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  1. #1
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    What to do? DC mom pregnancy/stress leave ...

    One of my dc moms is pregnant, due middle of next year. She told me a couple weeks ago and basically as soon as I found out, care for her son started changing. Drop offs got later and there were random days where she kept him home. I finally asked her one day last week what was up and she said she's on stress leave. It looks like she will be on it until at least the beginning of January but she has been advised to keep bringing her son to care on a part time basis. I told her I had no problem working with her and if she wanted, we could figure out something for the month of December and I would allow her to pay a part time fee.

    But, what happens if we end up in January and she's still on leave?? I tried to ask her about that today and all she said was "When I know something, I'll let you know." I was hoping to tell her that we need to figure something out but then another parent walked in. I have never had problems with this family so I hate to come down on them, but seriously, I have to worry about my life/income too. I can't just go month to month wondering what's going to happen or how often I'm going to have this kid. I sent an email tonight expressing my concerns and am waiting to hear back.

    In the meantime, in your opinion and as an outsider, do you think it's wrong of me to post an opening for the full time spot that DCB is/was taking up? The way I see it is he's going to part time, indefinetly and then even if he does continue here full time in January, it will only be for a few months before mom goes on maternity leave.

    As a private provider in Alberta, I'm not at my limit of children I can care for (6 + own = 8) I have always said I would never take on more than 6 kids at a time (4 + own) but if I only have the extra one for a few short months (if dcb comes back full time,) I don't see it being a huge problem.

    What would you do??

  2. #2
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    I have had parents in the past put on bed rest or for whatever reason had to stop work for medical reasons during the pregnancy. In the case of bedrest the child stayed full time but I never saw mom for 3 months just dad. In the other case the child went part time. Had you talked to the mom about during the mat leave as to whether the older child was going to continue to come some days at least?

    If you have the space and you know that the child is going to be part time at best for the next year including the mat leave then I would probably advertise for a full time child so your income stays stable. Then just let the current child come on whatever schedule the mom needs and consider the money your personal bonus money and treat yourself or your house to something nice or compensate your daycare program by using his income for new supplies to make the days with the extra kids go smoother - a duplicate of a favourite toy they fight over, new craft ideas or more blocks so more can play, a new seasonal wall decoration set so you change things out and feel energized.

    Doing this will take the stress away from you and you won't be worried about income and what is happening down the road since it doesn't effect you anymore in that way. You not feeling stressed will actually make looking after the extra child part time go smoother than if you didn't have another full time child but lots of stress.

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  4. #3
    Expansive... Judy Trickett's Avatar
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    Okay, first off, WHY did you offer her a PT fee schedule? I wouldn't have said anything! Now YOU have put yourself in the position of making that offer and here you are, possibly in March still only getting PT fees.

    I KNOW you were just trying to be nice. I get that. But nice doesn't get you far in business when that nice affects your income. You see, whenever you do SPECIAL for a family it will always remain as a favour to you but to them it just becomes their new normal. The SPECIAL is easily forgotten by them. You have now created a problem for yourself.

    So......you really DO need to talk to her. Personally, I would just tell her that if she wants the space then she pays for it. Period.

    I feel bad for parents going through this type of thing too but the fact of the matter is I have FIVE (or more, depending on where you are or if some of them are sharing a spot) families that ALL have "stuff" come up and if I had to accommodate every family I would NEVER make any money. In short............

    THEIR PROBLEM IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM.


    If you are really of value to them then they will pay the full time fees as initially agreed upon. If not, they will leave and work it out and you will fill their spots.

    Just chalk this up to a learning exercise - never offer to reduce fees.

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  6. #4
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    Judy, in an ideal world yes she should do that, this or whatever. BUT if you are in a financial situation where you can not effort to loose a business you just suck it up and try to work out. Losing one family might put mcl1982 in a serious financial difficulty maybe so we don't know.

    I generally like the advises giving on here but it is not always as easy to say "NEXT". Not all of us in a situation where we can say "my way or high way" to parents. That is why we are trying to accommodate parents situations.

    mcl1982, If I was in your shoes I would be open with the family. I would offer her part time care until the end of December but can not promise a space for her child from January onwards.

