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  1. #1

    Constant Sick Children

    Hello Ladies:

    I am in need of advice. I just took on two new children in September. I am teacher-friendly and only care for teachers children, as I have four children and exceed numbers in the summer and on school holidays.

    Daycare child #1: always coming sick. I mean almost every week. He loves it here but he will start screaming out of no where pulling his hair, with a deep mucous cough and thick green mucous out of his nose. I feel like the parents dope him up with Tylenol before they drop him off, which is an immediate termination if theyre masking a fever. Today, when I did his morning diaper change he had a huge spider like rash all up his legs.

    Daycare #2: Seemed like really great people with an awesome child. However, they had the flu in their house and the little one has had constant diarrhea (says mom). Today baby pooped diarrhea all down the highchair, all up back and down legs. I had to bathe them. My rule is 24 hours, like most. THey know this as its in the handbook. Also, mom has asked me constantly to watch her child on unscheduled days, Christmas break (my vacation) and through the summer. Shes a teacher and knows I am closed.

    So today I told both parents they cannot come tomorrow. It was close to nap time when I contacted them, so I said they could stay for the day. I honestly love watching children, but I feel taken advantage of and want to close because I am tired of this! I am a single mom of four children and do not have any help. My kids are with me 24/7. So when they spread flu in my house and I have to take days off because of them, I don't get paid and cannot pay my bills. I am taking this personally because I bothers me that they don't see this. What can I do without sounding like a bitch? I cannot just terminate people as this is my income.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    Why are you allowing them to remain for the day? It seems counter productive to require them to be out tomorrow when they are in your home right now, exposing you to their potential illnesses and it's completely opposed to the statements you've made to parents.

    I would draw up some very detailed illness policies and publish them. But that means you have to be willing to enforce them too.

  3. #3
    I completely see what you're saying. The reason I let them stay is a) it was directly at nap time and one of the littles is my children that needs a nap. The parent is a teacher who works 35 minutes away and by the time she got here nap would be 1/2 over. I would rather not disturb my child as well when I am at an arena tonight with his brothers twice and a child who hasn't napped. So I let the other child stay since we were already exposed.

    Should I be resending my sick policy to them? I would like to do it in a friendly manner, yet I want them to know I am dead serious that I am not putting up with this any more.

  4. #4
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    I have let a sick toddler finish the day because I knew she’d be in her contained playpen for nap, then straight outside (I disinfected during nap). So that part I understand.

    I would put out a message/e-mail to all parents, as a reminder at the start of cold/flu season, and spell out your sick policy including when they can’t come (when they’ll be refused or sent home), for how long, and what happens if they dose and drop.

  5. #5
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    Revise your health policies in the contract and have them all resign them.
    My parents have to pick up within an hour when I call.
    At this time of year I always put out a newsletter talking about health policy reminders and the importance of not sending kids in sick, and review my exclusion policies. I then follow it up with a statement about how if I or my own kids get sick from their negligence, then I will have to close, which inconveniences all of the families. It's a bit of an overkill and very blunt, but sometimes that's what they need to hear!
    Send the kids home when symptoms appear, don't let them hang out for the day. It's not just about spreading the germs, but sometimes it's about the sick child needing one on one care while they remain in your care, and you can't watch them all effectively in that instance.
    I have many teacher clients, and they can still be here in an hour, or send a spouse or alternate pickup person.
    I make sure all undiagnosed rashes are followed up with a doctor, and they can't return until doctors note says they are not contagious. In my area in Ontario lately, there are cases of roseola/fifths disease/scarlet fever all over the place. It may be something or nothing, but have someone check it.
    I excluse for vomitting/diarrhea for a full 24 hours after the symptoms have stopped. If the kid comes back in with diarrhea after exclusion, they go home again.
    You have to set the tone for the behaviour. Stand firm, or they can find care elsewhere.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Islandmama123 View Post
    Should I be resending my sick policy to them? I would like to do it in a friendly manner, yet I want them to know I am dead serious that I am not putting up with this any more.

    Yes - resend it with a firm reminder that it's part of your agreement and not optional.

    You could do that with an e-mail about it being cold season and then be firmer, stricter when they show up with a sick child. Don't be afraid of quizzing them at the door if they mention their child being off at drop off times and don't be afraid to deny care if you learn they've been dosed up, had a fever the night before etc.

    It gets easier to say "unfortunately, as you know, I cannot take little Johny until he's been home for min 24 hours fever free. Please keep me updated but he cannot come in today."

    If/when they put on the pressure about being unable to have time off/the child being okay other than the fever, then you can reply that you do empathize but unfortunately your hands are tied and you aren't allowed to accept them.It is possible to be friendly and firm without being confrontational. If it helps, practice what your reply might be so it's ready if needed.

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