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  #1  
Old 07-13-2014, 08:13 AM
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Default Increase of Fees Issue

I recently updated my fees as they were outdated and fees have gone up all around our city and im getting licensed. I gave my familys a months notice before they went up.

One family had issues with it and told me on several occasions they would be looking for new care they can afford. I just said ok. she told me she would give me a months notice when it happens. Then a week or so later she was questioning why I was handing out some new forms that i needed signed and why Im putting due dates to bring them back.(I am getting licensed is the reason) That same night she posted on her FB page " does anyone know of a daycare (in said town) that has 2 openings?" I talked to my husband and he said then post an ad that you have to upcoming available spots. I did so now I have found a family in less then a week to take them. I am now the one that has to give her a months notice that I have filled the spots. I never did mention to her that I put up an ad. Is that ok?

I feel bad as I know the chances of her finding care are slim. I have to break the news tomorrow. I have given her lots of discounts as she was my first client when I started up (i loose around $300 a month due to that) which she obviously does not appreciate enough. Other then this she has been a good client.

Im just not sure if Im in the right to find a new family before she finds new care? My family says it is, as she started this by telling me she would leave when she found cheaper care. I just finally decided I would cover my butt first when I saw her actively searching. Im just feeling I should have told her I put up an ad? but I am giving her a month to sort out daycare for her kids.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:26 AM
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Your business is none of her business, and you are in the business of making money. If I had a client that was threatening to leave, I would absolutely replace them ASAP. Your current client has no right to any courtesy except that which is outlined in your contract (your month's notice). Personally, I only give clients two weeks, so I think a month is more than generous.

You are 100% IN THE RIGHT to make business decisions for the good of your business. Be brief, professional, and do NOT explain why you are terminating their contract, because frankly, you do not have to explain yourself.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:30 AM
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As long as you are fulfilling your obligation to her, then you are absolutely in the right. Is it in your contract to give her a month's notice?

You have to do what's best for you and your business long term, just as this family has to do what's best for them. It's NOT personal. Mom verbally told you and has been actively seeking new care. It's only a matter of time until they give you notice. I would absolutely fill my spaces as soon as possible.

Give her a short and sweet note with the last day of care on it. I would be prepared for the possibility of it to turn ugly, and make sure that note included that you can term for immediately during the notice period for breach of contract, policies and/or disrespect.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:36 AM
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This is your business, not hers. I never have told my families that I'm looking to replace them or asked their opinion on a policy/fee change as it is my business, not theirs.

You had to assume she was leaving and rather than continue to lose money or be taken by surprise by her leaving, you took a proactive approach. It makes sense to me to find a family that will pay you steady income at your full rate rather than keep a family that told you outright that they plan to leave and can't pay your full rate. Plus, you will be giving her notice, which is more than enough time to find other care. I'm sure she could find care quickly if she was willing to pay someone rather than looking for free or cheap care...either way, it's not your problem. She obviously doesn't care about your wellbeing as she was willing to leave you without concern over whether you'd find a replacement.

I used to feel bad about business decisions and gave people extra chances and made exceptions and all that did was cause headaches as they asked or expected special all the time or got angry the second I couldn't give them special accommodations. So, don't feel bad about saving yourself a headache.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:43 AM
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What you did was perfectly acceptable and dcm has no one to blame but herself. A month's notice is great! Truly generous.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:55 AM
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Default Thank you & one more question?

Thank you for the quick responses I wasn't sure I was going to hear from anyone before tomorrow. Your responses are very helpful. I was wanting opinions/ advise from others in the business as this is the first time I have had to deal with termination.

I guess I should also have asked how do you go by giving them notice?

I have a simple termination form. Do you just send it home in a lunch box(seems kinda cold or sneaky to me. Maybe its not i dunno)? Or do you hand it right to them saying something (I don't know what to say exactly)? These kind of situations give me a bit of anxiety as its not something Im use to having to do. Nor am I a very assertive person which I know I need to be in this situation.

Any advise on how to break the news would be greatly appreciated and again thank you for the great advise I have already received.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:24 AM
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I hand them the notice and tell them verbally. It's awkward. Always is, but it's part of the business. Even if you only say "Dcm there is a note here for you. Please let me know if you have any questions." as you usher them out the door.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:28 AM
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Oh yes. No problem. She can't afford the fees. She has to understand you have to make money. She has no problem switching daycare because of money. You shouldn't either
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:57 PM
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It will be awkward when you talk to her, and she may even get upset - who knows? But she did tell you she was looking for other care. If she tells you she has changed her mind, I would still term. She may be using it as a stalling technique until she finds other care.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2014, 01:04 PM
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Are you guys FB friends? Did you think to get a screenshot of her comment? If you didn't and the post is still there, I would get a screenshot of it. That, plus saying upfront that she was looking is MORE than enough reason to replace them. At the end of the day, parents don't usually care about your side of things so you have to do what is right for you. Keep us posted!
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:52 PM
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My question is, do you have an actual policy that you need to give her a month's notice? If not and you're just being nice then only give 2 weeks. That is the standard. I wouldn't want to see someone I just termed another whole month.

