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Old 06-01-2008, 11:20 AM
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Default Payment When Provider Is Out Sick

I have posted this scenario in another thread, but thought it may be suitable to ask the question on a separate thread.

I have my 16 month old in an in-home, licensed, daycare. There was no contract signed when I began bringing my daughter to this home, however the provider gave me a pamphlet which states her rates and the fact that she charges for the holidays. I am in complete agreement with paying her for holidays and I also pay her on the days I keep my daughter home with me since the rate is a monthly rate.

The questions revolves around her taking time off with no back-up due to illness and not reimbursing the parents so that we can pay for alternate care. The provider took 1.5 weeks off two months ago for surgery, and now told me she will be taking another 1.5 weeks off for additional surgery.

The first time she took the time off, I felt bad for her and did not ask about the money since it seemed insensitive. Now, after reading my pamphlet and seeing that she takes 1 week off each summer for vacation (unpaid), I assumed that she would be using this unpaid week for the second surgery. When I asked her about adjusting the rate, she became very defensive and rude. She replied that she wasn't planning on adjusting our rates and ignored my request as to an explanation. I again asked her about this and her response was "fine, take $50 back" very rudely. When I started to take the $50, she replied "I just hope I can pay my bills this month". This resulted in a verbal argument where I tried to politely explain that I have always been a good customer by paying early each month and working my schedule around her appointments (I have picked-up early, dropped off late, etc. to accomodate her). However, now I have to take time off work and don't feel it is right to pay her during this time. She rudely replied that I could just ask my parents to watch my daughter, to which I responded was not really her place to assume that my parents would be able to watch her....and this was beside the main point. She also made the point that she hardly called surgery a "vacation" and that she would not be taking her unpaid vacation this year.

Anyways, I am curious if this is normal protocol for a provider to take time off and not offer to reimburse. One or two days is one thing, but we are looking at nearly a month of time off. I have never asked her for money back and I have been a very respectful and courteous parent. I truly appreciate any feedback to determine if I am completely out of line, or if I should be looking for a new provider. Much Thanks!

Last edited by Michael; 09-30-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2008, 01:08 AM
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I think the provider is not being reasonable. She should not expect you to pay full rate when she is off sick for a week at a time.

A day or two here and there thru the year, then yes, I think parents should pay the provider if she becomes ill. The provider needs to rewrite her contract and state things more clearly.

I get paid for the major holidays. I take 2 weeks off during the summer unpaid. If a parent takes vacation time off NOT during my weeks off, they must pay to hold the spot.

Here is a copy of my holiday/vacation/sick day information:

PAYMENT FOR CHILDCARE SERVICES

Payment is expected every Friday, or the last day of the week the child is here.
Rates are guaranteed whether or not you bring your child.

I accept either cash or check. However, there will be a $25 fee for each returned check. You will also be responsible for any charges incurred to my account due to your returned check. I may request cash only payments if there are issues with insufficient fund checks.

Payment obligation is based on the hours you agree to use the childcare services not on actual hours of attendance, unless they exceed the hours contracted.

HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS

 I WILL BE CLOSED THE FOLLOWING HOLIDAYS:

 New Years Day (or whatever day is celebrated if falls on a weekend day)
 Memorial Day
 July 4 th (or whatever day is celebrated if falls on a weekend day)
 Labor Day
 Thanksgiving and Friday after
 December 24, 25, 26. (Christmas week is subject to change depending on how many people need childcare that week).

 Payment is expected whether the child is here or not. Sick days, vacations, and holidays listed above are included. This includes Christmas week and Thanksgiving week. This applies to part time children also.

 For example—if your child is normally here Monday-Wednesday-Friday (3 days per week) and 1 of those days is a holiday, payment is expected for 3 days, should you choose to change your days for the week and bring your child Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday, payment would then be expected for 4 days.

Another example—if your child is normally here 3 days per week and one of those days the child is sick, a parent takes a vacation day, or for some other reason does not come, payment is still expected for 3 days.

