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Thread: Sick days...

  1. #1
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    Sick days...

    Hi,
    I am curious what other daycare providers do for sick days. Do you get paid for them? How often do you take them in a year? I took 5 last year plus closing early a few times, and some of my DC parents are unhappy about the amount of time I am taking off. I am sick at the moment with a respiratory infection (so far this will be about my 3rd sick day this year.) And some of my parents are upset. I gave them lots of notice. Does anyone have similar experience? I don't ask for pay when I'm sick.

  2. #2
    Expansive...
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    I don’t have specific sick days, as I take 4 weeks holidays and my sick days are included in the 4 weeks. I usually only need 1 sick day a year, and maybe 2 days for appointments, the rest is my holiday time. 2 weeks are paid and 2 weeks are not. My daycare parents know that I don’t take sick days unless absolutely necessary. I only close if it is for an illness that I would send a daycare child home for( ie. fever over 101/stomach flu/strep/pink eye/ contagious stuff etc.
    It will depend what your contract specifies for time off.

  3. #3
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
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    I get paid the same amount every two weeks, no matter if I am open or closed. They pay me a flat weekly tuition.

    I take 4 weeks holidays. I take sick, personal, bereavement and emergency days as needed within reason. I don't have a set number of days. I don't get sick enough to close very often.

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I get paid a flat rate too allowing me a max of 10 days vacation and 5 days sick per year. That said, in over 20 years, I have taken 2 days off sick. I do think actually taking the 5 days is a lot especially if you are also closing early sometimes. Bear in mind, we are self employed and not employees so it's going to annoy client's if you are acting like an employee and closing early or allocating yourself too much time off, especially if you are expecting them to pay for it.
    I don't think it's reasonable to have it both ways - i.e. early closing at times and paid time off. If we are contracting for our service to be available between certain hours and if our contacts also allow us time off, then expecting client's to come early too some days is taking advantage.
    At least if you have some paid days each year, you can then provide lots of notice if you won't be open on a given day and use that from your contracted paid days.
    While I totally understand that you get sick sometimes, it isn't always the cost that parents struggle with. It's the reliability. They have to work which is why they arrange for care of their child. Closing early or short notice sends all the families into a scramble. They better understand if that's not a common occurrence.
    To have had 3 sick days already this year and we are barely out of March would also have me concerned if I were one of your client's. At this rate, they are looking at one day a month - 12 days a year. That is a lot.

    Why do you think you are getting sick so often? Are you sanitizing your toys regularly not just cleaning them? To santize toys they need to be in bleach and hot water or disinfectant and hot water for a prolonged amount of time. A quick wipe with a disinfectant cloth is not enough to kill lingering germs and the green cleaners or white vinegar solutions do not offer sanitizing.

    Is the bathroom you are using for day care cleaned at least once a day? What about the bedding the children are on and their sleep mats? High chairs? Door knobs? Hard surfaces the children touch? Have you been checked for other underlying issues?

    If I am frank - if you were my provider and closing early with 5 sick days last year and three already this year, I would be looking for a more reliable provider.

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    I have been open since Jan 2011 and have never closed for a sick day ... I have 3 weeks holidays and 7 personal days however my personal days must be booked in advance and they are not to be used for sick days... I do not expect payment for my sick days even though when I catch a cold or sore throat it's usually from one of the kids. If I am not feeling up to par I work through it and rest in the evening.... fortuanelty any time I have gotten something a little more serious it was on the weekend and I was able to open on the Monday

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by childcare View Post
    Hi,
    . I gave them lots of notice. Does anyone have similar experience? I don't ask for pay when I'm sick.
    Im not sure what you mean. Does it means you know wayyy ahead when you're going to be sick? If so obviously parents get upset.

    Anyway, I have five sick days but, also it had to be extreme sickness to use them I only used 1 day in almost 20 years working. And my families know I try to do my best in booking appointments after my work hours or during weekends, or during my vac. Time or holidays. If for any reason I couldn't find a day to do so then the daycare remains open and my husband or a parent in charge stays with the group for few hours. Another time I thought closing was because I didn't have hydro but I improvised placed flash lights on my sealing a A parent brought warm milk in thermos and we had a blast.

    During my interviews I always tell parents that my sick days will be used only in extreme situations. When I really need it and it is payed.

