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  #1  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:32 AM
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Default Terming Everyone and Starting Over... I'm SO Done!

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Have any of you ever termed everyone and started over? That's about where I am right now. I am so sick of all of my dcp's right now. NOT the kids- the parents.

This decision was sparked this morning by a 5 minute drop off by dcd, in which the kid acted like I was the plague, pitched a fit, and the dad did nothing to make him behave at all (nothing new). Then I realize the kid is also sick, and they sent him anyway. I'm done.

I was new to daycare and allowed them too much control over MY business. For the past year, parents have: (Many of these are attributed to my rookie mistakes and not having a backbone).

1. Dropped off 15+ minutes early
2. Have 1 1/2 hour drop off "windows" (Such a stupid mistake on my part)
3. ALL parents during the interview said they should be able to pick up by 4:30, but asked for 5:00 to have extra time incase of traffic. They are ALL here at 5:00 everyday, if not 5:15.
4. They have 5 minute drop off routines, say goodbye 100 times, and then basically want their kids to whine for them not to leave to make themselves feel better.
5. They make snarky comments, because their kids cry when they leave because they are having so much fun here. I get being jealous that your kid loves me- but maybe you shouldn't have left your kid for a week and gone to Vegas? Or how about this- pick up your child on time and have quality time with him...
6. Bring your sick kid and then lie about it. If you know your kid has HFMD, why the heck bring the sibling, and then lie to me and say the sick child is really okay?
7. Forget to pay me on time.
8. Ignoring my potty training policies.

And so much more!

I really tried to create a family atmosphere, and mesh everyone all together. I bent over backwards to accommodate everyone, be really nice, do extras, projects, everything. Nothing is appreciated, I just get snarky jealousy remarks and blatent contract breeches.

I am interviewing someone tonight to get rid of my first offenders.

Have any of you ever cleaned up and just started over from scratch before? Suggestions?

How can I ensure that I dont get myself in this mess again?
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:55 AM
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Have you considered updating your contract and enforcing your policies (new and old) first instead of terming everyone as the first solution?
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:59 AM
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Its going to keep happening again until you start enforcing the rules. That normally means extra fees for everything.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:25 AM
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I really tried to create a family atmosphere, and mesh everyone all together. I bent over backwards to accommodate everyone, be really nice, do extras, projects, everything. Nothing is appreciated, I just get snarky jealousy remarks and blatent contract breeches.

I am interviewing someone tonight to get rid of my first offenders.

Have any of you ever cleaned up and just started over from scratch before? Suggestions?

How can I ensure that I dont get myself in this mess again?
I think a family atmosphere is great -- FOR THE KIDS! Parents should feel it is a business atmosphere. In order for parents to respect the rules, they need to be enforced -- ALL THE TIME. That's how you get out of this mess and ensure it doesn't happen again.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:34 AM
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I am pretty new to daycare too and I have one family that I have let get away with to many things too and have been thinking of terming. I wrote a letter stating to parents that I have been to relaxed in my daycare rules and that late fees would be enforced for not picking up your child on time and for not paying on time. I also wrote a few other things I wanted to remind parents that they signed in the contract. I made parents sign and return. Last friday parents picked up late and yes they had a ten dollar late fee! I was proud of myself of having backbone and I know this will help parents realize they need to be on time! Money sometimes help people realize you mean business!
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:39 AM
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Its going to keep happening again until you start enforcing the rules. That normally means extra fees for everything.
Sad but true. If you want people to start treating you with respect and show them you've had enough, a new contract with highlighted areas to STOP all of these repeat offenders!

1.) Dropping off early. Any drop off taking place before your contracted drop off time will result in a $1.00 per minute fee unless prior arrangements have been made.

2.) 1 1/2 hour window for pick up. Contracted hours. Each parent is required to contract hours with the daycare. You designate the drop off and pick up time. Please know that your rate may change if additional hours of care are required.

3.) 5pm pick up time. I close at 5pm. This means each child MUST be picked up and off premises by 5pm. There will be a $1.00 per minute fee applied for each child here past closing time. This fee will be STRICTLY enforced!!!

4.) Arrivals and departures. Arrivals and departures must be made quickly and effectively as possible. We all know you don't want to leave your loved one crying but be assured that you aren't even down the block and they have forgotten all about being sad. If your arrival or departure is longer than 2 minutes, please start your goodbyes outside and when your child is ready to start their day, you can come to the door.

5.) I don't do snarky comments and I think my parents know better. Realistically, no kid WANTS to be in daycare. They would much rather be with mom or dad. We are 2nd best and I tell my parents I'm ok with that! I would much rather work for a family that spends quality time with their child rather than me be the child's primary caretaker.

