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  1. #1

    Angry Annual contract changes

    Hello everyone.

    I have a question regarding changes to your contracts. The majority of my dc parents have been here for years, and have become part of the family, HOWEVER.....some are conveniently forgetting (or think policies don't apply to them) the original policies discussed.

    I do implement minor changes each year, but I need to come up with a new policy for parents whi knowingly send their child to dc sick (but deny this when I have to send little ones home).

    What do you think of implementing a $25 cleaning /sanitizing fee in the event parents insist little ones are good to attend...but either vomit, have uncontrollable diarrhea, fever that conveniently pops up within 4 hours of being here (we all have parents that try to cover up a fever
    By giving tylenol prior to arriving) or chronic cough/runny nose/goopy eyes/crying).

    I hate to do this as the dc families are all so wonderful...BUT I can't keep cleaning, and subjecting the other chidren, myself and my family to contracting illnesses that can be
    Avpided if parents would stop trying to mask their child's symptoms andinsisting they are not contagious.

    Please forgive spelling...I have a horrible bout of pink eye after contracting it from a dcg whos parents insisted it was just a cold in her eyes.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    That's a tricky one. While i can definitely sympathize with having sick kids sent to daycare, I feel like this rule would be a bit unfair to parents. Sometimes it is hard to know if the child is better and sometimes symptoms actually do come and go. I have a 24 hour symptom free policy...so if I have to send a child home with a fever or diarrhea etc, they will have to stay home the next day as well. I generally find that this helps dissuade parents from sending them when they know symptoms are still present. I also state explicitly that Tylenol/Advil are not to be given before daycare. That said, Advil can last the entire day sometimes...so there is not much I can do if someone tries to hide the illness. But, if the child is miserable and not coping with the day, I can send them home even without a fever or other outward symptoms. In the case of the child with pink eye...I would have asked the parents to have it checked by a dr before returning to daycare because any undiagnosed infection/rash etc must be excluded until diagnosed.

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  4. #3
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    I understand why you are considering this but I think you are trying to put a band-aid over a gaping wound and not addressing the true issue because it's awkward to do so.

    The issue is not the requirement to clean up the occasional mess caused by an ill child as we all expect a child will sometimes become ill during the day. The issue is they are knowingly sending in sick children which contaminates all the others and means this mess on going.

    So - playing Devils advocate - suppose you bring in this cleaning fee. If a parent is sending their child to you knowing they are sick, does it then make it okay for that sick child to be there because you have earned a bonus for dealing with it? Maybe, if a child has severe diarrhoea, the parents would consider it a worthwhile investment to pay that fee and have you cleaning puke and poop all day rather than them having to. LOL See what I mean - the fee doesn't address the real issue at all.

    So - with regards to the contracts...What do they actually say? If they state clearly the circumstances that a child is not to be sent to day care, it's your responsibility to enforce them. Until you do, those who are taking advantage will continue to.

    What does your public health department say about exclusion from day care? We are lucky here in that we can refer a parent whose trying to bring in a sick child to our provincial exclusions.

    If your sick policies are the tweaks in policy you referred to, did you update your contracts and get signed copies with the changes? If not, your revised policies are not enforceable. Your contract with an client is within the written parameters of your contract. Changes to that have to be in writing and accepted by both sides by a signature. If you just advised parents of policy change without issuing new paperwork, then your policies are not enforceable.

    Go back and check your contracts with each individual - if you have these sick policies in all the signed contracts, great. Issue a reminder, in writing and be clear that a number of children are coming in sick, it affects the care you are giving children because you are having to clean up messes over and above the usual routine cleaning during business hours, that it must not continue. That you understand it's an inconvenience when they miss work because their child is sick but it exposes other children in the day care to illness, inconveniencing their parents and if you or your family get it - ALL parents will have to be off to look after their own children anyway.

    If you don't have these policies in your contract, introduce them. Issue a new contract to all, with a date when the new contract comes into force - but - be aware that those unwilling to accept these policy changes, are within their right to walk away when their old contract expires because you are the one who ended the old contract on a given date. That means they do NOT have to give you notice even if it's in your contract.

