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  #1  
Old 04-09-2019, 01:56 PM
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Default Thoughts on Closing Early for Sports?

My son is in sports and games have started. To make all the games, I will have to close early a few days. The earliest would be closing at 4.

Last year, I didn't close early at all and missed half of some of his games.

The final straw last year was when I had a DCM tell me she was going to be late picking up dcb. I told her that doesn't work that day because my son has a BB game. Her response? "Sorry, but that's the best I can do."

Um, NO. Dcd ended up coming right at closing time in his pajama pants and slippers. Seriously?? And I missed almost the entire first half.

Help me not feel bad about this! I know it is going to inconvenience all of my families, and I'm hesitant to tell them. Please tell me that you all do the same thing and I shouldn't feel bad at all lol
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:40 PM
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Family comes first! How often are these games? You may need to be prepared to loose families. If so, just start advertising for spots with an earlier closing time. Do you have open hours or contracted hours? How many families would it actually affect their work schedule? I close at 4:30 and care for only teacher's kids. I am in a rural area so their other parent typically commutes quite as ways. They figure it out if I have a closed day or early closure here and there but I would not keep my families if I did it regularly. It is worth it for me to have summers and holidays off. My mother in law also helps here and there to cover appointments but she lives 2 hours away so it's only for special instances.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:46 PM
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Family comes first! How often are these games? You may need to be prepared to loose families. If so, just start advertising for spots with an earlier closing time. Do you have open hours or contracted hours? How many families would it actually affect their work schedule? I close at 4:30 and care for only teacher's kids. I am in a rural area so their other parent typically commutes quite as ways. They figure it out if I have a closed day or early closure here and there but I would not keep my families if I did it regularly. It is worth it for me to have summers and holidays off. My mother in law also helps here and there to cover appointments but she lives 2 hours away so it's only for special instances.

The games are only in April! I would only need to close early 2 days - 4:00 one day and 5:00 another day (I close at 5:30).
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:08 PM
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The games are only in April! I would only need to close early 2 days - 4:00 one day and 5:00 another day (I close at 5:30).
Tell them today. 2 days is way less than I imagined.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CountryRoads View Post
My son is in sports and games have started. To make all the games, I will have to close early a few days. The earliest would be closing at 4.

Last year, I didn't close early at all and missed half of some of his games.

The final straw last year was when I had a DCM tell me she was going to be late picking up dcb. I told her that doesn't work that day because my son has a BB game. Her response? "Sorry, but that's the best I can do."

Um, NO. Dcd ended up coming right at closing time in his pajama pants and slippers. Seriously?? And I missed almost the entire first half.

Help me not feel bad about this! I know it is going to inconvenience all of my families, and I'm hesitant to tell them. Please tell me that you all do the same thing and I shouldn't feel bad at all lol
Do not feel bad at all. My son ran cross country and track, my daughter was in poms. The reason I started a daycare was to make time for my kids and family. I gave ample notice, so I didn't feel bad at all. I always thought of all of the times I had kids 10 hours a day when mom and dad were off. Made me feel better lol. Don't miss your kids things, you will regret it. Just make sure to give plenty of notice.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:32 PM
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I would absolutely close. I did it when my daughter was in sports. I always offered that if it didn't work out for them, they were welcome to use a back-up for the day and I wouldn't charge them. That happened a few times, but it was worth it to me to be at my daughter's games.

When I didn't close early, someone was always 5 min late picking up the day I needed everyone out the door right at closing time.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:00 PM
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would you like if your assistant many times leaves her work earlier than usual just because she wants to go to each sports games of her child?
I used to work as an elementary school teacher and I was not able to attend a lot of my daughter's elementary school events. Just because of having the same kind of event with kids of my classes.
My opinion: to need and want to are not synonyms. You want to attend 100% of your kid's game, but you do not need to. And your kid doesn't need it either. Also, it can be a good lesson for your kid too: not each of our wishes going to happen.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
would you like if your assistant many times leaves her work earlier than usual just because she wants to go to each sports games of her child?
I used to work as an elementary school teacher and I was not able to attend a lot of my daughter's elementary school events. Just because of having the same kind of event with kids of my classes.
My opinion: to need and want to are not synonyms. You want to attend 100% of your kid's game, but you do not need to. And your kid doesn't need it either. Also, it can be a good lesson for your kid too: not each of our wishes going to happen.
I already miss so many school events in my childs' life, I refuse to miss out on everything.

