Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Help w/ 3 Issues
MsLisa 10:17 AM 04-07-2015
I have 3 issues I need to address with the parents of my program.
I would love help from you ladies on how to word it or any better ideas.
(Sorry for length!)

Issue 1: Communication.
I can not get these parents to talk to save my life.
I made a big sign by the sign out sheet with my number and email, letting them know that they can talk to me about anything. Only ONE parent wrote my info down, even though she is one of the only parents who lets me know everything.
It's not like I don't go out of my way to make them feel welcome when they come in to pick up. It's just not registering. I don't want to know their personal life but being given a "heads up" would make my job so much easier.
Why is this a problem?:
~ Kids are getting off the bus for the program when they should be going home. Or visa versa.
~ The kids are signed up for activities inside and outside of the program or need to do something, the parents don't tell me and are all flustered upon pick up.

All fixable by a simple text/chat/email. All fixable before they become a problem/flustered mess. (I'm debating on getting business cards.)


Issue 2: Aftercare is not cheap Babysitting
This issue is with a select few parents who purposely keep their kids in my program longer than necessary, picking them up seconds before closing. Yes, we are open till 6pm ($1/minute after). But come on parents! I have one in particular who I saw driving around casually at 3:30pm and still didn't pick up her kids till 6 on the dot. She smelled like a bar and is often "under influences" of not just alcohol. Sadder when even her kids know when she gets out or have seen her out with friends on their way to my program.

I want to stress the importance of "Family Time". I feel these kids are simply not getting it and i'm practically raising them because their parents just refuse to deal with them. They are STARVING for attention. So I need a delicate way to bring this up. I love these kids like my own, but my service is just so that your kids are safe in between the times when they leave school till parents leave work. Argh. I think i'm stuck with that one though.


Issue 3: Personal Hygiene, Lying and Stealing
Personal hygiene is mainly for the kids who are just plain out neglected (see mom from above!). They smell. Like they bathe Monday and that's it. It gets so bad that I have to open a window and turn my wax burner on. A lot of these kids are getting to 'that age" where they do need to be more hygiene aware. I don't care to lecture, but I need a way to address it.
Lying and cheating have simply gotten out of control. To the point where no one will play with each other cause of it. I literally have kids lying to my face even when they know i'm watching them. I can't stand it. This is now leading to stealing (not from me, but from friends/school). It needs to stop.


Thank you ladies in advance.
Reply
Martha Stewart 10:26 AM 04-07-2015
I will address a couple of things.

1. If parents have paid for a slot until 6:00, but are off at 3:30 driving around, it doesn't matter. You may want them to pick up earlier, but they have paid for the time.

2. You cannot make parents spend time with their children. It isn't your role (IMO) to insist on family time - that is just reflecting your personal values.

3. Who is lying and cheating? The kids?

4. Personal hygiene....unless it is clear cut neglect, IDK that you can do much about it. Encourage hand washing, teeth brushing at your facility.

5. If a parent picks up a child drunk, and you allow the child to get into the car, you may be liable if there is an accident.
Reply
MsLisa 10:39 AM 04-07-2015
Originally Posted by Martha Stewart:
I will address a couple of things.

1. If parents have paid for a slot until 6:00, but are off at 3:30 driving around, it doesn't matter. You may want them to pick up earlier, but they have paid for the time.

2. You cannot make parents spend time with their children. It isn't your role (IMO) to insist on family time - that is just reflecting your personal values.

3. Who is lying and cheating? The kids?

4. Personal hygiene....unless it is clear cut neglect, IDK that you can do much about it. Encourage hand washing, teeth brushing at your facility.

5. If a parent picks up a child drunk, and you allow the child to get into the car, you may be liable if there is an accident.
Wow, a little bit of a snarky response but ok....

1 & 2. Sad but true. As I said, think i'm stuck with this. Maybe I just don't get it.

3. The kids. Its mostly 2 girls and both have stolen stuff. And they are only 7 & 8.... sad bad habit to start.

5. Incorrect! I can only say "Are you ok?" and if they say yeah....free to go. I've asked about this. Reports would probably get a glance if anything. Believe me, that mom is the hatred of my motherly existence.
Reply
daycare 10:57 AM 04-07-2015
Sorry to hear that you are having issues and if you stick around I am certain more people will chime in to give some helpful ideas.

I personally find that when you attach money to anything parents stop the unwanted behavior.

Do you have a PHB, what are you policies on these issues?

