"Friends" Are Taking Advantage of Me, Need Moral Support!

Updated on January 02, 2010
M.B. asks from Richardson, TX
41 answers

Hi Mamas,

I think I just need moral support, or to vent, or both. I have a very small in-home daycare which I started in the fall of 2008. I have 3 "spots" in my daycare and this provides my share of our family's income. I have one toddler girl who has come 3-4 days a week since January 2009. I filled spot number 2 and then the best man and matron of honor from our wedding had their baby in March. They told me in March they wanted me to enroll their baby in August when the husband (teacher) went to work. I said yes and because we've been friends for so long, I kept the spot (#3) for them for 5 months without pay. I got 3-4 calls a month wanting that spot but turned them down. I lost $700/month. August comes and they tell me they only need 2 days a week. I say OK and use my standard contract form to fill out. The mom says it should be the same 2 days every week but it's not set in stone yet. I say OK and write "as needed" on the contract. She verbally agrees to $80/week and the contract says they will pay the same amount every week whether their child comes or not, which is standard.
You probably guessed that the "as needed" came back to bite me. Because they don't want to pay for holidays, they didn't pay for the whole week of Thanksgiving. I asked them to and my "friend" paid for 1 day. At my husband's urging, I let it go. Mind you, he can't stand either of them anymore for many other reasons (they've acted like they are better than us for 3 years now) but he hates confrontation.

I knew December would be a problem and it was. She pointed out the "as needed" and said she didn't pay for holidays because she doesn't mind paying for the days when I'm open and he doesn't come, but since his regular days include Christmas and New Year's day, she shouldn't pay for them because I'm closed. I wanted to ask her what sort of daycare is open on federal holidays, but restrained my anger. Again, my husband just wants me to put up with this so he doesn't have to deal with extra stress. I did inform her that it must have been my mistake asking for holidays since their contract with the "as needed" is only a drop-in contract. I don't know if she got the hint, she didn't reply one way or the other.

I'm really hoping that she is just completely clueless about this, but my gut tells me that since she is always right about everything, she's just doing whatever she wants to. It's very sad to me that she doesn't think I deserve paid holidays and that I am only a babysitter. I also adore their little baby but I desperately need the money as my daughter's new car seat will not fit in my car, and it's 13 years old and not holding up well. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I do have an ad for the daycare up and I am going to fill his spot in June. I just don't know if I can afford to wait that long.

Thanks Mamas!

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So What Happened?

Wow! Thank you so much for the support and great advice! I decided to write up new contracts for the new year. That way there will be no "confusion" about what I get paid and when. I also will tell her to please shop around and compare so she will see that I am more than fair. We will see what happens. I do have in my current contract that I can give 2 weeks notice without needing a reason. I protected myself that much at least!
Thanks again Mamas!

More Answers

D.B.

answers from Dallas on

I know you have recieved much advice here. But I would like to ad some.
Yes, you do need to vent, look for the child care association in your area and join it. You will recieve training, and many people to encourage you in your business. If you live in the Flower mound/Lewisville area seek out LAFCCA. They have a webiste.
I've been doing home daycare for 20+ years and YES YES YES it is customary to charge for and take PAID HOLIDAYS. Most people get paid holidays, why not you? Do not give an extra free day or the like in return. Then it is NO LONGER a PAID HOLIDAY. Though I do not, some providers even take PAID VACATIONS and sick days.

Re-write your contract. You can tell your current clients that now that you've had a little experience you have written a new contract. Think of yourself as a professional so you get treated as such.
To gain more clients in this economy try to think of something you could offer that other providers don't. I provide diapers, food and all to stay one step ahead of the competition. Of course I charge more than other providers but parents love the idea of not bringing a diaper bag every day.
These are the changes I would start with.
Charge more for contracts by the day....I charge $50 day and they only pay for days used and IF there is a spot open. This helps fill in those days part-timers are not there and those times you can't fill a spot with full-time.
Also don't be afraid to charge to "hold a spot" I charge 1/2 the weekly full rate to hold a spot. I once had a parent pay to hold two spots for twins for 6 months as she really wanted those spots!!
Email me privately and I'd be happy to share my (very long) contract with you. I'd also be happy to talk to you over the phone.

I would tell your "friend" that you are changing your contract and are no longer offering her part-time care in the manner she has done this year. Offer her the opportunity to begin full-time care if you wish though it sounds as if you really would prefer not to.

