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Old 05-17-2010, 08:56 AM
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Default Excessive Number of Closings?

I am just wondering what the norm is for how many times you need to call off in, say a 3 month, 6 month, or year time frame? I've had parents complain about it. But here's what has happened this year:
1 - Parent brought 6 month old (seemed fine at drop off) and within an hour he puked (not spit up) twice and had diarrhea. So the following week my husband, daughter, and I had the flu and we had to close for a day.
2 - Another parent did the same thing and I closed for a day so I could thoroughly disinfect the entire house and to minimize further exposure.
3 - Another parent brought a sick 2 yr old (severe sore throat, not eating), claimed the doctor said he was fine - but I got the same symptoms the following week and was told by my doctor that it was viral and bacterial.
4 - I called off 1 day because my brother-in-law (35 yrs old) had a stroke (history of heart prob) and almost died. Only took 1 day off though.
5 - Then hubby came home from work at 1:30 one day and spent the next hour puking. Called DC mom to explain that there may be another flu exposure. She chose to take him elsewhere.

So, yes, there have been 5 from 1/1 - 5/17, but most of it was during flu season and because parents were the ones causing flu outbreaks.
Plus, I've been told that working with kids, you will find you get sick more often. I have NEVER had the flu until I started my daycare (at age 33). Now I get it at least once every winter.

Do you think this was excessive? I have been trying to enforce my sick policy as strictly as I can. Is there anything that I could have done to minimize my call-offs? And I wash my hands so much they bleed sometimes and I am ALWAYS cleaning and disinfecting.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:16 AM
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To be honest, that does equal out to be once per month. I have been doing daycare for 4 years now and I have only called off twice. Once because my son was in the hospital with pneumonia and the second, I was in the hospital with a lodge kidney stone.

My assistant was taking off once per month and after 6 months of this I suggested she go to her Dr's or maybe start taking vitamins because she would soon find herself unemployed.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
I am just wondering what the norm is for how many times you need to call off in, say a 3 month, 6 month, or year time frame? I've had parents complain about it. But here's what has happened this year:
1 - Parent brought 6 month old (seemed fine at drop off) and within an hour he puked (not spit up) twice and had diarrhea. So the following week my husband, daughter, and I had the flu and we had to close for a day.
2 - Another parent did the same thing and I closed for a day so I could thoroughly disinfect the entire house and to minimize further exposure.
3 - Another parent brought a sick 2 yr old (severe sore throat, not eating), claimed the doctor said he was fine - but I got the same symptoms the following week and was told by my doctor that it was viral and bacterial.
4 - I called off 1 day because my brother-in-law (35 yrs old) had a stroke (history of heart prob) and almost died. Only took 1 day off though.
5 - Then hubby came home from work at 1:30 one day and spent the next hour puking. Called DC mom to explain that there may be another flu exposure. She chose to take him elsewhere.

So, yes, there have been 5 from 1/1 - 5/17, but most of it was during flu season and because parents were the ones causing flu outbreaks.
Plus, I've been told that working with kids, you will find you get sick more often. I have NEVER had the flu until I started my daycare (at age 33). Now I get it at least once every winter.

Do you think this was excessive? I have been trying to enforce my sick policy as strictly as I can. Is there anything that I could have done to minimize my call-offs? And I wash my hands so much they bleed sometimes and I am ALWAYS cleaning and disinfecting.
I have been doing day care for 16 years. I have only called off once the first year I did day care. Other than that, I work.

In your situation I wouldn't have even CONSIDERED closing to disinfect the house. I would have just disinfected what I needed to get thru the next day and done the rest of the work when the kids were in bed or gone. Even if I had to stay up all night long to disinfect, I wouldn't have closed.

Closing because your DH was sick was another one I wouldn't have done. He's a grown up and can keep himself separate from the kids.

