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Old 10-28-2009, 08:44 AM
ConcernedMother
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Default Lost My Subsidy - What would you do?

My children were attending a childcare facility for approximately 9 months. For the majority of this time I was receiving subsidy through the state. There was an error in paperwork, and I ended up losing my subsidy for approximately 4 weeks while the situation was cleared up. The moment I was notified I scheduled a meeting with the director of the daycare. I explained that I would no longer be able to afford for my 3 children to attend her facility. I was a single mom working 40 hours a week. I received no assistance or child support with the exception of the childcare subsidy. Financially things were very tight for my family. She stated that she understood how tight things were and she agreed to allow my children to stay at her daycare under the following terms:
1. I would pay an additional $20 per week on top of my copay once the subsidy restarted
2. I would pay a minimum of $20 per week during the lapse in subsidy
3. I would receive a discounted rate (on top of the multi child discount) of 15%
4. She would provide me with documentation at any time it was requested
I was very nervouse about this situation because I hate owing anyone money. Debt is very scary in a home with a tight budget. An extra $20 didn't seem to be too much, so I reluctantly agreed, and I thanked her for her generosity and understanding.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:09 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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I think you should count yourself lucky that you have someone willing to work for free until things are straightened out. You must have an amazing provider. She must really love your kids and have a soft spot for the situation because as much as I love my families ,... If I dont get paid, neither do my bills. I mean,... would you go to work every day knowing you arent going to be paid for a month? she REALLY deserves a heck of a christmas gift,....
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:48 PM
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I'm sorry...the majority of my post was cut off. I'm not sure what happened.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:50 PM
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Here is the complete original post.

My children were attending a childcare facility for approximately 9 months. For the majority of this time I was receiving subsidy through the state. There was an error in paperwork, and I ended up losing my subsidy for approximately 4 weeks while the situation was cleared up. The moment I was notified I scheduled a meeting with the director of the daycare. I explained that I would no longer be able to afford for my 3 children to attend her facility. I was a single mom working 40 hours a week. I received no assistance or child support with the exception of the childcare subsidy. Financially things were very tight for my family. She stated that she understood how tight things were and she agreed to allow my children to stay at her daycare under the following terms:
1. I would pay an additional $20 per week on top of my copay once the subsidy restarted
2. I would pay a minimum of $20 per week during the lapse in subsidy
3. I would receive a discounted rate (on top of the multi child discount) of 15%
4. She would provide me with documentation at any time it was requested
I was very nervouse about this situation because I hate owing anyone money. Debt is very scary in a home with a tight budget. An extra $20 didn't seem to be too much, so I reluctantly agreed, and I thanked her for her generosity and understanding.
After the 4 week period she gave me a figure of $1750 that she claimed I owed to the facility. I told her that I didn't understand how it was so high, and I asked her to please show me documentation. She gave me a piece of paper that basically stated that I owed her $1750 for childcare. I told her that I needed the list itemized. I requested this every week. I either requested it from her or from her staff. I never received it.
If you live in Pennsylvania you know that subsidy was placed on hold due to the fact that it took so long for the budget to pass. During this time she began calling me at work and on my cell phone demanding that I pay her an additional $50 per week. At one point she demanded that I come pick up my children immediately or I give her $50. She claimed that she knew how much money I made and that I could afford the extra money. Bottom line, I can't!
So, I wrote her a long letter explaining that I understand that I owe her something for the lapse in subsidy, but that I did not agree with the amount. I attached a $50 check and I told her that she would not receive any more payments until she could provide me with a list of charges and payments.
After 4 consecutive days of harassing phone calls demanding that I find another childcare facility, I moved my children to another daycare. I then began to receive calls from her where she called me "dirty" and "underhanded". It gets much worse, but I will spare you from those facts. She claims that I am trying to screw her over, and she threatens to sue me. Then, the part that pushes me over the top, she states, "I'm not trying to screw you over. I'm trying to be your friend. Since you didn't give me a 2 week notice you owe me a $50 fee for removing your children." How can she charge that fee after telling me 4 days in a row that I needed to find alternate childcare because I wasn't repaying the debt fast enough?
I don't feel that I did anything wrong. I was repaying my debt according to the agreement that we made, and I waited patiently for at least 4 months for her to provide me with documentation. I didn't feel that I needed to give her notice about my children leaving when she demanded that they go. What should I do?
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:47 PM
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I would have made sure you had in writing the agreement as the agreement was told to you and not wait for something like this to happen. I know a lot of people don't even think about it at the time, but ALWAYS ALWAYS get things in writing when you're dealing with business. The Daycare should have provided a written agreement but also as the parent paying you should request that so there is no discrepancy.

Bottom line, always get things in writing! For your protection.

I have a policy that states if you need to leave my daycare I request a 2 week notice, or if you have to pull out immediately I will still need 2 weeks payment.

I understand the hardship of finances, being a single mom of 3 would be hard, but at the same time nobody is going to work for nothing or just pennies. If I didn't get payment for my services, I would have to direct the family elsewhere...I mean my bills also have to be paid and I couldn't pay them on $20 or even $50/week...especially for 3 slots! Watching and teaching kids is hard work...I understand both sides, but I wouldn't work for little to nothing.