Also, I have oodles and oodles of ideas of FREE advertising that has gained me full capacity and a long waiting list.
Please contact me and I'd be happy to share that as well.

Check out the Redleaf Press website for advice for Child Care providers. They've been around a very long time and have books and advice for the business side of daycare and writing contracts.

Good Luck as you begin a new year!

D. B

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

It's always difficult to mix business with friends. I am a direct person. I say you let her know you need the income for 3 days a week and take someone who can pay 3 days a week. This doesn't have to be presented as something personal. It is how you have all the contracts and the others are going along with your contract. If she feels you are putting her in a bind let her honor your old contract and pay you what was agreed upon. Try to respond to her and not react. Think about all the senarios and be ready.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

It sounds like she is not looking at this as your business, just a friend watching ker kid. I would not wait to fill the spot, think of your family first. This may seem harsh since she is your friend, but if she cares about you, she will understand or she was not a true friend to begin with. Treat it like a business deal and cut her loose.

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M.T.

answers from Houston on

Maybe start a daycare manual book and make ALL the parents sign it. New Year, new policy. This way you can explain it to them that all the parents had to do it so there's no miscommunication in the future. We had a rule book we had to sign when my daughter started daycare. I have a very good understanding what to expect from them and what is expected of us as parents and penalties for not complying with their rules. I can email or fax you a copy to start with if you'd like. This may help you make it more business and less "friends" deal and give you some fighting ground.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

I hate that you are going through this! I have always had to pay for daycare even when the facility is not open such as holidays. If I didn't take my child for a day I still had to pay. It stinks, but how could they keep thier doors open otherwise! My mom is now wathcing my babies, and I paid her for the holidays. I can't believe your "friend" would treat you in such a manner! You really need to stop letting her and her husband take advantage of you!! NO OTHER daycare would let them get away with this. If you are planning to let their child come back, I would make up a new contract (since it is a new year in a few days), and let them know what your "as needed" policy meant. Let her know that her child is free to go to any other daycare and see what she says. You need to do what's best for YOUR family...not hers.....she's obviously not thinking about your family! Hope this helped!!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I haven't had a chance to read all of your responses yet but I think that along with the "new year" it is time to redo your contract, no contract should read "as needed" and if she is willing to quote the contract then you should be willing to renegotiate the contract, when your business needs it. which is January, being friends not should cost your business to be losing money, if your business decides to support someone in need that is a different story, but you did not offer this as a charity situation, this was/is a business agreement and it needs to be redefined to fit your current business needs...

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

If you are running a business, you should be completely clear and business like whether you are dealing with strangers or friends. I don't think your "friends" should take all the blame if you were not completely clear and had a detailed contract up front. However, it sounds as though they expect you to run your business they way they want instead of the way you want which is unfair. Meet with each parent of the children in your care and explain the new contract and let them decide if they will choose to comply or not. My son was in an in- home daycare for a year when I taught and we were not expected to pay for days she was not open for service-holidays, summers or her sick days. I'm sure everyone does it differently, but I just wanted to say that some providers don't charge for holidays. Good luck!

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

You have gotten lots of advice and support. My mom was a home day care provider for 30+ years. The bottom line is that you are a business... if your "friends" took their child to a day care center - they would not treat the employees this way - nor would their actions be tolerated.

I agree that we teach others how to treat us. I used home daycare for my own children - with friends - and would never have treated the people HELPING me that way! I didn't want to put my kids in a big center - and my friends helped me avoid that - and I compensated them well, and never took advantage of that!

Honesty is the best policy. Time to let go and move on.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

You would fare best to terminate the arrangement. It seems she is taking advantage of you with no concern for your income. The are plenty of people who naturally take advantage of kind people with no thought or remorse. And, it is NOT unprofessional for you to terminate the arrnagement in lieu of an arrangement that will solidify a weekly income. You also have the right to offer a new contract and if she is not satisfied she can go elsewhere. I promise that when your friend finds out that not only can you not find a daycare that takes an infant under 12 months for only 2 days but that she will be required to pay regardless, she may rethink her contract. At this point, however, I would seriously terminate the arrangement and not feel a glimmer of remorse about doing so. I would bet she feels nothing for taking advantage of you. Good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

