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  • Policy Wording

    Background info: I provide care for a family 3 days a week. Due to DCP schedules it's usually (but not always) the same 3 days and schedules are set for a couple of months at a time and given to me a few weeks in advance. Starting this fall, it will be the same 3 days each week with the option to swap days with my approval and advance notice. In general, I really don't mind switching days if I have space and time available to do so.

    The issue: Last year this family swapped days every week that I had vacation days built in. If their schedule was set for Monday-Wednesday, but Monday was a holiday, then the DCKs would be here Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. The swaps were always set to me in advance but after she had already set her work schedule. I could accommodate them and I knew denying the swapped date meant she had to switch days with a co-worker as she was already scheduled for the swapped day, BUT I have not had a break from this family's children in nearly a year, unless they were too ill to attend. Yes I had the holiday/vacation day off but I still had those kids the same number of days each week. I don't want to allow swaps on weeks that there are vacation/holidays listed in my contract. I am 100% okay with swaps that need to occur because of their schedule or illness/dr appts that cause me to have to close unexpectedly. This was not an issue until I moved to charging for enrollment rather than attendance. All of my holiday/vacation days are unpaid, though, so finding alternate care for those days shouldn't be a financial concern for the family.

    I am struggling with how to word this in my policy handbook. I want something in there so that the parents see it and stop altering their work schedule around my vacation days and I don't have to approve each request (because I'll give in and say yes if I can even when I don't really want to). I know there's a straightforward way to say this, but I can't get it worded the way I need it. Any suggestions or people with a similar policy?

  • #2
    My advice: stop offering drop-in/part-time care. Most providers do not offer drop-in/part-time care anymore. Whether you are licensed or legally unlicensed, the state only allows us to have so many kids/day.

    When I first opened, I had a family doing drop in care so they would only pay me for the days the kid was here. It became annoying because some weeks I expected to make more money but then the kid would only come once and I’d make less. There were also times I’d expect to have the kid 3 days and he’d end up being here all 5 days. It was always short notice! But I allowed it to happen. After three months of this, I decided it wasn’t worth the money for me to keep doing this.

    I made changes to my contract and decided to stop accepting drop-in care/offering part-time spots. They were mad at first but they didn’t have an option to do drop in care anywhere else. They decided to go full time. Now, they pay me for the spot whether the kid is here or not & I am happy! Sometimes the kid is here all week, other times it’s just one day. Either way, I’m paid. 😊

    I get paid for any holidays I close, any half days I take and I get paid for any weather related closings I choose to make. The only time I don’t get paid are the days I take vacation/if they take a week of vacation.

    In two years, I’ve only had one family use one of their vacation weeks.
    Last edited by GirlMomma; 4 weeks ago.

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    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      Remember, you’re running a business and you have to do what’s best for you, your business and your family!

    • hsm
      hsm commented
      Editing a comment
      I homeschool my own kids and prefer working 3 days compared to a full 5. Most weeks I don't care which days they are here - I just want vacation weeks to include days off rather than rearranged schedules . The parent is coming at it from "she's closed so I'll swap days so Miss Hsm has her day off but I still have daycare secured for all 3 days I need to work."

    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      hsm okay, now I see what you’re saying. I think you should do what e.j. suggested and don’t allow swaps. I had a part-time family (who was a very close friend of mine) do this to me all the time too. We’re no longer friends.

  • #3
    I do part care and prefer it, I am also closed on Friday. I don't allow swapping days but they can add on days.


    Add on day policy states that families can add a day, if I have availability. This is at an additional fee.

    Comment


    • hsm
      hsm commented
      Editing a comment
      This is a good policy. I think I lack the backbone to enforce it. It took me 5 years to switch to enrollment vs attendance fees.

    • Alwaysgreener
      Alwaysgreener commented
      Editing a comment
      hsm
      Just curious, how many years have you been open?
      I am finishing 8 this fall.

    • hsm
      hsm commented
      Editing a comment
      I guess I can't count! I've been open 5.5 years. It took me 4.5 to switch to enrollment fees. I thought basing it on attendance would encourage parents to keep their kids with them as much as they could. I was wrong. It still feels weird to charge people for days I'm not working though. I have no issue enforcing behavior-related policies, but I'm awful at enforcing fee-based policies.

  • #4
    The kids are waking up from nap right now so thinking quickly....Could you add a blurb in your handbook that says something like, "There will be no changes allowed during any week that includes a holiday. No exceptions."

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    • hsm
      hsm commented
      Editing a comment
      This. Thank you!

  • #5
    I would say some thing like "Families can alter days of attendance with prior approval when needed however, please note that during weeks that include a closure day for holidays or vacation days there will be an extra charge for that day. For example if your child attends M/W/F and I am closed for a holiday or vacation day on Monday, you may swap days of attendance to T/W/F but will need to pay for the closed day IN ADDITION to your regular payment for 3 days of attendance."

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    • #6
      We don't allow part time care only full time because it's very difficult for our teachers to plan their class work during the school year. We have in our policy that we are opened five days a week year round and that parents pay their tuition either on Monday or the day of the week their child attends care and if they don't pay a late fee is added to their tuition
      Christy Sewell

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