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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010, 06:04 AM
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sahm1225 sahm1225 is offline
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Default Getting Pushback From Parents After Changing Policies - HELP!

I changed my policies from only paying for the days you are here to paying for your spot. Too many parents were taking advantage and it was either close down or change the policies.

I have one family that the dad works a job that is basically on demand (he gets forced time off when it's slow) and at the last minute will not bring their DD. I took that into consideration and gave them 10days unpaid and 10 days at 50% off (everyone else got 3 days unpaid and 5 days at 50% off).

I get back the contract and the dad writes a comment about how on his last minute days off he is not planning on bringing his daughter in and does not expect that to be counted towards his days off since he has no control over it...

I need a polite but stern way to say that I DID take that into consideration and gave them extra days off to account for that. They have been with me the longest and I love their DD to death, but I cant afford to have them take 2-3 days a month unpaid and then expect vacation days on top of that..

Most daycare in the areas charge for the spot and give NO vacation days/unpaid days.. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
I get back the contract and the dad writes a comment about how on his last minute days off he is not planning on bringing his daughter in and does not expect that to be counted towards his days off since he has no control over it...
I can't tell you how much I hate those snarky little hand written comments! I actually included a section at the very beginning of mine that says "handwritten changes or addenda by parents will void this contract."


I'm sorry I can't help with what to say, but I'm interested to see what others have to say on this. I can't believe parents sometimes.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:12 AM
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I would say,... I'm sorry you feel that way. I understand how frustrating it is to think you have to work, get ready, and then find out you will have no income for that day. If you would like to switch to a space available drop in slot we can make that change in your contract but I can't promise to have room for you as someone from my waiting list will most likely fill that time slot. Because I am right now here every time you need me.... It's not fair to expect me to just not get paid but to be here for you just in case.

Remember

Secure your own oxygen first, no matter how much you like the kid you have to put your needs first.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:26 AM
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It sounds like this DCD is asking for you to pretty well take on the same employment issues he has - obviously he wants to get paid, so why shouldn't you!?

I agree with the others, you need to stick by what you have written in the contract and if they don't like it, too bad! I'd guess they won't find what they want elsewhere, in fact they may find they'll end up paying more! I also like the drop-in suggestion since what he is asking for is drop-in care!
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:45 AM
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I have had this same situation with families that work at jobs that are sometimes effected by the weather...if it rains then they don't go to work etc. I've had parents (especially dads) say the same thing but I just tell them firmly (write it in a note if you dont feel comfortable telling them) that we all have pros and cons in our jobs that require us to just do the best we can. I would point out that you already gave them special considerstion and that you too have downsides to your job (no lunchbreaks, no retirement fund, no company parties or what ever you see as a downside etc etc etc) and say that it is the job you chose to work in and make due....so you expect the same from him. It isn't forever since his child will eventually go to school so it is a short term situation that he has to work around. (I used to tell parents to go ahead and ask around and they would see that other childcares have similar policies but with the economic times so bad I wouldnt suggest that now because someone else might agree to waive that rule.) I would stick to my guns though. Sometimes I can't help but be a smart-alec and suggest to the parent that if they can find me a replacement kid on their days off to pay for their space then I will not charge them, but if not then follow my policies or don't get care here. I do get where he is coming from but it is IMPOSSIBLE for childcare providers to accommodate every parents job situation so we do what works for us and parents need to deal with it. Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:13 AM
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I did the same thing except I do not give any days unpaid unless I close. I had a mom call me at 10:30 pm to tell me she didn't think it was fair to pay uf her child wasn't here and then threaten to leave if I didn't change it. I told her good luck in her search and that per the contract she will need to pay me two weeks the next day if she was leaving. Well the next morning came and she had signed contract in hand and said she wasn't going to leave but wanted to see if I would give in. Wow for her honesty but I was glad I didn't give in. I think with parents like that all u can say is " I understand where u are coming from. I did give you 10 free days and a 50 percent discount on other days. This is how my contract is you are free to look somewhere else". I guarantee they want you to give in and they most likely won't leave but know that u may run the risk of losing them when sticking to your guns which I think u should do. Good luck
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:18 AM
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You said it yourself- "it was either close down or change the policies."

Personally, I would be mad at this dad. He needs to be told that the arrangement he is requesting is called "Drop in care", and falls into a different category than the original conract. I would tell him that drop in care rates are ___ per day, and the spots are not guaranteed. I would remind him that the reason for the change to the contract is to secure your income and hours through commitments from families first, then accept drop ins to fill any unused spots each day. I know most of this has already been said, but I feel strongly about this issue.
I would be on the phone with him requesting a meeting asap, and have the written comment in your hand when he shows up.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:24 AM
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Its hard on both sides.. I to had a job were times i wasnt busy and only got paid comission and thought ohh Ill go get my dd or oh i dont have to go in today and thought why should i pay then and now regretfully regret thinking that . although my dcp didnt charge when my dd wasnt there but if i picked up early i only paid for time she was there. I know can relate to it starting out doing this . because I want to be paid because I see it in a new way now from the providers stand point. Most not all people get sick days paid and vacations paid so it seems fair for us to be paid. I however in the out side of the home working world never got paid for any of those such days. Maybe you could show him he has more days than the others because of this that you are really trying to help himout?
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:43 AM
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I don't allow any unpaid days. They pay the same 52 weeks a year. The only exception is if I would call off sick. The last time that happened was 16 years ago.