Maybe we can help you tighten up what you have.
Reply
KIDZRMYBIZ 11:02 AM 04-07-2015
I have an in-home daycare. If you are a center, some may not be doable, but here are my ideas on how I would remedy your situations:

1. Communication-send out an e-mail and post a hard copy that outlines your expectations. You can even implement a 3-strikes rule, because it is extremely important that you know if a child should/should not be getting off that bus.

2. Aftercare="Cheap Babysitting" - Don't make it so cheap anymore. Charge tiered rates, the later it gets, the more expensive it gets. Nothing encourages family time more than when me-time is just too expensive.

3. Kids that stink, figuratively and literally- Aww, that is just way too bad for the kids. If it were me, I would try to talk to them (the DCKs) ever so gently (did you have PE today? or did you play really hard at recess?) and let them know that there are some products in the bathroom for them to use-wipes, underarm deodorant, toothbrush/paste, etc. Their crappy parent isn't going to help with this, so maybe you can make a difference for them. As for the lying and cheating at daycare, I would post some "Rules for Big Kids" and let them know what the consequences were for breaking those rules. THEN STICK WITH IT, EVERY TIME! I would be very no-nonsense about it, and leave no room for argument over anything. I know what I see, and that is that!
Reply
Leigh 11:22 AM 04-07-2015
What do you do when kids show up who shouldn't be there? I would call parents for immediate pickup and charge a premium (same as your late fee-like, $1 per minute) for caring for them "overtime". That should help the parents "remember" to tell their kids where to go after school.
Reply
MsLisa 11:37 AM 04-07-2015
Thank you ladies.

Daycare: We do have a handbook and for my side of the program its just prices, discipline, and the very basics. The Daycare gets way more technical where the Aftercare program literally is "open to my interpretation", if you get what I mean. Most, if not all, in the ways of rules and straightening up of the program was done by me. Which anyone will tell you has been a very long and insane journey and the program has done a complete turn around since I started.

I can't force these parents to talk to me but it makes my job x10 harder when they don't then hold me responsible. The handbook says they should call me if they are not to be in the program that day. Obviously never happens. Every afternoon is a surprise.
The only thing I can do via handbook about pick up is if they pick up chronically after 6pm is termination. Boo.

KIDZ:
We have letters for them to take home almost every week about whatever the current issues are and parents just don't even bother to take them or look at it. I put it in a big nice frame in bold lettering right in front of them....maybe 3 will notice. I throw myself literally at them and they don't say anything until its too late and XX is late for ____ or should have gone on bus ____. Do i need a neon sign people?! lol.

I wish i could charge more! Sadly we are the cheapest in the area AND they still use assistance to pay. That's why I have the "quality" of kids I have.

You know that is actually really a good idea. I might invest in some wipes, hand sanitizers and body spray for the kids. We share the gym bathroom but I can always put them in a basket on the counter with an "Aftercare" sign on it.

The cheating and lying drives me nuts! They know this! They get mad at each other because they all do it and call each other on it. I'm like then WHY DO IT!?!? Its mind numbing and i'm tired of yelling.
Reply
DaveA 11:41 AM 04-07-2015
As for the parent showing up driving under the influence, I have no problem calling the cops on a parent doing this. I worked in a program that had a staff member who lost their fiancÚ to a drunk driver & they went through pure hell. Not to mention the danger to the kids and others. Talk to your supervisor about how to phrase it, but my policies flat out state that if you pick up your child impaired I call the cops as you are leaving. Parents should understand that there will be consequences for criminal behavior.
Reply
MsLisa 11:44 AM 04-07-2015
Originally Posted by Leigh:
What do you do when kids show up who shouldn't be there? I would call parents for immediate pickup and charge a premium (same as your late fee-like, $1 per minute) for caring for them "overtime". That should help the parents "remember" to tell their kids where to go after school.
Most of the time I don't even know till the parents comes in and is like
"Oh ___ you should have taken the bus __ home, silly!".
Like thanks for the heads up...oh wait you never TOLD ME. Even though my name, number and email are literally RIGHT THERE.
You can't ask the kids. Why? They lie! Oh I don't have __ class anymore. Time rolls around. Why isn't my kid in ___ class?!?