Luckily for me, I have a job where I can make my own schedule
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:44 PM
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I already miss so many school events in my childs' life, I refuse to miss out on everything.

Luckily for me, I have a job where I can make my own schedule
You got it!! Your business, your rules. Not to mention you're only doing this 2 times out of 365 during the year. I think your parents will adjust.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:45 PM
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I would absolutely close. I did it when my daughter was in sports. I always offered that if it didn't work out for them, they were welcome to use a back-up for the day and I wouldn't charge them. That happened a few times, but it was worth it to me to be at my daughter's games.

When I didn't close early, someone was always 5 min late picking up the day I needed everyone out the door right at closing time.
Oh my gosh every single time I swear!
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:50 PM
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I already miss so many school events in my childs' life, I refuse to miss out on everything.

Luckily for me, I have a job where I can make my own schedule
so many people want to be a professional in their small business and forget about this wish if it is uncomfortable to them in some points. ;-)
If my business hours are 7am-7pm and I do not have an emergency my daycare will be open. If I have some event that I WANT to attend during my official business hours and I can't find a substitute to cover my shift I will not attend that event. In my opinion, it is professional.
of course, you can think and act differently. I just answer what and why I would do in your situation.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:58 PM
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When I interview with prospective families, I explain quite clearly that I do not have an assistant. It is just me. In the case I need to leave early, or take a day off, it is on them to find alternate care. If this is not feasible for them to do that, then they look elsewhere. I think it is unrealistic to think that we will work 52 weeks a year, 10 hours a day without other things that we need/want to do. Parents take off work to do things with their family, why shouldn't we also? If someone is lucky enough to have an assistant, that is another matter, but alot of us don't.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
so many people want to be a professional in their small business and forget about this wish if it is uncomfortable to them in some points. ;-)
If my business hours are 7am-7pm and I do not have an emergency my daycare will be open. If I have some event that I WANT to attend during my official business hours and I can't find a substitute to cover my shift I will not attend that event. In my opinion, it is professional.
of course, you can think and act differently. I just answer what and why I would do in your situation.
I grew up with a mom that had this mindset. Now that we are adults she regrets missing our events. Work and professionalism are not the important things in life. I donít know about you but I didnít start this business to be a slave to my job.

OP, close early and watch your kids. Theyíll appreciate it as adults.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:08 PM
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I grew up with a mom that had this mindset. Now that we are adults she regrets missing our events. Work and professionalism are not the important things in life. I donít know about you but I didnít start this business to be a slave to my job.

OP, close early and watch your kids. Theyíll appreciate it as adults.
Yes! Not to mention how is it unprofessional? Now if when the parent drops off in the morning, you say oh by the way, I'm leaving at 4:00 today, that's another matter.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
so many people want to be a professional in their small business and forget about this wish if it is uncomfortable to them in some points. ;-)
If my business hours are 7am-7pm and I do not have an emergency my daycare will be open. If I have some event that I WANT to attend during my official business hours and I can't find a substitute to cover my shift I will not attend that event. In my opinion, it is professional.
of course, you can think and act differently. I just answer what and why I would do in your situation.
My local butcher shop closes early for personal reasons. I don't find that unprofessional at all. My chiropractor and dentist both have done it too.

I am not sure what state you are in but my state doesn't allow substitute to be brought in. So in order for me to get to the doctors, dentist, chiropractor or my required training hours, I have to close early or all day. If I close all day, then I lose money and my client has to take a full day off or find back up care for the whole day.

I know that you are just saying what you would do however I fill like your posts are borderline lecture on being professional and needs vs want.

