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  #1  
Old 06-22-2016, 09:01 AM
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Default What Are Your Strict Policies?

I've never been a complete pushover, but recently after an incident in my home, I've gone from accomodating to "this is my business, you are my client".

Real quick about the incident, I have 2 big dogs. I had one very, very part time dcm who saw one of my dogs through a window one day and threw a fit. She called and texted other dcf's, working everyone into a tizzy that I had large breed dogs in my home (German Shepherds). For the record, I have a contract everyone needs to sign stating that I own these dogs and that they are always kept separate from the daycare. I'm lucky enough to have the daycare on the bottom floor, a walkout basement with a separate entrance. The dogs have never seen the light of day down there. So I had 4 dcf's ready to leave if I didn't get my dogs off of the property during daycare hours. Anyhoo...we own a large pole barn, built them a huge (and expensive) indoor/outdoor cage that weekend.

So...I stopped being nice and accomodating. I'm charging late fees, and I'm going to redo my contract. No more "special". Whether I agree/disagree with the dogs being present, it doesn't matter at this point. My dog was not threatening, by the way, that dcm just didn't want a dangerous breed at the home. (She was immediately let go and replaced, as well as another very part time parent, who caused the biggest stink. Ain't no one got time for that!)

So...I am wondering about everyone's "strict" policies, so that I may include them and be as business like as possible going forward.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:22 AM
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For me:
- picking up on time and sticking to their contracted hours
- paying on time
- illness policy being followed
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:25 AM
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For me:
- picking up on time and sticking to their contracted hours
- paying on time
- illness policy being followed
OP Here. All of my parents pay on time generally, but I ask for payment by Monday. Sometimes it's Friday. Do you charge a daily late fee?
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:35 AM
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-picking up on time, I have a two strikes and you're out policy.
-paying on time, I take payments on Mondays, with daily late fees. If it isn't paid by Thursday night (including fees) you are immediately termed.
-illness policy, I exclude for symptoms, and have a very detailed list of what those symptoms are. I also have the 24/48 hours rule. I have termed for people not following the illness policy.
-potty training, I am happy to help, but there is a checklist of what a child must be able to do before they start potty training in care.
-nap time, if your child will not nap or have a regular quiet time on their mat, then your child is not a good fir for the program.

All these things keep me from ripping my hair out when dealing with parents. I feel like there are lots of other things that I can address and work with parents as they come up (hitting, misbehavior, etc.), but these ones are the rules that I never waiver on. These rules allow me to operate each day without being stressed out!

Good luck with your new policies!
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:36 AM
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OP Here. All of my parents pay on time generally, but I ask for payment by Monday. Sometimes it's Friday. Do you charge a daily late fee?
Due 9 am on Friday, for care commencing on the following Monday. Late fees start at 9:01. $15/per calendar day. In cash.

Late fees for late pick ups are the same. I do not offer leeway for any reason. Late fees start one minute past their pick up time. Late fees are due at drop off the following day (do not stop at the bank for the money!) in cash only or care will not be provided. Repeated late pick ups can result in immediate termination with no refund of fees. (in my contract but I've never had to use it)

Illnesses I've switched to the 24/48 rule. I don't do any OTC meds and don't accept children into care who've had them. Dope and drops are immediate terms with no refund of fees. I also have a long and thorough exclusion list.

My parents now are (mostly) awesome but there's a parent and a story behind each of my policies.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:47 AM
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* No drop offs during bus time (15 minute timeframe) and no pick ups during the posted nap time.

I state that although I will never keep you from your child, picking up during nap time disrupts the entire group's schedule and is very disrespectful. If you disregard this policy, you can certainly leave with your child, along with your termination notice.
If you'd like to avoid the termination notice, then please schedule pick ups before 12:45 or after 3:15 (which allows me a 15 minute buffer before/after our 2 hour nap).
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:00 AM
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I've never been a complete pushover, but recently after an incident in my home, I've gone from accomodating to "this is my business, you are my client".

