm getting exposed to germs I'm not even around the sick people but others are carrying them into my house.

The doctors in my area are being swamped with people being sick. I was at the doctors twice last week I was so sick. The last time I went there was standing room only and it was two hours till closing. Last week there was a head cold going around, sinus infections, another round of the flu, and then a bug that was either going out one end or both.

I don't enjoy being sick but I know if I can't get up to get my own kids fed and off to school then I'm to sick to be trying to care for little ones.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:00 PM
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Sorry, I too think that 3 days is a lot to close in one year in this bizz.... I have to agree with Crystal
In the OP's situation I still think the parents would have bailed when they moved.

I get sick a lot....seeming to pick up every little bug that I come into contact with even after doing daycare for 10 years. I have to make sure I am covered for that.

It's not uncommon in my area to have 4 sick days built into contracts. Maybe it's just a case of being okay with what is expected from a provider. I've honestly never had it questioned or objected to.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:13 PM
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In the OP's situation I still think the parents would have bailed when they moved.

I get sick a lot....seeming to pick up every little bug that I come into contact with even after doing daycare for 10 years. I have to make sure I am covered for that.

It's not uncommon in my area to have 4 sick days built into contracts. Maybe it's just a case of being okay with what is expected from a provider. I've honestly never had it questioned or objected to.
I agree if it built into your contract. I do have that I can take 2 personal days to use each year in case of family emergency or illness. I have never had to take them.

I have had a few colds here and there, but I have never been really sick. I do have an illness which has caused me to change my lifestyle tremendously. I eat super healthy, exercise daily for at least 1 hour and get plenty of sleep. I take daily vitamins and immunity boosters. I do all that I can to take care of me...Well except make it to the bathroom in a timely manner (I posted that OT thread....)

I just understood that the op closed several times and parents were upset by it and left.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:16 PM
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I have been in this business for 20 years now and I have taken 1 sick day. Even then I didn't want to take it but the parents I had at the time "forced" me to take it. It was a Friday and I had only 3 families scheduled for that day.

Had the one mom notreally pushed me to take the day off by assuring me that all the families had reliable back up, I would never have taken the day off.

I am not saying people don't get sick but I am also one to believe that child care is just one of those professions that requires a bit more reliability than other jobs. I have interviewed tons of families in my years that have left providers for taking sick days. Some have complained about 3 or 4 sick days a year and others have complained about 1 or 2 sick days per month. I guess every family does exactly as we do and looks at it from their own perspective and how it effects them and then does whatever it is they have to do.

I am just super grateful that I am one of those people who really is RARELY sick and haven't had this issue in my program. Even when my own kids were young, I didn't have to close since I was also lucky enough to have a husband who could care for the kids at home as well as my MIL who could take my kids when they were sick. My kids are alot like me though and are also very rarely sick.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:26 PM
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I've read this thread with great interest because I do believe many of you don't become sick but then what scares me are the ones that are sick (very sick) and you continue to work.

Chrystal I believe you said you were working and had menengitis! That is very contagious and I'm surprised the health dept. didn't close you for awhile and quarentine everyone that had been exposed. Weren't your parents upset for you working while you had that? Mine would have flipped.
Like I said, I didn't even know I had menengitis....not until I went to the hospital after work. It was viral, so the health department had nothing to do with it. No, my parents weren't upset....they knew I continued to work while sick that day so as not to inconveninece them.....they were certainly concerned when they found out that evening though. One family took my 3 children for the rest of the week. The others still came to care, but my mother in law came in to work for me and my hubby, who worked outside the home at the time, took the rest of the week off to help.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:37 PM
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Just got of the phone with the CCR&R with some business. The lady said she has been sick for a month now (sounded like a bad cold/sinus infection) and the dr. has finally put he on some anitibiotics. She said she thinks she will never be well.

My dr. put me on antibotics 4x a day because he was worried about me getting worse and then it being something more that would require more time off for me.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:09 PM
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3 days in a year is HUGE to parents who are paying for child care. Look at it this way.....

Parent pays for daycare. Provider calls out sick. Parent misses work. Then, child gets sick. Parent misses work. Then Parent gets sick. Parent misses work. THAT is alot of work missed. With the first one being completely unrelated to the parent. The parent faces potential reprimands at work, or possibly even loses their job.

Now, if the provider doesn't charge when she closes unexpectedly, parents might be a little more understanding because they can pay someone else to care for their child with the fees they didn't pay to the provider. However, I seriously caution against taking sick days unless ABSOLUTELY neccessary. Parents WILL go elsewhere if it becomes a habit.

If she's puking her guts out, well then of course she should close, BUT I wouldn't charge OR I would have a substitute on call for those occasions.

My whole point is that parents depend on us to be here, as scheduled. If not, they don't expect to have to pay....which I feel is fair.