The only time I would have closed would be when I'm too sick to work. If I can work... I do. Parents don't take closing very well at ALL. If you close with any regularity they will leave. Even if THEY are the cause of your illness they will leave. Most parents BY FAR will never ever say to themselves "I can't bring sick child because the provider or her family might get sick". They want to bring their child TODAY and that's what they are after. Worrying about what might happen to you, your family, or the other kids in the future isn't going to solve their want TODAY.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:36 AM
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Sometimes in Life ...as the saying goes "When it rains, it pours." Sometimes life is just like that. But I think (in general) 5 unexpected closings in the last 5 months is excessive. Parents need to know they can count on your services and they probably arent feeling very confident in that right now. I only close if I am VERY sick or there is a death in the family, or an serious injury/illness with my hubby or own children....there isnt anything you can do about things like that.
However, I would not have closed for a day to disinfect the house. I would have done it in the evening before. I have only been a home provider for 2 years (center based for 10 years before that) and I have only closed once because I had the flu and had a fever and was throwing up.
Other than MAJOR things, home providers do not have the luxury of taking off work. Too many people are counting on our services.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:59 AM
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In general, I only close if I am so sick I am unable to stand or if I'm throwing up. I would close if a close family member passed (or we thought was going to) as well. I've only officially closed maybe once a year. Almost every year it was for the stomach flu that was brought in by a daycare child. This year it was because all 7 children had a nasty cold flu. (1 got bronchitis, 1 an ear infection, and 1 pneumonia so it was a NASTY one!) and I closed to give everyone a day to rest and recuperate free of charge while I disinfected the whole house top to bottom. Officially none of them were well enough according to my illness policy to come anyway, so it was really a favor. They came back to printed out illness policy sheets waiting for them and a much "meaner" provider who started turning the sickies away again.

If I or my children (not my husband) are sick (by my illness policy), but I'm well enough to get the job done, I'll call all of the parents and give them the option of coming with the understanding that their children may be exposed if they bring them. I wash hands like crazy, take decongestants and cough suppressants and do my best to keep my kids separate on those days. Most parents opt to bring those days. You've got to figure, we are contagious before we are symptomatic, so they may come down with it anyway. If you close when your kids are sick and then they have to stay home when their kid gets it a couple days later, they've missed twice the work. Like I said though I give the option, so if they are lucky enough to have a friend, relative or neighbor that can watch them I don't charge for that day.

Last edited by Daycare Mommy; 05-17-2010 at 10:02 AM. Reason: added a line :)
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
I am just wondering what the norm is for how many times you need to call off in, say a 3 month, 6 month, or year time frame? I've had parents complain about it. But here's what has happened this year:
1 - Parent brought 6 month old (seemed fine at drop off) and within an hour he puked (not spit up) twice and had diarrhea. So the following week my husband, daughter, and I had the flu and we had to close for a day.
2 - Another parent did the same thing and I closed for a day so I could thoroughly disinfect the entire house and to minimize further exposure.
3 - Another parent brought a sick 2 yr old (severe sore throat, not eating), claimed the doctor said he was fine - but I got the same symptoms the following week and was told by my doctor that it was viral and bacterial.
4 - I called off 1 day because my brother-in-law (35 yrs old) had a stroke (history of heart prob) and almost died. Only took 1 day off though.
5 - Then hubby came home from work at 1:30 one day and spent the next hour puking. Called DC mom to explain that there may be another flu exposure. She chose to take him elsewhere.

So, yes, there have been 5 from 1/1 - 5/17, but most of it was during flu season and because parents were the ones causing flu outbreaks.
Plus, I've been told that working with kids, you will find you get sick more often. I have NEVER had the flu until I started my daycare (at age 33). Now I get it at least once every winter.

Do you think this was excessive? I have been trying to enforce my sick policy as strictly as I can. Is there anything that I could have done to minimize my call-offs? And I wash my hands so much they bleed sometimes and I am ALWAYS cleaning and disinfecting.
I think the first year you provide care it takes your immunity a while to "catch up" with more kids being in your care & you tend to get ill easier. I found that to be the case in my family. This past winter was rough for us with illnesses, mostly with my kids but it was mostly brought into our home from DC kids. However, since August I have only closed 3-4 days. One because of a lice problem (yuck!!!), & then I closed 2-3 days after the death of my dad. However, the family I work with was willing to bring their kids several times when one of my kids was ill (older school-age child, he could stay in his room). So I was never trigger-happy to close b/c one of us was ill. I've also worked many days when I was not 100% (sore throat, tired, runny nose, etc). I've never closed b/c of my own illness. Have parents complained about the closings? Do you give them the option to bring a child if one of your kids are sick? I understand you wanting to minimize the spreading of germs but really sometimes it can't be prevented. I think it's a given that kids in close proximity will share illnesses. It will get better, just keep doing what you are doing.