Don't feel bad. As the others said, SHE told YOU she would be leaving. Doesn't matter if she found care yet or not. You're not going to sit around and twiddle your thumbs while you wait for her notice.

A family came along, take them. Sometimes it's hard to find a replacement, so if you already have one lined up that will work out well don't pass them up!
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:02 PM
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I have no advice to add but did want to say that wasn't the smartest move on her part, asking on FB, knowing you'd see it, plus telling you. Did she intend to intimidate you into changing the rates back for just her? Came back to bite her in the butt. Glad you didn't cave!!
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2014, 02:28 PM
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I do actually have a screen shot of the post as I sent it to my husband while he was at work.

As for my policies I have it stated that I need a months notice when parents terminate but I never stated how much notice I would give them. So I am just giving her the same courtesy. I am a little worried about (not looking fwd to) the awkwardness that this might cause.

It has crossed my mind that she may have been trying to intimidate me into waving the updated fees for her. Although Im not sure why she would think I couldn't replace her as there is such a huge demand for daycare in our little city.

thank you all for the support

I will for sure give an update on how this pans out
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2014, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAHMderful_Life View Post
I do actually have a screen shot of the post as I sent it to my husband while he was at work.

As for my policies I have it stated that I need a months notice when parents terminate but I never stated how much notice I would give them. So I am just giving her the same courtesy. I am a little worried about (not looking fwd to) the awkwardness that this might cause.

It has crossed my mind that she may have been trying to intimidate me into waving the updated fees for her. Although Im not sure why she would think I couldn't replace her as there is such a huge demand for daycare in our little city.

thank you all for the support

I will for sure give an update on how this pans out
Don't be nervous. She doesn't have any issue with switching. Just offer her the higher rates and let her say no.
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  #15  
Old 07-13-2014, 02:38 PM
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My contract is 4 weeks for parents to give me notice, and 2 week when I give norice. I've never had anyone question it- it is harder to find new families and I wanted to cover my bases as far as income is concerned. I'd consider giving two weeks, and stating that is standard termination notice given by providers. This may get ugly/ uncomfortable and 4 weeks is a LONG time if it goes sour. Good luck!
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2014, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
I have no advice to add but did want to say that wasn't the smartest move on her part, asking on FB, knowing you'd see it, plus telling you. Did she intend to intimidate you into changing the rates back for just her? Came back to bite her in the butt. Glad you didn't cave!!
Haha, EXACTLY!!
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2014, 03:06 PM
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I have in my contract that I require 2wks notice for their canceling but I can terminate immediately. It may not seem "fair" but you don't want to be stuck dealing with people who are angry and unhappy any longer than you have to! I would give her a week's notice max (or however much she's prepaid you) and take on the new family ASAP. She told you twice she was leaving so you're just making this easier for everyone. Act as if you're doing her a favor by allowing her to find cheaper care sooner! LOL

It is awkward and I've only had to do it once but I did it and made it through just fine! Good luck!!
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2014, 05:00 PM
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When you do give notice add a clause that says if she is disrespectful or tries to cause any issues during the final month of care you (the provider) reserve the right to terminate her immediately.

You don't want to be dealing with some crazy mom for a whole month while caring for other kids.

Make sure you leave yourself that out.
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  #19  
Old 07-13-2014, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
When you do give notice add a clause that says if she is disrespectful or tries to cause any issues during the final month of care you (the provider) reserve the right to terminate her immediately.

You don't want to be dealing with some crazy mom for a whole month while caring for other kids.

Make sure you leave yourself that out.
this exactly.....

I give a two weeks written notice if things are ending amicably. If there is a huge behavior issue of a child that nothing has improved or there is a disrespect issue from the parents, or if there is a balance they haven't paid within a certain time frame, I reserve the right to term IMMEDIATELY. Since some of my parents used to pay AHEAD for care, at the time I give them two weeks notice, I require they pay both final weeks on the first day of care on Monday at drop off. I have it in my contract very detailed.

All of my current families paid a two week deposit up front before care started which pays for their last two weeks of care at termination or etc.


Something along the lines of.... "Dear dcm, this is your two week written notice for termination of our childcare contract. Tuition in the amount of $$$ is due no later than xxxxxx or late fees in the amount of $$$ will be due and payable. I wish you good luck in finding care that fits little Johnny perfectly."

Sincerely, provider.

