In Home Daycare - to Pay or Not to Pay?

Updated on August 05, 2010
M.R. asks from Farmington, MN
35 answers

I have two children in an In-home daycare and it isn't working out, they have been there for 2months now and things just keep happenin! Example, telling my children that there is a bear in their house so that they will be quite and if they aren't quite they will be eaten, taking my children on a field trip with our my written or verbal consent, plus with no car seat for one of mine. We put in our notice for 3 weeks and the next day they told us that the last week of our notice - they will now be taking vacation and now I have no daycare - do I really need to pay her for that week? - FYI - There is a contract but they haven't been following it - their hours should be 7 am - 5 pm and on Monday's we have to p/up by 4 pm and then also by 4:30 pm Tues - Friday. They told us they would change the hours but within 1 month told us that they will not be changing the hours.

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answers from Minneapolis on

As a parent who has had her child in an in-home daycare, under those circumstances, NO I would not pay for their vacation. I would report her to the county/caseworker. Her actions above are not acceptable at all.



answers from Lincoln on

Personally, I wouldn't have given notice and no I wouldn't pay for daycare while they are closed. If a real business is closed you don't pay for childcare, so why pay this crazy daycare?

Actually I wouldn't be paying these people now, instead I would have reported them to family services to be honest. This type of behavior should be on record so other unsuspecting parents don't get sucked into this scam. No written authorization and no child seat is illegal and that type of practice can get a daycare shut down.



answers from Milwaukee on

First of all, report her to the state for the carseat violation and field trip without consent. Second, after all that you went through, do not pay her for her vacation time.

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answers from Los Angeles on

You do not owe her a penny for the last week of your notice. She is withholding services from you. I don't know your situation but I would pull my child out immediately. Not only that, I would report her for the not have proper security for your child and not obtaining consent for the field trip. There is no way that I would let my children stay there one day more. I would be fearful of the quality of care my kids would get, her knowing I was pulling them out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

As an in-home daycare provider, I have to ask - are you required to pay her for that thrid week? Did you prepay? Did you sign a contract?

Since you are leaving anyway, I would say in those two weeks you should have new daycare available. That is the part of the reason for having back-up and alternative providers in place - for regular provider's vacation, days off, and sick time. She has given you two weeks to find a back-up and I think that is fair. You will just need to start with a new daycare option one week sooner than you had planned. In my experience, giving 3 weeks is more than generous as a parent and her two week notice of vacation is standard.

As far as paying, if you signed a contract requiring payment in advance after notice of termination, you may be stuck on that one. You can take it to small claims, but will probably lose. Or you can not pay and risk she will take you to small claims court. I have been on both sides of the coin, as a parent and a provider. I have been in your shoes and got stuck paying in advance for crappy care and then she kept claiming to be sick while I had to either miss work or pay double for a back-up. It's a sticky situation and gives parents and providers reasons to not trust each other, making it worse for those that are trustworthy.

Maybe negotiate that your notice will then be reduced to two weeks due to her vacation and see if she would agree. As far as what was going on with the issues, that is very unprofessional. But as a parent, I would hope you discussed your dissatisfaction instead of just quitting. Providers do deserve to know how parents feel about the care of the children.



answers from Washington DC on

Look at your contract. Mine only requires a 2 week notice. If yours is that way then no. You'll just have to adjust your notice end time to the friday before her vacation.



answers from Rapid City on

These people need to be turned into the state. What they are doing is against regulations and the law. If they are threatening with a imaginary bear it makes you wonder whatelse they are threatening using a scare tatic. The no carseat is illegal in every state, that alone should get them shut down.

No you shouldn't have to pay. In fact if you didn't keep them in without notice and sent them a certified letter telling why you are removing them, fear of child's safety and emotional well being, you shouldn't have had to pay for any time left on the contract... according to judge Judy. The vacation makes them unavailable and so they are voiding the conditions of the contract.


answers from San Antonio on

Do not pay for that week if SHE is the one cancelling that week. You were nice enough to give her 3 weeks notice.

