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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    How Would You Word This Letter - Termination?

    I had a sib set this past summer. They were my first clients to sign on after we moved out of the city. They were only supposed to be for the summer, but when school rolled around, their mom hadn't found after school options for them, so I offered to have them here. This means that I have to leave my house every day at 2:40 pm to get them in the car with my toddlers. Sometimes the toddlers aren't awake yet, so I have to get them up, etc etc.

    Winter is coming. I am already starting to resent having signed them on for the school year. I can only imagine this resentment growing greater as it gets cold and snows and I have to dress two toddlers in snowsuits, strap them in their seats, etc etc.

    I want to terminate. I have no real reason except that I am absolutely not enjoying this arrangement. I have the opportunity to sign on another baby for February, after I let this sib set go. I feel guilty, though. They're sweet kids. But, to be honest, they're not worth the money. I only get $150 a week for them, and I have to drive 20 min round trip every day to and from their school. This is gas money as well as a pain in the ass. As I said, I didn't really think it through - I wanted to be nice to the family, and I didn't want to have to interview to fill the spots, either.

    How would I word a termination letter? How much notice should I give? Should I tell them the first week in January for termination mid Feb? Or should I tell them now? If I tell them now, money will be tight over the holidays. That's selfish, but it's also my reality.

    Any help would be great. Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Euphoric ! mimi's Avatar
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    Yes, this arrangement is quite a hassle for you and a disturbance for the little ones. I know you need the income, but I would let her know now so she can start looking. She might wonder why you waited till January if it is a big hardship for you, especially when you did volunteer to do the care. You could give her a months notice or bite the bullet and say till the end of the year. Either way, let her know she must have alternate care at the agreed deadline.
    As for wording, I would just say it is a hardship for the daycare to do the pick up. The children are negatively effected and the trip is an inconvience to your daycare schedule.

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I would let her know now that the situation is effecting the daycare more than you thought it was going to do and that once the winter snow comes it will be too much for waking/dressing/taking the toddlers out each day since you will have to allow even more time to get them ready and for the drive to the school. For that reason you will be unable to care for the children for the winter semester. The mom then has time to start now to find alternate care for the kids for January including putting her name onto wait lists for school based or similar programs. My guess is she maybe didn't look too hard in the summer hoping you would take them on so giving her a definite timeline of not taking them back ie following the Christmas school break she has something to work with.

    If she comes and laments that she has found care but they want the kids now not in January then I woud also be prepared to let them go as school age care is hard to find in many areas.

    If for any reason she puts it off and doesn't find someone and asks you to take them back in January just remind her that you will not be taking them to school - they either stay at your house all day at full fee and dont' go to school or she finds an alternative. The way the teacher negotiations are going this may turn out to be a possibility for many kids.

    I only do kids not in school and I do not regret it one bit. I was afraid at first that there might be some opposition from parents by telling them right up front that they woud have to find alternate care only a couple years after starting with me but when I explained the advantages for their baby of not having naps interrupted or being outside in severe weather it became a selling point.

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    Maybe say you didn't realize the negative impact it was going to have on the toddlers who are still napping at the time in which you need to leave and that it's difficult to take them from their beds right to the car without a chance to wake up.
    The kids here sleep right till 3 or 3:15 so I wouldn't want to yank them from bed to take them out in the cold, plus if you put them down earlier it really shortens your morning ... You'd have to serve lunch at 10:45 to have them in bed by 11:30 so they could have a good 2.5 hour nap in order for them to be up and ready to go .... Yikes

  5. #5
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    In this case I would be honest and explain that while you had HOPED to be able to help them out cause they had been loyal to you and you enjoyed serving them the fact is it is not working after experiencing the reality of doing it ... it is not personal it is business!

    'Dear X;

    After much consideration and reflection on the overall best interest of my program I regret to inform you that as of X date I will no longer be able to provide before and after school care for any of my clients as it is not working out for the over all balance of the younger children whose meals and naps are a challenge to balance around such a rigid clock as required by drop off and pick up at schools.

    I realize that this will come as an inconvenience and to help to make the search for replacement service easier I wanted to share the following websites as they are popular places for providers to advertize and I am confident that you can find someone whose business plan caters more to school age programming (offer a list of places and if you know any providers with space to help out give a list of them specific)

    If there is any thing else I can do to help with this transition easier please let me know. Also a reminder that if you find replacement care earlier than my last day of offering this services please remember our contract requires a minimum of X weeks notice.

    Thank you
    Alpha
    Personally I would give at least a MONTH notice for them because finding quality childcare can be hard in some areas and you need time to research, book interviews and choose a client and set up the new arrangement!
    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

  6. #6
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. I like your prototype, Reggio. I will likely word it fairly similar to that.

    I live in a low demand/high caregiver area, so I don't think they'll have trouble finding alternate care. I think I will give them six to seven weeks notice, which will put me at sending home the letter right after Christmas. Maybe I'll send it out before, but I don't want to be, "Merry Christmas, X Family. Oh, by the way, you're fired." KWIM? If they leave now, I'm kinda screwed for money. Maybe mid Dec? Or... I could wait until after the Christmas break, which will still give them a months notice.

    What do you guys think?

  7. #7
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Hmm tough call for sure ~ there is never a 'good time' to terminate someone

    I would not want to ruin someones Xmas by having them worrying about childcare arrangements either however would be torn at giving as much notice as possible even if it meant risking me loosing income right before holidays ~ I would likely give it for December 1 and ask the Universe to help them seem reason that starting a new childcare arrangement right before the holidays is likely not ideal so let them wait until January to start looking
    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

  8. #8
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    Good call. Thank you.

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    If you are going to keep the kids through the winter till February then another couple of weeks and the snow melts and you are into Spring. Your reasoning that it isn't working and using weather as a reason will be totally gone. But as Reggio posted if you are going to focus only on how the schedule impacts the other kids then Feb is fine. While that is the main reason you might want to be thinking as you go back and forth to school now just what it will be like doing the trip in knee deep snow and all the kids into snowsuits and deciding if you are willing to do it. If not then notice has to be given in Dec even though it means lose money till February but that loss would be worth it to me not to bundle and transport - been there done that and swore never again.

  10. #10
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by playfelt View Post
    If you are going to keep the kids through the winter till February then another couple of weeks and the snow melts and you are into Spring. Your reasoning that it isn't working and using weather as a reason will be totally gone. But as Reggio posted if you are going to focus only on how the schedule impacts the other kids then Feb is fine. While that is the main reason you might want to be thinking as you go back and forth to school now just what it will be like doing the trip in knee deep snow and all the kids into snowsuits and deciding if you are willing to do it. If not then notice has to be given in Dec even though it means lose money till February but that loss would be worth it to me not to bundle and transport - been there done that and swore never again.
    The winter weather isn't the reason I am unhappy with the arrangement. As I stated in the original post, it's just flat out messing with my schedule. That's the reason I'd be giving.

    I only mentioned weather because I know that once the snow flies, I will become more deeply resentful of my situation.

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