We all prioritize things differently. We are also in the field of caring for children emotional, physically, devolopmental,...... And emotionally my children need me available to them, so I choose not to work long hours, I close with advance notice. I would not be a good child care provider, if my children didn't get the love that they need from me because I never took any time off. I encourage my families to be available for their own kids as well.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:23 AM
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I would close early but not give a reason. There might be a parent who feels their need for childcare outweighs your plans and will try to convince you to stay open. Just say on x and y dates, we will be closing early. You don't want a debate on whether they think you should be closed for any reason.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:34 AM
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If you still have doubts about closing early, read the first post on the burnout thread. Then, take that time to do what you want. Be with your child. You may come to resent your job if you do not have some time that is yours.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:54 AM
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I grew up with a mom that had this mindset. Now that we are adults she regrets missing our events. Work and professionalism are not the important things in life. I donít know about you but I didnít start this business to be a slave to my job.

OP, close early and watch your kids. Theyíll appreciate it as adults.
This.
My mom had that mindset and we are NOT close.
She is a sad lonely person because she put everything else before her kids.
close early and do not feel bad about it! It is two stinking days.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:08 AM
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I'd close for the day because experience has taught me that parents will be late any time it was important for me to leave on time. FTR, I don't charge if I close.

If you can't close for the day at least make it a couple of hours before you actually need to leave to prevent any "miscommunication".
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:20 AM
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I once had a court date that I absolutely could not miss. I decided Iíd close early instead of taking the day off. A parent locked their keys in their car (likely story) and was then 3 hours late to pick up. I ended up desperately begging my sister to come hang out so I wouldnít be late. I have always just taken the whole entire day off since!
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:29 AM
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I would close early. I also only accept families that are understanding that I will be flexible with them when I can be, but it is a two way street and I need them to be flexible with me at times. I have 4 kids and a husband who works 3pm-1am. They are great about me needing to close early for soccer etc and when one daycare parent is sick or out of town, I help them out by adjusting my hours where I can to make things easier. But my families also prefer to use their extended family as back up care vs me bringing in a substitute.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:44 AM
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Iím with the posters who have said do it! Give them the dates now, and do it.

As far as only Ďwantingí to go, but not Ďneedingí to, well, itís okay to do some things we want to do. I donít always Ďneedí to close and go on vacation (although itís definitely good for my sanity), but I still do it. Does that make me unprofessional? I donít think any of us can determine what is an appropriate reason for another provider closing early, or even closing for the day. We have to make those determinations for ourselves.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:52 AM
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I agree with Colorful Sunburst.

IF you can afford to lose clients I'd close.
If you can't afford to, then you need to make whatever decisions you need to make to meet your needs.

There is nothing wrong with meeting your needs (by setting your own work days/hours etc) and putting family first.
That's why most in-home providers are in this business.

However, it's important to understand that it will effect your client base.
Those that aren't able to make alternate accommodations may need to make alternate care arrangements that are permanent. Some clients may even refrain from recommending you/your program.

It's all part of the you can't please everyone all the time type of thing. If it's important for you to be at your son's games, then close and be there.

Don't apologize for meeting your needs.

But understand that if clients are unhappy about it, they are doing the same.

If you are looking for other providers to eliminate your guilt....you need to rethink your actions as it's not really up to other providers.
We don't pay your bills nor do we have a stake in your business.

Does it make you unprofessional?
Perhaps. But again that has more to do with how each person defines professional.
There is no one answer.

Only YOU can decide if it's worth it or not.
Only you know how your clients will react.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 04-10-2019 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:54 AM
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It is only two days. Most have at least 5 paid personal days, per year, in their contracts, so this should be a non-issue. Unless you are closing too often or without notice parents should not have a problem with it.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:56 AM
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I will definitely be closing early. It's TWO days. And only closing an 1.5 hour early at the earliest. I've realized it's no big deal

Thanks for all the input!
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by storybookending View Post
I grew up with a mom that had this mindset. Now that we are adults she regrets missing our events. Work and professionalism are not the important things in life. I donít know about you but I didnít start this business to be a slave to my job.

OP, close early and watch your kids. Theyíll appreciate it as adults.
I share that mindset too.
It's not always a negative perspective.