 I will take 3 weeks vacation through the year. Normally these are taken during the summer, but I reserve the right to take them as needed. There may be times where I will take the vacation days on a Friday or Monday to make a long weekend. I will give you my schedule by April 15 for summer weeks off. I will not charge for my 3 vacation weeks.

 There may be some years I choose to not take 3 weeks vacation off.

PART TIME CHILDREN

If your child is part time, and the days vary from week to week, please provide a schedule for me that covers at least two weeks at a time.

Should your child be on a schedule that varies week to week, there is a three day per week minimum rate. For example--if your child is normally here 3 days per week and 1 week you only need childcare for 1 day, payment will still be expected for 3 days.







MATERNITY LEAVE and EXTENDED SICK LEAVE (parent or child)

I do not offer an unpaid maternity leave or extended sick leave for families because my business and my income are based on my enrollment at all times. I do offer to keep the spot open for you using the following guidelines:

 If your child is here 5 days per week----I will hold the spot open for up to 12 weeks at $40 per week. You may continue to bring your child during these weeks 2 days a week for this rate. If you would like to continue to bring your child more than 2 days per week during this time, the regular daily rate will apply.

 If your child is here 4 days a week -----I will hold the spot open for up to 12 weeks at $35 per week. You may continue to bring your child during these weeks 2 days a week for this rate. If you would like to continue to bring your child more than 2 days during this time, the regular daily rate will apply.

 If your child is here 3 days a week ----I will hold the spot open for up to 12 weeks for $30 per week. You may bring your child 1 day per week at this rate. If you would like to continue to bring your child more than 1 day per week during this time, the regular daily rate will apply.

 If your child is here 2 days a week ----I will hold the spot open for up to 12 weeks for $25 per week. You may bring your child 1 day per week at this rate. If you would like to continue to bring your child more than 1 day per week during this time, the regular daily rate will apply.

 Under the extended sickness policy, full payment is expected for the first 2 consecutive weeks off.

 Full payment for the first 2 consecutive weeks off of maternity leave is not expected because it is a planned leave of absence. If you start a week and then go on maternity leave during the middle of the week, payment is expected at regular rate for that week, and then your hold the spot rate will start the following week.

 If additional time off is needed, please let me know, I am sure we can work out an agreement.

 The hold the spot rates above are based on 1 child per family, it will increase the more children I am holding the spot for.



CHILD SICKNESS

Please do not bring your child if they are sick, vomiting, have diarrhea, have a fever, or may be contagious to other children. If your child becomes ill during childcare hours, I will call you to pick up your child. I do accept children with mild ailments. Please use your best judgment. If you are in doubt, call me and together we will make a joint decision.

While I do not expect a parent to miss work due to colds and mild ailments, I do ask that you send medications to help alleviate the symptoms of colds, runny noses, coughing and sneezing. The constant runny nose, sneezing and coughing is how germs are spread.

******************************************************

Honestly, you sound like a parent I would love to have as part of my daycare family.

For many of us providers, we are in a thankless job. We get no benefits, no sick pay, no paid days off, no vacation pay, nothing. And very rarely get a thank you from anyone. I am thinking you are probably the exception to this statement. So, when we become ill for a day or two, or if a family member dies, it is very much appreciated when the daycare parent pays us 2 or 3 days bereavement pay, just like they themselves would get from their employer if it happened to them, or a day of sick pay.

Now, I do know that many providers are writing in their contracts that they will get so many days per year paid vacation, personal days, sick days, etc. I know many are doing it because if we don't give ourselves any little "benefits" we will never get them. I have seriously considered putting in 5 paid days, to use as sick/personal days per year in my contract. When my step dad of 21 years died last Labor Day, out of 7 families, 2 paid me for the 2days I took off, the rest had the nerve to ask me "What do we owe you for the 3 days", I am sorry, but to me that just shows how much parents do not appreciate us. Honesly, as a parent I would be totally embarassed to ask a provider that. I would of just paid the full rate considering the providers step dad died. Parents expect their employers to pay days off when there is a death.