My question would be, why is the father not helping with support or child care?
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:33 PM
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Well, he is helping now, but he was not at the time. We had recently divorced, and the paperwork for these things had not been finalized. Please also keep in mind that this is a childcare facility with well over 100 children enrolled full-time.
Also, I didn't mention that during the majority of the time, while I had a higher paying job, I was paying additional money. I was paying up to $100 per week. I realize that this is not a large sum, but it was all that I could manage. I never paid the minimum $20 per week. That was the agreement that she made. The stipulations were the offer that she made to me. I was, and I still am, extremely grateful for her initial understanding. She was supposed to provide the information for me in writing, but this never happened.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:00 PM
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Sometimes people WILL work for free/next to nothing though. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, b/c there are many people who are way more generous and giving than I am, but I have 2 families in hard times. One used to pay me on time always, never any problems, when dad lost his job and enrolled in school I agreed to keep the kids for less than half of what they had previously paid. Another family is a single mom,2 kids. She is allowed to bring her kids for free, whenever I have a spot-usually one full day a week for both, one other day for one of them. I know she is struggling and there is no way she could afford to pay anyone. I have enough families paying full tuition that I can pay my bills, though I am by no means rich!
I feel that I have been blessed through the years by so many people in so many different ways, and doing childcare is as much a callilng/mission in life as it is a job, and it is one way that I can "pay it forward" as the saying goes
I'm not sure there's anything you can do, since you don't have anything in writing, and she probably has your origingal contract with full payment terms listed. Sorry for your problems.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:03 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedMother View Post
I'm sorry...the majority of my post was cut off. I'm not sure what happened.
wow, yeah that bottom part made a huge difference. I would send a certified letter asking for itemized billing for the exact days she feels you owe for. Include the fact that you will NOT pay a dime until she can prove you owe for EACH dollar. I would go above her head. If shes the director, go to the owner or board. If shes the board or owner, go to the subsidy people. If she is scamming you,.. she may be scamming others and that is risking her ability to take voucher kids. play HER game,...

sorry I ws so judgemental sounding yesterday,... the last part of your post sure made a huge difference in my opinion.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:29 AM
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Exclamation thanks...

Thanks for the information. It really upsets me. I am not the type of person to run out on a debt, and I have managed to purchase a home because of my history of repaying debts on time. It just frustrates me because her numbers don't add up. Here is an example. This is what she states in a message on my voicemail:

Your debt is $1350 as of today. There is also a fee of $50 for pulling the children out without notice so you now owe me $1400.

Here is the problem. When I made the $50 payment the balance she stated was $1350. Even adding the $50 fee that would make my balance go back to $1350...never would it go back to $1400.

(The initial debt, she claims, was $1750...seems pretty steep)

Do you feel that I'm obligated to pay the extra fee when she demanded that I find alternate care immediately? How can I do that and provide a 2 weeks notice? If she kicked my children out, then I shouldn't have to pay that. Also, I paid extra EVERY WEEK. She is screaming in the messages that she has financial problems so she needs payment faster. I really feel for her situation, but her facility cares for over 100 full-time children. Why am I the one that she is squeezing?

In the time that my children went there they stopped providing breakfast and lunch but the rates didn't change. When they stopped providing breakfast they didn't notify the parents. I was furious that my 20 month old and 3 year old were not eating until 1130 am each day. That's too much!

When I started calling other facilities to find a place for my children to go, part of the phone interview process asked why I no longer used my current provider. I simply stated that there were some issues going on at the previous one and I wanted to find somewhere more suitable for my children. I didn't want to rip her name through the mud. The response that I got MORE THAN ONCE was "I have a lot of parents calling me from there. Did something bad happen?" or "I wish I had more slots because it seems like a lot of parents are leaving there." or "sounds like someone is up to their old tricks!" This makes me nervous!

I also found out from a girl that worked there that there was brown water in the baby room, all of the infant swings and such did not work, that a lunch is generally cookies for the babies, and that if they have someone that wants to go home they will fake that a child is sick so that the worker can leave. Keep in mind they have a 24 hour policy. So, if your child is sent home Monday morning, they can't come back until Wednesday morning. That is A LOT of time off of work. My 20 month old was sent home so many times with "diarrhea" yet she NEVER had it once I got her home. As a matter of fact, my doctor got involved and told the daycare that since no one else was seeing these symptoms he wanted them to keep a stool sample the next time it happened. ...it never happened again...

Four different girls were fired from the facility for going to the director with concerns about the facility. I'm finding more and more out as time goes on, and I'm not spreading anything about what is going on. Other than posting here, I have discussed this matter only with my husband. I am not the type to slander another person's name. Still, I'm concerned.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:51 AM
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UGH... so glad I left PA before the last budget empass... I worked for the state as an "essential employee" and used CCIS, so I would have had to work (FOR NO INCOME until the budget was passed--as all "essential employees" did during that time) and get no help from CCIS--I probably would have lost my job due to an inability to pay child care. Anyway--that was just my way of empathising with your situation. I have no idea how you were able to get through that and I feel for you.

Good for you for taking the high-road and not dragging her name through the mud! At this point, for all your frustration, the best thing you can do is to rely on documentation. Since she demanded you find alternate care, the extra fee should not be your responsibility. It doesn't sound like she was trying to do you a favor at all if she brought down the hammer about the fees, going against your original verbal agreement.
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