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  1. #1
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    A Parent Influencing My Other Parents

    Sorry for the length of this, as if u have time to read it all, but a situation happened to me previously when I wasn't part of this forum (I could have used advice then) and it still bothers me - plus I may be dealing with this parent in future as she just had her 3rd child who may come to my dc next year if mom returns to work:
    I was looking after her 2 kids, ages 3 and 12 months, and all was well -I had her older one since infant; the mother was very happy with my care and she was a no problem client. However, she decided to enroll her 3 year old in a Montessori -style bilingual dc (not the official school but a home dc). I was sad to see her daughter eventually leave, but I know these things happen. I kept looking after both her kids until the Montessori started and then the older left. However prior to that program starting, the the mom asked me if Id mind if she contacted the other parents in my dc to let them know about this wonderful other dc/program for preschool age so her daughter wouldn't have to start there alone. I told her that I really enjoy my job, but I do run a business and I felt like there was some kind of conflict of interest. I told that ultimately it felt like she was possibly taking away kids I had formed strong bonds with, and business away from me. I said I couldn't control whether or not she contacted the other parents, so I left it up to her, but told her Id be sad to lose any more of my dcks. She said she understood but felt torn between loyalty to me and her desire for her daughter not to start alone. I had to be careful because I still had her younger one with me with great hours/fairly easy.
    She went ahead and contacted the other parents after all, to try and persuade someone to join her daughter. Lucky for me, no other family moved their child. Anyway, her 2nd child was with me until last week as mother is keeping her home while on mat leave(she gave me long notice). She said if she goes back to work next year, shed only like me to look after her infant (till hes old enough to go to the other dc). I've been trying to fill the spot and she said I could use her as a reference. My gut feeling is to not use her as a reference because I feel like she could tell other prospective clients about this other dc am I being paranoid/selfish? I have plenty of other great references. Also, if she wants to enroll next year, should I? Shes really not a bad lady, but I feel like Id rather have parents that didn't influence others parents to leave. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
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    That's really low of her! She's telling you that she loves your dc, but only enough to keep her kids in it until they are old enough for the wonderful Montessori school....and she has the gall to tell your other dcparents that?? I'd be pissed, and I think you've been very nice and very professional about the whole thing. If she insists on giving you a reference letter or something, take it to be nice, but I wouldn't use her as a reference at all. I think you're right, she wouldn't necessarily be selling your dc, she'd be half-praising your dc and half-promoting this other dc...I'd be polite, but start distancing myself from her. I can understand that the hours are good and the kids have been good, but if she comes back with her youngest, you'll have to deal with this all over again, her influencing other dc parents, and what if you lose someone else to her blathering? I don't know if I'd want to risk it.

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  4. #3
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    Wow! I would be upset as well. The fact that she did not respect your request sends a very clear message to me. I would not use her as a reference for any reason and would also be looking to fill her spot. If someone can't respect me enough to listen to a direct request then they definitely don't deserve their children to be in my care. I would be moving on in the other direction very quickly.

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  6. #4
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    There is a dccentre in my city that is looked at by a lot of parents as a great centre (and I do think it is) but children have to be 2 to be able to go there. I have lost 2 children to it but knew that there was a chance I would. (one mom worked at the University there and the other had put her older child there for 3 years before school age) It sucked to loose them because I enjoyed both and their families very much. However, the centre offers things that I don't so I can understand why the parents choose it as well. Both parents were very honest with me and told me how hard the decision was but that they felt it would benefit their children and in the end, that is what matters to me. They both still send clients my way and that makes me feel good and we don't have any hard feelings towards each other.

    Now after saying all that, if they were to have another child and ask if they could come here, I would strongly consider saying no only because I would have to fill their spot within a year or two(hard to tell though as the waiting list for that centre is long and some never get the call). If it was pretty dry though, I would take them. A year or two is still better than waiting months to fill a spot.

    I am not saying this to anyone in particular but the reason I don't hold grudges against these 2 parents is because I am secure in myself and my business and know that I offer a great quality dc and excellent care for the children I have. However, all dc's are different and offer different things. Some things will appeal to parents and some won't. Just like I would pick a business that better suits me as my needs change, so will parents and I can't be mad at them for that. (but I can control how I handle them in the future)
    Last edited by 5 Little Monkeys; 05-25-2014 at 12:14 PM.

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  8. #5
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    I get it, people move on, changing needs, etc. I would be super pi$$ed that she had the nerve to contact other daycare families, regardless if they left or not. I think you handled it very well but I would be actively looking to replace them now. This family is not anyone that is going to stick around and will try to get other families to leave with them. They have shown this to be true. I also would not ever use them for a reference. Ever. Sorry that happened to you.

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  10. #6
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    I also think there's a difference between leaving to go to an actual preschool or daycare center and leaving to go to another home daycare. Centers can offer things that we can't, such as subsidized fees, or care in the same building one of the parents work at. That, I can totally understand. But leaving to go to another home daycare...if she wants to, that's fine, but I think it's pretty ridiculous of her to try to persuade other clients to go as well.

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  12. #7
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    I really don't know what to make of this. I can see both sides. Parents look out for their/and their child's best interest just as we have to look out for ours.

    It seems like the mom has a preference for home daycare but wants the older children in a more structured environment. I assume that since the other DC isn't taking her infants then she perhaps only takes older children to run a preschool type program?

    It really doesn't sound like the mom is trying to be rude...despite her actions being somewhat rude! If she is a good client and her children are enjoyable and everything else is working out then I would perhaps keep taking her youngest children with the understanding it is a short term contract. That's not ideal of course...but it's a space filled and a good family filling it.

    By telling her you would leave it up to her to decide if she wanted to contact other parents you did just that, you left the decision up to her and she put her best interest ahead of yours. Perhaps if you had made it clear you would be upset by this and it would impact her ability to keep her youngest with you she may have opted not to contact them.

    How easy is it to fill a space where you are? Do you easily have a space available for her next child to fill? I would consider that before committing. If you have a space to fill and have been having trouble filling it by all means take her child. If you don't have a space or you do but have many families looking at the space then take the best option available.

    It's hard not to take it all personally but it sounds like this is a mom that is doing what she feels is best for her children. It may be not be in line with what we would choose to do, but she doesn't sound malicious.

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  14. #8
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    Thanks for all your help/support everyone. She isn't a mean woman at all, but somehow it just felt weird to me that she was tooting the horn of another dc within my own dc to my clients and potentially costing me spots. I know there are fabulous preschool programs out there and more power to them....just don't advertise them within my dc! Luckily, it is not too difficult to fill spaces and i am confident in what i offer for sure.

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  16. #9
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    I would be ticked ! Sorry but if you were enjoying eating at your favourite Chinese restaurant and then tried a new one and loved that one , would the owners be ok with you advertising for the other restaurant at their establishment ??
    Just because she was so happy about Montessori , my thoughts are , who cares !
    If she asked me I prob would of said um no !!
    Regardless if she listened to me ( can not control her talking to the other parents ) I prob would move on without using her as a reference .
    You mentioned she wasn't being mean , but she was being thoughtless .

  17. #10
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    This is a little bizarre to me... LoL
    I would be really ticked if a parent actively tried to pull other families from my care. If she wants to go, great. And if you want to accept the youngest child, fully knowing that he/she will likely be leaving your care at the same age as the others, that is cool. But I would actually address this with her directly if it comes up at that time.

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