I would type up a letter stating that the "as needed" in her contract only means that you are flexible on which 2 days he comes not that if he doesnt come that week she doesnt have to pay. National holidays are always a paid holiday in any daycare situation and id she has a problem with it tell her that he should come a different 2 days that week so she gets her money's worth. If she ever fails to pay for a week again she is in violation of her contract and you can deny service and fill the spot without warning however with her being a friend I would provide 2 weeks notice in writing as to allow her time to find a new provider. She is without a dout taking advantage of your friendship.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

I owned and operated a private child care center for 9 years before selling the business. I learned after 2 years of struggling working and letting people slide on payments that this is a business & has to be treated as a business. If she took her child to a private child care center they would have her pay regardless. Not whenever she chose. Holidays are always included in the weekly price. That is part of what holds the child's spot. The as needed doesn't mean without pay. It means you are flexible on the 2 days she chooses each week. Also keep in mind that most child care providers in home or at a center require a higher rate for drop in's. The reason is you are taking away a space for a full time spot and you are allowing less income for that child than what you would earn for a full time spot...but you shouldn't take it at a daily rate that is equal to a full time child, it should cost a few dollars more for the convenience.

You can not set a budget for food &supplies with the way she is trying to manipulate your business. I would put in writing that the contract is not negotiable for financial terms only for days of week that she is using. Holidays are included and weeks that the child is not in care are still required for payment. If she balks then politely tell her that you love caring for her child but that you have a business to run and have to keep the terms of operation the same for everyone. Chances are if she shops around she will quickly find you are being more than generous. If she does leave then fill the spot & don't look back. You have a business to run and you are helping support your family. When dealing with friends and family it is easy to loose sight of your goals so that you can make them happy. Remember that you have a business and it needs to be respected or they are not holding up their part of the friendship.

Good luck! The hardest thing I ever did was deny four families who were behind on payments from care on a Monday morning. I was almost in tears from having to turn them away for non payment for over 2 weeks. Every single family came back with cash to pay their bill within less than an hour...two just pulled the money out of their purses! It taught me a huge lesson & those families never got behind again. They also seemed to respect me more and value my center more after that. Go figure! :)

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A.M.

answers from Wichita Falls on

M.,

Maybe it is time for you to send a generic letter to all of your kiddos stating that as of (fill in the date) you will no longer have part time positions available. Explain that since you are only legally allowed to have X number of children enrolled and due to financial responsibilities that it is no longer cost effective to keep part time positions. Make sure to include your policy that payment is due each (enter day of the week) and that if not received by end of business that day it will be late. By sending out a generic letter to all parents, you will not have to confront this couple. You are obviously educated and a professional and you deserve to be treated as such.

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

I used an In Home provider for many years for lots of good reasons. In her contract, it stated the Holidays she was closed ansd we would still pay. It also stated that she would take 2 weeks vacation every year and it was the same every year, so we could plan. The only time I ran into a problem, was when her husband died and she took the rest of that week off. She did not expect it, but I paid her anyway. She returned the respect many times over, when I was running late or had to take my husband to the ER.
I think if your friend were to try to find someone else dependable, she will find much more defined contract.
I would try to talk to her if you are happy with the child and think you can work it out. If not, give her a two week notice and move on. Good Luck! It is not easy finding good child care, at child care centers or in home.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would tell her that as of the first of the year you can no longer take drop ins so if she wants you to continue to watch her baby then you will have to redo the contract as full time and charge her full price even if she brings the baby or not, make sure to mention this includes holidays, summer break, spring break, ect. If she has a problem with this, she is more than welcome to find a new daycare, and then you will be able to fill that spot asap, therefore earning the money that you need to run your household. She needs to understand this is a place of business, even though it is in your home. You may loose this "friend" but if things keep going this way you will loose her anyway. Now days, you have to do everything you can to take care of your family, and you started this business to provide that income, and right now that need is not being met.

I hope it all works out for you,
K.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi M.! Sorry to hear about your situation. If I were you I would tell your friends that you need to have the income of a full time child so you regret to inform them that regreatably effective xxx date you will no longer be able to provide for their child's care. I am pretty sure you can choose your customers... Best Wishes and God Bless!

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B.C.

answers from Dallas on

Where do u live? I need child care!