    Choose wisely - you have to check your contracts first.

    Only other option is to revise your contracts and make sure anyone new has the new version. Over time, the current children will move on and the new clients will have the policies you require in their agreements.

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  6. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I believe adding this $25 fee simply tells the parents that they CAN send their sick chid to daycare for an extra $25. It will not dissuade the parents that send their child when they are ill. As the previous poster noted you need to work on the policy and make it clear that you will turn them away at the door if they are ill or call for immediate pick up. Make them know the policy is firm. Adding a fee just says I'll take your kid for a bit more cash. And...it isn't worth the extra cash!

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  8. #5
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    I agree with all said above. I do have the 24 hour policy in my day home too.

    If a parent asks me what I think - they don't want to make they choice I guess. I tell them if they were feeling as there child is - would you use a sick day at work?
    My other go to if it is obvious the child is unwell - I remind them that should my child or myself catch it then everyone (including them) will be out of child care until we are well. - that usually does it
    here is mine:

    SICKNESS POLICY
    Under no circumstances will parents be allowed to bring a sick child to my home. Sick children expose other children, as well as myself and my family, to the spread of their illness and require additional care and attention that I am unable to give.

    If other children become ill due to exposure to your sick child, either because he/she was returned to child care before full recovery or because he/she was not picked up promptly upon notice of becoming ill, other parents will be unnecessarily inconvenienced. If my family or I become ill due to exposure to a sick child, all of the children may need to arrange alternate care, and it is possible that I may lose a portion of my income. Because this is disruptive to other children and their families, as well as my own, your cooperation on this issue is extremely important.
    If your child(ren) is too sick to attend school, he/she is too sick to come to the day home.

    The following illness policies will be strictly enforced, for the health, well-being and safety of all concerned. However, exceptions (half day) can be made if care is urgently required.

    SICKNESS SYMPTOMS REQUIRING REMOVAL OF CHILD FROM CHILD CARE

    Fever: Fever is defined as having a temperature over 98.6F (37’C) taken under the arm, over 99.5F (37.5’C) taken orally, or over 100.4F (38’C) taken rectally. A child needs to be fever free for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to childcare; that means the child is fever free without the aid of Tylenol or any other fever reducing substance.
    Diarrhea: runny or watery stools, or 2 or more loose stools within last 4 hours.
    * As for infants with fevers and/or diarrhea and as it pertains to teething, I will only accept a child with these symptoms back into care after the child has seen a doctor and a note is sent from the doctor stating that these symptoms are due to teething.
    Vomiting if your child is ill with diarrhea and / or vomiting they are required to stay home for at least 24 hours after their symptoms are gone.
    Runny nose: Your child may be brought to care if he/she has a common cold (slight cough, clear runny nose, occasional sneezing).
    Runny and/or Crusty Eyes: Watery, matted, and/or red/pink eyes are not acceptable in child care.
    Unexplained Rash

    Your child will not be accepted into childcare if he/she has had any of the above symptoms within the last 24 hours. A sick child should be allowed to recover fully after an illness so that other children in the group do not risk exposure and so that the child is able to fully participate in childcare activities. If you are unable to remain at home with your sick child it will be necessary for you to make substitute child care arrangements at your own expense. If your child becomes ill while in my care, I will notify you immediately. You are required to pick up your child within 60 minutes of notification. If you cannot be reached then your emergency contact will be called.
    If your child is out ill, regular fees still apply. I reserve the right to determine when a child should be sent home due to illness. Children may return to care 24 hours after symptoms of illness end. Please notify me as soon as possible when your child becomes ill so that I may notify the other parents.

    If someone in my family has any of the above symptoms, I will call you the previous evening, or as soon as I am aware of the situation, so that you may determine whether or not you want your child exposed to such symptoms. However, I reserve the right to ask you to make other arrangements if I feel the illness(es) in my family will hinder the quality of care for your child. If I specifically request that you find alternate care on any given day, then I will not require payment. However absences by your choice qualify as your sick or absent days and are to be paid as stated above. I do not expect to be paid when I am not available for care due to illness.
    I ask, however, that when deciding if your child should be at home, you give consideration to the other children. Ask yourself how you would feel if another child were as ill as your child. Would you want your well child exposed to these symptoms?

