In-home Daycare- Family Going on Vacation

Updated on June 08, 2011
J.B. asks from Denver, CO
20 answers


the family in question used to give me a bundle of checks each month.
1 check per week of the month- paid monday-friday.
they have paid the same amount regardless of bringing their daughter.

recently they asked to change over to 1 check a month to cover the
whole calendar month.

when they brought the check there was a sticky note with dates they
would be out of town. the check reflected the dates they would be
gone in a lesser amount than I had figured for.

for any of you moms providing or using in-home daycare,
what is your perspective on this situation?

I feel that I should be paid regardless of their child coming as I have
a dedicated spot in my home and no way to make up lost income when
they choose not to come.

do other in-home daycares give the family 1 week without pay to have
a family vacation??

I haven't stipulated any time off for myself except for Christmas eve and
Christmas day.
Am I out of line with my expectations??

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

I did family daycare for 20 years and the parents always paid if they were not going to bring their child. I did not charge when I took time off.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I dont think you are completly out of line. But if you dont have any kind of written agreement about this, all you can do is metion it to them and ask why things have changed.
I use a home daycare, & we have an agreement in writing that I will only pay for dates that my children are physcially at the daycare.
If you dont have anything in writing I would change that.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

You should be paid. It is there choice to remove their daughter from your care for those weeks, not yours. My sister watches my other sisters kids and she even gets paid when the kids aren't with her, and we family. I don't know of any in-home daycare that wouldn't charge for those weeks. If it were my business the way I would handle it would be if I went on vacation my families would not have to pay, but if my families went on vacation, then they would have to pay.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Yes, they need to pay. Do you have a policies/procedures pamphlet that you give out to your customers? If not, you should develop one to prevent this situation.

I think you need to tell them that, unless they are providing a substitute child to fill their child's slot, they need to pay the expense. Very interesting that they wanted to switch from weekly payments to monthly, but then they went back to "weekly" fees!!! They need to see the fallacy in their logic.

You can speak to them, or you can write a professional letter (so they can read it without the kids being there or other parents overhearing your discussion) explaining that day care fees are ongoing and, while you appreciate them notifying you that they will not be in town, the slot is reserved for their child and if they want to keep it, they need to pay for it. If you are licensed and insured, you can put that into the letter too. The problem is, they don't see you as a business, they see you as a pay-as-they-go babysitter. That's not how professional day care works.

An additional thought - if they pay by the month, are they paying based on 4 weeks, or based on 4.3 weeks? It should be the latter, or you will lose money since 11 months of the year have more than 28 days!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think the issue here is they didn't discuss this with you, they just assumed it was OK.
Many child care facilities do give the parents one week of free vacation after a year, but the child cannot be in the center. YES I know you are not a center :) Just wondering if they got to talking with some of their friends and felt they were entitled.
Regardless, I think you need to sit down and discuss with them at a pick up (cause drop off is insane in the morining - LOL!) and remind them of the contract you & they signed and that vacations are not included. It is, after all, a business at the core.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

We have to pay to keep our spot. Do you have a contract that they had to sign? If so, what does it say about days absent? If not, maybe you should look into drafting a contract for your parents to sign so you do not get shafted.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If you don't have a contract make one asap and stick with it. As for that family because she has paid you in the past just talk and ask why she left out days when in the past they were paid and that was your expectation if you don't have a contract if you do just refer to it. I take all holidays and 2 weeks paid a year as a provider. My friend takes whatever days she needs and gets paid. (H.S. Football season took every Friday off to cook for sons team pre-game meal). I'm sure our parents would perfer not to pay if given a choice but don't mind as long as we are giving their children the best care possible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

I used to have my kids at an in home daycare, but my schedule changed according to other activities and my baby sitter was very flexible. She only charged for the time the kids were there. Sometimes it would be a full day with both kids and other times it would be only a few hours with one kid. It was really a blessing for us that she was so flexible. We did not pay if we went on vacation, but usually would give her a big bonus at Christmas. We also gave a bit extra if she took the kids places. I'm just realizing from all the other posts that we had an excellent situation for us, but the baby sitter might not have been getting the best deal. She never seemed to mind getting a day off though.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

i think it depends weather you have a contract or not and if you discussed this. I send my kids to an inhome daycare and i pay weather they are there or not. If we were to be gone on vacation for a week or they kids are sick i still pay. That is the way it is at any daycare that i know of. I think they should still pay but if you do not have a contract and this was not discussed there isnt much you can do. If you dont have a contract i would get one in place right away and make every parent read and sign it that way the rules are clear on both ends.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Do you have a contract or previously written agreement with this family spelling out such situations? Without it, you don't have much of a leg to stand on. Even if your childcare is an informal, one family, make money on the side sort of deal, you really need to have these sorts of basics written out in a one or 2 page document and have it signed . If nothing else this gives you both something to refer back to.

I do licensed home childcare...14 years now, and was a live out nanny for one family for 8 years before that. I always get paid when its the families choice to not be here (or if the child is too ill to be in my daycare). As others said, paying for the spot on my license is how I operate now. Altho not all providers do (I network with alot of them in my local area), but most.

You need to have a calm discussion with the family and explain the policy you expected (or possibly have in writing?) and see where it takes you. Without it in writing they may say forget it this time. But you can change that for next time by doing up a short policy book...maybe 2 typed out pages long? Have them sign it saying they copy for you and one for them?