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G.C.

answers from Dallas on

I experienced your EXACT same circumstances. I eventually told my friends(also school teachers)in February, that I would not be taking their child back for the next school year, 2 weeks later the mom got upset with the care I was providing and pulled the baby out immediately and we haven't spoken in almost a year now. The truth is a "friend" wouldn't treat you that way and the friendship is already on life support just pull the plug. Second you have to be strong with your childcare business and refuse to be used because total strangers will take advantage of you too. Set down in your mind what you need to make this job work, financially and days off,etc. Then stick to it, there are a lot of people who appreciate good child care, you deserve those kind of clients. Even though it is your house and you don't have to put on a business suit and drive through traffic it is still your job, no your business and you have to treat it that way, otherwise you are just babysitting. Good Luck I know it is painful but you will feel so relieved when it is done.
When you talk to your friend don't even mention the friendship. Tell her you are new to this job and have learned a lot. Unfortunately you must make some changes in order to conitnue your business. Have a new contract ready and explain, I only have 3 slots and I must fill them full time, if you need to take your child somewhere else I understand and will work with you until I do fill that spot. Stay calm and polite but don't let the friendship in the room for this discussion,business is business.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would explain to them your side of the situation...that you need the income, etc. I wouldn't go into details about what they are doing. Then if they don't agree, tell them that it's not going to work out & that you have someone else who can fill the spots full time. Don't wait, take a firm but diplomatic stand!

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I wish people wouldn't take advantage of good hearted people like you. I think your "friend" knows exactly she is doing too. I suggest you let her know the as needed was based on $80/wk income. If they do not want to pay $80 EVERY week, you will have to renegotiate the contract or fill that position with more reliable income. If these people were really friends, they would not take advantage of you.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

Your child's safety in her car seat should take precedence over peace in the relationship with your clients/friends.

They are not valuing the relationship as much as you and your husband are, and not enough to treat you respectfully.

If your contract says a specific amount is owed PER WEEK whether their child comes or not (not per day of care), then it's time to take the contract literally on ALL points, not just the points that benefit the client. It would be fair to point out that you sacrificed $3,500 to hold the spot for them for five months, so paying for the weekly amount that they promised, even when the week includes a holiday, is a very small fraction of that amount. If they get mad and pull the child out of your care, then you will know that they are not really friends who care about you at all, and the spot will be free.

Does your contract give any provision for YOU specifying when you'll be available for child care? I'm assuming there's a limit to the number of children you can legally care for at one time. Perhaps you can insist upon setting two specific days for care, and temporarily taking additional children on the other days, until the spot is open in June.

In the future, it would be reasonable and fair to only accept children who need care all five days of the week. If the friends only need two days, then you just can't help them. "Help" should work both ways. They may be thinking they're "helping" you by paying you for two days a week, with no idea that they are really depriving you of three additional days of pay for a different child who came all week. You are not able to benefit from the days the child doesn't come during non-holiday weeks, because you can't add a different paying child on those days.

If you didn't pay for a percentage of your electric or phone bills because you were out of town and didn't benefit from their availability, the utility companies would not be understanding. You would be in the dark and without phone service. Just saying.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

How is it that the baby is only coming 2 days a week? Who takes care of the child the other 3 week days? Are they really in need of day care? If they have someone else that is watching him, then are they also taking advantage of the other party? Or is she staying at home and using you only as a "Mother's day out" service? Consider these questions because it determines her motivation. If she doesn't see you as a vital service then she does not respect your work and possibly views your pay as frivolous. Regardless of the situation you obviously need a new contract.

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M.A.

answers from Orlando on

I agree with the other Mama's about having a new contract for the New Year. Here is something I would add so that your clients feel they are getting their moneys worth if Holidays fall on their day. Offer them a make up day on another day so that no one feels like they got the short end of the stick. Get it in writing!

God Bless!

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M.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi M., I wanted to let you know that I stopped working in November. My husband and I agreed that the lady who keeps him in her home is valuable enough to our son (and us) to continue to pay her the whole week price even though he goes 2 days/wk now (T/Th). We also pay the whole week price for Thanksgiving, the whole Christmas holiday break and any time he doesn't go b/c of visiting relatives. We have an agreement (verbal) that she can be flexible on other days if I need some help with care. However, I quit working to raise him, so it hasn't come up yet!
As far as comparing care cost- a church mother's day out program would be cheaper, but a good quality pre school would be just as much or more (for 2 days).
Take care of your family and your business- wonderful caregivers are worth their weight in gold!!!!

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B.P.

answers from Dallas on

In a world where we teach people how to treat us, you have shown your friend you are non-confrontational, which has allowed her to walk all over you. If you want to be taken seriously, run your business like any other business. Set up a clear, concise contract, and make sure all clients sign it. No signature, no day care. These people are not your friends, they are using you and they are very aware of it.