Last edited by momofboys; 05-17-2010 at 10:06 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:08 AM
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I as well have only called out 2 times in my 11 years. I do the same as the others. Disinfect what needs to be done to get through the day.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:14 AM
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I agree with the others...parents need someone they can count on to be reliable...when I was working I chose a center because I didn't want to worry about being stuck without a sitter for the day. When you're working your employer pays attention to attendance and if you're not there several times within a time span, you might not have a job.

I would just send the sick ones home and stay open for the rest of them. If you are sick with vomitting, I would close...or if one of your own are VERY sick and you feel running the daycare will be too much for you to care for your own child, or too much noise for your severely sick child, I would close.

I have not ever called off yet in the 2 years I have started daycare back up..however that is thanks to my wonderful mother that is my substitute and conveinently lives next door to me. If I didn't have her to rely on, I would have only closed once when I was so sick with the stomach bug I couldn't even move. I went back in my bedroom and my mother took care of the kids until pick up.

I can think of one time I should have closed..when my own young daughter (she was 3 at the time) had a very high fever of 103 and was so lifeless...she wanted to rest and the daycare school kids came home and were so loud despite me telling them to be quiet..back then I had a 12 year old BiPolar girl and she started fighting with her brother...I called mom and said her kids were at it again and my girl was sick and how much longer will she be?...she told me "it's daycare for ya and you can't expect them to be good all the time"....needless to say I no longer watch those kids..that was my LAST straw with them.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:18 AM
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Here we have 2 owners and then 2 others who fill in for us when we can't. For instance I have 3 kids and my co-owner has 1....when they are sick or have appointments we have one of our friends (the other 2) fill in for us. So there are always 2 workers here. If we can't find someone to fill in...the sick kid(s) hang out in my bedroom with one of us there checking in to see if the other needs help.

The ONLY time we ever close is 2 days a year for a "Staff Retreat" AKA Girl's Weekend. The parents know about this when they sign up with us and it's the same days each year.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:29 AM
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i never close unless i absolutely have to. hubby had H1N1 this year, and i just locked him away in the bedroom for a week. i had ecoli last summer and thought i was going to die, it was so horrible. my mom drove 3 hours to get to my house and stayed with me for 4 days to care for the kiddos. when we have dr or dentist appointments, daytime concerts or plays at the school, or errands i have to run during the week, they all come with me. my hubby gets stuck doing alot for our kids when they need something, or running errands for me only cause he does get paid time off. heck, i even had kids the day after i came home from the hospital after having a baby.

parents rely on us to be here for them, and don't care much about our problems. i hate to say that, but its the truth. all jobs have downfalls, and us taking time off is ours.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:29 AM
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Ive called in 4 times in 21 years, The last time was 12 years ago.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
I am just wondering what the norm is for how many times you need to call off in, say a 3 month, 6 month, or year time frame? I've had parents complain about it. But here's what has happened this year:
1 - Parent brought 6 month old (seemed fine at drop off) and within an hour he puked (not spit up) twice and had diarrhea. So the following week my husband, daughter, and I had the flu and we had to close for a day.
2 - Another parent did the same thing and I closed for a day so I could thoroughly disinfect the entire house and to minimize further exposure.
3 - Another parent brought a sick 2 yr old (severe sore throat, not eating), claimed the doctor said he was fine - but I got the same symptoms the following week and was told by my doctor that it was viral and bacterial.
4 - I called off 1 day because my brother-in-law (35 yrs old) had a stroke (history of heart prob) and almost died. Only took 1 day off though.
5 - Then hubby came home from work at 1:30 one day and spent the next hour puking. Called DC mom to explain that there may be another flu exposure. She chose to take him elsewhere.

So, yes, there have been 5 from 1/1 - 5/17, but most of it was during flu season and because parents were the ones causing flu outbreaks.
Plus, I've been told that working with kids, you will find you get sick more often. I have NEVER had the flu until I started my daycare (at age 33). Now I get it at least once every winter.

Do you think this was excessive? I have been trying to enforce my sick policy as strictly as I can. Is there anything that I could have done to minimize my call-offs? And I wash my hands so much they bleed sometimes and I am ALWAYS cleaning and disinfecting.
I guess I wasn't clear. For each of the flu outbreaks I did explain the situation to the parents and told them that I am working on disinfecting but would not be able to finish before their scheduled drop-off time. The parents would say, "oh, I don't want to take the chance, I'll take him / her to ..." But even though it was their choice ultimately, I did not charge. I took the hit. The only days I closed without giving them the "enter at your own risk" option was the brother-in-law had a stroke and when I had the flu (puking and everything - even ER visit for dehydration).