As a provider I just wish parents respected us more.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:08 AM
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Her 1st mistake is no contract!! Let me ask you this.......How many sick days do you have? do you take a paid vacation? Also why would you not have your own back up when you know your provider does not have an assistant? Providers are people too, we get sick and yes are expected to be paid for it! I've been in this business for over 15 years and it get under my skin when parents don't want to pay for vacation or holidays. Listen us "providers" provide you parents with a service, you either like it or leave........you can be replaced.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:04 AM
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Perhaps, because I was asking a specific question, I left out the part where I mention how much I do appreciate having steady, safe care for my daughter. The provider and I have not seen eye to eye on all issues pertaining to my daughter, however I believe this is to be expected in any case.

I respect my provider and feel that I reflect that to her by always, always, always paying her on time and never requesting more from her than I would expect from others I work with. I never take my child to daycare if she is sick, even if it is a cough or runny nose because it puts her and the other children at risk of catching it. In addition, I make myself available to pick up early and drop off late as needed to accommodate her life (again, which is to be expected since we all have appointments).

I also want to mention that my husband is self-employed, so I am certainly aware of how hard it can be when time is taken off for illness, appointments, etc. however we understand that this also means no income for that time. Again, my question is related to additional time off above and beyond holidays, previously taken time off for medical reasons, and days when I keep my daughter at home with me which I am happy to pay for. I guess the posting that states that as parents we can "like it or leave it" bothers me because I like to think that I have a working relationship with my provider and that my child means a little more than just a paycheck, however I know that we all have to pay our bills. Please forgive if I seemed insensitive...
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:53 PM
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You said that very well. I wish some of my parents were that considerate.

I would recommend you find a backup to help out while she is out, but I do not think you should have to pay her for her time off being laid up.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:34 PM
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Default What to do.....

I think it all depends on how much you love your provider. If you just love love love her and her care of your child, then you will probably need to pay her and bite your tongue. Because if you argue with her or just not pay her I would be afraid for your child continuing in her care. Seeing as she seems alittle off I would fear her frustration with you being taken out on your child.

I do not have a back up for days when I am closed, but my contract only gives me 2 sick/personal days a month. Which I do not use every month. After the 2 days I prorate all other time I need to take off.

If I was in your shoes, I would start looking for another provider. If she has given you a hand book on her rules but you did not sign a contract your do not have to follow those rules. If you had been given the book sooner you and your provider would not be in this boat. You probably would have bailed sooner.

I would have.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:52 AM
pingaa3 pingaa3 is offline
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I do not believe in charging if I can not provide service (i.e. sick or gone). I wouldn't pay for a day that my provider was unable to provider service, unless I had already signed a contract stating that I would. I would never sign such a contract. Holiday I can understand, but sick days with no notice?!?>!?!?!?!? Also, the guilt trip was unnessary. We all have bills to pay. Why else would we work if we didn't.

I once cared for a child while their original provider was out due to a broken ankle. The parent was not charged while the provider was out of commission.

One of the reasons good daycare is so hard to find is that we get burnt out with no sick days and few if any holidays/vacation. Providers are sole proprietors and one drawback is no paid sick time or disability.

Please remember that communication is key. Also, unfortunately, if you do decide to rock the boat your provider just might let you go. How happy are you there? Is it worth it? Doesn't sound like someplace I'd keep my child.

pingaa3
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:15 AM
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I do not think it is unreasonable for a provider to have in the handbook some paid sick days/personal days, and a paid vacation. Parents expect that from their employers, why shouldn't providers be given the same. Although I do believe that it depends on what is the normal practice in your area. Here, we do not get sick days, paid holidays. I think we are entitled to it, but it is not the norm for here. I think if you have a good provider and she becomes ill or is off a day here or there for sickness, I think it is a good gesture that the parents pay their provider for these days.