I am a professional organizer. MOST of my clients are good friends who need help straightening closets, kitchen cupboards, garages, or retirement downsizing. I do everything with a contract, very clear cut instructions and we all know where each other stands. I have only been taken advantage of by one customer/friend. It was early in my business and she is the reason I trust no one now, unfortunately. But, I can tell you, once I ran my business like a real professional and not just a friend helping out friends, I raised my rates and my business has sky-rocketed. We must believe in ourselves, before anyone else can believe in us! Good luck. You sound very sweet, but sweet doesn't pay the bills! Smile and have her sign that contract!!! ;0)

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N.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

i understand that she is your friend but she needs to understand that this is not just a hobby but your income. By her not paying you and giving when she wants puts your family in a bind. You should be able to end her contract due to non payment. at my sons daycare whether he goes or not i still have to pay because i contracted for those days and if he doesnt attend and they have to call me to ask me where he is i have to pay a finders fee of $5. for sure she said two days and she stated in the coontract she would pay so she's obligated to make sure she keeps her spot. Your husband on the other hand shouldnt get involved because he's not the one that made the agreement tell her its not personal but business and a real friend will understand.

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

The 'as needed' makes me think she sees you more as a babysitter than an actual daycare for her little guy. I think your contract idea is a good idea but be warned she may not want to sign it preferring to keep it 'informal'. If this is the case, refer her to mom's day out places or college students who can do 'as needed' sitting.
Best of luck :)

J.L.

answers from Dallas on

Mixing business with friends is a difficult act to pull off. I would go with Ginger's advise and terminate the arrangement. You mentioned that your husband is no longer "friends" with them anyway. Don't let people walk all over you. She knows she is getting a FABULOUS deal and she IS taking advantage of you. Stand up for yourself and terminate them.

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V.S.

answers from Dallas on

You have an easy out here and you need to take it. Just inform her that you are in a financial position to need a full time child and you can no longer take a part time "as needed" child. Fulfill your contract (which hopefully has a clause in there where you can dump a child after a certain amount of warning) and let her go. Kiss the baby goodbye, you will love the next one as well. Give them their certain amount of time, express regret and tell her how sorry you are, and let it go. Don't bother messing with the details of what you thought or what they thought. Just make it a financial decision and fill your position with someone that you don't have any baggage with. If you are feeling extremely guilty or your husband is, supply her with a list of churches that supply mother's day outs or with a list of other day care providers in the area.

VickiS

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

All business baby. Cut the ties and let them go as friends. Real friends wouldn't take advantage. Tell them to tow the line or find someone else to take care of the baby. Tell them that all contracts are redone on january 1st. If they don't like it find somewhere else. IF you play hardball they will do it. They are taking advantage because you are letting them. If it was anyone else would you tolerate it? NO!! So don't from them either and tell all friends that you have to have a contract to save the friendship or you can't take their kids. No freebies if your own family is suffering. If your friend actually has to find someone else to care for her baby, then she may rethink how she pays you!!!
Get to it and be strong. Remember, the relationship has changed and you haven't. Maybe you need to just cut them loose and let them find a different babysitter and then everyone would be happy. And remember there doesn't have to be a confrontation. Business. Remember this is business!!

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with the other mothers. This is your business and your family income depends on the fact that you and they treat it as such. You are not a parttime babysitter to fit their needs. Let them know that you have limited spots in your daycare and need them for fulltime clients. They have the option to redo their contract and come in as fulltime clients or you will fill it with other clients from your waiting list. They will get mad but they will get over it. Business is business. Good Luck.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

M., WOW! You have been way too nice to these people. People who would act that way are not friends. That is your business, your livelyhood! If you don't feel that your contract is clear enough then revise it and make it super clear and give all your clients an update on January 1st as a new policy for 2010 and make it super clear of what the rules are...do not offer the "as needed" option anymore. Make it clear that payment must be made regardless of attendance, holiday's, etc...AND, ADD a late fee policy....if payment is not made on time or when it should be made then they will pay a late fee, and if payment is not made within so many days then child will be dropped from the program and spot filled by another child. I know it will be hard and yes will probably cause some stress and tension, but you don't deserve to be treated that way! I have 3 little ones in daycare and we pay $500 a week and the daycare was closed on the 24th and 25th and will be closed at noon on the 30th and all day on the 31st and we have had to pay for full weeks, eventhough our kids are staying home visiting with their grandma who is here from out of town! So it is very normal and I've never heard of any daycare where you only pay when you show up and get a free pass all the other days. So put your foot down and treat all your clients equally. If its not working out then give them a 2 wk notice that they are not complying with the terms of the contract and their child will be dropped from the program so you can get another full time child in there. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Tyler on