I guess I worded it wrong about the closing to disinfect. I told the mom of the only kid I had that day that the house had not yet been disinfected and she chose to go elsewhere. So I ended up "closed" to tend to the disinfecting. But it was her choice.

I stay open even when I am sick. I'm pregnant with twins, had severe morning sickness, became so dehydrated, I could not stand without passing out (hubby was here, thank God). OB said get to the ER NOW! But I waited until DCB got picked up at his usual time 6 hrs later (at 9pm). Ended up spending the night in the ER getting fluids. I got home and to bed at 4am, but woke up at 7am to be ready for DCB again.

Oh, and up until 2 weeks ago, I was working 12-16 hour days, 6-7 days a week. So I offer the extended hours, weekends, etc. It's not like I can "muddle" through a Friday, knowing I'll have the whole weekend to recuperate.

I have heard of daycares that close a lot more than that. Even on here, I see that some of you shut down early so you can take to your children's activities. Not that I think there's anything wrong with that. But I never close early or get much time off at all (not even weekends), so technically, I see it as I am still open more days and more hours per year than most daycares are. And I am constantly cleaning and disinfecting things while they are here (disinfect every evening around 7pm - 11pm).
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:20 PM
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Is it possible for you to get a sub? That way should you need/want to close, parents would not have to be inconvenienced.

What does your contract/policy say about provider illness? I have 5 paid sick/personal days in my policy. I haven't used any. I just want them there in case I need them.

I have been in the business 9 months and luckily I have not had any unscheduled closings yet.I agree with the others in that I definitely would not have closed to disinfect and I probably wouldn't have closed to take care of hubby. I am sick today and explained to my parents at drop off that I wasn't feeling 100% today and I would most likely not follow our regular schedule of activities today but instead the day would consist of movies and free play. None had a problem and said that they totally understand.

Usually when I get a bad cold, I also get laryngitis which is the case this time. My voice has been reduced to a whisper so my own kids were whispering back to me over the weekend. Guess what? Today the daycare kids are whispering too! It's so nice and quiet around here and I soooo needed this today
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:29 PM
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Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think you've been excessive. The only instance I wouldn't have closed would have been if my husband was sick...but you said you gave the Mom a choice, so I don't think she has any right to complain.

I had to close for a full week this year, right at the beginning of the school year, because my own child got the H1N1 virus and was extremely contagious. All of my families were very understanding. I offered credit to them all, but only one took me up on it.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:16 PM
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I guess I wasn't clear. For each of the flu outbreaks I did explain the situation to the parents and told them that I am working on disinfecting but would not be able to finish before their scheduled drop-off time. The parents would say, "oh, I don't want to take the chance, I'll take him / her to ..." But even though it was their choice ultimately, I did not charge. I took the hit. The only days I closed without giving them the "enter at your own risk" option was the brother-in-law had a stroke and when I had the flu (puking and everything - even ER visit for dehydration).

I guess I worded it wrong about the closing to disinfect. I told the mom of the only kid I had that day that the house had not yet been disinfected and she chose to go elsewhere. So I ended up "closed" to tend to the disinfecting. But it was her choice.

I stay open even when I am sick. I'm pregnant with twins, had severe morning sickness, became so dehydrated, I could not stand without passing out (hubby was here, thank God). OB said get to the ER NOW! But I waited until DCB got picked up at his usual time 6 hrs later (at 9pm). Ended up spending the night in the ER getting fluids. I got home and to bed at 4am, but woke up at 7am to be ready for DCB again.

Oh, and up until 2 weeks ago, I was working 12-16 hour days, 6-7 days a week. So I offer the extended hours, weekends, etc. It's not like I can "muddle" through a Friday, knowing I'll have the whole weekend to recuperate.

I have heard of daycares that close a lot more than that. Even on here, I see that some of you shut down early so you can take to your children's activities. Not that I think there's anything wrong with that. But I never close early or get much time off at all (not even weekends), so technically, I see it as I am still open more days and more hours per year than most daycares are. And I am constantly cleaning and disinfecting things while they are here (disinfect every evening around 7pm - 11pm).
I did explain the situation to the parents and told them that I am working on disinfecting but would not be able to finish before their scheduled drop-off time.