Real quick about the incident, I have 2 big dogs. I had one very, very part time dcm who saw one of my dogs through a window one day and threw a fit. She called and texted other dcf's, working everyone into a tizzy that I had large breed dogs in my home (German Shepherds). For the record, I have a contract everyone needs to sign stating that I own these dogs and that they are always kept separate from the daycare. I'm lucky enough to have the daycare on the bottom floor, a walkout basement with a separate entrance. The dogs have never seen the light of day down there. So I had 4 dcf's ready to leave if I didn't get my dogs off of the property during daycare hours. Anyhoo...we own a large pole barn, built them a huge (and expensive) indoor/outdoor cage that weekend.

So...I stopped being nice and accomodating. I'm charging late fees, and I'm going to redo my contract. No more "special". Whether I agree/disagree with the dogs being present, it doesn't matter at this point. My dog was not threatening, by the way, that dcm just didn't want a dangerous breed at the home. (She was immediately let go and replaced, as well as another very part time parent, who caused the biggest stink. Ain't no one got time for that!)

So...I am wondering about everyone's "strict" policies, so that I may include them and be as business like as possible going forward.
I'm sure others may agree but I'm about as strict as they come when it has to do with business.

My handbook is 36 pages long and covers every.thing.

Which policies are my strictest? All of them.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I've never been a complete pushover, but recently after an incident in my home, I've gone from accomodating to "this is my business, you are my client".

Real quick about the incident, I have 2 big dogs. I had one very, very part time dcm who saw one of my dogs through a window one day and threw a fit. She called and texted other dcf's, working everyone into a tizzy that I had large breed dogs in my home (German Shepherds). For the record, I have a contract everyone needs to sign stating that I own these dogs and that they are always kept separate from the daycare. I'm lucky enough to have the daycare on the bottom floor, a walkout basement with a separate entrance. The dogs have never seen the light of day down there. So I had 4 dcf's ready to leave if I didn't get my dogs off of the property during daycare hours. Anyhoo...we own a large pole barn, built them a huge (and expensive) indoor/outdoor cage that weekend.

So...I stopped being nice and accomodating. I'm charging late fees, and I'm going to redo my contract. No more "special". Whether I agree/disagree with the dogs being present, it doesn't matter at this point. My dog was not threatening, by the way, that dcm just didn't want a dangerous breed at the home. (She was immediately let go and replaced, as well as another very part time parent, who caused the biggest stink. Ain't no one got time for that!)

So...I am wondering about everyone's "strict" policies, so that I may include them and be as business like as possible going forward.
Everyone has to arrive by 8.
52 weeks pay a year
Contracted hours not to exceed 4:30.
Pay in advance.
Taking Holidays, vacation, personal, emergency, professional time!
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2016, 10:36 AM
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My time.
My money.
My property.



Also, It would be illegal for me to have german shepherds in a day care home. There is a list of plants and animals I can't have.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2016, 10:46 AM
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Communication. I require many things in writing. It eliminates "I said, You said" problems down the line. I provide a series of forms to make it easier. When someone tells me "I need early/late care ... Auntie will pick up ... we will be on vacation ..." I say, "Mm-mmm" and direct them to the forms.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:54 AM
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One thing I would say is not so much a change or new policy but that I adapted over time, but more of a tactic. When a child gets sick at the dc, instead of calling or texting the symptoms and allowing the parent to realize they need to come and pick up their child, I tell them, "Little Johnie has a temp of over 101 and needs to be excused from the dc for the day. Please pick him up in a hour."

I really don't have time for the whole back in and forth. If there is a symptom that meets the criteria under my illness policy, then they must go. THAT'S IT!

Oh and one more thing; When I do excuse someone I send them home with an Illness Exclusion Form that details my policy as well as what conditions and when they are allowed to return to the dc. If you would like a copy of the form, just send me a pm with your email. I would love to share it.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:11 AM
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One thing I would say is not so much a change or new policy but that I adapted over time, but more of a tactic. When a child gets sick at the dc, instead of calling or texting the symptoms and allowing the parent to realize they need to come and pick up their child, I tell them, "Little Johnie has a temp of over 101 and needs to be excused from the dc for the day. Please pick him up in a hour."

I really don't have time for the whole back in and forth. If there is a symptom that meets the criteria under my illness policy, then they must go. THAT'S IT!