My children participated in many activities during their school years. Some activities I was able to attend and others I wasn't. Neither of my kids are scarred due to my absence at times and as a matter of fact both my kids have said they viewed it a healthy work ethic on my part.

I believe in balance. My life is not 100% my kids and their life is not 100% me so balance is key.

Like I said in my previous post. It's really an individual decision. OP already stated that she knows she WILL (not that it might but will) inconvenience all her families.

Only she knows how this will play out.

We can all support her, defend her and encourage her to do just close but she's the only one that will feel the outcome (whether worth it or not) to her choice.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:28 AM
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I miss out on literally almost everything that my son does at school. I have never been to a school party, assembly, awards ceremony, or field trip since I started daycare. So, my son knows about balance and "needs" and "wants".

I will actually only close early ONE day now due to a conflicting event with one of the games. I also offered not to charge for that day if they use a back-up.

And I DON'T feel bad
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:59 AM
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I miss out on literally almost everything that my son does at school. I have never been to a school party, assembly, awards ceremony, or field trip since I started daycare. So, my son knows about balance and "needs" and "wants".

I will actually only close early ONE day now due to a conflicting event with one of the games. I also offered not to charge for that day if they use a back-up.

And I DON'T feel bad
glad you were able to make it work
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:20 AM
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I miss out on literally almost everything that my son does at school. I have never been to a school party, assembly, awards ceremony, or field trip since I started daycare. So, my son knows about balance and "needs" and "wants".

I will actually only close early ONE day now due to a conflicting event with one of the games. I also offered not to charge for that day if they use a back-up.

And I DON'T feel bad
If I never closed early for personal reasons, I would never go to a doctor appointment, school conference, school event. And I would have one unhappy family. There is no way I would work 12 hours a day. My kids would never have me. I would be just as bad as the parents that left their kids in my care for 12 hours and never keep them home when they had a day off or got out early.
I would be just like those parents that providers vent about, if I worked hours like 7-7 or 6-6. I would be getting off work in time to put my kids to bed then up again in the morning to put them on the bus. And never see them because I would not be 100% there on the weekends either.


We close early or for the day because we have to. Our children are only going to be young once. My DD will be 7 soon and a week later my ds will turn 1 and I already feel like I miss so much of the life.

Take the time off, write it up in your policies so families know that you will close early x many times a year.

I have added in my policies that I am closed on Valentine's day so I know that I can at least go to one party a year.

DH goes on field trips and I go to the parties.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:10 AM
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This.
My mom had that mindset and we are NOT close.
She is a sad lonely person because she put everything else before her kids.
close early and do not feel bad about it! It is two stinking days.
My daughter and I are very close. It doesn't depend on attending kid's school events. There are a lot of other things that help to build great relationships with own kids. I think the school event attending is at the bottom of the list of these things. It is the simplest one to do but isn't most important.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:32 AM
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My daughter and I are very close. It doesn't depend on attending kid's school events. There are a lot of other things that help to build great relationships with own kids. I think the school event attending is at the bottom of the list of these things. It is the simplest one to do but isn't most important.
Here too. My daughter and I do a lot together at night and on the weekends. She loves to play games and we watch a lot of movies together and she likes to read to me. I try to go in to have lunch with her at school once or twice per year but I donít attend any of the parties or field trips.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:05 AM
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If thereís time to give ample notice, it doesnít really matter why we close, or close early. Most of my closures are so that I can go to rock concerts with my husband and our friends. I give plenty of notice, and donít do it too often...one day maybe every 4-6 months. Do I Ďneedí to go? Does it make me unprofessional? Iíve also, with plenty of notice, taken a Friday off for no reason, other than to have a day to myself. I see providers being encouraged to do that to prevent burnout. I donít see the difference....why do we get to decide for others what is an acceptable reason and what isnít?

If she is springing it on parents last minute, then I would agree that itís not the most professional thing to do. With notice, I donít see an issue.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:29 AM
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If there’s time to give ample notice, it doesn’t really matter why we close, or close early. Most of my closures are so that I can go to rock concerts with my husband and our friends. I give plenty of notice, and don’t do it too often...one day maybe every 4-6 months. Do I ‘need’ to go? Does it make me unprofessional? I’ve also, with plenty of notice, taken a Friday off for no reason, other than to have a day to myself. I see providers being encouraged to do that to prevent burnout. I don’t see the difference....why do we get to decide for others what is an acceptable reason and what isn’t?

