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Old 11-05-2012, 09:30 AM
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Holiday Park Holiday Park is offline
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Default Need Help With Upcoming Contracts,3 Different Client/Schedule Situations

I recently decided I need to draw up new written agreements for my existing clients. Right now we only have verbal agreements. Each one is tailored to the individual needs of the client. So not a one size fits all for every one. But I might need to change something with the two changing schedule people.

Here is what is going on,schedule-wise,and back ground info for each person who uses my services:

I have one PT : who comes same 2 days per week with same time frames, so this issue I'm going to ask about may not apply to her. She is the one I'm currently posting about in another thread, who doesn't want to pay (in advance) when her DD is not here. She is the one I'm trying to decide I want to let her be like a drop in, and still hold her spot, OR keep her until I replace her entirely with some one new. We've grown apart over the last 10 months. because my parenting philosophies have changed since my youngest got older. Most likely, I'm going to make the handbook and she can take it or leave it, and go from there. She has no idea things are starting to concern me,and i haven't brought them up for fear as coming accross too blunt , because she has already REALLY misunderstood me in the past

1 FT Client with a changing schedule: She pays a flat FT rate to be able to come between 6am (occasionally,not every day) ,but usually drop offs are 8am-till no later than 5:30. I am having the problem where she sometimes changes her schedule after it's already given.
basically it's the same as what happened to this other person when she wrote in this thread :
http://daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25113
Where Legomom922 wrote " I didn't care that the times on Tuesdays were different from Fridays. She would tell me on a Tues that she would be picking up at 1230 on Fri, and then Thursday night I would get a text at 9pm that would say she is picking up at 2 instead, which then would cause a conflict if I had already scheduled a appt for 130, so then I would have to reschedule my appt to accommodate her change in hrs. I had physical therapy appts scheduled early at 730am on Fridays, and she would text me on Thursdays telling me she is dropping off at 630 instead of 9..It was INSANE. I rescheduled each appt I had to meet her changing hrs at a moments notice."

This is similar to what is going on with this client, except she does actually ASK first. For example she'll be scheduled DO at 8am Tuesday, text and say she's on her way, then text again and say she's not on her way. In the end she may really arrive at 9,10,or even as late as 2pm. Sometimes, I'll wait for her all day long only for her to text me he's not coming at all. My whole day was wasted,because I could have done some needed shopping or dropped my own son at my own in home provider (who takes him as drop in), to get some needed house work done lol . I have been reasoning with myself,that since she is paying for my availability M-F 8-5:30 (with occasional 6am drop offs) ,even though her actual DO and PU times times vary between that time frame. So she's paying for 6am-5:30 but on some days will come 8-2,other days 2-4, 9-5 ,etc..etc..
Currently I don't have any other babies at the same time as I have hers, except on Fridays (not counting the evening baby). And the third baby I have (evening shift) , arrives 1-2 hours before he leaves, IF it's even on the same days. She is my PT evening child. So between sitting home all day waiting on FT paying mom,and then working 2-4 evenings having evening baby it makes for very long days on those days both are scheduled, even though they are not here at the same times (unless it over laps by 1-2hrs) . There is a lot of wasted time , I'm spending at home waiting on her.
Thank goodness if I make an appt at 10 am or go run errands, on a day he's supposed to not come until 12 for example, she actually calls/texts to ask if I'm home or if she can bring him early. I tell her yes if I'm not out. I don't mind that,since she's paying for my availability.

However,what's getting ( a little ) aggravating, is when I AM about to run an errand, or an appt I scheduled, and she calls/texts to say she wants to drop him off earlier, I decide to sit and wait for her instead. Only for her to not really drop him off early after all ! We have been doing a good give&take relationship and she doesn't use all her hours/days she pays for, communicates so good and we have such a good social& business relationship that I feel bad saying no sometimes. So something might need to be put in writing about that situation,when I draw up her contract.

And the PT/evening care baby I have is also a changing schedule :

She only pays for the days she comes. She gives me her schedule Sunday night (when she says that's when she gets it) . She started out as drop in and has evolved into PT/weekly,but some weeks doesn't come at all. SHE is the one who has given me her schedule on Sunday and changed it without even telling me at all. For example she'll say Do on Thursday at 4:30,and show up at 2:30 . If my FT boy happens to be absent on that day, I may be out ,or need to run a last minute errand at 2pm ,before her expected arrival at 4pm. When she did this the first time,it was 9:30am and I expected her at 4:30. I was so blind sighted by it when I answered the door,I thought maybe i was remembering her DO time,wrong. It wasn't until after the fact, I saw she did in fact text me her DO time as 4,not 9:30. When I confronted her, she was like "OH yeah,my schedule changed" . The second time she did it,she let me know the night before,or days before . Either way,it was after I had received the whole schedule . And I immediately replied back that she can't just change it and expect me to still be available at the time she changed it to.

I told her because I may not even be home,or have made other plans based on the original schedule she gave me. And I would hate to not be home,if she just showed up or expected me to be there. She said she was sorry. And hasn't done that since. They are very young and new to how childcare works.
I think that's why.
I did tell her my plans for creating a new handbook/policies and contract,but that it wasn't ready yet. So she knows to expect it. We are also in limbo with each other on whether or not she will remain in my care. I had told her that I can still do evenings, but need her&her BF to work something out so I can start having days, IF that's possible. Because they might have to find some one else. And that I really didn't want to lose them though.