Well, when you told your story and wrote "as needed", I assumed that meant 2 days or more or less, but that the $80.00/week was set in stone and the as needed meant - if you need me more, you can have more, but you have to pay for it. If that is not clear in the contract, then you need to get it CLEAR (for the next time). In the meantime, what does your contract say about termination? I would go ahead and terminate. If it is 30 days notice, then go ahead and give it to her and explain why you are doing it.

The reality is, I pay a LOT more for daycare (we use a center) and I pay the same amount every week regardless of whether there is a holiday in there or not. Plus, this week, I am paying extra for my son because he is there all day (not just after school). So, the reality is, there is an expectation of a certain amount of pay each week. You need to explain this to her and then depending on what your contract says, you can give her make up days or not.

I used to use home care and paid the X dollars a week regardless of whether my child sayed home sick or not. But, that woman was also ALWAYS available or had back up - she never stuck me with no daycare (except for standard holidays which she explained in advance - a week in the summer and the time at Xmas).

Also, I just had home daycare for my baby by a friend and my friend and I agreed on a price and she was VERY clear about the times she was available. In other words, she was doing me a favor (a HUGE favor) and I did not work late at all the whole time she was keeping my baby because she was clear that she needed the evening time with her family. It was a HUGE favor for her to keep my baby and I respected her rules. You need to be clear on your rules and enforce them.

Good luck!
L.

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

I want to talk to you over the phone. I also have a HOME DAY CARE and you need to write up a termination letter and terminate them. I also had been taken advantage of but we have to make them pay more by the day then week. If in the store you buy one it costs more then a whole case per unit. Yes, they pay for sick pay, vacations and time off and the state got after me because they did not think I had that in there. Next year I will be closed for two weeks. I stayed open this week but only have two kids. Most found someone like grandparents and other parents and one child has pink eye. So it does not pay to be open during holidays. Also they need a back up for those times. The state can order classes then what? A Baby is way more work and needs more care and should be a lot more then any toddler who can soon dress themselves or do and eat by them selves. I had one guy who would never pay me on Fridays and now my fees are $20 Sat $20 Sunday and $10 every day after that they either quit after a weekend or pay it. But you can fill and always take those numbers so for a back up. I have found though once you turn them down, their numbers change or something. I would never hold a spot open. It is money lost. Yesterday I had a kid acting up and threw and broke things. If he does it today he will be gone. I got paid by a customer and dealing with him lost a ton of money some place. Maybe a parent saw it on the table and took it. Sad but I keep on keep on. So get that tough skin dealing with the public the kids are sweet but parents can be a pain. Have it in your policies that you can terminate part time kids if you get full time kids. Also that you have a period for trial so that you can terminate if it is not working, and they have no idea how hard this job is or the extra time we put in doing the business part of it. It is not only just taking care of kids but the state and all the paper work that goes with running a business. Also in Seattle on my visit, my brother said he had to pay a month in advance. That would take care of any time off you take. Most have a hard time coming up with a two week start up fee. I used to charge for enrollment but now they pay for the first week and last week. So they are always a week ahead. They will pull whatever but I also know some day cares that do not take first time parents because they are a pain. Just need to keep changing the policies and contracts and parents force us to do that. One thing since they are part time I would have charged double by the day. I had one leave because I asked when she was bringing her kid here because I wanted to go for a couple hours in the morning to a school function. She would show up whenever. She then took him out and paid a whole lot more at a center then wanted to come back. I jacked up the price so she never came back. Also she wanted all this special food for her kid. No way, he is not special needs and she was treating like that. I got into one situation where I got a kid from someone quitting, then when they said he was on baby food at 1 I thought no way I will just make him food for awhile but it turned into two years. No way would he eat it. It should have been more. But I wage that they pay every pay day on time. But they absolutely were not going to come at $5 more a week. Then they can purchase new cars for kids and designer clothes and vacations for 5. So beware. Really screen and have a plan to get out if you need to. I know how hard it is with just a couple of kids and I was desperate at times when people all quit at once because of lost jobs. I could not pay bills but keep on and you will get there and get the nice kids. I have 5 now and need one more, an no more. One is pg but parents are paying for the one and I am thinking no way are they going to be able to pay for two and a baby is a lot more. I steer away from babies. They cry when I am trying to fix meals and keep us from learning with different nap times and such. Right now would not be too bad with three potty trained, but it would be a trial. Also I am faced in the summer children under 2 not being able to take the older ones swimming. I hope to only have 5 this summer and all over 2. The state says 5 but we are allowed 6 under 5 but if I have 6 I have to wait for one to not be there. The last couple years we have not been able to go much. G. W ###-###-####
G. W