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My kiddos go to an in-home daycare. They go part time, only two days a week, but if they do not go for one reason or another, I still pay like they are there. Like you said, it is their spot = we pay. We also pay if we go on any sort of family vacation. However, I do know that FULL time kids at her daycare, after being there for one year, do get one "free" week. My sister's kids are there full time so I know that when they go for a family vaca. they do not pay for daycare...hope that makes sense!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Unless you have a written contract with them and have never discussed this particular issue with them, then I think your expectations are out of line. From this point on you need to get a written and signed contract from the parents of the children in your care. Whatever paperwork a typical daycare would have, you need to have right down to medical forms, emergency forms, and the contracts for days of the week, payment, sick day expectations on both sides, vacation expectations on both sides including notification and payment concerns, etc. This covers you but it also covers them as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

From my perspective, you ha ve to set these rules up in advance. With our nanny, ANY day that WE call "off" we still pay for if it is a regular childcare day. For any day SHE calls "off" we do not pay for that. This includes holidays and vacations on both sides.

Since it sounds like you do not have policies in place prior to providing care, maybe you can just ask them about it. Mention that in the past you have been paid when they didn't come on a regular scheduled day, but that they seem to have deducted their vacation time, and just ask for their perspective on the situation. Possibly they have the opinion that if they tell you in advance you have the opportunity to schedule another child in their place?

Then in my opinion, you have to accept this, since there was no policy. AND you can also make a policy going forward for all childcare kids... just write up a flier and distribute to your parents, and let them know, as of this date... the policy is as follows: (and write your policy)

Hopefully that helps.
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If it is your policy that the kids come by the week then they are expected to pay by the week. Whether they pay by the month or whatever, they pay the amount of the full weeks during the time period.

However, it is kind of providers to give families a week or two each year for vacation that their spot is held and they don't owe any money for. It entirely depends on your policy. I charged mine by the week and did not give them any time off.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Unless you have a written agreement then I think you, unfortunately, just learned a lesson to get one put together however I DO think the family should have talked to you about it.
I have had my children in a center and in-home care. The centers written agreement states we have one 'free' week if we take the kids out and we must give them at least 30 days notice. In-home care policy was we would get a free week and any other full weeks the kids were out we'd pay 1/2.

I have many friends who use in-home care and they aren't expected to pay a dime if their kids are out..........

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My aunt and cousin used to do in home daycare and had it all in writing Don't feel too bad bacause at the private daycare that my daughter attended until last month I saw lots of parents who thought nothing of asking to pay only for the days their kids came, not realizing the expenses are there every day regardless and the spot can not be filled at the drop of a hat. You could always build into the contract days off for the family. I have heard of that before where people are under contract for 12 months but can elect to not pay for up to two weeks provided that you get some particular amount of written notice from them. Some also write in waiving the fee on sick days provided that you agree to a total number in any given year. I am not saying you have to put in anythng about allowances for sick and vacation. At my daughters old school it was you pay regardless and it is your tough luck if you could not take you kid in for some length of time. I even paid for the first month and a half my daughter was enrolled even though she was too young to go, it held her place in school. However get it in writing whatever you decide

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

No they have to pay for that spot to be held while they are gone. It's like renting a car. Do you have to pay for it still while you are in a store? Yes.
They sound like a "lovely" family. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Most daycares, in-home or centers, you have to pay for the spot regardless of attendance. Most do stipulate set holidays and/or vacations where they are closed but that are paid. Some may also provide for one week unpaid, if notice is given. Some have a set limit to the number of hours and others allow from open to close.

Regardless of what you decide, you should get a contract drawn up to protect both you and them and avoid misunderstandings.

For now, since you don't have a contract, I would ask them to set aside a few minutes to talk. Then I would ask them about the days that she isn't planning to attend and find out whey they are deducting for absences and go from there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cheyenne on

I am an in-home nanny for two kids (from two different families) and like you, because I am under 3 kids, I do not have to be licensed, but I enjoy that I can take them places and do things outside the home, but I would never consider doing anything without contracts and forms...even for family! :-)

I would get a contract in place right away (I would be happy to send you a copy of the contract that I made up and you can cut and paste what works for you and doesn't). I have stipulated in my contract that I get 5 days PAID vacation each year (whether I take it or not is my choice) and 5 days PAID sick leave and that the parents pay whether their kids come or not (I can't afford to stay open if they don't). The one exception is the parent that I took over from a friend who closed her daycare and I agreed to take that child on under the same agreement as my friend and she has 5 weeks throughout the year that her employer is gone and does not pay her so I agreed not to be paid either (unless I choose to take my 5 days vacation for the one she is gone 2 weeks in a row-the mom's suggestion, not mine...she takes good care of me!), but I know what those weeks are from the start of the year so I can plan for them in advance, but if she is sick and keeps her son home or they go on vacation days other than that, yes...I get paid like he is here! The other mom pays me regardless of days off...and both moms give me a fantastic bonus at Christmas and I have gotten little gifts (gift cards) in the middle of the year too...I am spoiled :-)!

I would definitely create a contract and get them signed and it is up to you how you want to handle extended vacation days in the future, but make sure you stick to your guns either way. Let me know if you want to look at my contract and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We get one week per year we do not pay if we do not come. My sitter also takes one full week and does not make us pay. So she takes two weeks unpaid per year per kid. I feel bad because her vacation and ours are both in September this year. If your contract does not say they have to pay you when their daughter is not there, you might be stuck. Though I think they should pay because they are taking a spot like you said. It's not your choice that she is not is their choice. Unfair.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions