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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Suspicious Phone Call
spud912 03:49 PM 07-18-2013
So I get a phone call today and my caller ID says "Arizona State Government." This is how the phone call proceeded:

Caller: "Hi, I'm calling about your child care services."
Me: "Hi, yes, my name is _________, how may I help you?"
Caller: "How many children do you currently watch?"
Me: "I watch 4 children plus my two."
Caller: "And what are the ages of the children you currently watch?"
Me: "2, 2, 4, 4, 4, and 5."
Caller: "What are your hours?"
Me: "7:00 am to 5:30 pm"
Caller: "Where are you located?"
Me: "In the ________ community in the city of _________ . The cross-streets are _______ Avenue and _________ Street."
Caller: "_______Avenue and ________ Street?"
Me: "Yes."
Caller: "Ok, thank you." [caller almost just hung up on me]
Me: "Oh, wait, do you have a child? What is his or her age?
Caller: "Yes, a 3 year old."
Me: "Okaaaay, were you interested in enrolling your child or did you want to set up a tour?"
Caller: "No, your hours don't work. Bye." [caller abruptly hangs up]

Doesn't this phone call sound fishy....like it was a regulator trying to pry information out of me? It surely didn't sound like someone trying to find child care.....never once even asked if I had an opening .

In Arizona I can be LEGALLY unlicensed as long as I do not care for more than 4 children for pay and no more than 6 children total. Therefore, I am legally unlicensed. It really sounds like it was DHS fishing for information to see if I was operating illegally. It just irks me because people should be honest about why they are calling, especially if they are government officials. I worked in the government as a regulator before and I never acted unprofessionally.

What do you all think?
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daycare 03:52 PM 07-18-2013
I say you dont EVER give out your location again......thats what I say....lol

yes that is very odd....
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jenn 04:02 PM 07-18-2013
Sounds fishy, but then again, I think I get more weird phone calls than normal ones. People obviously don't read the ad, because when they call they ask questions that are answered in the ad. Don't worry about it, sounds like what you are doing in totally legal, so even if they were searching for info, the info you gave was all legit.
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spud912 04:48 PM 07-18-2013
Originally Posted by daycare:
I say you dont EVER give out your location again......thats what I say....lol

yes that is very odd....
Oh I didn't give out my location. I gave the city name and general cross streets haha! Yeah, just what I need....some random people showing up at my door. Not like it matters though, I don't answer the door for anyone!

There have been times when church people will knock on the door and the kids will all be clamoring at the front door ... "WHO IS IT!?!?!?!" I just say in a loud voice "Nobody I know...come on kids, let's play!"
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Sugar Magnolia 05:04 PM 07-18-2013
I'd be inclined to call that number back. And ask questions.
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Sugar Magnolia 05:05 PM 07-18-2013
I'd also Google that number and find out what agency it was.
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Crystal 05:22 PM 07-18-2013
Curious, why would you answer those questions? What parent asks the ages of all of the children in your care? I wouldn't have answered the first question before asking her if she was looking for care.
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daycarekay 05:36 PM 07-18-2013
Definitely sounds weird and suspicious to me. Have you tried looking up the phone number? Hopefully you just never hear from them again!
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SilverSabre25 06:52 PM 07-18-2013
Originally Posted by Crystal:
Curious, why would you answer those questions? What parent asks the ages of all of the children in your care? I wouldn't have answered the first question before asking her if she was looking for care.
Every single parent I've spoken or interviewed with over the past six months. I can't figure out if they want only kids close to their child's age, no kids close to their child's age, or what...
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SilverSabre25 06:53 PM 07-18-2013
OP, it sounds very odd. At least you can rest easy knowing that if it was a regulator you are operating above-board!
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Crazy8 07:02 PM 07-18-2013
It does sound weird. I wouldn't have answered those questions without getting their info on what type of care they need first. I never tell someone over the phone the ages of the children in my care. If anything I will tell them I have "a few" other children the same age as their child, I'd give more details to that in an actual interview because I do know its a concern of parents. And if they ask my hours I tell them they are individual to the families needs - so I get the hours they need and then tell them if I can accommodate them. For the future I just wouldn't give so much info out without asking your own questions along the way!

I would google the phone number and see what comes up. I have gotten calls that were from govt offices - but it was just where the parent worked.
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spud912 11:27 PM 07-18-2013
I traced it back to AHCCCS and called the phone number back. After pressing "0" a couple of times I got through to an operator and told her that I am an in-home child care provider and I received a phone call from them today. I asked her if there would be some reason why an employee would call me and she said it could be anyone as the trace back phone number is what shows up for all state government employees.

So at this point who knows!
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spud912 11:31 PM 07-18-2013
Originally Posted by Crystal:
Curious, why would you answer those questions? What parent asks the ages of all of the children in your care? I wouldn't have answered the first question before asking her if she was looking for care.
Yes, normally I would be completely upfront from the get go and see where she was getting at with her questions. However, I was super distracted at the time (I was in the process of driving back from a field trip and heard the phone.....thought it was my husband who was getting a root canal and I wanted to make sure he was ok). I was totally caught off guard and immediately started answering her questions, only to catch it halfway through the call that her questions were extremely odd. It was at that point I started questioning her!
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wdmmom 07:41 AM 07-19-2013
I wouldn't read too much into it. I used to get calls all the time...usually from private numbers asking the same questions and abruptly hanging up. I've found usually it's a state pay client looking for 10-12 hour days and a rotating schedule.
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e.j. 10:58 AM 07-19-2013
I don't usually answer my phone during day care hours unless it's a parent calling. The other day, though, I did answer it because caller ID said it was "Verizon" calling. I've been having on-going issues with my phone/internet connection and thought I'd answer it to see why they were calling and then ask about the problems we're having. Anyway....it turned out to be someone looking for child care. She must have been calling from her work phone.

Based on that experience, I'm thinking your caller could have been a parent calling from work. If the parent had a list of providers to call, he/she might have been trying to cut to the chase by asking questions that mattered to him/her and then ended the call as soon as he/she realized your hours and/or location wouldn't work.
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originalkat 12:44 PM 07-19-2013
Originally Posted by spud912:
There have been times when church people will knock on the door and the kids will all be clamoring at the front door ... "WHO IS IT!?!?!?!" I just say in a loud voice "Nobody I know...come on kids, let's play!"
That's awesome! I need to start doing that!!
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Meeko 01:10 PM 07-19-2013
Always be wary...but I found out a few years ago that because welfare moms here in Utah don't always have access to a phone...(OK...some have the most up to date smart phones on the market, but that's another thread )

So they are allowed to use "public" phones at the Dept. of Workforce Services to try and find childcare/jobs etc. There is a desk near the foyer with a whole line of phones for them to use. The caller ID will show State of Utah. I have received quite a few calls from there. I too was suspicious at first.

And some of the young moms are not very well educated and are new to finding childcare and not sure what questions they are supposed to ask. So they come across as a little awkward and odd as their phone skills are lacking.

Hopefully it's something like that.....but always be wary....a lot of weirdos out there!
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