Like I said earlier.....in 15 years I haven't taken 3 sick days.....not for myself, not for my own children, whom I am quite capable of caring for with other people's children here.....not for ANYTHING or ANYBODY. Sick or not, I work, just as I would in any job. This job is my livelihood.....I cannot afford to lose families because I close too much.....which, as the OP has learned, is EXACTLY what will happen.

Now, the OP states that she has had to open late or close early because this particular child is there from 7-7.......a simple fix would be to not offer those types of hours so that the provider doesn't HAVE to open late or close early. problem solved.
I dont charge parents for days that the dck's dont show up.

See i guess thats why I have a good set of families that have back up care and understand that we all get sick.

Because life is life and people get sick and I would close for the day. But hey thats me.

If you all find that un-reliable, well I guess I just dont consider myself a slave to these families and I never will.

Last edited by mrsp'slilpeeps; 03-21-2012 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Spelling.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:32 PM
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I've read this thread with great interest because I do believe many of you don't become sick but then what scares me are the ones that are sick (very sick) and you continue to work.

Chrystal I believe you said you were working and had menengitis! That is very contagious and I'm surprised the health dept. didn't close you for awhile and quarentine everyone that had been exposed. Weren't your parents upset for you working while you had that? Mine would have flipped.

Now, I do not charge when I'm off. I have been sick more this year then ever and when one of my parents did ask I gave them a very honest answer. Your child may not be "sick" but when I have 6 that have different symptoms I pick all those up. So one has a runny nose, one a cough, one is sneezing, one won't leave their fingers out of their mouth, etc. The parent had never thought about it that way and totally understood. Then their child just happened to sneeze and filled their hands with yummy things from their nose. The parent didn't say anything after that.

My hubby has missed more work this year also then ever. He goes through a bottle of hand sanitizer a week along with washing his hands. So far whatever the dcks bring in he seems to also pick up.

Two of my moms work as teachers in the classroom. One told me last week about the child that threw up all over. So even though I'm hardly leaving my house I'm getting exposed to germs I'm not even around the sick people but others are carrying them into my house.

The doctors in my area are being swamped with people being sick. I was at the doctors twice last week I was so sick. The last time I went there was standing room only and it was two hours till closing. Last week there was a head cold going around, sinus infections, another round of the flu, and then a bug that was either going out one end or both.

I don't enjoy being sick but I know if I can't get up to get my own kids fed and off to school then I'm to sick to be trying to care for little ones.
I know what you mean...I have been fortunate not to get sick much this year but I have a couple friends who do childcare in thier homes also who have been sick constantly. I have had kids here at my house that were sick constantly and my daughter was sick off and on for the first half of the school year. This year seems to be really bad with the viruses. I haven't had to close, fortunately. If I did, I do not charge. Even if I give the parents the choice to take their chances if someone in my family or I am sick, I still do not charge if they choose to take the child somewhere else for the day. I feel that is fair.

Now I did get really sick to my stomach during the day once this year while I was watching the kids. Little dcb decided to act up when mom was here to pick up and I was really feeling ill by then so I told him something like "You need to get ready to go for mommy. Miss Always really feels sick". Well...the mother got VERY irritated and told me that I should always call her if I start feeling sick during the day because she didn't want them getting my germs. So...some parents out there would be very upset if their provider watches the kids while sick. If I have a cold, I work through it...the kids probably gave it to me anyways.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:34 PM
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I am not upset at their reason for leaving, it is the fact that they did not give two week notice.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:54 PM
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Not sure why some hold daycare providers up to what *I* think is an IMPOSSIBLE standard! We are supposed to wipe noses and butts of all these little sickies all day long, clean up their throw up, clean up the spit covered toys, snuggle the coughing kids, and while doing ALL of this, WE are NOT supposed to get sick?! Ummmmmm......I think I have a pretty good immune system, but I am also human. I will end up getting sick once in a while. Like I do as a mom, I work thru most of it. But once in a while, I WILL get too sick to work. If my assistant isn't able to do it on her own, I will have to close. Everyone gets sick, even us cape wearing women!
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:55 PM
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Look up providerwatch.com, i think thats the right one. You can report them
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:22 AM
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I have only closed with short notice for a Thurs and Friday....So I could have surgery to fix and add pins to a broken elbow. I broke it Monday night and worked 8 hrs both Tues and Wed (had an asst long enough for a Dr appt Tues and Wed)

Yes, it is extreme to stay open at all times no matter what cost or reason, but it is what the parents need. I have NO turn over at my daycare and this is a major reason why. Just advice for the future