This policy makes it so that I don't have any discussions with them about money or paid time. If they bring it up it's a clear indication that we are not on the same page and they don't believe my policies.

That's not gonna work.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:53 AM
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When you talk to the dad, give him another copy of the contract without his handwritten comment. You need a clean contract should you ever end up in small claims court.

Also, drop-in rates, should he choose to go that way should be much higher than contract rates. Make it high enough that he would rather pay the same rate all the time.

Good luck.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:56 AM
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That is a good idea...give him a choice: The contract as is or take a new contract agreement as a drop in and with higher rates and the possibility of not having space if he needs it since he is drop in and not a full or part time family. I'm sure he will go with original contract. I also agree that you need a clean contract free of hand written notes. Is there a mom in the picture? What is her take on this?
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:14 AM
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I agree that he can take it or leave it, as in he can find another provider that meets their needs.

I have to say though, I do understand the parents' side, as this was not the original contract/policy that they signed on for, and you have now changed it. Nothing wrong with that, IMO, as we all have to change our business methods from time to time to meet our needs, but if I were changing my policies THAT much, I would understand that there is a high possibility of losing clients who had signed a diefferent contract that better met their family needs.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:26 AM
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Personally, I think you are already giving them WAY more than they deserve with the 10/3/5 days. Isn't that more confusing than anything? Trying to figure out who is using an unpaid day or 50% off day? I know you just changed it, but in the future, you should try to get rid of those unpaid/50% off days altogether.. you even said yourself that other daycares in the area don't offer that. I think you are selling yourself short by offering that.

I don't give any days unpaid unless I call in sick and have already used my sick days (In my contract, I get 10 paid vacation days, 6 paid holidays, and 3 paid sick/personal days per year). I can't imagine not getting paid holidays or vacation days and giving the families days that they can pay me half or not at all. I bet they don't go to work and are told, well you can work half the day and we'll pay you for the full day.

As far as what to say to him, I would be unapologetic and to the point. Something like:

I took into consideration your job circumstances when giving you 10 days unpaid. Everyone else only gets 3 days. Just as you don't like to find out at the last minute that you won't be working/getting paid that day, I don't either. And since this is my business, I don't have to. You are welcome to look elsewhere if you don't agree with my new contract. Or you can sign a new contract for drop-in care. The daily rate will be higher and care will not be guaranteed.

That's only if you want to do drop-in care. I personally wouldn't want the stress/change in schedule of that. Be firm. He's trying to take advantage of you simply because he has a crappy work situation himself. However you say it to him, I think you need to stress that you ARE offering him a deal, other daycares in the area don't, and he is paying for a SPOT. And I agree with others, you need a new contract no matter what..without his note on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sahm1225 View Post
I changed my policies from only paying for the days you are here to paying for your spot. Too many parents were taking advantage and it was either close down or change the policies.

I have one family that the dad works a job that is basically on demand (he gets forced time off when it's slow) and at the last minute will not bring their DD. I took that into consideration and gave them 10days unpaid and 10 days at 50% off (everyone else got 3 days unpaid and 5 days at 50% off).

I get back the contract and the dad writes a comment about how on his last minute days off he is not planning on bringing his daughter in and does not expect that to be counted towards his days off since he has no control over it...

I need a polite but stern way to say that I DID take that into consideration and gave them extra days off to account for that. They have been with me the longest and I love their DD to death, but I cant afford to have them take 2-3 days a month unpaid and then expect vacation days on top of that..

Most daycare in the areas charge for the spot and give NO vacation days/unpaid days.. Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2010, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahm1225 View Post
I DID take that into consideration and gave them extra days off to account for that. They have been with me the longest and I love their DD to death, but I cant afford to have them take 2-3 days a month unpaid and then expect vacation days on top of that..

Most daycare in the areas charge for the spot and give NO vacation days/unpaid days.. Thanks!
I would explain it to him the same way you've explained it in the above quote. Let him know that it was a difficult decision for you to have to make but like any other business, you can't afford to remain open if you don't have an income you can rely on. You don't have much choice - you either have to adjust your policy or consider closing your day care. Offering him drop-in care with the warning that you can't guarantee a spot will be available when he needs it is a good idea.
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2010, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandmom View Post
When you talk to the dad, give him another copy of the contract without his handwritten comment. You need a clean contract should you ever end up in small claims court.

Also, drop-in rates, should he choose to go that way should be much higher than contract rates. Make it high enough that he would rather pay the same rate all the time.

Good luck.
I agree completely with this.
The drop in rates should be at least 50% more than the full-time rate and you need to emphasize that there will be NO GUARANTEE of a spot especially during school vacations and such.....just be matter of fact about it and let it be his choice.
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