If it gets ugly, I hand me an immediate termination letter and have their child's stuff packed and ready to go at pickup.
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  #20  
Old 07-13-2014, 10:14 PM
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Oh absolutely...I had an employee of mine at a previous job tell me he needed an afternoon off cause.. "he had a job interview". I replaced him a week later.
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  #21  
Old 07-14-2014, 07:08 AM
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Good for you!! You took control of the situation and didn't let her term when she wanted to leaving you high and dry until you filled their spot.
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  #22  
Old 07-14-2014, 11:53 AM
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Did you tell her this morning? I'm curious how it went ...
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  #23  
Old 07-14-2014, 01:46 PM
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Doing it when she picks up the kids tonight that way she gets to go home after instead of giving her the news before work.

Still nervous about it though since I have no idea how the News is going to be received by her. Made it worse that At drop off she had told me about her bad weekend. I have to keep telling myself this is business not personal and I have a New family ready to take the spots which Im looking fwd to.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:03 PM
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"DCM, since you said you would be leaving due to the fee increase, your last day of care will be on XX/XX/XXXX. I have already filled the vacant spots. Thanks,"

When she argues I would just say "The spots have already been filled. You cannot stay. As our contract requires, I am giving you a month notice. If you find care before the month is up you are still responsible for the entire month's fees."

The best way to handle a termination is to be all business and cold honestly. If the parent sees a weakness or thinks you aren't concrete and firm they usually argue and want a zillion explanations.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:09 PM
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Thank you : ) Im going to try and use that, if I don't get all tongue tide from my nervousness lol
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:30 PM
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She basically gave you notice so just tell her that since she mentioned that she would be looking for care somewhere else you went ahead and took on another client and that you are giving her a notice. She created this situation and now has to deal w it. Good for you!!
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:35 PM
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Good luck!! (I still hope you don't commit to a month, though- 2 weeks is enough!)
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  #28  
Old 07-14-2014, 04:24 PM
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Well that sucked...not that I wasn't prepared for it.

As I kinda figured she would say the following: She only looked once and found that there wasn't anything that would work better. How can you fill spots that aren't available/full already. How can you do this to me as I felt we have become more then just daycare interaction but friends. What am I suppose to do quiet my job, loose my house, live in a cardboard box. I only said I would look for other care cause I was Mad at the fee increase. I would never have thought you could do something like this.

She made it really clear that she couldn't understand how I can fill the spots since they are not available at the time. And She was going to give me my one months notice to fill the spots if she found something else.

And yes I gave her a month. I also told her most centres only give two weeks but as I ask for a month I am willing to give a month as well. For the most part there hasn't been issues with this family until the increasing of fees. If things go bad from here my new family can start as soon as the spots open.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:28 PM
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Well, she shouldn't have acted like a little kid, had her temper tantrum in front of you and said anything then, should she?? Maybe she learned something? And yes, you can and DID fill her spots. Hasn't she been losing you 300 a month because you were being nice to her(Or was that someone else?).
I'm glad you stayed strong! Even if you feel yourself shaking in your boots, put on your act of strength and make it through the next month, then you get to do a bye-bye dance.
Plus this is your business and you can give anyone a notice plus fill their spots. They will be gone when the new family starts. Sucks to be her.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAHMderful_Life View Post
Well that sucked...not that I wasn't prepared for it.

As I kinda figured she would say the following: She only looked once and found that there wasn't anything that would work better. How can you fill spots that aren't available/full already. How can you do this to me as I felt we have become more then just daycare interaction but friends. What am I suppose to do quiet my job, loose my house, live in a cardboard box. I only said I would look for other care cause I was Mad at the fee increase. I would never have thought you could do something like this.

She made it really clear that she couldn't understand how I can fill the spots since they are not available at the time. And She was going to give me my one months notice to fill the spots if she found something else.

And yes I gave her a month. I also told her most centres only give two weeks but as I ask for a month I am willing to give a month as well. For the most part there hasn't been issues with this family until the increasing of fees. If things go bad from here my new family can start as soon as the spots open.
Where there violins playing in the background?

I don’t understand how parents think they can spurt out anything and everything to us and we’re just going to take it.