ALL that said it does not give parents reason to not give or pay for two weeks notice.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:44 AM
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The kid stays from 7-7. Say good riddance. Let them find someone else that can watch him 12 hour days. 3 days of closing early. They are unreasonable. It will come back to them. I was once closed a solid month. My youngest was 7 and came down with acute pancreatitis. We were in a children's hospital for 2 weeks. No notice nothing I had to leave the kids with an emergency provider and rush her to the hospital. Only lost 1 school ager who was leaving anyway. Life happens. Your child is important. Let them move on to their next victim. They should treat you better than that.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:50 AM
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By the way. In my town we pass news such as this forward between the home providers. Someone leaves us in bad standings owing money we make a few calls and get the news out. That way other providers taht are our friends don't end up stuck in the same situation.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:21 AM
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By the way. In my town we pass news such as this forward between the home providers. Someone leaves us in bad standings owing money we make a few calls and get the news out. That way other providers taht are our friends don't end up stuck in the same situation.
You can also report it to ProviderWatch.com and it's free to report them. It's very similar to a credit reporting agency in the sense that you report when a family has left without paying their balnce in full. They don't go after the family or anything to try to recoup your money however other child care providers that may be interviewing the family can look them up and see that they owe a debt to another child care provider.

Reporting them is free but looking up potential clients is not. It's just a small fee however and you only pay it a month at a time when you need to use it. I and other child care providers use it so it's popular in my area. If I have an opening I'll ask callers looking for interviews for their information, pay for a month at ProviderWatch and check them before I start scheduling interviews. We like it because we don't have to spend the time calling each other and this way we don't have to worry bout the possibility of problems about privacy policies. Technically I can't give out personal information to other child care providers about finances but I can report it to an agency and say so in my handbook.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:27 AM
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You are very fortunate that your husband can do that and is willing to. My husband works full time and is the primary breadwinner in our home. He makes way more than me so there is no contest with whose job takes precedence (sp?). There is no way he would take off to watch my dck's when I am sick or need to go to an appt. and I would never ask him to do so cuz he would think I am crazy. I am lucky to have some good friends to back me up, though. If I didn't have them, I would have to close, if necessary.
My husband makes 9X what I make but he does get sick days and personal days. He also covers for me if I need him. I don't know if this is an American thing but don't your jobs offer sick days down there?!!

I don't think anyone is a hero for NOT taking sick days!! I think if you're sick and they're alotted in your contract then by golly take them
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:10 AM
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My husband makes 9X what I make but he does get sick days and personal days. He also covers for me if I need him. I don't know if this is an American thing but don't your jobs offer sick days down there?!!

I don't think anyone is a hero for NOT taking sick days!! I think if you're sick and they're alotted in your contract then by golly take them
Yes, there are sick days and many people receive them. Thats what I've never understood about people panicing if you are sick. That is why there are sick days.

It varies company to company but they are there. Some places you build up sick time, some you just get so many a year. Alot of people also get personal days and can use them if they aren't feeling well also. Its just crazy when people say they can't use their sick time.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:18 AM
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Yes, there are sick days and many people receive them. Thats what I've never understood about people panicing if you are sick. That is why there are sick days.

It varies company to company but they are there. Some places you build up sick time, some you just get so many a year. Alot of people also get personal days and can use them if they aren't feeling well also. Its just crazy when people say they can't use their sick time.
I was wondering the same thing. I thought it was just a canadian thing that we all had sick time and personal time because none of my parents have problems taking the time off. My dh can take time off but he doesn't get paid for it too (small company) but if he needs it off he's going to take it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:17 PM
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Here in Canada, you first must write a letter stating how many days they have to make a payment before proceeding with court. I usually send a person to collections, then court since court takes more of my time to prepare for. With a collection agency, I can just fax the contract/info and they deal with it! But for a percentage, but that's ok
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:32 AM
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I have small children, and when they are really sick, fever, vomiting, I have to take off!! I have had to take off one this yr. when daycare boy, brought in Influenza A- If I am sick, vomiting or a high fever, I have no other choice but to close!! I have only had to do this probably about 5 or 6 times in over 8 yrs. but if you have to close, you have to close!!!! I had to take a vacation day, when the little boy brought it in and had my 2 yr. old very sick over it!! My next yrly contract, will definately include personal/sick days from now on!!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:02 AM
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I also very rarely get sick besides a cold every couple years. I have only closed once for my own sickness in quite a few years. I also have closed twice for my childrens sickness but that was only because they were in the hospital.

But I do have 5 personal/illness days built into my contract. I always give as much notice as I possibly can.

Before a parent signs a contract I explain this in alot of detail! Especially since we are a military family I dont have alot of backup options, except for my husband, but he isnt always in the country, let alone available to help.

If it were to happen that I needed to use 3 of my personal days with short notice and a parentons complained about this. I would say, you knew this was in the realm of possibility when you signed the contract and if you need to find someone "more reliable" I completely understand, but I still need 2 weeks notice.

I agree with everyone that says in this profession we do need to be more "reliable" than most any other profession. But if a family signs with a home provider then you know this could be the case, you can't get mad at the provider when it does happen. If you absolutely need the reliability, go pay center prices that dont close when someone is sick.
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