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R.S.

answers from Dallas on

As difficult as it may be, it may be time to end the business relationship. Tell your friend that you want to give her enough notice to find a new provider, but that your business relationship is starting to interfere with your friendship and because you value your friendship so much you are giving her a month's notice to find a new caretaker for her baby. When she gets mad, which she will, explain to her that your expectations and hers are not matching up (citing the examples about holidays, and the lack of communication on the days she needs care) and that you value her as an individual too much to be angry with her. Remind her that this is a business decision on your part--you need to be making $X a month, and with her inconsistencies, you are unable to make the money you need to contribute to the household budget. As a result, unless she can agree to a new contract (which should include all the specific holiday pay comments), you will be unable to care for her child starting on DATE.

She is taking advantage of you, and you seem to be kindhearted enough to give her too much slack. If she is a true friend, she will forgive you after a while. It may take a while, but you could help her find another provider that will work with her (and she will realize how hard it is to find what she thinks should be available).

Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

From the time my first started and my last child completed daycare I had almost 17 years into paying for daycare. I have used both centers and home care. I was ALWAYS expected to pay for holidays and vacation, and extra during school holidays and summer holidays! Your "friend" is taking advantage, and I'm willing to bet she knows it! If she only wants drop in care, she needs to find a mother's day out. The idea about new contracts for the new year is a good one - make it very specific about payment and times available. If she can't or won't comply, have a two week notice letter ready for her. You deserve to be paid! Good luck.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

I send my daughter to mother's day out on Tues & Thurs. They were/are closed for Christmas Eve and New Years eve -- which both fall on thursday. Since they are closed they didn't charge me for those days. So not sure if it is reasonable for her to pay you when you are closed. But if you say you should get paid in your contract -- you should get paid regardless of what is happening at other places.
If your contract doesn't speicfy how this works then I think it is time to revise your agreement. I agree with the other post that says you should have a complete set of rules/expectations and have each parent sign it. If she won't sign then drop her kid and get someone new. Ultimately, it isn't worth the stress ;-) Good luck!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

I say drop your "friend". Daycares require half the amount for the week when the child only goes one day that week. 2 or more days require the full payment for the week. Your "friend" will realize after you end the contract that you are the best deal out there. And for $80 a week for an infant, I would hire you!

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

For the most part i am appalled at your "friend's" behavior. Unfortunately you did not lay down the law and this woman ran all over you. Secondly I disagree with your expecting to be paid when you are closed. My daughter also attends a home daycare and has so for over eighteen months. When our daycare closes we are most certainly not expected to pay them and if we were i would go elsewhere. We always get them gifts for Christmas-Bon Jovi tickets this year but i would definitely not pay them when they close their doors to us.

D.D.

answers from Dallas on

1) If you are closed for service then the customer is NOT obligated to pay.

2) Obviously this arrangement is NOT working so terminate the contract. If she has any questions simply say that need to fill that position with three day a week client. State that you accepted her on a trial basis and it is just not working out for you business wise. Explain that this is not personal, you are running a business and a part-time client is not making good business sense for you.

B.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Address it head-on, but with kindness. I would tell the friend that because your daycare is a significant part of your family's income, that you need to be able to depend on it. Tell her that you made a mistake by filling out the contract with the "as needed" and that you need to update it with a more accurate contract. Ask her what her intentions are, and how often she will be needing your services, and go from there. Be clear and treat this contract as you would any other. If she can't or won't pay as scheduled, kindly tell her that you will need to fill her spot with someone else.

good luck

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I'm glad that you have decided to fill his spot, but since you can't afford what they are paying you right now, I would go ahead and tell them they need to look for someone else to keep their child because you need someone that is going to be there on a consistant basis that would make you more money, or something to that effect. So it will look like to them that you are needing more from a family than what they are needing. That I think will take off some of the pressure and hopefully they will think the same. Good luck.

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