But, back to the original question, I don't think it is correct for the provider to think you should have to pay when she is off for an extended period of time. A day or two here or there is one thing, a week or more is asking quite a bit.
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:21 PM
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Thumbs down Let's get off the defense already...

I think we providers may be a little sensitive to questions like these and some have jumped to the defense too quickly here. I think it was great that you paid her the full rate the first week she was off, however, I do agree that it's getting a little old by now. I've been a parent paying for daycare as well before I became a provider and I can't imagine paying THAT much time off at a full rate. As someone said before, there's a difference between a few days and a few weeks. Not only that, but the rude way she spoke to you was not necessary and I think it shows that she's not willing to be as flexible with you as you are with her. You can only accommodate her so much. I'd look for a new provider if I were you.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:07 PM
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You sound like you are in a fairly similar situation as me, however I am not paying for full week increments while she is out. My daycare has personal days, vacation days and holidays all paid...which is fine and like you I have to leave early on several days to accomidate her schedule, especially in the fall when she is coaching athletics. However the situation I'm currently in is that she is off due to surgery and she hasn't watched my kids for 4 weeks and is out through December but she is still charging me for Thanks Giving and Christmas. I truly believe that daycares need to be paid for these things but not when their daycare isn't running. I had to arrange childcare for 2 months for my child where I have to pay holidays to that daycare while my other daycare is closed for two months and charging me holidays. I just think that is unreasonable. I think you comments and what you posted were very professional and considerate. I understand where you are coming from. Unfornetly I don't have a good answer because I bite my tongue and just pay her in these situations. My daycare has been watching my kids for almost 10 years (3 kids) and I love her...and the reason I bite my tongue is the very few times I've asked her questions she gets upset...which is out of charater for her so i just leave it. But with my current situation in the back of my head I'm thinking in this economy how can I pay her and then pay another daycare...it's not like I'm pulling in loads of money here to double pay. I hope things work out for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Perhaps, because I was asking a specific question, I left out the part where I mention how much I do appreciate having steady, safe care for my daughter. The provider and I have not seen eye to eye on all issues pertaining to my daughter, however I believe this is to be expected in any case.

I respect my provider and feel that I reflect that to her by always, always, always paying her on time and never requesting more from her than I would expect from others I work with. I never take my child to daycare if she is sick, even if it is a cough or runny nose because it puts her and the other children at risk of catching it. In addition, I make myself available to pick up early and drop off late as needed to accommodate her life (again, which is to be expected since we all have appointments).

I also want to mention that my husband is self-employed, so I am certainly aware of how hard it can be when time is taken off for illness, appointments, etc. however we understand that this also means no income for that time. Again, my question is related to additional time off above and beyond holidays, previously taken time off for medical reasons, and days when I keep my daughter at home with me which I am happy to pay for. I guess the posting that states that as parents we can "like it or leave it" bothers me because I like to think that I have a working relationship with my provider and that my child means a little more than just a paycheck, however I know that we all have to pay our bills. Please forgive if I seemed insensitive...
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:03 AM
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Before I was a provider, my daycare woman would close for all sorts of reasons. I would pay her anyway. Then she had an actual emergency, where she needed to take off for a week (minor surgery). She told me she could watch 2 of my children, but not my baby when she came back for the first week back from surgery. She couldn't lift. My problem was, if I needed to stay home with one of my kids, then I couldn't work, so why should I pay her for any of them that week. I was in a bind, and had looked around for other daycare from time to time, but there was not much better out there. I wound up paying her 50% of her weekly salary. I did not ask her what was due, just wrote the check out for what I thought appropriate. I still felt this was too much, due to the fact that I wasn't getting paid for taking the time off. I had used all of my sick time, and my husband is self-employed so he wouldn't get paid either. I had no family close, so that wasn't an option. She still takes a ton of time off, but fortunately for my kids, I now stay home with them and do daycare myself. Mostly due to all the time I was staying home with them anyway. I as a provider, I have NEVER closed for a sick day. I work when I'm sick because I know how inconvenient it is for the families to stay home. I did open late one day last year for my sons graduation (by 2 hours, it was in the a.m.) and I had one parent who wanted to short my check. Mind you, I NEVER charged her for the late fees when she got stuck in traffic and showed up 10-15 minutes late, which in turn, made my kids late for their athletics. I can't say how happy I am that they are gone. I watched their son for 3+ years, tried to potty train him, with no assistance from home, and treated him as part of my family. Just to have the parents feel that I didn't deserve to see my son graduate. I try to be very picky on the parents I choose. It is a two way street. I do favors for them and they reciprocate, but I will not watch kids with unappreciative parents anymore.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:54 PM
MissLisa MissLisa is offline
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I am a day care owner of two centers. IMO I do NOT think she should be paid for her sick time off. As you said; you must pay for other care during that time. I understand that illness isn't planned... but that is a risk both provider and parents must consider. In a center we are lucky that we have additional staff to cover if one person is off... so a parent still receives care... when in a home or a family member is watching them... if there is an emergency or illness you are stuck without anyone.