6.) I have a clause in my daycare that if 1 sibling is sick and is staying home, they both/all stay home. My illness policy is very extensive. If you want a few exerpts, let me know. I'll PM it to you.

7.) Payment is due at drop off time on the due date. If you drop your child off but don't drop off payment, $10 per day late fee applies. You can remember your kid, you can remember your check. It's that simple.

8.) Highlight the potty training policy to the offender. Check the child when they are arrive. If the child should be in a pull up and is in undies. Tell the parent to drop off with a pull up on. Send them out the door to correct the situation. OR You could always tell them that if they want to keep bringing Johnny to daycare in underwear when he's clearly not potty trained, then they won't mind getting the Stanley Steamer bill when you have to have your carpets cleaned weekly.
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2012, 08:55 AM
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I have let these things go on for a year, and it has always been the case, which is why I want to term and then be a super stickler for the rules with any future families.

I have done the whole letter thing, etc, and the parents are "good" for a few weeks and then keep going back to their old ways.

I redid my handbook and only 1 family signed the revisions. The others did not sign them, and I didnt ask for the signed copies. All my fault.

I think it is just easier to wipe the slate clean. I am probably being a big chicken. I should put my big girl pants on and lay into everyone. That's just not in my personality

And I should have had 4:30 WRITTEN on the contract. I feel duped, but again... ALL my fault. I created monsters. That's what happens when you are too nice
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:26 AM
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The only way that you can ensure that you donít get yourself into the same situation again is if you put your foot down about your policies and donít give families any opportunity to push you around. Although this will help with parentís following your policies there is nothing you can do to make parentís appreciate you for all you do, if they donít already. As Iím sure you already know this is a very thankless job and no matter how hard you try to create a family atmosphere, mesh everyone together, bend over backwards to accommodate everyone, be really nice, do extra, projects etc... there is always going to be families that just donít acknowledge these things.

I think you need to start with your mindset:

1) As posted above creating a family atmosphere is for the children. With the adults you need to create a business atmosphere.

2) The only individuals you need to worry about ďmeshingĒ together are the children and you have to accept that some children just will not mesh into your program no matter how hard you try, this is not your fault.

3) You DO NOT have to bend over backwards to accommodate anyone. You need to decide what you WILL DO for families and what you WONíT DO for families and apply that to all families in your care. Then if someone asks for special accommodations you need to say, ďSorry but I donít offer that service.Ē

As far as snarky jealousy remarks I wouldnít stand for that. If I am not treated appropriately by parents I have the right as per contract to immediately terminate services with their family. I DEMAND to be treated appropriately and respectfully and if a parent choses not to do that I show them the door.

I have never termed everyone and started over but I was once like you. I was new to daycare and allowed the parents too much control over my business. Finally, after a certain point I decided ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH and I put my foot down. I re-did my entire contract, had all families sign off on it and then enforced each and everyone of my policies. You have already stated that you are sick of the parentís but that itís not the kids, this tells me that terming everyone shouldnít be your first solution.

As far as the problems youíve had these would be my solutions:

1) I donít allow early drop offs. My contract reads:

Early fees will never be charged, as I will only open my door to families at their scheduled drop off time. If your contracted drop off time is 7:30am you are expected to drop your child off by no earlier than 7:30am. If you arrive at the daycare before your contracted drop off time, you will be expected to wait patiently in your vehicle until your contracted drop off time even if you see other children arriving for care. I will not tolerate a parent banging continuously on my daycare door or ringing my doorbell continuously before 7:30am. Also it makes me feel very pressured if you linger outside of my door before 7:30am waiting for me to open so please refrain from doing this.

2) I give a 30 minute drop off window. My contract reads:

I will assume that a child will not be attending for the day if your child is later than 30 minutes past their scheduled drop off time without a phone call. In order to ensure that your childís space will remain open for the day in the instance that you are going to be late dropping off your child please be sure to call/text/email me and inform me of your later drop off time. If you fail to inform me ahead of time that you will be later than 30 minutes to drop off your child your childís space will no longer be available for that day, even if you proceed to show up at the daycare later.

For families that use my earliest available drop off time of 7:30am I EXPECT the family to arrive at the daycare VERY close to 7:30am. I do a 3 strike system. If a family that is suppose to drop off at 7:30am is later than 7:40am on 3 occasions without notifying me the night before they are no longer given the option of using my 7:30am drop off time. I do this because there are lots of days that I only have one family drop off at 7:30am and the rest of the families drop off at 8:00am so if my 7:30am doesnít show up I am open for nothing.

3) I use contracted hours based on BOTH parents work schedules and giving each parent a 30 minute commute time.