    Meanwhile, I would advertised for full or part time whichever you want and see if anyone interested. I hope it's help.
    I get quite a few inquiries but I'm only taking two kids for my home daycare. I'm also in Alberta, Calgary. If you want I can give your number to the parents if you send me your phone number and dayhome name.

    Good luck.
    Cocoon

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  8. #5
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    I have decided to post for a full time spot. If I do fill it and the other dcb actually decides to stay during mat leave part time or even come back full time, like playfelt said, it could be a little bonus.

    Judy, I get what you`re saying and it does make sense. BUT, I am not one to just turn my back on my families and let them deal with issues on their own. Maybe that`s a downfall and no it doesn`t pay the bills to be nice but it`s how I am. I guess part of me would like to think that if I was in the same situation as dc mom, my day home provider would be willing to somewhat work with me.

  9. #6
    Expansive... Judy Trickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlc1982 View Post
    I have decided to post for a full time spot. If I do fill it and the other dcb actually decides to stay during mat leave part time or even come back full time, like playfelt said, it could be a little bonus.

    Judy, I get what you`re saying and it does make sense. BUT, I am not one to just turn my back on my families and let them deal with issues on their own. Maybe that`s a downfall and no it doesn`t pay the bills to be nice but it`s how I am. I guess part of me would like to think that if I was in the same situation as dc mom, my day home provider would be willing to somewhat work with me.
    Well, come on back here in a few months and let us know how it works out.

    Sure, you can assume the problems of every family but it will come back to bite you at some point. You can NOT go through business, or life, helping everyone deal with all their problems. You can't do that at your financial expense.

    Can I ask you a question...........l et's just say you DO discount their fees. Suppose in a month or two that same client comes pulling into your driveway in a new car. Or, what if that family starts showing up telling you about the manicure and pedicure she just came from, or the good "deal" she just got on some designer shoes. I think you understand what I am saying.

    I am not trying to be cynical but I think there are many providers (many here, I will assume as well) who have done SPECIAL and had the experience of later realizing that a family's inability to pay you had less to do with fact than priorities.

    Daycare is business, first and foremost.

  10. #7
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    I have learned over the last year and a half that in order to run this business properly, I must have what I like to think of as "rigid flexibility".
    I have no wiggle room on hours, fees or our daytime schedule. If a family cannot work with those things, then they do not have a place here. I completely agree that very often, it comes down to priorities.
    You need to take your business (and your income) seriously if you want parents to do the same. I get that sometimes we feel bad about people's situations. And I would never leave someone in the lurch with no childcare, if that could be prevented. But let me ask you this; if one of your parents got called into the boss' office and the boss said "hey, times are tough, s#@$ is going on, we need you to come in and work but not get paid as much".... chances are, they would be ticked, no? Or "we're not sure when or how often we need you, or how much we're going to pay you, but can you just hang around and wait for us to say"? That's essentially what they are telling you.
    I would absolutely fill that spot full time. If you want to continue working with this family, go for it. But I would decide for myself; if it was ok for them to call the shots on what hours/days they need, or if you need to work out a loose schedule of sorts. I don't think it's too much to ask of them.

  11. #8
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    Gotta say-I agree with Judy and Mom-in-alberta on this. It can be difficult BUT- my business is just that a business-which simply means that there are some policies that are not flexible and fees definitely fit into that category. I really care about the families I work with, and I feel that that care is reciprocated in their respect of the policies that I put forth as a means of running a successful daycare business. When parents expect you to break or change your policies for them-they aren't REALLY considering YOU and YOUR family.

  12. #9
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    I am with mlc on this, although I do agree with those that have said we need to have rules and stick to them etc. However, I don't see that this family is asking to bend rules or being disrepectful. Their cirumstances have changed and they are only able to have part-time care. If mlc is able to manage having a part-timer by filling a full-time spot, then why not? I do treat this as a business, but I believe there is a human side that also needs to be taken into consideration. Sometimes, when we are able to accommodate in order to help out a family, I don't see anything wrong with it. I would probably have done the same. I would just have a frank discussion with the family letting them know that they cannot count on having a full-time space if they should want it in the future because the spot may be filled. Then I would give the option of paying for the full-time spot to hold it if they really want it.

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