Oh and one more thing; When I do excuse someone I send them home with an Illness Exclusion Form that details my policy as well as what conditions and when they are allowed to return to the dc. If you would like a copy of the form, just send me a pm with your email. I would love to share it.
This is form is so smart! I'm going to PM you for a copy if that's OK. The families I have right now are wonderful about illness, but not because of anything I'm doing! Families often text me to remind them of the exclusion list. It is in their handbooks, but I suppose since that is a thick document they come to me first.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:12 AM
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My time.
My money.
My property.



Also, It would be illegal for me to have german shepherds in a day care home. There is a list of plants and animals I can't have.
Not illegal where I live. I'm also licensed. My daycare is also separate with a separate entrance, fenced in play area, and no need to ever see the rest of my home, or my dogs. They were also trained by a protege of Cesar Milan. We covered our bases, so to speak.

With that said, I don't actually mind them gone.
The .001% chance that anything ever does happens is removed from my conscience. But...the most dog attacks actually happen from those small chuichuias (sp?)
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:14 AM
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1. Illness policy. I detail exactly what is allowed and not allowed and YES I do send home for a continuous runny nose or cough. If I send home they must remain home for a full 48 hours. If they opt to keep them home then they stay home the traditional 24 hours. That rule was found on this forum. I cannot work if I am ill and this keeps the illness rate down GREATLY here.

2. Late payment. They have until 7:00am Monday morning to pay online. At 7:01am there is a $20.00 late fee AND they won't be accepted into care that day until their entire balance is paid in full. It is a $20.00/day fee. This is my income and so if it is late then it will come with a fee.

3. Late pick up. It is $1.00/minute past closing time. Yes, I have charged a $1.00 late fee. I respect my own family's time too much to be taken advantage of due to someone else being late.

4. All drop offs must be between 8-9am, unless it is a pre-arranged late drop off. At 9:00 I lock the door and will not answer it even if you bang on it/ring the bell 10 times/call my phone 10 times/send 20 text messages/etc. The rules are the rules are the rules. There is a sign directly above the doorbell stating that if they arrive after 9:00 I will see their child again on their next scheduled day. A one hour drop off window is huuuuge compared to public schools. Some families I end up telling that they need to aim for 8:15-8:30 in case something goes wrong.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:15 AM
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One thing I would say is not so much a change or new policy but that I adapted over time, but more of a tactic. When a child gets sick at the dc, instead of calling or texting the symptoms and allowing the parent to realize they need to come and pick up their child, I tell them, "Little Johnie has a temp of over 101 and needs to be excused from the dc for the day. Please pick him up in a hour."

I really don't have time for the whole back in and forth. If there is a symptom that meets the criteria under my illness policy, then they must go. THAT'S IT!

Oh and one more thing; When I do excuse someone I send them home with an Illness Exclusion Form that details my policy as well as what conditions and when they are allowed to return to the dc. If you would like a copy of the form, just send me a pm with your email. I would love to share it.
OP here. This is actually a strong point of mine, but I appreciate your willingness to share! I'm morenof a "Oh, you want to come early, stay late, switch days? Okay!" Type of person...
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:21 AM
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This is form is so smart! I'm going to PM you for a copy if that's OK. The families I have right now are wonderful about illness, but not because of anything I'm doing! Families often text me to remind them of the exclusion list. It is in their handbooks, but I suppose since that is a thick document they come to me first.
I refuse to give information that is readily available for free.

IF they can't find the answer to their questions in the handbook, THEN come to me and I'll answer happily but I didn't write a handbook that literally addresses everything just so parents can ask/text/e-mail me for the same info.

I also e-mail a .pdf copy of my handbook to parents so if they have a smart phone, they have access to it ANY time.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:22 AM
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Not illegal where I live. I'm also licensed. My daycare is also separate with a separate entrance, fenced in play area, and no need to ever see the rest of my home, or my dogs. They were also trained by a protege of Cesar Milan. We covered our bases, so to speak.

With that said, I don't actually mind them gone.
The .001% chance that anything ever does happens is removed from my conscience. But...the most dog attacks actually happen from those small chuichuias (sp?)
I get it. No need to justify. I am a big dog person

My attack peace lily. Now that is liability right there... I keep her penned up in the neighbors yard during daycare hours.

