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  1. #1
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    Extended hours- what would you do?

    I have a set of twins who are in my care pt W-F. When they originally started with me in January, their contracted hours were from 8:30-6pm. Their mother was often late in picking them up (she worked in the next city until 5:30, which is a 15-20 min drive) and would normally arrive around 6:15, which was a pain in the butt, but they were making up 2/3 of my income at the time so I let it slide. Recently, they have moved to the city where the mother works and the father who has to commute to work now drops and picks them up on his way through. So now they are here until 6:30-7pm. When they originally told me, they said it would be for a month (then I found out they moved) and they said pick up would be 6:30 the latest, however, more often then not, they don't get picked up until 6:45- 7pm due to traffic.
    My husband absolutely hates that they are here this late... I'm starting to dread W-F as they twins are cranky, my kids are cranky, and there is little time to wind down at the end of the day. I get to spend no time with my own kids on these days as they go to bed at 8pm and once the twins leave its bath etc...
    So, I would like to terminate these twins (I now have two new clients, possibly 3), but how do I do it? I know I agreed to these hours and its only been a month, but I just can not keep up with the extended hours.
    Do I give them an option to try and find a way to get their children picked up at my regular closing time, or do I just terminate them? I am willing to watch them for the rest of the summer as my new clients dont start until then. So, do I tell them now and give them a few months to find care, or do I wait until the end of July and give them a month's notice? In my contract it states we both only need to give 2 weeks, but I don't want to have them panicking to find care.
    I truly do feel bad about this, as the twins really are easy to care for, and are very lovable. However, if I want to keep my own sanity, I need to make this change.

  2. #2
    Expansive... dodge__driver11's Avatar
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    I would send out something saying what your hours are i.e. 7-5:30 and let them know that because of family and or outside obligations that you must adhere to those hours. Let them decide if they want to continue with you, but if the late hours are not working...then don't offer them anymore

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I agree - if the hours of service are not working anymore you just inform them that your hours are changing and effective X date this is what you CAN offer and if they cannot stay within those hours as of X date than they would be finished care - provide them a new contract to sign with the new hour commitment and if they cannot 'sign it' that serves as the notice period before the change takes place and you aim to fill their spot for that date.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  4. #4
    apples and bananas
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    I recently did this. I had a child here until 7pm and it's because I commited to the time. Right from the start I said it was ok. After a few months of it it became very hard on the family so I gave them a termination letter stateing " I am not longer able to care for XXXX as I will be changing my hours of operation to 7:30 - 5:30. "

    I didn't even give them a chance to change hours as their child was a tough one to begin with. But, if you like the kids you may want to just change hours and see what happens. They may choose to leave.

    At the end of the day we do this to improve our family life not make it worse. Do what you need to do to make your family first. If you do decide to terminate, I gave my family a months notice as I knew they would have trouble finding care elsewhere with the hours they have.

  5. #5
    jec
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    I would start off by saying that you did agree to the hours and it's only been a month ~ having said that you can't give your own family time 100% and it's draining you. Honesty is the best policy.
    Give them the option of taking care of them for the summer and or until they find another provider if you want to end it sooner than later.

    Just keep in mind that this family did what they had to do. As long as you do what you feel is fair and able to maintain your own sanity- you have to do what is best for you.
    Good luck!
    I've done the long hours when I first opened plus our own kids and I was EXHAUSTED! I totally get why your looking to end the hours. It's too much when the job is very demanding. Don't burn yourself out, easy to do in this business.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    First it does say a lot about you and your program that the family wanted to keep the children with you. However, this is one of those cases where it would be better for everyone - parents, kids, caregiver and caregiver family that they move on to new care arrangements in the new town.

    You might even put it that way to the family saying you are grateful that they liked your program enough to want to leave the kids with you but that you feel it isn't fair to the children or your own children because of the change in pickup time. It is a long day and everyone just wants their own parent by then. So you will keep them for a few more weeks - say end of June is enough in the sense that they can get a high school student for the summer in their home so they are not without options and have till Sept to find someone new.

  7. #7
    Euphoric !
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    Do you have a written contract? What hours have you agreed to? because I am confused. You said that they told you 6 o'clock is pick up time. But then you said they aren't getting picked up until almost 7. But you also said that you agreed to these hours? Just looking for clarification, because if the time that you AGREED UPON ORIGINALLY was 6pm.... then DO NOT feel guilty about sticking to it!!
    Either way, I would also send out a notice either reminding them of the expected pick up time, or stating that effective X-date, your hours will be.

  8. #8
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    Mom-in-alberta- The original pick up time was 6pm, but she was always late. Then last month, they changed their pick up time to 6:30, but again are always late and sometimes the kids are here to 7pm.

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    You can say you have given it a month trial and it isn't working out on your end and you need to go back to the 6pm pickup or whatever time will work for your family and no exceptions as in no being late.

    It will probably mean they move on to another caregiver but if it brings your family peace that might be for the better.

  10. #10
    Euphoric !
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    Ok, so let me understand this - the parents wake up the children in the morning and bring them to your house, then pick them up after a 12 hour day and take them home and put them to bed? Do they call you Mommy? Because they should! That just makes me all kinds of SAD.

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