For Example: Mom works from 8:30am - 5:00pm and dad works from 7:30am - 4:00pm. It takes both mom and dad approximately 30 minutes to get from daycare to work and vise versa. Mom would drop little Johnny off at 8:00am and dad would pick little Johnny up at 4:30pm. The families contracted hours would then be 8:00am - 4:30pm (an 8.5 hour daycare day).

I also charge a $15.00 late fee for every 15 minutes or part of 15 minutes that a family is later than their contracted pick up time to pick up their child. To extend contracted hours permanently the fee is $2.50/every 15 minutes.

4) I send out reminders in my newsletters annually that drop offs and pick ups are to be short and sweet. If a family is lingering too long I have no problem telling them itís time go in a polite manner.

For Example: ďSorry to cut you off Tanya but I have another drop off in 10 minutes and I need time to get the children settled. See you tonight. Thanks.Ē

5) I donít give the parentís the opportunity to bring their children sick and lie about it. My contract reads:

Please note that it is your responsibility as the parent to inform me at all times of what your child is suffering from when they are ill. With that being said, I will not tolerate a parent bringing a child into my daycare when they are sick, the parent is aware and has not taken the measures to inform me of their symptoms. Please do not give your children tylenol/advil etc.. within 6 hours before they attend daycare.


I would terminate for this.

6) There is no such thing as forgetting to pay me on time. I charge a $25.00/day late fee for payments not made on time and I will not accept the child into my care until all payments have been made upfront.

7) If a child shows up in underwear and I have not given the ok for this they are sent home to put a pull up on. PERIOD!

I feel for you but once you start enforcing your policies things will get better. Chin up!
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:35 AM
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Just not long ago this happened with me.

I can tell you, like other said, it's because you have not implemented your backbone and the parents are walking all over you.

I didn't term all of my parents, they all left when I started to put my foot down. AND I was ok with that. It was my fault and it was there fault too.

The I revamped my PHB, I studied it over and over and over. I learned about the "instant answer" (explain in a min) and I interviewed many families and chose the ones I thought would be the right fit.

I am very happy now. Yes, I do have to reinforce my policies all the time. But I don't have any problems doing it and the parents apologize when I have to remind them.

"instant answer" This is when DCM puts you on the spot and says Can I drop off at susie at 5am tomorrow morning instead of my normal time of 8am?

DO NOT FEEL the need to answer her right away. STOP and think about it. i have learned to say, Let me get back to you on that. Or let me look over my calendar and I will call you later. OR you can just count to ten in your head.

HOwever, just like everyone else on here said, you will be back in this same spot if YOU don't change. The new parents will also walk all over you.

PM me, I have a great letter that I use and I think it might be helpful to you.

Hang in there....practice your backbone..if they leave, you didn't want them there.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:04 AM
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I worked 10 months without a handbook or contract. After the things I read here, I was very fortunate that my problems were relatively minor. They were huge to me, but I see that compared to some here, they weren't so bad. Anyway, after reading the forum for 2 months, I made a handbook and contract for them. I still let some things slide, just to keep from hitting them with too much at once, but they are all things I can live with for another year. I expected to lose one, if not 2 families. I was also prepared for a lot of whining and complaining.

Guess what, everyone signed immediately, no one complained, and for the most part, they are behaving. One parent has had a late pick up, but while she acted a bit startled that I charged a late fee, she paid it plus a little extra for my trouble.

I think most will take advantage as long as you let them, but once you put your foot down, it's like they think "Well, I rode that gravy train as long as I could, now it's back to reality."

Last edited by Sunchimes; 04-17-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:12 AM
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sometimes if you let 1 or 2 of the worst ones go the others will straighten up. I let some go and they talked to the other parents. The others knew how good they had it. They got their butts in gear and got with the new program.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:53 AM
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Many hugs. ((Hugs))

Put your foot down with these families. It's worth a shot.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenNJ View Post
I think a family atmosphere is great -- FOR THE KIDS! Parents should feel it is a business atmosphere. In order for parents to respect the rules, they need to be enforced -- ALL THE TIME. That's how you get out of this mess and ensure it doesn't happen again.
I completely agree!!

I would start with the families you already have and practice using your backbone. It's not going to be any easier with new families.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:49 PM
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I agree with everyone else, start enforcing your rules with your current families. It will not improve with other families until you grow a backbone.

Review your signed contracts. If you need to tighten some of your policies, then do so. Then send out revised contracts (or copies of the portion of your contract that they are not following) as a reminder. Review with the parents what needs to be changed (verbally in addition to what you send out). Then have them sign. The next part is the hardest: stick to your policies and enforce everything! Don't feel bad or guilty, it is what is necessary.