That's the same thing as saying it isn't safe to bring their kid. Of course they are going to back out of it especially if they can do no pay. What I would have done was sanitize as much as I could and keep the kids only in the area that was done. I also would have worked ALL night long if I had to not to close. I don't want to close unless I litterally... physically can not work.

With you being pregnant though... hey do what you have to do. I'm just answering your original post about parents leaving over you closing too much.

Just know that in this business they don't really give a flip what the reason is. If you cancel day care too much or take too much vacation time.. maternity or whatever some parents will just leave. It comes with this deal.

I've only called in sick once in my 16 years and the parents were SO mean about it. It was awful. It was a level of confrontation I didn't expect and really upset me. That scared me off of calling off sick.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:56 PM
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Well honestly I say you should close when you feel you need to close for your family's sake..it's your business and it's how comfortable you feel with other kids being there with you or your children being sick. This is your business, if you don't want the daycare to be there when you or your kids are sick, rightfully so.

The only reason I don't close for minor things is because I can't afford to...and you do risk the chance of losing clients the more you close.

You shouldn't feel bad because some of us "tough it out" and stay open... believe me, sometimes I would LOVE to close just to have the day for myself or because I'm not feeling well..but money is tight right now and if I could afford it, I may have closed a couple of times.. but during the school year I don't have that many during the day..like 1 or 2 plus my own girl, the others are school age...so if I had more and I wasn't feeling well, I would probably close.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:12 PM
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Do you have sick/pesonal days in your contract? I have 5 days vacation and up to 5 days personal/year. Normally, I don't use any or maybe 1 per year. Now, on the 28th I am taking a personal day because of a school event for my daughter. This is my 2nd sine last July when my "contract year" starts. My dc parents are not happy. Normally, I have my mom or mil fill in for me. But this will be like3-4 hrs. Last year, dh had a heart attact (at age 41) I did not close. I visited him in the evening at the hospital. Our kids were too young to visit and my mom stayed with our kids. Plus, I wanted to keep things as normal for our kids as possible.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:21 PM
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I am with the majority...I have closed twice in 8 years, both times because I was throwing up. The last time was 5 years ago...

I do let my clients know if someone in my house is sick, but I have never had anyone not come to daycare. I think it has alot to do with how you word it.

I say something like, "DD has a case of the stomach flu. I am keeping her upstairs--away from all the kids and toys. I'll be doing my best to keep it from spreading, but I do want to give you the heads up."
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:30 PM
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I am with the majority...I have closed twice in 8 years, both times because I was throwing up. The last time was 5 years ago...

I do let my clients know if someone in my house is sick, but I have never had anyone not come to daycare. I think it has alot to do with how you word it.

I say something like, "DD has a case of the stomach flu. I am keeping her upstairs--away from all the kids and toys. I'll be doing my best to keep it from spreading, but I do want to give you the heads up."
I agree...EVERYTHING is in how you word it. If you act like it is a huge deal or you are overly concerned then a parent will probably respond equally. If you play it down then parents will usually go with the flow.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:55 PM
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I do not close for minor things. I have worked 16 hour days for a week straight even though I was miserably sick. I never even closed due to severe morning sickness. If I'm puking but I am sure it's not contagious, I am open. I only close (or inform them so they can make a decision) IF it's something very contagious (usually the flu). I have never closed to "take care of the husband" and I did not say that I did, but some of you are making it sound like that's what I said. I told her, "he came home and has been throwing up so he's on his way to the doctor, but I thought I should let you know and give you the heads up".

To the ones that are supportive - thanks.

Here's what I tell them "so-and-so has the flu so there has been an exposure to the flu. I am doing everything I can as quickly as I can to ensure that no one else will catch it. I will be here, but it's your call." But I almost never get past the "so-and-so has the flu" before they chime in with "ok, I'll take him /her to ..."

Plus, my thoughts are if I expect them to keep their sick children home AND not send the sick child with Tylenol or Motrin to mask the fever, don't I owe them the same courtesy of informing them and giving them that choice? Sure I can just not tell them, but then I would be guilty of the same thing that the parents are guilty of when they give their sick child Tylenol or Motrin to mask their fever and bring them anyway. Plus, if I don't tell them and their child gets the flu a couple days later, they will be ticked because I had the power to protect their child(ren) and didn't.

Yes, I have a sick policy and I am not operating outside of that policy in any way. Even if I am still willing to have the children come and the parents choose not to due to my illness (or my husband's or daughter's), I don't charge them. And I usually call them at least 2 hours in advance to give them time to contact their alternate.

I can't afford an assistant. Maybe a sub, but I haven't found anyone who would be willing to take something on a sporadic schedule. And we only have 2 family members in the area - both have heart conditions (one is the brother-in-law who had the stroke).
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:20 AM
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My response (and most of the responses here, I think) are directed at the first post where it sounded like you had completely closed down your daycare 5 times in 4 1/2 months and you asked what was normal. If you are giving parent's the option to come then that is not so bad. Since I had my own kids, I've had to do that sometimes many times a year depending on the amount of illness that comes through. You can only help that but so much by cleaning, handwashing, and excluding sick children.

And I'm not sure how you do it, but I don't call anyone but the sick child's parent if someone gets sick during daycare hours unless it's my own children that are sick AND I can't keep them separated or it's something bad like a stomach flu. I immediately separate the sick child, clean and sanitize everything he's played with or been around (while the others are doing an activity away from that area) They've already been exposed by playing with him all morning. You've sanitized the house, the sick one gets picked up asap (or if it's mine moved to the back of the house which is nowhere near the daycare area), so the danger is gone. The damage, if any, is done and there's nothing else to be lost by keeping the others once he's gone. I do tell the parents at pick up time though so they can watch for any symptoms should their child come down with it. Honestly I'd go broke if every time I, my kids, husband, and any of the daycare kids were sick families pulled their kid and went elsewhere without paying me. If it's me or my kids that are ill, I give them that option, but I just couldn't stay in business not getting paid for everyone's illnesses. It's daycare. Kids get sick. We shouldn't have to take the hit every time.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:24 AM
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My sick policy is that if the daycare child is sick, according to the policy standards, they do not come and the parent (but usually DHS since most have DHS) still pays for that day. If it's my family that is contagious, I take the hit and don't get paid. Which is why I hate to make that call to say, "hey, we have the flu". But I think that it's better to either close completely (when I'm the one with the flu) or give them that option (when it's my husband or daughter). It the best way to protect them.

Our home has an open floor plan and even with gates, I do not have the ability to keep a sick person "quarantined". Even with my own family. My husband or daughter can stay upstairs, but we don't have a bathroom upstairs and with the flu (vomiting and diarrhea) they need to keep coming down to the main flood (daycare area) to get to the bathroom.

The things that confused me was:
The comments about minor illnesses, when I posted that 3 of those were the flu, 1 was highly contagious (per the doctor) but not the flu, and 1 was a family emergency (and possible death). I said nothing about minor things like the common cold or the sniffles.

And for some reason people assumed that I closed to "take care of hubby". I had said that I gave the parent a choice, so I was willing to stay open. I have never "taken care of him". He's perfectly capable to taking care of himself! I was only concerned about exposing a child that had the weekend off and hadn't been here in 3 days. My concern was for the daycare child, not my husband.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:42 AM
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My sick policy is that if the daycare child is sick, according to the policy standards, they do not come and the parent (but usually DHS since most have DHS) still pays for that day. If it's my family that is contagious, I take the hit and don't get paid. Which is why I hate to make that call to say, "hey, we have the flu". But I think that it's better to either close completely (when I'm the one with the flu) or give them that option (when it's my husband or daughter). It the best way to protect them.

Our home has an open floor plan and even with gates, I do not have the ability to keep a sick person "quarantined". Even with my own family. My husband or daughter can stay upstairs, but we don't have a bathroom upstairs and with the flu (vomiting and diarrhea) they need to keep coming down to the main flood (daycare area) to get to the bathroom.

The things that confused me was:
The comments about minor illnesses, when I posted that 3 of those were the flu, 1 was highly contagious (per the doctor) but not the flu, and 1 was a family emergency (and possible death). I said nothing about minor things like the common cold or the sniffles.