If she is springing it on parents last minute, then I would agree that it’s not the most professional thing to do. With notice, I don’t see an issue.
I understand what you are saying but I think what you posted and what OP posted are completely different in my opinion.

OP specifically said it would inconvenience her families.
OP asked others to help her not feel guilty.....indicating she knew it would be tough for her families to accommodate.

I agree that taking ample time off does help prevent burnout.

I also agree that it shouldn't matter why anyone takes a day off.

It seems more than anything it appears that many are offended that someone said she thought it was unprofessional.

Why is that opinion so offensive and upsetting? (not directed at you...)

We all define professionalism differently.

I take time off. Like you, with plenty of advance notice.

I also pride myself on being super reliable and rarely take time off that I think will inconvenience my clients. I structure my off time and my closures so that I can live up to my definition of professional.

I know my definition of professional differs from how others define it but there isn't anything wrong with that.

As an example, any time I say on social media that I think yoga pants are unprofessional it starts a huge drama-fest.
But that's my opinion.
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  #34  
Old 04-11-2019, 08:51 AM
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Rockgirl Rockgirl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I understand what you are saying but I think what you posted and what OP posted are completely different in my opinion.

OP specifically said it would inconvenience her families.
OP asked others to help her not feel guilty.....indicating she knew it would be tough for her families to accommodate.

I agree that taking ample time off does help prevent burnout.

I also agree that it shouldn't matter why anyone takes a day off.

It seems more than anything it appears that many are offended that someone said she thought it was unprofessional.

Why is that opinion so offensive and upsetting? (not directed at you...)

We all define professionalism differently.

I take time off. Like you, with plenty of advance notice.

I also pride myself on being super reliable and rarely take time off that I think will inconvenience my clients. I structure my off time and my closures so that I can live up to my definition of professional.

I know my definition of professional differs from how others define it but there isn't anything wrong with that.

As an example, any time I say on social media that I think yoga pants are unprofessional it starts a huge drama-fest.
But that's my opinion.
I do see your point. I give my families 2-3 monthsí notice for closures, so thereís really no reason they canít make it work.

I guess we all have something we would not feel comfortable doing in our daycares, and itís great that we can each do things how we see fit. I actually feel naked in yoga pants, so those are out for me.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:15 AM
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I rarely close, except for up to 2 weeks unpaid vacation (with a months' notice) and I get 5 paid Holidays. My Husband has a weekday off, so he does the kids' appointments, car repair appointments, etc and my doctor has after hours appointments for me. Otherwise, I've closed 3 times in 6.5 years. Once for a medical emergency of my own, once for the death of my Husband's Grandfather out of state and once for a necessary anatomy ultrasound for my last pregnancy. Otherwise, I saw a midwife on Sundays for all of my prenatal appointments, but the ultrasound was a referral appointment at another provider's office and I had to take the appointment they gave me. I had 4 days' notice. That time, I gave them the option of half day or keeping their child with them. Other than that, I am here. That being said, I make it clear in the interview that it is just me here and things do come up so they will need to have a backup plan. If my closing early a couple of times with notice puts them in a bad position, that's due to lack of preparation on their part - or they didn't listen very well at the interview 😁

I saw your update, but my thought is : a day or 2 a year, unpaid, with notice for something important to you is something you should be able to do. I'd give them the choice of not paying and keeping their child out for the day, or only being open for a half day and charging half rate. I wouldn't leave closing right up until you need to leave because that's when someone will flake... Every time....
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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You should not miss out on your sons games if itís important to you. I think it is perfectly fine to close an hour and a half early only one day a week for 6 weeks ( I forgot how long you said it would be for ) I would discuss it with the parents and most likely everyone would be fine with it. I would not charge less for the day either.
I try not to miss out on things because personally I would regret it. I have a very reliable assistant and an additional back up substitute. I line everything up in advance, so I am always open during my contracted hours.
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