Dayhome, client dilemma.

Danielle - posted on 08/09/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )




Hello Ladies,

I run a small private dayhome, and am having some issues communicating with one of the child's parents.

I am just wondering to those who run dayhomes; how do you ensure open communications? Do you have contracts that each parent must sign so that everyone knows what to expect? ex) payments times, cancelations,ect.

The issues I am having with these particular clients is that they are never here when they say they will, are usually late either with drop-off or pick-up, they are usually late, or forget the payments (and then never give me a direct day or time to expect it), and have abused my time by giving me short notice cancelations.

What would you do? What should I do?

I have another child in my care at the moment so I could cancel our business and still have the security of that income.. but I am conflicted. I have never discontinued my services with someone before. How do I make them understand that I am here to do a job, and that they are disrespecting my time, without burning bridges.

They still owe me 30 from the last two weeks (they wanted to roll 75 of what they owed me to the next pay and I told them I needed all of it... and then they short changed me 30 which I now have no choice but to add to the next pay). I am just tired of being flexible with them. I am here to do business.

What do I do?


Krista - posted on 08/10/2011




Yeah, I think it's time to implement a contract. The reputable, reliable parents won't be offended by it anyway. Like Karen said, these other parents wouldn't be too darned happy if THEIR pay was late. So why do they think it's okay to pay YOU late?

I know my sitter had a problem like that with one of the other parents. They were exactly what like you describe. And she just told them flat-out: "I love watching your son, but no matter WHAT daycare in town you take him to, they're all going to expect to be paid on time, and for you to keep them posted as to when your son will be going there. That's just basic. And that's what I need you to do, if we're going to continue this arrangement." It worked for awhile, and then they started up with their foolishness again. So she told them that unfortunately, they'd have to find another sitter. It broke her heart, because she'd already gotten attached to the kid, but it was the right decision.

Emma - posted on 08/13/2011




The day care my kids are in i had to sing a contract.
There are penalties for Late monthly fees, They charge you R50 per every 10mins past last pick up.
It clearly states What is expected from the parents and what the parents can expect from them.
You are a business so if i where you i would put contracts in place to protect yourself from being taken advantage of.

Dianne - posted on 08/13/2011




i dont use a home daycare but i dont see why it should be different in terms of need to sign a contract for care, at least both yourself and the client have clearly defined boundaries, my daycare for example charges i think $30 a MINUTE passed closing time and while that is scary to think of im pretty sure they dont have late pickup issues :) they do ask for an approx time during their bus. hrs but there is no issue unless you go beyond their hrs (and i tend to ring if im over 15min late by my approx just out of respect, tends to be 2hrs before closing anyway)
im not sure of their policy on late fees but i believe they have a late fee etc and will refuse care if people are continuously late payers
dont forget you are running a business and try not to let your good nature taken for granted

Karen - posted on 08/10/2011




i have a contract that MUST be signed BEFORE care starts with anyone. i am willing to negotiate some things in the contract before it's signed, but once the signature is on it, the contract stands and is enforced. it states my hours (late charges apply if children aren't picked up by close and it's due when parents arrive), pay day and amount (late fees also apply to that if it's not payed on time) , days off (i don't take vacay so i get all stat holidays off with pay), it states what my policy is with children who are sick, what i expect parents to send and what i supply for the children as well as just a few other tidbits. i would suggest that you sit down and make a contract and then get it signed - don't be scared to enforce it either! my contract states that if the parents break the contract i am able to terminate care with no notice (vice versa applies) but all other reasons for termination require a two week notice. this keeps everyone on the same page (once the contract is signed, photocopy it and send a copy home so all parties have it). i have had an issue with only one parent about my pay before and i had to have the awkward conversation with them. just be sure to not be angry with them when talking to them or walls come up quickly. i told them that i needed to be paid on time and in full because otherwise i would be forced to stop looking after children and look for a new job. i reminded them that i was doing this as a job and not just for fun and that if they didn't get paid on time from their employer that they would not be happy about it. if they don't agree with this, then they're more then welcome to walk out the door and find someone else who is a better fit for them. NEVER let people take advantage of your time/work - if you let them do it, they'll only get worse. good luck and i hth!

Amy - posted on 08/10/2011




I don't run a home daycare but have looked at them in the past for my children, every home daycare provider had a contract that covered payments, late fees, pick up times how much extra we would be charged if we were past the scheduled pick up times, how much notice had to be given if we decided we no longer wanted to use the services. I'm sure you can find a contract on the Internet and you can change the terms to suit your needs then just talk to both sets of parents and let them know due to recent problems with payments and kids not being picked up you've made up a contract and you'll give them two weeks to sign it or to find another provider.

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Danielle - posted on 06/01/2012




No, unfortunately things didn't work out.
They were with me for a couple months past this post, and then it got way to disrespectful, so I cancelled my services with them.
They started to request that I come pick up the children when the mother had slept in, and was running late. They also kept trying to short change me the difference when they were late claiming that because I never actually watched the children for the hour or two they were late, that they didn't owe what was previously scheduled.

She was also working with a mutual friend, and it was brought to my attention that she was gossiping about my home life, about my Autistic son, and my rocky relationship with my parents. It was shocking, to say the least, because I had rarely discussed any information about my parents with her. The only time I recall bringing my parents up was when I was explaining their lack of involvement in our lives. Even then, the conversation was short, and from that discussion she elaborated and put words in my mouth.

The last straw was when she was two hours late, and when I messages her to see what was happening she claimed she had "Emergency Dental Surgery" the night before to get out of paying me when he parents offered to take the kids for the day instead.

All I can say is Good Riddance.

Cindy - posted on 06/01/2012




I know this is an old Posting - But I'd like to know if things have worked themselves out?
I have "Nasty" parents that I have to deal with everyday with the dayhome I opened in December. They refused to sign the Contract I created. But when I refused to watch their little Darling they did sign.
I to have a hard time with them paying on time. I have this "little Angle" in my home anywhere from 11 to 12 hours 4 days a week. They constantly tell me they don't have long weekends off.
I am so tired of this little Darling breaking my childrens toys, I am tired of the lies from this kid.

I have addressed the child's constant rotten behaviour with the parents, and they brush it off with "boys will be boys." When I finally Had it and forced the child to tell his parents what he did just yesturday - the Parents first told me their child said he didn't do it and that my own son did it - but the son in question wasn't there when the event took place. I hate it, hate it hate it when kids lie.

This child has two left feet - they acused me of abuse when the 5 year old got a concussion while chasing bubbles. It is so stupid. I had to have 4 other parents sign a letter stating what happened.

It's nice to know I am not the only one who suffers this abuse.

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