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Last edited by Blackcat31; 06-22-2016 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:23 AM
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I'm sure others may agree but I'm about as strict as they come when it has to do with business.

My handbook is 36 pages long and covers every.thing.

Which policies are my strictest? All of them.
Mine is 32. I feel like my handbook is well written, and dcf's always leave with the, "Holy moly, did we just sign our life away" scared look on their faces, but - and this is all my fault - I've been way too nice. Let people come early, stay late, switch days, never upped rates. Almost all of my families pay different rates, depending on when they started. Two of them almost pay $10 less per day, because they have been with me since I opened. My rateshave gone up dramatically...
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:30 AM
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I get it. No need to justify. I am a big dog person

My attack peace lily. Now that is liability right there... I keep her penned up in the neighbors yard during daycare hours.
OP Here. Yeah, I'm a little ticked still over the whole thing. I almost shut the daycare down over it (ain't nobody gonna tell me what to do...), but instead I decided to keep the daycare open, treat it like the business it is, and be in it for the money! No more freebies.

Mostly I'm ticked about the way it was handled. You know, calling everyone behind my back. If dcm had come to me and discussed thing's openly, I may have justdone it anyway. And not have had to term her for causing a ruckus. I had to give up 2 evenings to meet with dcf's after hours to talk about this crapola. To talk about my dogs. Grrrr...

Yup, still ticked.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:33 AM
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I get it. No need to justify. I am a big dog person

My attack peace lily. Now that is liability right there... I keep her penned up in the neighbors yard during daycare hours.
I can't see your pic because I'm not registered. What breed?
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:58 AM
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I can't see your pic because I'm not registered. What breed?
Flora. A literal peace lily plant.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:13 PM
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Flora. A literal peace lily plant.
Hahahahahaha!!!!
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:13 PM
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Mine is 32. I feel like my handbook is well written, and dcf's always leave with the, "Holy moly, did we just sign our life away" scared look on their faces, but - and this is all my fault - I've been way too nice. Let people come early, stay late, switch days, never upped rates. Almost all of my families pay different rates, depending on when they started. Two of them almost pay $10 less per day, because they have been with me since I opened. My rateshave gone up dramatically...
I charge according to SCHEDULED pick up time.
My old base weekly rate is what I charge for my earliest pick up time. I add fees for each hour after.

I now work LESS days/hours but I make MORE money.

If you are interested in seeing my handbook, just let me know.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:18 PM
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I can't see your pic because I'm not registered. What breed?
I posted her photo directly into her post.

You should be able to see it now
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:26 PM
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I refuse to give information that is readily available for free.

IF they can't find the answer to their questions in the handbook, THEN come to me and I'll answer happily but I didn't write a handbook that literally addresses everything just so parents can ask/text/e-mail me for the same info.

I also e-mail a .pdf copy of my handbook to parents so if they have a smart phone, they have access to it ANY time.
I email my parents a pdf of my handbook too. Every September.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
I get it. No need to justify. I am a big dog person

My attack peace lily. Now that is liability right there... I keep her penned up in the neighbors yard during daycare hours.



My hubby got a peace lily on the last day of school. It lives on top of our TV cabinet until it can go to school in the fall.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:35 PM
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I refuse to give information that is readily available for free.

IF they can't find the answer to their questions in the handbook, THEN come to me and I'll answer happily but I didn't write a handbook that literally addresses everything just so parents can ask/text/e-mail me for the same info.

I also e-mail a .pdf copy of my handbook to parents so if they have a smart phone, they have access to it ANY time.
That's really smart. I run into this ALL OF THE TIME. I emailed it and it is always on my website. Do you just refer them to the handbook when questions come up that are in there. Mine is also super, super detailed, I'm just one of the few that know the details in there .
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:59 PM
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I'd like to think that if I took the time to write a 30 page handbook, then ALL my policies are non-negotiable

The only ones I've really had to enforce are my illness policy, and late fees.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:04 PM
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That's really smart. I run into this ALL OF THE TIME. I emailed it and it is always on my website. Do you just refer them to the handbook when questions come up that are in there. Mine is also super, super detailed, I'm just one of the few that know the details in there .
Yep. When they ask a question I reply "What does your handbook say about it?" Most come back with "Oh, I don't know...I haven't looked yet" or "I don't know, I thought it would be easier if I just asked"

To which I reply..."I'd prefer you referenced your handbook since the information is readily available there and if you can't find the answer or you need more information, let me know and I'll be happy to help at that point."