    If your child becomes ill while in my care, I will make the determination as to whether or not the parent is to come for the child. Each case is different and new situations may arise, but in general, aside from obvious symptoms of illness (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) if your child is acting sick, lethargic or too uncomfortable to participate in our normal daycare routine, I will be calling you to come get your child. Please know that when I make that call to you to pick your child(ren) up, I have done everything I can possibly do, and we have reached a point where parental care is needed

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  10. #6
    Outgoing 33 Daiseys's Avatar
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    and this is why my cleaning fee is 150.00 plus full fee's for the next day, as i will have to take a day to clean and disinfect, and why should the other parents pay for that.

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  12. #7
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    3littlemonkeys - Gotta ask...Did you base parts of that on mine which I published recently because some paragraphs are word for word what I wrote in mine - and mine weren't copied from on-line but based on my legislation/contracts past life?

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  14. #8
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    I do not have a cleaning fee. I think it is part of the job unfortunately. sometimes kids will be sick at daycare first and not at home. I certainly don't think it is fair to charge a parent a fee to clean up.

    For the most part I have good families right now. I do get some illnesses blamed on teething though. I don't care though. Fever is fever and your child goes home.

    I had one girl on Friday saying her ears hurt. Mom said she didn't say anything until she pulled into my driveway. I allowed her to stay but told mom if she continued I would text for pickup in an hour. Mom thought it was just a matter of not wanting to come to daycare that day. Well mom was right. She was totally fine after mom left and never mentioned it all day, played wonderfully with everyone and had absolutely nothing wrong with her.

    I had one family last year who often sent their child who wasn't feeling well. Well he threw up all over the table at snack time. I was sooooooo mad!! It was a huge mess. I told Dad WHEN HE IS NOT FEELING WELL HE NEEDS TO STAY HOME!! (it was my fault though too for not enforcing it). It wasn't too long until I got this families notice which was OK because they often send their child to me/to school not feeling well.

    I would print out a copy of your sick policy and tell all parents to re-read it. I also have in my contract that consistently sending a sick child to daycare may result in termination of care.

  15. #9
    Thanks so much everyone! Great advice. I think I will ammend the sick policy without adding the extra fee and adopt a no tolerance attitude.

  16. #10
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I not only have 24 hour symptom free before returning to daycare, but a couple of years ago I also added to my contract that they had to call and get the all clear from me to bring their child back. I had numerous parents trying to shave hours off because their child was "fine by lunch time" so they would bring their child back the following day.

    Also I find it very clear when a child's illness is masked and I do not find that ibuprofen lasts longer than 4-6 hours in a child's system. If they are in fact ill, it tends to not last that long as their system burns it off.

    It is so obvious when a child has been masked because there is no gradual onset of illness that a child would generally have if they started to come down with something at daycare. You can literally set a clock by them when the meds wear off and the child deteriorates at a rapid rate. I have zero tolerance for this and there are no second chances. It is highlighted in bold in my contract that this will result in immediate termination with no notice and loss of deposit. No I can't prove they did 100%, but they can't prove they didn't either. I am very upfront about this policy prior to signing so they know what the potential consequences are should they not follow the rule. I've only done it once and don't take the policy lightly. I don't typically have issues with my policies in recent years since during the signing meeting I read each policy word for word, discuss it in length with parents and answer any questions and queries. They then initial each policy agreeing. It takes more time initially for sure, but then there is absolutely no grounds for a parent to say they didn't know the policy properly which they can try to use as an excuse if the contract has been just emailed or hasn't been gone through thoroughly.

    You need to put your foot down dcmomma. What are the policies for if they aren't enforced!? Your house, your business, your rules, so the book stops at you. If they are coming in to daycare already ill, then simply stop accepting them. Getting ill at daycare and when there isn't any masking involved is very different and isn't intentional or within anyone's control. If they are masking, then I would terminate but if the child is ill at the door, then turn them away.

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