I will do that though cause that is brilliant! I'm sure my boss would love it too. Cause he's just as tired as I am over it.
Reply
LindseyA 11:55 AM 04-07-2015
So sorry Ms Lisa! This sounds extremely frustrating. I completely agree with kidzrmybiz on this one. You might need to raise your after school care prices if you have become resentful. Make it worth it for YOU! The hygiene issues, sure you can supply your daycare bathroom, but down the road, you might get resentful if you are the only one with these supplies available, and not the parents. I would bring it up to the parents. Maybe tell the dcp that you have some supplies here, but they really should have some at home as well. As for the alcohol and picking up the kids... I would call a cab, call a grandparent, aunt, uncle, someone that is able, and let the dcp know that this cannot happen again. I don't know about your state, but in NY there is ZERO tolerance if you have children in the car. I could not justify sending a child home with someone that has been drinking/smoking/whatever, what soever. Again am so sorry you have to deal with this!
Reply
Heidi 12:09 PM 04-07-2015
If a parent walked in my door smelling of booze, I would try to talk the parent out of leaving. If that didn't work, I'd call the police. I can't technically "stop" them from taking their child, but I can threaten them with police, and I can kick them out of my program for putting me in that position. Both are covered by my handbook.
Reply
MsLisa 12:13 PM 04-07-2015
Originally Posted by LindseyA:
So sorry Ms Lisa! This sounds extremely frustrating. I completely agree with kidzrmybiz on this one. You might need to raise your after school care prices if you have become resentful. Make it worth it for YOU! The hygiene issues, sure you can supply your daycare bathroom, but down the road, you might get resentful if you are the only one with these supplies available, and not the parents. I would bring it up to the parents. Maybe tell the dcp that you have some supplies here, but they really should have some at home as well. As for the alcohol and picking up the kids... I would call a cab, call a grandparent, aunt, uncle, someone that is able, and let the dcp know that this cannot happen again. I don't know about your state, but in NY there is ZERO tolerance if you have children in the car. I could not justify sending a child home with someone that has been drinking/smoking/whatever, what soever. Again am so sorry you have to deal with this!
Thank you!
Not to toot my own horn, but i've already invested myself and my own money into this program to make it what it is today. Its not remotely flawless obviously, but its 100% better then it was when I came in. Me spending more so that the smell of BO and feet goes away, doesn't phase me. I am a giver. It makes me happy. Its why i'm asking these silly stupid questions. I want it better. I want to smack parents in the head and be like WAKE UP YOUR KID IS AWESOME! THIS PROGRAM IS AWESOME! HELLLOOO?!?!

I wish they would just READ the papers we give them. A simple text. A simple hey this this and this, ok? I swear the parents are 1000 times worse then the kids.

As for the intoxicated mom, she is the bane of my existence. I pegged her from Day 1 and have nagged my boss to death about it. I can only ask if she's ok and nothing more. I know when she is by the way she interacts with me. If she avoids me, she's high. Chatty? Coke. Meanwhile the kids are in ratty clothes, smell and are left here till literally the last minute. I want to report her but she's so low radar it would be a waste to chase. I don't get it.
Reply
Heidi 12:16 PM 04-07-2015
Originally Posted by MsLisa:
Thank you!
Not to toot my own horn, but i've already invested myself and my own money into this program to make it what it is today. Its not remotely flawless obviously, but its 100% better then it was when I came in. Me spending more so that the smell of BO and feet goes away, doesn't phase me. I am a giver. It makes me happy. Its why i'm asking these silly stupid questions. I want it better. I want to smack parents in the head and be like WAKE UP YOUR KID IS AWESOME! THIS PROGRAM IS AWESOME! HELLLOOO?!?!

I wish they would just READ the papers we give them. A simple text. A simple hey this this and this, ok? I swear the parents are 1000 times worse then the kids.

As for the intoxicated mom, she is the bane of my existence. I pegged her from Day 1 and have nagged my boss to death about it. I can only ask if she's ok and nothing more. I know when she is by the way she interacts with me. If she avoids me, she's high. Chatty? Coke. Meanwhile the kids are in ratty clothes, smell and are left here till literally the last minute. I want to report her but she's so low radar it would be a waste to chase. I don't get it.
You are a mandated reporter. Children being neglected or driven in a car with someone under the influence is reportable. Call it in.
Reply
spinnymarie 12:25 PM 04-07-2015
So some of this I've dealt with as a public school teacher. My answers are below in bold.
Originally Posted by MsLisa:

Issue 1: Communication.
I can not get these parents to talk to save my life.
I made a big sign by the sign out sheet with my number and email, letting them know that they can talk to me about anything. Only ONE parent wrote my info down, even though she is one of the only parents who lets me know everything.
It's not like I don't go out of my way to make them feel welcome when they come in to pick up. It's just not registering. I don't want to know their personal life but being given a "heads up" would make my job so much easier.
Why is this a problem?:
~ Kids are getting off the bus for the program when they should be going home. Or visa versa.
~ The kids are signed up for activities inside and outside of the program or need to do something, the parents don't tell me and are all flustered upon pick up.