Then I smile big....and enjoy the awkward silence.

I totally understand and am aware that since I have a large handbook that not all parents are going to remember everything written in it, especially when things don't apply to them at the time they receive it but I spent an extraordinary amount of time writing, re-writing and editing my handbook and then organizing it into easy to read color coded chapters/sections that the information really is easy to find. I also know from experience the more we reference something the more we learn and remember so I WANT parents to read and re-read as many times as necessary.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:24 AM
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Yep. When they ask a question I reply "What does your handbook say about it?" Most come back with "Oh, I don't know...I haven't looked yet" or "I don't know, I thought it would be easier if I just asked"

To which I reply..."I'd prefer you referenced your handbook since the information is readily available there and if you can't find the answer or you need more information, let me know and I'll be happy to help at that point."

Then I smile big....and enjoy the awkward silence.

I totally understand and am aware that since I have a large handbook that not all parents are going to remember everything written in it, especially when things don't apply to them at the time they receive it but I spent an extraordinary amount of time writing, re-writing and editing my handbook and then organizing it into easy to read color coded chapters/sections that the information really is easy to find. I also know from experience the more we reference something the more we learn and remember so I WANT parents to read and re-read as many times as necessary.
This is great. I need to remind them the policies already exist and that they can find them on their own. Thank you!
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:46 PM
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I charge according to SCHEDULED pick up time.
My old base weekly rate is what I charge for my earliest pick up time. I add fees for each hour after.

I now work LESS days/hours but I make MORE money.

If you are interested in seeing my handbook, just let me know.
can you please email me your handbook? hollycooper23@hotmail.com
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  #31  
Old 12-31-2016, 12:57 PM
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Could I also get your handbook sent to my email Blackcat31?
mckinney_45@hotmail.com
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  #32  
Old 12-31-2016, 02:59 PM
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OP Here. Yeah, I'm a little ticked still over the whole thing. I almost shut the daycare down over it (ain't nobody gonna tell me what to do...), but instead I decided to keep the daycare open, treat it like the business it is, and be in it for the money! No more freebies.

Mostly I'm ticked about the way it was handled. You know, calling everyone behind my back. If dcm had come to me and discussed thing's openly, I may have justdone it anyway. And not have had to term her for causing a ruckus. I had to give up 2 evenings to meet with dcf's after hours to talk about this crapola. To talk about my dogs. Grrrr...

Yup, still ticked.
I think going more business like is really important. Parents simply do not care about us for the most part and simply think of us as a warehouse for their kids. Your experience illustrates this beautifully. Rather than talk to you with respect these parents were rude and disrespectful. It is super important to remember that these people are not your friends and will stab you in the back the first chance they get. We have all experienced that moment.
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  #33  
Old 01-01-2017, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I charge according to SCHEDULED pick up time.
My old base weekly rate is what I charge for my earliest pick up time. I add fees for each hour after.

I now work LESS days/hours but I make MORE money.

If you are interested in seeing my handbook, just let me know.
Can you send me a copy too? ckbdaycare@yahoo.com
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  #34  
Old 01-01-2017, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by childcaremom View Post
there's a parent and a story behind each of my policies.
Ain't that the truth! lol
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  #35  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:11 AM
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No outside food except for breast milk and formula. There's a child with food allergies here.

NO OUTSIDE FOOD.

I reiterated this daily to the family I just termed. The mom kept sending in pressed green juice and letting her kids bring handfuls of whatever they'd been grazing on earlier, and when I first opened I kept caving, until the day one of the kids' juice bottles had peanut butter smeared all over the outside of it.

Now I stand up for my policies without hesitation.
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  #36  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:40 AM
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Drop off cut off of 9am
Pay on time
pick up on time
follow my illness policy
no food/toys from home


Those are my BIG deals, other things don't bother me as much, if they come in pj's why does it bother me? They stay in pj's.
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