You will find that some families will leave, and that is fine since you wanted to terminate them anyway. Those that stay will know you mean business.

Good luck. You can do this!
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:15 PM
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Instead of terminating everyone all at once just make sure that your contract and handbook are everything that you wish them to be (include fees for everything like early drop-offs, late pick-ups, late payments, bounced checks etc.), this is step one. Once these are all in order it's time to hand out new contracts and handbooks (if your handbook is already how you want it and they all already have a copy of it then all you need to do is hand out new contracts).

Along with your contract hand them a notice that says something along the lines of "All familes are required to read, understand, and agree to abide by the new contract and policies. A new contract must be signed and returned no later than [two weeks]. All policies will be enforced beggining [same date as when the contract is due]. If a signed contract is not received by [date] child care services will not be provided until a signed contract is received .. blah blah blah"

Then you need to enforce your policies. If your policies say that child care will not be provided unless payment is due and they show up without payment ... turn them away at the door. Ask for payment at the door and don't let them in without it. If they say that all early drop-offs will be charged an additional fee and they show up early require payment for that extra time at the door, if they don't have it ... send them away and have them come back at their scheduled time etc.

It's hard but I've been in your shoes and come out ok. If they continue to push your policies start by replacing your "worst" family (i.e. the one that pushes your buttons the most). Start by interviewing a new client and tell them that they cannot start for another 2 weeks then give the current family their 2 week notice. It will give your other familes pause and may set them straight.

Of course this is if it's your familes that are blatantly direspecting you and your policies. If you've been a "softy" and all of a sudden you now become "the enforcer" then you can deffinetely expect resistance ... I know I did. You just have to stick to your guns and have one on one sit downs if you have to.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:57 PM
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I have termed everyone and started over. I used the excuse I was building a playroom and heading back to college. I closed for 6 months and started over with new families. No one is going to read your new contract and handbook so you should start over. You could just keep going and except your that this is how it is to run a daycare. New families will have a whole new set of problems anyways.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by daycare View Post
Just not long ago this happened with me.

I can tell you, like other said, it's because you have not implemented your backbone and the parents are walking all over you.

I didn't term all of my parents, they all left when I started to put my foot down. AND I was ok with that. It was my fault and it was there fault too.

The I revamped my PHB, I studied it over and over and over. I learned about the "instant answer" (explain in a min) and I interviewed many families and chose the ones I thought would be the right fit.

I am very happy now. Yes, I do have to reinforce my policies all the time. But I don't have any problems doing it and the parents apologize when I have to remind them.

"instant answer" This is when DCM puts you on the spot and says Can I drop off at susie at 5am tomorrow morning instead of my normal time of 8am?

DO NOT FEEL the need to answer her right away. STOP and think about it. i have learned to say, Let me get back to you on that. Or let me look over my calendar and I will call you later. OR you can just count to ten in your head.

HOwever, just like everyone else on here said, you will be back in this same spot if YOU don't change. The new parents will also walk all over you.

PM me, I have a great letter that I use and I think it might be helpful to you.

Hang in there....practice your backbone..if they leave, you didn't want them there.
Daycare, if you don't mind can you PM me the same letter? Thank you!
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
Just not long ago this happened with me.

I can tell you, like other said, it's because you have not implemented your backbone and the parents are walking all over you.

I didn't term all of my parents, they all left when I started to put my foot down. AND I was ok with that. It was my fault and it was there fault too.

The I revamped my PHB, I studied it over and over and over. I learned about the "instant answer" (explain in a min) and I interviewed many families and chose the ones I thought would be the right fit.

I am very happy now. Yes, I do have to reinforce my policies all the time. But I don't have any problems doing it and the parents apologize when I have to remind them.

"instant answer" This is when DCM puts you on the spot and says Can I drop off at susie at 5am tomorrow morning instead of my normal time of 8am?

DO NOT FEEL the need to answer her right away. STOP and think about it. i have learned to say, Let me get back to you on that. Or let me look over my calendar and I will call you later. OR you can just count to ten in your head.

HOwever, just like everyone else on here said, you will be back in this same spot if YOU don't change. The new parents will also walk all over you.

PM me, I have a great letter that I use and I think it might be helpful to you.

Hang in there....practice your backbone..if they leave, you didn't want them there.

Daycare, pm me too pretty plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I'm a copy-cat. Thx
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  #19  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:55 PM
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I'm having the same issues with one family...just so rude!

The kids are great, but the parents seem to think I'm a nanny and have nothing better to do them wait on them for everything...even payment.

I'm working on my back bone too...good luck!
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