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  1. #1
    Shy
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    Taking advantage of me?

    I live in Vancouver and feel totally trapped by the daycare here...

    I hate to lean on the statement "I am a single mother," but I am, and it's getting very hard to to well at my job because of my daycare situation.

    My main concern is that my in-family daycare provider takes holidays on my expense whenever she chooses. I read the fine print of my contract and it says something like "I can take holidays occasionally when I need them..."

    Well, it's only been eight months and so far she's taken:
    • six sick days
    • three weeks of holidays
    • american stats
    • canadian stats

    All on my paycheque (ex, no discounts). I don't mind one or two weeks, plus Canadian stats, but above this seems unreasonable. I know she'll probably inform me she's taking more time off at Christmas.

    The thing is, she doesn't ask either...she just informs me she'll be taking time off and refuses to give me a discount. Money is very tight for me and my baby...we do not get a subsidy. She happened to take off the busiest week of the year for me. I have no family here and can not find a back up sitter during her vacations.

    I myself have had zero vacation this year. Very depressing...

    Any advice for me? I've tried to negotiate, but she will not budge.
    Obviously I'm looking elsewhere. But what are the standards I should expect?

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  3. #2
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    So sorry this is happening to you. In my opinion this certainly sounds excessive! Especially the expectation to be paid for & take days off on US and Canadian stat holidays? That's not right at all. We live in Canada and this should apply to Canadian stats only. Going forward in a new contract I would definitely look for specific vacation time periods (eg. 2 weeks paid vacation, anything over that unpaid). As well as perhaps being very clear about Stats. I live in a border town (I'm assuming you must as well?) and sometimes that gets confusing with parents working of both sides of the border.
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  4. #3
    Shy
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    Thanks for the reply...

    Reading the contract again, my provider asks for "all major holidays" off, but many of the holidays she lists are not B.C. statutory holidays - for example, taking a day in lieu of father's day, christmas eve and boxing day. And some American ones. This all amounts to over 4 weeks paid leave.

  5. #4
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    Wow! I don't charge my families for any of my time off. Its in my contract that they are supposed to pay me for stats but they don't bother and I found it more of a hassle to fight for it so I just let it go. I take ONE week off for the whole year and its unpaid. Any days that I need to close for family or other events I don't get paid for either. I think she is a bit excessive in what she is not only taking, but in making you pay for. I don't live in Vancouver, but that amount of time off with pay wouldn't fly here in Ontario. Sorry you are going through all this. I would be looking elsewhere if it was me.

  6. #5
    Euphoric !
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    Wow, I'm sorry but I think you need to find a new daycare. I have a contract that is agreed upon and signed and followed to the letter or the clients are breaching the contract and can be terminated and lose their space. I'm in Ontario also and not with an agency. I'm not sure of your laws. I believe that I must be very fair with my clients and keep a good reputation in order to have good references in the future. I respect and value my clients and you are not in that position are you?

    My fees are due for 49 weeks per year in full, no matter if there are (Canadian only) stat days, sick days or missed days for any reason by the client I take 3 weeks vacation per year without charge, but otherwise full fees are due. Simple. In my contract are 3 paid personal days in case I am sick or have to take a day off but I would give my clients as much notice as possible.

    I'm worried about your child. Use your best instincts to make sure your child is safe and well cared for but we in the childcare industry have to demand respect but we also must earn respect by running a professional business.

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  8. #6
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Can I clarify what "in family daycare provider" means in BC ... are we talking a nanny who comes into your home or a group home child care where you send your child to someone else's home?

    I ask cause in Ontario it would make a difference because nannies are protected under Employment Standards Act and group home Childcare providers are considered self employed we make our own contracts and parents as clients either accept conditions or not.

    Either way it sounds like this contract is too ambiguous - all major holidays is not clear they should be defined cause seriously Father's Day is a day we celebrate but it's not a holiday either in Canada or the States to my knowledge

    I have paid vacation negotiated into my service contracts but t is defined as two weeks as well as how much notice is to be given.

    Either way until you can replace her not much you can do since she won't regnotiate and you obviously need care

    Hope you find a better match soon!
    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

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  10. #7
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    She is entitled to vacation and stats, however, this does sound excessive! US and CDN holidays is ridiculous not to mention paid holidays for father's day, etc. I would definitely be searching for a better fit for you and your little one.

  11. #8
    Euphoric !
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    I htink the problem is that she was vague in her contract. She can take any amount of paid holidays she wants as long as it is in the contract that you agreed upon and signed. I am surprised to hear that she considers things like Father's Day a stat holiday, but if she had clearly listed that as a day she is closed with pay, there is nothing wrong with it. I take Boxing Day and Christmas Eve off with pay in addition to the official stats, but they are all clearly listed in my contract and I also take two weeks paid and one week unpaid vacation, plus 7 personal days for things like illness...the key here is that it is very clearly stated in my contract as well as in my interviews and parents understand and agree to it when they sign on with me. I think your only option is to find another daycare provider and make sure she has a clear contract which lists which days she will close for and which days are to be paid by the parents.

  12. #9
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I think by "in-family" you mean that she's a member of your family? Maybe because of that she's giving you cheaper rates than what you'd normally find elsewhere? If that is the case, then you need to do the math to find out if the cheaper rate that you're getting from her would still be cheap if you went with someone else who wasn't taking advantage of you and taking all that time off. And yes, she most definitely is taking advantage of you. Canadian AND US stats? Honestly. Who does that???

    Check around and find out what other people charge for daycare. Once you figure out the math, you may find that her taking all this time off and you paying for it is not actually cheaper than going with someone else who's more expensive and who's not a member of your family.

    The standards you should expect are 1 - 2 weeks vacation. Some providers would have you pay this. Others don't. When I close for vacation, my clients don't pay. Most providers will have you pay for Canadian stats only. Definitely not US stats as well. Some providers will have you pay for sick days. Others won't. I'm one of those who say if I close for any reason (other than stats) then my clients don't pay. So that includes sick days, vacation, etc.

    Anyway, I hope you find someone else really soon. All the best!

  13. #10
    Shy
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    Thank you all for your advice! I am going to ask her to negotiate the contract to include 2 weeks paid holidays and Canadian stats only...if she can do this for me, we will stay...if not, sadly we will have to leave.

    She's not a member of my family, but an home-based daycare. My little daughter really likes her, so it would be sad to leave, but honestly, this is unfair in my eyes. We live in a different economy now. Flexibility is the key to any good business relationship.

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