I actually think you are being generous for paying for her week vacation in the summer and the holidays. We don't close except for major holidays... and my parents are not paying. I may look at changing that in the future to give my staff a paid holiday... however... if a doctor's office closes due to illness...and I don't get to go to the appt. do I pay them?

Perfect example.....
TODAY... we had a MAJOR power outage throughout our county... state mandates if the power is NOT on within an hour we have to send everyone home and close. I will NOT charge my parents that were not there for the day because it was not their fault... it is just part of being fair...and a business owner...

As for the attitude. You don't deserve that from anyone. And if she is talking to you that way... would you not question how she responds to children that go against her?
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:28 PM
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As a follow-up to this original post...I chose to stay with the provider in light of the situation because I felt that my personal differences with the provider should not impact my daughters care (and she seems to be happy with the other children).

In the past year that my daughter has attended this daycare, I have paid the full-time rate though my daughter only attends three days per week. This agreement was made because I was told that although the provider does not do part-time rates, I would have the option of bringing my daughter up to 5 days per week if needed. I have taken my daughter a maximum of 5 extra days in the last year, and usually only for two or three hours. Otherwise I have kept to my 3 day/week schedule.

In November I notified the provider that I would be needing one extra day per week (4 days/wk total) for 3 or 4 weeks when my parents go on vacation. I was told that this was no problem. Last week, when I showed up to pick up my daughter, I was told that I would need to plan on paying $20/day extra for each day that I use the provider. When I asked about the fact that I am already paying the full-time rate, she informed me that her rates changed and now I will have to pay.

Another relative of mine takes their child to this daycare, so I asked if they had been informed of this rate change. They had not, and continue to pay the same amount that I had been paying although their daughter routinely attends 4 days/week. I am feeling like I am being taken advantage of. The provider has the right to change rates I realize, however it seems that if she is going to change rates they should be across the board and I should be notified in advance rather than one week before I pay her for the following month. Is this normal practice in in-home daycares? Or, do most places notify families in advance of rate changes?

My daughter is my absolute top priority and although she seems happy, there seem to be so many issues coming up with this provider. I am trying to be compromising but feel like I am being walked on instead.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
As a follow-up to this original post...I chose to stay with the provider in light of the situation because I felt that my personal differences with the provider should not impact my daughters care (and she seems to be happy with the other children).

In the past year that my daughter has attended this daycare, I have paid the full-time rate though my daughter only attends three days per week. This agreement was made because I was told that although the provider does not do part-time rates, I would have the option of bringing my daughter up to 5 days per week if needed. I have taken my daughter a maximum of 5 extra days in the last year, and usually only for two or three hours. Otherwise I have kept to my 3 day/week schedule.