And for some reason people assumed that I closed to "take care of hubby". I had said that I gave the parent a choice, so I was willing to stay open. I have never "taken care of him". He's perfectly capable to taking care of himself! I was only concerned about exposing a child that had the weekend off and hadn't been here in 3 days. My concern was for the daycare child, not my husband.
Please remember, that on this forum we are all here to give advice and our personal experience and opinions. If you post a question then you need to expect to get a variety of answers. Of course no one knows all the details of your circumstances and I dont think anyone was trying to make you feel like you made the wrong choices when closing. But in the original post you asked us if we thought (based on your description) that 5 times in 5 months seemed excessive. So that is what people answered. There is no need to get defensive or think that others who gave their advice were not being supportive. Us providers need to stick together.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:59 AM
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i agree with originalkat.... we ALL have VERY different opinions on almost everything.....it doesnt mean we think youre wrong....we're just stating our opinions and sharing our experiences.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:45 AM
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i think that's a lot. i hated it when daycare was closed with advance notice for staff training or other things just because it's hard to find someone to keep your kid - which is why they go to daycare in the first place. i understood days like that though - and knew 2 weeks in advance usually.

there's no way i'd have been able to stick it out through that many unplanned closings. i would have had to call into work and it wouldn't have been okay.

before i started keeping kids, i made sure i had someone that would be able to either come over and help if i was sick, or take my own child who was sick to their house. i let the parents know that if i was sick or my kids were sick i would have someone fill in and made sure they were okay with that. if i didn't have someone to fill in, i really don't think i would've started keeping kids. it's inevitable that you or your own kids will be sick or have emergencies and just closing the door isn't an option.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:56 AM
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I guess the reality of the situation is if your parents feel like it's too much, then you risk losing a family or two as well as the reference that goes along with them regardless of whether or not the closings were justified.

