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  1. #1
    Shy
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    Your family dinner time

    Hi
    I am curious.. What time does your family eat dinner.

    I have two full time daycare kids. One is gone by 530 at the latest and the other 6 to 630..

    I really did not think it through when I accepted the offer to take care of the later kid.

    He arrives between 830 and 9am and his dad picks up between 6 to 630.. My hubby works 6am to 4 Monday to Thurs and 6am to 1 on Fridays.. He is the type not to eat all day long so he is starving when he gets home.

    Up until I started daycare we ate at 5 as when I worked as a server my hours were 630am to 2ish 4 days a week.

    We have tried holding off dinner until the late kid goes home but we are both starving and my one year old goes to bed around 715 to 730 so 630 dinner is too late for her.

    This week we started eating dinner immediately after the first kid goes home ( its never later than 530 and usually earlier) I offer the remaining kid a snack or a drink but I feel so guilty eating dinner in front of him.

    Do you all wait until the kids are gone or do you eat your meal?

  2. #2
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    All my kids are gone by 5pm and we are usually eating our supper by 5:15-5:30. Would you be willing to offer to feed this last child supper for an extra fee? like $3 extra per day? even after I tyoed that i am against that option. I believe its IMPORTANT that your family AND dck's family eat supper together, alone. As a family.
    So apart from asking him to be picked up later, essentially changing your daycare closing hours effective Oct 1st or somthing if you want to provide some notice, OR continue doing what your doing and offer him a snack and a quiet toy while you try to enjoy your family dinner.
    I personally would not like that, I think 5pm is plenty late enough for me to be open until, and luckily all my clients can work with this too.

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I personally do not work past 5pm anymore for this very reason ~ whole point of working from home was to create work life balance and wanting to be able to get to evening extra curricular activities and so forth.

    When I was working until 5:30 clients were aware that I would start prepping dinner and any children here that late would be engaged in quiet table activities in the kitchen ... dinner was ready to be 'served' the minute the last child left.

    However if I was working until 6:30 that is very late for both your family and the child to be waiting for dinner ~ would they consider paying extra and you just feed the child with your family???
    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
    jec
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    We don't eat that late either as our kids are in bed by 7:30pm as well. It's not good to eat too late but, there are families that have no choice- you do and don't forget that families will do what they need to for what is best for their family and you need too as well. You can offer them options which is being more than fair.
    I use break to get everything ready for dinner and will put the meat in the oven and turn on the stove around 4:30 and then eat when the daycare kids are gone ~ if I'm not cooking in my crock pot which I LIVE in for convenience.
    You could offer them a few options. Let them know that you can have their son join you for dinner with a light snack/drink and or as Reggio suggested, pay extra for him to join you for dinner?

  5. #5
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    My DCK are gone by 5 except for one who is here until 6/6:15. During interview, her mom and I discussed dinner time. We eat every night at 5:30 and she joins us. This "extra" is included in my fee for the week. I woulnt do this with just any child but she is very well behaved little girl, probably my DD best friend and she fits in nicely with my family. I would feel awful eating infront of her everynight and waiting until she leaves is just not an option for us. I probably would not take on any other DCK who would be here that late, she is an exeption.

  6. #6
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    Hi there, I'm in 100% agreement with the other caregivers comments posted here. My last daycare babe heads home for the day at 5:15 P.M. and that last half hour (4:45 to 5:15 P.M.) when I am just caring for her alone is the hardest part of my day. It doesn't matter that she starts up at 8:45. The reality is my other babies arrive at 7:30 - and most of them are finished their day here by 4:30-4:45. By the time 5 P.M. rolls around I am beat ! At some point parents should realize if they need extra long hours, they need a daycare centre where there are multiple caregivers who can work in shifts. Who's at their best after 9 and a half hours ? =) I have turned down prospective clients who wanted a late pick up - 6 P.M. or 6:30 - because of the dinner-time dilemma. In my opinion a 6 P.M. pick up is just too late. While I am your child's caregiver, I am also a person, and a Mom. I need to eat my own meals and still have enough time in the evenings to prep school lunches, or pick up fresh fruit for the next day's lunch for the daycare kiddies. And Heaven forbid, that my own children might want to participate in an activity - i.e. swimming lessons, Brownies, etc. I also admit to thinking (if the parents want the child to be here for really long hours) "Why don't I just adopt your child - I'll send you a yearly card and pictures. If the extent of your daily interaction with your son/daughter is that you get them up in the A.M. and drop them off here, and then pick them up, take the child home, and put them to bed, why did you become a parent ? " LOL If a parent challenges my hours/is trying to push for an extra long day, I politely explain that I am prepared to work for 9.5 hours a day - that gives them ample time to commute to and from their work. That's perfectly reasonable. At some point in time, it's no longer about money - it's about needing to be "off the clock" and have your own life so that you can get up again the next day and do it all again with a smile ! =D

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  8. #7
    Euphoric !
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    My hours are 7:30am to 5pm and a 9 hour day maximum or there is a $5/half hour fee applied for overtime. Most days I work from 8am to 4:45 from the time the first child is dropped off and the last child is picked up. I basically do NOT do overtime. I also have an early and late fee of $5 if they arrive before 7:30 or come later than 5pm.

    The reason for these fees is that my time is valuable and I still have so much work to do every evening to clean up from the previous day and prepare for the next day and I deserve my own time to relax and have a social life. You have to learn to respect yourself and demand respect from others. It's your business and your rules and if you search you can find the families who will fit into your hours. You don't want to burn out because then you will start to hate this business.

  9. #8
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I have a little girl signed on until 6:30/7:00 so she eats dinner with us which is at 6:00. I charge 10 dollars more for her for the day due to the dinner, and because it is out of the regular time frame that most places would offer care. She is scheduled to stay with us up until 7 but is usually picked up by 6:30. She is also only usually here twice a week, once in a while 3 days. Her mom is a flight attendant so she needs the flexibility and service. She pays a set monthly fee for a set amount of days which is up to her if she uses all of or not so my income remains the same no matter what her schedule ends up being.

  10. #9
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    It doesn't seem to me like there's much of a "right" answer to this one. If you wait for the child to be gone, it's WAY too late for your family and if you eat with the dc child, where is your family time gone?
    I think the problem is your hours. Is it a long contract? I think you need to have definite hours that work for your family and they are non-negociable.
    That's my 2 cents, anyways....

  11. #10
    Shy
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    Thanks everyone for your honest positive feedback..

    Mom and dad want the little boy to have dinner with them. I prefer that as he is the pickest eater I have ever seen ( he even cries if the potatoes are on the wrong side of the plate WTF LOL) and they are willing to cater to him I am NOT.

    I agreed to the later time, but it was a lesson learned. My new kids who are starting are gone by 530 at the latest.

    I do feel sorry for this kid he is with me almost 10 hours a day, and I am sure he is not having dinner much before 7 730 and he must be exhausted by dinner time. Mom and dad are both white collar ( lawyer/IT) professionals and work very long hours.. They are not getting much family time during the week as its my understanding the boy goes to bed by 830 at the latest..

    I will keep doing what I am doing and I like the suggestion of " changing" my hours with a months notice.

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