In November I notified the provider that I would be needing one extra day per week (4 days/wk total) for 3 or 4 weeks when my parents go on vacation. I was told that this was no problem. Last week, when I showed up to pick up my daughter, I was told that I would need to plan on paying $20/day extra for each day that I use the provider. When I asked about the fact that I am already paying the full-time rate, she informed me that her rates changed and now I will have to pay.

Another relative of mine takes their child to this daycare, so I asked if they had been informed of this rate change. They had not, and continue to pay the same amount that I had been paying although their daughter routinely attends 4 days/week. I am feeling like I am being taken advantage of. The provider has the right to change rates I realize, however it seems that if she is going to change rates they should be across the board and I should be notified in advance rather than one week before I pay her for the following month. Is this normal practice in in-home daycares? Or, do most places notify families in advance of rate changes?

My daughter is my absolute top priority and although she seems happy, there seem to be so many issues coming up with this provider. I am trying to be compromising but feel like I am being walked on instead.


Is your provider licensed? I believe in all states a licensed provider has to have their rates public with the licnesing and with daycare assistance and with the local child care place (that parents and providers can call for daycare help). You could also mention that your relative isn't paying the same rate (she might raise your relatives rate to make it look like she charges everyone the same -- you could also ask other parents). That isn't fair. I can understand her charging you for a f/t spot (since it is very difficult to find a chikd to fill the other 2 days), but, you are paying f/t for a f/t spot!!!! If she is licensed (that is illegal), you can get her in trouble and you should report her.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
As a follow-up to this original post...I chose to stay with the provider in light of the situation because I felt that my personal differences with the provider should not impact my daughters care (and she seems to be happy with the other children).

In the past year that my daughter has attended this daycare, I have paid the full-time rate though my daughter only attends three days per week. This agreement was made because I was told that although the provider does not do part-time rates, I would have the option of bringing my daughter up to 5 days per week if needed. I have taken my daughter a maximum of 5 extra days in the last year, and usually only for two or three hours. Otherwise I have kept to my 3 day/week schedule.

In November I notified the provider that I would be needing one extra day per week (4 days/wk total) for 3 or 4 weeks when my parents go on vacation. I was told that this was no problem. Last week, when I showed up to pick up my daughter, I was told that I would need to plan on paying $20/day extra for each day that I use the provider. When I asked about the fact that I am already paying the full-time rate, she informed me that her rates changed and now I will have to pay.

Another relative of mine takes their child to this daycare, so I asked if they had been informed of this rate change. They had not, and continue to pay the same amount that I had been paying although their daughter routinely attends 4 days/week. I am feeling like I am being taken advantage of. The provider has the right to change rates I realize, however it seems that if she is going to change rates they should be across the board and I should be notified in advance rather than one week before I pay her for the following month. Is this normal practice in in-home daycares? Or, do most places notify families in advance of rate changes?

My daughter is my absolute top priority and although she seems happy, there seem to be so many issues coming up with this provider. I am trying to be compromising but feel like I am being walked on instead.
I can't answer to the issue of why your provider has chosen to charge you more for the additional day....especially in light of the fact that you are aware of the rate your relative is being charged.

Speaking for myself, I must confess that I have been guilty of 'not going up' on a current customer...
I hate to go up on my fee with a client.

What I choose to do is increase my rate on any new clients.
I increase my rate each year in January.
I have 3 parents that are currently paying rates from year before last.
I've increased my rate twice since these children were enrolled.
These parents will continue to pay that rate until the children leave me, for preschool or whatever reason they leave my care.
I currently have one family that has two children.
The younger child started out at the infant rate.
When the younger child turned 18 months, I decreased the rate from the infant rate to the OVER 18 month rate...however...my rates just increased in January. Which means they are paying 1 amount per week for the older child, and another rate per week for the younger child...even though both children are now in the OVER 18 month bracket.
I clearly explained this to the parent..they completely understood and were fine with the rate change.
I guess you could say they are getting a 'sibling' discount...although not exactly.
I suppose the proper business choice would be to give notice to all parents each year that my rates will increase in January.