They didn't know I preferred daytime. I never made any rules, like they had to bring her daytime or told her I preferred daytime because when she first started with me, she was only occasional drop in and I had no idea what to expect. And I was open to occasional nights. Just didn't think it would change to all nights,and occasional days. So during that conversation , I find out that when she started coming more often, the dad went and changed his schedule with his boss, to work evenings so I would have her outside the times I have my other babies thinking it would be easier on me. They knew I had two other clients,but didn't know they didn't come on the same days (except Fridays) And that on any given day I usually only had 1, or 2 if she came when one of the other ones did. In her mind she was thinknig I had both those babies on the same days&times, plus my own. I had to explain they came on different days, with varing schedules,just like her. And how I have them all on a schedule with nap times each day too. So it was not hard at all. And that I like having them all at once. In her mind they were doing me a favor. And didn't understand the dynamics of how things were in my home,with who I cared for.
I was being open to evenings because I like them so much and was under the impression it was only occasional evenings,not every time. However, evenings have started to not work out because of that. Now dad can't change his schedule back until his boss can hire someone else,or when he finds a new job. He is actually wanting to get a different job,and work days too,instead of nights. So that situation is a mess. But we have the most open communication with one another, and I am trying to work with them longer with the evening hours, until O can't any more because I really really like them She is aware that everything is subject to change and is ready to move on,if needed. In the meantime she still brings her DD, because she likes me a lot too.

So what do I want ? I'd like to be "open" 6Am-5:30 and continue taking evening baby ,but no one else in the evening time. And for evening baby,since we are working on getting her on a schedule,and I don't like her sleeping at all different times, and would like her to be on the same nap schedule (mom agreed to this already) ,something needs to be in my handbook about situations like that. If they don't work with her at home, OR don't bring her consistently, than it won't work incorporating her into the same routine as the other babies in my care. I can't have them napping at all different times, and never be able to get a break. Right now between my own son and the other two babies, they are ALL on the same routine. If they are here on the same day ,I even have all three (3 is including my son) sleeping for 2 hour naps ,at the same time, and it's NICE . I get to eat,clean up,etc.. It works almost like clockwork, until her baby comes. Because she is not on the same schedule yet. They chose to work with her at home, so if they don't bring her the same times/days she'll still be on the same schedule.
I hope all that made sense !!
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:55 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is online now
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Woah that was a lot of info. Here are my thoughts. I hope I covered everything, if I didn't please let me know.

I think that you need to:
1) Have two types of contracts a FT/PT contract and a drop-in contract if you chose to continue to do drop-in.
2) Have a handbook with policies in it. All clients follow the handbook. Even your drop-ins.


For Pink family:
Have them decide whether they want to sign a
PT contract. They must either have a set schedule that doesn't chabge or give you the days that they need at least 2 weeks in advance, the spot is guaranteed, they pay in advance, they pay a flat fee whether they use it or not but can add any extra days for an extra fee if you have the room. Require that extra days be paid for in advance in order to reserve the spot otherwise you will make your own plans if you have to. Days can;t be switched for other days if they don't use them. More than 15 late form their start time and you can assume that they are not coming.

or

Drop-In Contract. They must call you to reserve their days, you don't reserve the spot unless they pay for it in advance, they only pay for the days that they attend, drop-in reservations are first-pay-first-serve, spots are not held unless they are paid for in full, no refunds are given, reservations can be changed once after that payment is lost, their spot is not guaranteed, late arrivals don't allow for late pick ups. No call/no shows or same day cancelations means payment is lost.

For Blue family:
Require their schedule 1-2 weeks in advance, changes to the schedule that they have already given you need 24 hours notice, late arrivals don't allow for late pick-ups, if they are late to drop-off/pick-up you may not be at home and it will be the parent's responsibility to either go to you and drop the child off or to wait until you return, no credit is given for time lost because they are late and you are not home, because she has shown to be unrelieble do not cancel any more appointments or errands for her. If you are runninf errands have her call you when she is ready to drop him off to check where you are and have her drop him off where you are.

For Purple family:
Like the pink family have them decide whether they want to be PT or Drop-in and explain the difference.

Having a policy handbook with the general rules that apply to everyone is helpful because then everyone is on the same page. I have one and add how FT, PT and drop-in works so all of my clients are aware beforehand should they ever need to change their contract. All of my clients have a contract and even though I am open from 7am-6pm those are the hours that I am willing to have children in my care ... that doesn't mean that everyone can bring their kids whenever they want during these hours. Each client has their own "scheduled hours" that they need to stick to or they are charged extra. If they need more time and ask me and if I agree I charge an extra $5 an hour ... if they don't ask me and just arrive earlier or later then scheduled then I charge $5 for every 15 minutes (or part) and this must be paid at once right at that moment otherwise late payment fees are charged.

I can send you a link to my Handbook and contracts if you like, just PM me. It can at least give you ideas on what you can have in yours. I'm reworking mine right now too as I will be handing out new ones December 1st but it still has lots of ideas.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2012, 03:41 PM
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Holiday Park Holiday Park is offline
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Thank you, that has helped greatly ! I think I may have seen a sample contract when I was looking for them in this forum. I'll pm you.
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