    I personally would also suggest to be aware that your current situation could potentially damage your credibility and reputation, parents talk my references usually pass on that information onto potential clients, I had clients coming for their first interview knowing already that I'm the woman who "never gets sick"; obviously far from the truth but I just tell them that I respect the importance of their jobs and I try to do my best to accommodate I book my dr. Appointments during evenings or weekends.
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 04-13-2018 at 05:38 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thank you ladies for your input and experience. I should have been a little more clear I suppose in that I give the parents lots of notice. I meant I let them know as soon as I get a fever etc... And I don't surprise them the morning I have to take a sick day. Therefore, they would have as much notice as possible.
    As far as my time off (or sick days....) Goes, I don't believe I am taking advantage as I stated in my post that I do not get paid when I take a sick day. I don't expect payment when I am sick or take time off for whatever reason, therefore I don't know how I can take advantage of sick time. I realize that I probably have taken more sick days than most, and my DC parents are somewhat unhappy about it, but I do not take time unless absolutely necessary. (eg unless high fever, kids with high fever, vomiting etc..). I was just curious about other daycare providers and how they handle it, so I really appreciate all of the feedback. I have been a parent of children using daycare services for 5yrs so I understand the frustration when a provider is not available for whatever reason and I definitely do my best to ensure families are satisfied with the care I give to the children.
    Thanks for everyone that responded! Take care!

  8. #8
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by childcare View Post
    As far as my time off (or sick days....) Goes, I don't believe I am taking advantage as I stated in my post that I do not get paid when I take a sick day. I don't expect payment when I am sick or take time off for whatever reason, therefore I don't know how I can take advantage of sick time.
    As explained, it`s not necessarily about charging parents or not charging parents - it`s about reliability.

    Any consumer expects reliability. Think about when you have scheduled a hair cut, or a delivery, or for the utilities company to come out, or for a dental/doctors appointment - it`s annoying and frustrating when they are running late or when you get a call a few days before a long standing appointment to reschedule because the doctor/dentist/service provider will be on vacation. And there`s are just for services that happen infrequently. However, when it comes to child care, parents are unable to work unless someone is caring for their child. A child care provider has got to be consistently reliable.

    Unless you happen to be in an area where demand for child care outstrips the available options, very few can tolerate having unreliable care.

    Most employees get 10 days paid leave in this country. If they are having to call their employer 5 days a year to state they won`t be in work, that`s a lot. The ripple effect is they become unreliable employees and likely are subject to disciplinary action themselves. Long gone are the days when people remain in their home towns and so it`s not uncommon that a young family lives a long way from grandparents and extended family who could step in short notice. While of course, parents need to understand that in a day home, there`s a risk that some days you won`t be available and they will need back up care or the ability to stay home with their own child, if that becomes too common an occurrence, they are going to look elsewhere.

    While I can accept that you are giving them notice of closing, even if you are contacting them the evening before closing, most employees will not be able to contact their boss and let them know until the morning anyway.


    I realize that I probably have taken more sick days than most, and my DC parents are somewhat unhappy about it, but I do not take time unless absolutely necessary. (eg unless high fever, kids with high fever, vomiting etc..).
    Being self employed, with contracts to provide care to others, then just as parents need a plan B, so do you. It`s one thing to take time off if YOU are ill but if you have taken 5 days yourself and also closing when your own children are ill, you need to reassess your own plan B. If you have a spouse, then perhaps he needs to be home when your own children are ill so that he can care for your children while you run your business. After all, this is the exact same situation you are requiring of your clients with the added time for your own sickness - that they look after their own child when their child is sick and that they look after their own child when you are sick.

    If sickness strikes your family member, find ways to disinfect the common space in the evening before opening, have your partner stay home with your child and isolate them away from the day care space and children. This is especially key when you have closed so frequently during the year already.

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    I rarely get sick so it's hard for me to relate but if you wake up with a fever can't you just pop a couple Tylenol or Advil and carry on ? I worked through colds and sore throats nothing that I wouldn't go into work for if I worked out of the home ...are you really that sick that you can't muscle through it

  10. #10
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    Thank you ladies again for your responses. I'm pretty sure anyone who knows me, including my daycare parents know that I am tough and can muscle through common colds etc... I am not sure why I feel the need to explain reasons for my sick days 4 of my sick days last year were because of something different than colds, flus... but an uncommon autoimmune disorder that I was diagnosed with a few years ago. This does not mean that I am unable to provide adequate care or the inability to run a successful daycare, however, it sometimes might mean I clearly take more sick time than most.. my question was how my fellow daycare providers handle it etc... I see now that no one that responded can relate and that is fine. That is great if most of you don't take sick days. I wrote that the days I have taken were because of fever etc I just really didn't think I had to go into detail as to why I am taking sick days, but I feel I do as I am a very strong woman and I am definitely not weak. I can muscle through fevers like the best of em!
    Thanks ladies and take care!

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