I tell my husband all the time, it isn't if we are right or wrong, it's the parents perception of the situation that counts...at least as long as I want to keep them here.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:31 PM
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I was certainly not meaning to be critical of you, only saying why/when I closed. No doubt you have to do what you feel is best for your family. Please don't take anyone's coments to heart. I believe they were all simply telling you their policy for closings. Particularly if you are giving the parents the option to not come then I think that is the right thing to do. It stinks when they don't come though & you lose $$$. I've been down that road before too although most of the time they will still bring their kiddos.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:28 AM
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I guess I was anticipating responses like, "that does seem like a lot, but when it comes to the flu, you do have an obligation to protect everyone from further exposure." Then I was hoping for advice on how to minimize a possible flu outbreak, especially during flu season. Instead, some people seemed to think I was closing for minor things and to "take care of my husband" and I never said anything about either of those.
Plus, this is not the norm for my daycare. We have just had a really horrible flu season this past winter, especially Jan - March.
Also, I never said that I "lost clients" due to closures.
If I got a little defensive, I am sorry. First, I am pregnant and may be a little more sensitive and I will admit it. Second, words were being put in my mouth that I never said, so it was a little annoying that some people made it sound like I was closing for any teeny, tiny reason, when I clearly stated FLU for most of it.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
I guess I was anticipating responses like, "that does seem like a lot, but when it comes to the flu, you do have an obligation to protect everyone from further exposure." Then I was hoping for advice on how to minimize a possible flu outbreak, especially during flu season. Instead, some people seemed to think I was closing for minor things and to "take care of my husband" and I never said anything about either of those.
Plus, this is not the norm for my daycare. We have just had a really horrible flu season this past winter, especially Jan - March.
Also, I never said that I "lost clients" due to closures.
If I got a little defensive, I am sorry. First, I am pregnant and may be a little more sensitive and I will admit it. Second, words were being put in my mouth that I never said, so it was a little annoying that some people made it sound like I was closing for any teeny, tiny reason, when I clearly stated FLU for most of it.
Don't Worry about it Professional Mom! You closed when you had to and now you can just move on from it and hopefully you are out of the woods with all that yucky sick stuff!
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:58 AM
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Hahaha I think I am part of the minority I close when I need too!! Bottom line MY FAMILY comes first!! I get that money is an issue alot of the time for everyone and it isn't like I am rich and can afford to close unpaid all of the time and don't think I do, but I do close when I need to! I feel like when I stay open and keep the germs spreading I loose more money than taking a day or two off here and there and ending the spread!! When I interview with my parents I make this a BIG DEAL!! I have 2 small children and I am due in December and when they get sick I close, the same rules apply for my children as they would for the daycare kids being sick!! I have unlimited unpaid sick days listed in my contract, I also explain that they NEED backup daycare!! Daycare brings in ALOT of germs and my kids take the brunt of it!! I don't get how you can stay open while spreading your germs or your families germs, when I see so many posts on this site complaining about the parents bringing their sick kids to daycare- I don't get where the difference is!! How can you properly care for children when you are puking and feeling under the weather, I guess if I was a parent I wouldn't want my child with you!! Or better yet how do you keep up and properly care for the children when YOUR young child is puking everywhere, but where they are suppose too and keeping everything sanitary! Yuck!! I have stated in my contract that I close when my children are sick to give them the added love and attention that they need as you would do for your children!! Like I said, I make this a big deal right from the get go and I have never had anyone leave or complain!!! It isn't like I close all the time, but each of my girls each had a bad winter living in a daycare and now I see that their immunities have grown and gotten stronger and we hardly get sick, but if my child has a rash, a fever, puking or diarrhea I CLOSE and why in GODS name would any mother want to keep their child at daycare when this is going on!! : ) I don't think you have been excessive, but I wouldn't have closed when my husband was sick due to the fact that he is old enough and smart enough to isolate himself and when my children get older and are able to do this as well I am sure I won't have as many sick days!! Maybe just make it a little more clear to parents from the get go to avoid any issues!! : )
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJPlaycare View Post
Hahaha I think I am part of the minority I close when I need too!! Bottom line MY FAMILY comes first!! I get that money is an issue alot of the time for everyone and it isn't like I am rich and can afford to close unpaid all of the time and don't think I do, but I do close when I need to! I feel like when I stay open and keep the germs spreading I loose more money than taking a day or two off here and there and ending the spread!! When I interview with my parents I make this a BIG DEAL!! I have 2 small children and I am due in December and when they get sick I close, the same rules apply for my children as they would for the daycare kids being sick!! I have unlimited unpaid sick days listed in my contract, I also explain that they NEED backup daycare!! Daycare brings in ALOT of germs and my kids take the brunt of it!! I don't get how you can stay open while spreading your germs or your families germs, when I see so many posts on this site complaining about the parents bringing their sick kids to daycare- I don't get where the difference is!! How can you properly care for children when you are puking and feeling under the weather, I guess if I was a parent I wouldn't want my child with you!! Or better yet how do you keep up and properly care for the children when YOUR young child is puking everywhere, but where they are suppose too and keeping everything sanitary! Yuck!! I have stated in my contract that I close when my children are sick to give them the added love and attention that they need as you would do for your children!! Like I said, I make this a big deal right from the get go and I have never had anyone leave or complain!!! It isn't like I close all the time, but each of my girls each had a bad winter living in a daycare and now I see that their immunities have grown and gotten stronger and we hardly get sick, but if my child has a rash, a fever, puking or diarrhea I CLOSE and why in GODS name would any mother want to keep their child at daycare when this is going on!! : ) I don't think you have been excessive, but I wouldn't have closed when my husband was sick due to the fact that he is old enough and smart enough to isolate himself and when my children get older and are able to do this as well I am sure I won't have as many sick days!! Maybe just make it a little more clear to parents from the get go to avoid any issues!! : )
Thank you so much!!! This is my thinking too. I guess I wasn't as good as you were about explaining my position. My daughter isn't even 2 yet, so keeping her "quarantined" is not possible. She cannot stay in her room all day by herself. That would be neglect. Once she's older and can take care of herself, then it will be easier. And YES I think if the clients need to strictly adhere to the sick policy, why shouldn't they expect the same from me when my family is sick. And it's not about "taking a day off to tend to the sick family member" it's about stopping the spread of the germs.

AND CONGRATS ON THE UPCOMING BABY!! We wanted a 2nd child, but got a twofer - identical twins due Nov 28, but probably will be here in early - mid Nov. Thank GOD I'm pretty much out of the woods with morning sickness (as long as I am careful)!!!
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:38 AM
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yep I agree...working in DC means your going to have alot of sick kids and you, your assistant and other kids are going to end up getting sick.
I have been doing DC for almost 20 years and average 2-3 sick days a year at the most.
If Im really unable to care for the dkc I have my assistant and call in a second pair of hands if needed depending on the number of kids that day.
If hubbys or one of my teenagers are sick they just stay in their rooms and tough it out.
You can sanitize at nap or after hours.

so I agree with the majority...5 x in a month wouldnt be acceptable to my parents...
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:13 PM
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This is your business you do as you please. However if you are afraid of losing clients...limit your missed days...as they will find other care. Over 11 years of childcare I am lucky to take my 10 holidays paid off, 5 sicks days and 5 vacation days per year off. I always seem to have children around 24/7! Just remember that what decsion that you make you have to live with.. not us!

Last edited by Michael; 05-19-2010 at 09:30 PM.
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