Anytime a parent has a meltdown I literally say, “I need you to get a grip. If you are unhappy…” The repeat offenders know what comes next. So they interrupt me and say, “We are very happy here. Blah, blah, blah…"
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:07 PM
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Ya I loose just over $300 every 4 weeks from her as I never made her pay for 5 days a week and wasn't able to fill the spot as its never the same. I also gave my current clients $2 less then hat I will be charging new clients when I updated the fees. I gave her a good deal when I started up my daycare cause I needed to get going. I did not go back on these agreements when I updated the fees. which are: half price holidays and 2 sick days in a row without charge (only used once but still). I also gave her a family discount when she started and only charged her toddler price for her infant ($5 discount every day). She obviously didn't appreciate it enough. Oh I also stayed open to 6 for her several times a week when I close at 5:15

Things have also changed a lot in the little bit of time. We moved from a little rental house to a large 5 bedroom house with a huge corner lot, also getting licensed and fees have gone up in our area, as well as minimum wager increases last yr. and coming up again this year. Lots of reason to update fees.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:15 PM
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Boohoo for her! She threw a baby fit over the increase and instead of saying she understands and paying it, she belittled your services and threatened to find someone else. Once she realized you are well worth what you charge, instead of communicating that to you, she realized she would look dumb and kept quiet. Well that's a lesson learned for her! Appreciate what you have when you have it and don't be a greedy, ungrateful B to your child care provider.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:19 PM
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Sorry you took the verbal beating. At the point she made the comment about how this was all your fault, cardboard box, etc. I would have replied:

"That is unprofessional and not called for. I am terminating care effective immediately. I will be getting DCK's things for you right now." If she tried to argue more, I would ask if I needed to call the police to escort her off my property. And if she continued, I would call them.

Heck I would text her that due to her disrespectful comments, tomorrow was their last day or such, etc. I wouldn't tolerate that disrespect and her using you in her verbal blame game.

I'm glad you did term, but seriously - any disrespect from her...you should term effective immediately due to her misconduct. You don't deserve one bit of it and I hope you don't take it!
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorTots View Post
Sorry you took the verbal beating. At the point she made the comment about how this was all your fault, cardboard box, etc. I would have replied:

"That is unprofessional and not called for. I am terminating care effective immediately. I will be getting DCK's things for you right now." If she tried to argue more, I would ask if I needed to call the police to escort her off my property. And if she continued, I would call them.

Heck I would text her that due to her disrespectful comments, tomorrow was their last day or such, etc. I wouldn't tolerate that disrespect and her using you in her verbal blame game.

I'm glad you did term, but seriously - any disrespect from her...you should term effective immediately due to her misconduct. You don't deserve one bit of it and I hope you don't take it!


She caused this problem! I'm sure she realizes this but is trying to make you feel bad so you don't drop her.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:31 PM
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Don't feel bad - you don't owe her anything. I'll bet if she'd found care right away and gave her notice she wouldn't be half as concerned about how you'd take it as you were.

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I wouldn't want to see someone I just termed another whole month.
Ditto! Sometimes 2 weeks is even too long...
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:52 PM
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don't let her sob story become your issue. If she says something tomorrow I would just say I am sorry, but you flat out told me you will go elsewhere as soon as you find something cheaper. I can not sit and wait for that to happen and that is the reason care is being terminated with a month's notice now. It has nothing to do with my feelings for the children or you, it is simply a decision in the best interest of my business.

At the end of the day you have to worry only about yourself, not her. You did the right thing. And so jealous that you have such a demand in your area - now you know not to sell yourself short!!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAHMderful_Life View Post
Well that sucked...not that I wasn't prepared for it.

As I kinda figured she would say the following: She only looked once and found that there wasn't anything that would work better. How can you fill spots that aren't available/full already. How can you do this to me as I felt we have become more then just daycare interaction but friends. What am I suppose to do quiet my job, loose my house, live in a cardboard box. I only said I would look for other care cause I was Mad at the fee increase. I would never have thought you could do something like this.

She made it really clear that she couldn't understand how I can fill the spots since they are not available at the time. And She was going to give me my one months notice to fill the spots if she found something else.

And yes I gave her a month. I also told her most centres only give two weeks but as I ask for a month I am willing to give a month as well. For the most part there hasn't been issues with this family until the increasing of fees. If things go bad from here my new family can start as soon as the spots open.
to her bolded statements.....

How could YOU do this to HER?!?

Funny how parents have a way of turning things around on us.

How could she be so RUDE to you?
If she thought you two were friends, why in the world would she not want to pay you what you are worth?
Are you suppose to close up your daycare, lose your house and live in a cardboard box because daycare parents wont pay your rates?

I bet you never thought she would do something like she did either....

Guess you are even now.

Too bad for her that you had the balls to follow through on HER empty threats.

Honestly, I'd be careful with this one. If that really is the attitude she has, I am willing to bet she won't go quietly.

Keep your guard up and dont be afraid to term immediately if she should start to act up.
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  #38  
Old 07-15-2014, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAHMderful_Life View Post
I only said I would look for other care cause I was Mad at the fee increase. I would never have thought you could do something like this.
She took a gamble and lost. Ooops!

Sounds like you handled it beautifully. Congratulations on finding a new family so quickly. I hope it works out well for you!
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:56 PM
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How was she today towards too? Any better?
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:17 AM
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Must be I've been hanging 'round kids too long but I just want to say 'SHE started it!'
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