On another note, I appreciate everything that you have said regarding your respect to this provider.
It sounds as though she isn't very great at communication or business practices. That's a shame, but, ultimately I think you did the right thing by paying her while she was off work.
If she is a great child care provider for your child, and your child enjoys her daycare, then I think I'd stay with her.
I have a very dear friend in the child care business. She is a wonderful child care provider...she loves her kids...they love her...but...she is not great with the business end...she's not great with communicating all of her policies to her parents from DAY 1 of enrollement, and so therefore she ends up with lots of problems...repeat problems with parents...payment...drop off and pick up times...etc..
It's really a shame...so perhaps this is your child care provider's problem also.
But, try to remember, she is only human...just as you are.
She actually might benefit from this forum also.
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2009, 02:16 PM
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tymaboy tymaboy is offline
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I'm a registered provider. I do not get paid for my vacations or sick days but the families pay for theirs since I am open. During one of my training classes the instructor did say that we can charge differently for each family - for those families that are our "troubled" families, it is a way of getting rid of the family without terminating. I have never done this but from the sounds of it there was more then 1 provider in the class that had. We also can not raise our rates without giving notice, they suggest a 2 week notice but there really is nothing in writing. From the sounds of it your provider is not registered or licensed & figured that 1 week notice is good enough. Sounds like you should be looking for another provider- one with a written contract that covers everything.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:16 AM
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I have been a home daycare provider for 6 years. I do think that as providers,we have to take care of the financial end of the business, BUT, we have to also be considerate of the parents we serve. If we wish to be paid for sick time (surgery, funerals, appointments, whatever) we should have that in our contract and it should be signed by all involved upon registration. That way, there are no misunderstandings down the road. Two summers ago, I got a case of pneumonia and had to close my daycare. (I do not have a backup person to provide care in my absence.) I offered to pro-rate the following week's tuition for the parents. To my surprize, not one of them took me up on the offer. When I had my son, I took two weeks of "maternity leave" unpaid. Other than our agreed upon scheduled holidays and vacation, I don't expect them to pay me for a time that I am not available to provide service.

As far as having varying fees for clients, that (to me) gets kind of touchy. I feel that the fee should be the same across the board. When there is an increase for one, there is an increase for all. Will there be a time that someone is struggling? Sure. You can work out arrangements for payment then. Personally, I'd rather waive late fees (which I note the waiver, in writing) than to have different amounts due from different clients.

To the original poster, my parents and I do not always see eye-to-eye, BUT, I would never disrespect any of them like in your case. I agree that as providers we are sometimes overly sensitive with our payments because that's our bread-and-butter. However, you cannot expect to be paid for time off if it is not in your contract to begin with.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:29 AM
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As someone who is in the business of childcare, you have already mentioned the main source of the problem: the lack of a signed contract. Some providers are very reluctant to discuss the business side of childcare, but it leads to the problems you are having.

I would insist on terms of service so that you will not have this issue again.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:07 PM
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I am a daycare provider in Iowa & from my experience, any provider without a contract or policies is not a provider I would want my own children with. This demonstrates a lack of communication & clarification between provider & families, which is exactly what you are experiencing. I have stated in my policies that families are responsible for back-up daycare BUT I give parents a months notice when possible. I also schedule appointments after hours or on weekends so never do my parents have to pick up early or drop off late. If that is the case then I would take a half day or full day & coordinate it with my contract fees of my time off. Your provider did not set herself up for success by not having a contract. Yes, surgery/illnesses/accidents cannot be avoided but if a provider cannot carry out the duties of daycare it needs to be docked as a day off & as stated in a contract predetermined how payment is handled for that time off. NO matter how "established" or how many years this provider has been in business, if I were you I'd start looking for a provider with a contract. It leaves all the guesswork & awkard situations at bay. Good luck & god bless you & your family & the struggling provider.
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