All fixable by a simple text/chat/email. All fixable before they become a problem/flustered mess. (I'm debating on getting business cards.)

IMO, you've done what you can in this situation. You've made yourself available. Obviously the parents are telling their children it is *their* responsibility, so I feel that it is also their responsibility. If the child isn't ready when it's time, or doesn't know where to go... the parents are paying for it by having to pick-up from somewhere else, be late, whatever. If the parents wanted to actually solve this problem, they'd be communicating with you. You're doing the best you can by asking each kid, whether they tell you or not. I'd just remind parents at the door, Nice to see you! I could help with this if you sent me a quick email about so-n-so's after school plans!

Issue 2: Aftercare is not cheap Babysitting
This issue is with a select few parents who purposely keep their kids in my program longer than necessary, picking them up seconds before closing. Yes, we are open till 6pm ($1/minute after). But come on parents! I have one in particular who I saw driving around casually at 3:30pm and still didn't pick up her kids till 6 on the dot. She smelled like a bar and is often "under influences" of not just alcohol. Sadder when even her kids know when she gets out or have seen her out with friends on their way to my program.

I want to stress the importance of "Family Time". I feel these kids are simply not getting it and i'm practically raising them because their parents just refuse to deal with them. They are STARVING for attention. So I need a delicate way to bring this up. I love these kids like my own, but my service is just so that your kids are safe in between the times when they leave school till parents leave work. Argh. I think i'm stuck with that one though.
I can understand how frustrating this might be, but I agree with the otheres that there's nothing to be done. Outside of calling the cops if you think the parent is under the influence when picking up.


Issue 3: Personal Hygiene, Lying and Stealing
Personal hygiene is mainly for the kids who are just plain out neglected (see mom from above!). They smell. Like they bathe Monday and that's it. It gets so bad that I have to open a window and turn my wax burner on. A lot of these kids are getting to 'that age" where they do need to be more hygiene aware. I don't care to lecture, but I need a way to address it.
Lying and cheating have simply gotten out of control. To the point where no one will play with each other cause of it. I literally have kids lying to my face even when they know i'm watching them. I can't stand it. This is now leading to stealing (not from me, but from friends/school). It needs to stop.
Personal Hygiene: I'd use funds to by them their own deodorant and teach them to take a sink bath. They may be just as aware and uncomfortable with it as you.
Lying: I'd take away as many privileges as I can for lying to my face. Kids who can't be trusted to tell me the truth can't be trusted to use my things, play with other kids, etc.
Stealing: If they are stealing from people DURING your time with them we'd have a big problem, and I'd talk to parents about termination. If they're stealing OUTSIDE of your time and just talking about it, I'd alert whoever has them (school?) during the time they are stealing. But otherwise, I'd just enforce a 'no talking about stealing' rule of sorts.



Thank you ladies in advance.
Good luck! That's a tough job you have there.
Reply
Laurel 12:38 PM 04-07-2015
Originally Posted by DaveArmour:
As for the parent showing up driving under the influence, I have no problem calling the cops on a parent doing this. I worked in a program that had a staff member who lost their fiancÚ to a drunk driver & they went through pure hell. Not to mention the danger to the kids and others. Talk to your supervisor about how to phrase it, but my policies flat out state that if you pick up your child impaired I call the cops as you are leaving. Parents should understand that there will be consequences for criminal behavior.

Reply
Martha Stewart 01:10 PM 04-07-2015
Sorry you thought my response was snarky. It wasn't intended to be snarky, and I was just answering directly.
Reply
spedmommy4 01:52 PM 04-07-2015
I have to agree with the PP on the mom driving drunk. It IS criminal behavior. Where I live, you can call 911 to report a drunk driver. I don't know about other states but, I am sure it's fine to call the non emergency line to report an intoxicated driver transporting her minor child. I wouldn't tell the mom but, I would take down her plates, the direction she was heading, and give the local police a call.

In respect to parents not keeping tabs on their kids whereabouts, my daughter's old aftercare program had a pretty good protocol. Their standard rule was my child is my responsibility. I had to give them my schedule for the year. (eg: daily, 3 days a week, etc.) If my daughter showed up on an unscheduled day I got a call to pick her up. (And so did every person on my call list) It was pretty inconvenient but the lady was really nice and said, "We need notice of schedule changes." I put the number in my phone after that. As soon as you make anything the parents problem, things tend to shape up quickly.

Regarding the kids, I might try a class meeting to resolve issues. I worked in a school age program a long time ago. Discipline gets harder as kids get older, but I have found that older kids are far more likely to follow the rules when they helped create them. At our class meeting, I set the meeting ground rules for the meeting. (Respect one another and ideas, etc.) We discussed one problem at a time to come up with solutions. Hang in there!!
Reply
Thriftylady 03:18 PM 04-07-2015
Most of the advice I have for you is pretty worthless, considering that you are not really "in charge". I wouldn't want to do child care in a situation where I am not in charge, simply because of the issues you are having and not being really to do much. Any chance you could become a director of a program and have a way to make things better?

I had advice for you such as doing contracted hours, but you can't unless your program changes. Also I would say that parents need to give you in writing when the kids won't be there, but again you can't enforce that. You are in a different situation than I am.
Reply
Unregistered 03:33 PM 04-07-2015
As long as there are daycares without contracted hours, there will be parents coming at closing time. (My dcps would all just "contract" for closing time.) And the day that your late child leaves early, your early child will stay late. Old Chinese Proverb.

I used to work at a center for at-risk families. At least once a month, we would have chili suppers, used book exchanges, game night, storytelling, arts and crafts, seasonal parties, etc. to encourage and model family time. In the classroom, we had an Indy 500 boxcar race (parents would make the car with their child), student-of-the-month (parent would come for lunch or read child's favorite book to the class), a birthday bag (cake mix, icing, candles sent home), etc. We had very low expectations about these events, but we always ended up being shocked at the turn-out and participation. (Some parents you'll never get.) I bet you do a lot of extras, anyway, but the only thing you can really do is to keep encouraging it.
Reply
MsLisa 05:40 PM 04-07-2015
Originally Posted by Thriftylady:
Most of the advice I have for you is pretty worthless, considering that you are not really "in charge". I wouldn't want to do child care in a situation where I am not in charge, simply because of the issues you are having and not being really to do much. Any chance you could become a director of a program and have a way to make things better?

I had advice for you such as doing contracted hours, but you can't unless your program changes. Also I would say that parents need to give you in writing when the kids won't be there, but again you can't enforce that. You are in a different situation than I am.
Actually, I AM in charge technically. I am the Aftercare Program Coordinator and that whole program is mine. My boss, he runs finance parts and takes my kids to the gym. That's it. The rest is mine.
(In another year and a half, i'll be taking over his position as Childcare Director.)

UPDATE: The druggy mom picked her kids up today at 6:15pm....that's $1/minute after 6...2 kids.....so $30 added to her bill. Her face was completely swollen and she could barely muffle out a sorry before running out the door. CPS is going to be called at this point. I've had enough.

spinnymarie: Your totally right. Its now the kids responsibility. I'm done chasing. Oh ___ is late now? Too bad so sad...name/number/email was right there. Thanks for the insight!

And thank you to everyone else. I feel less crazy now.
Reply
daycare 06:19 PM 04-07-2015
when my kids went to after school care we were required to sign up with a schedule. My kids went to after care 3 days a week both morning and afternoon. If for any reason my kids were not going on a day they were scheduled, we were required to call the center. If we failed to call the center and inform them that my kid would not be taking the bus there and attending that day, we paid a steep fee of $45.00 each child.

The center would go back and look for your kid if they were expected and didn't come off the bus, so that covered that inconvenience fee. this was way before cell phones..

If my kids ever showed up on a day they were not to be there, we had 20 min to pick them up and a $45.00 inconvenience fee.

maybe this is something that you could do.
Reply
Thriftylady 07:21 PM 04-07-2015
Originally Posted by MsLisa:
Actually, I AM in charge technically. I am the Aftercare Program Coordinator and that whole program is mine. My boss, he runs finance parts and takes my kids to the gym. That's it. The rest is mine.
(In another year and a half, i'll be taking over his position as Childcare Director.)

Well if that is the case, perhaps you can put in some fees and such that will help the issue. And maybe you can make all the parents bring in things like deo, baby wipes, etc so you have a supply without spending out of your pocket, or at the very least you should be reimbursed for them.
Reply
Tags:after school care, bus stop, communicating with parents, enforcing policies - consistency, school aged care
Reply Up