If she throws a fit, I really don't see her taking you to court, much less someone like Judge Judy taking her side and awarding her anything. I guess it depends on what's written in a contract with her. Do you have a contract? If no, then don't pay her. If yes, then read it carefully.

This lady sounds awful. You need to report her if she is a licensed daycare person.



answers from Omaha on

Heck no!

Might not be the legal answer but I'd flat out tell her that you will not be paying her for that day so she had better pro-rate that back.

You should make sure you rate her on here in the mom business thingy. No one should leave their children with her. It's nice to have a leg up.



answers from Duluth on

i would think that you do not have to pay.

read your contract carefully; what does it say about paying?
do they require a 3 week notice?

is this a LICENSED in home child care?? if so, you must REPORT THIS TO THE COUNTY. this provider is likely not trained to transport children (yes, it requires special training on the part of the provider) and not only that but they did it without your permission, or without a car seat?!?!? bogus. thats just wrong. talk to them about the pay issue as well, and see if/what they know on that.

i did in home child care for almost 5 years. im amazed that anyone would ever tell a kid that. that is so wrong. if the hours were changing then the contract would have to change because, like you are saying, they are breaking it.

you could write a note. give them a "2 week notice" letter, and plainly state that because the last week they will not be providing care, you will not be paying.

anyway, i need more details (are they licensed through the county, what their contract says) and you need more details (every licensed provider should allow you to view their rules and regulations and etc. i forget what exacty they are called.
anyway. sucks. :( :( im so sorry!



answers from St. Cloud on

NOPE, don't pay. In Stearns County, (MN), if you have ANY reason to believe that your child was or IS in danger, you don't even need to give a full notice. You can just pull them out, tell them why, and not come back. (MAKE SURE YOU DO IT IN WRITING TOO AND KEEP A COPY FOR YOURSELF! AND MAIL A COPY TO THE LI CENSOR! Call down to the court house to get the address and tell the licensor over the phone what your concerns are as well!) I did daycare for 5 years so I know.......... There are lots of bad day cares out there and the only way to stop them is to report them! Do it today!


answers from Houston on

Contact Child Care Aware for the nearest Child Care Resource and Referral to you for new referrals for child care. A free service. Contact large local churches, thru the secretary or pastor, for referrals to individuals---retired ladies, college students, etc.--who could care in a pinch, temporarily, til you get a new permanent arrangement in place. If you have craigslist in your area, that might be a third option for finding replacement care. Do not return your children to this place, as she is in violation of several state minimum requirements, the worst of which is scaring your children with lies and deceit.



answers from Minneapolis on

What an outrage. OMG. I do in home daycare and I'd never dream of doing such things. I am a stickler for car seat safety...that would have been the end for me on just that one incident. Heck i would have ended it if I found out she used a used car seat. People can use what they want with their children...but if mine is sitting in that chair I better know the history. I don't even make people pay if their kids aren't in my home. I know alot of places do this I just don't believe in making money off of you if I didn't fulfill any services for you, yeah stuff comes up last minute...they get sick all the time and there I sit with one hours notice they're not coming, but oh well I didn't work why should I be compensated...heck you didn't work either you stayed home with your kids. On that note there's no way in HELL I'd pay her for a week while she's on vacation. I have to take care of my own kid anyways because you're not in town, why do you deserve to be paid.



answers from Omaha on

absolutely not!!! Find a new sitter quickly and get your kids settled in. I wouldn't pay for anything that wasn't earned. In fact I wouldn't have given notice and just quit for the reasons your mentioned and not pay for anytime they weren't there. While yes it nice that you gave notice but you are not required to do anything more than a week and not at all if the service is putting your child in danger.


answers from Omaha on

Oh gosh what a horrible daycare. I wouldn't pay them one red cent.



answers from Hickory on

You should not have to pay. It is her that is stopping her from watching the kids. Also with the other stuff you have posted she should be turned in. She would have gotten no money from me over the non-consented trip with out the seat. For one she broke the law with no seat and did not have my child's safety at heart. I pray you find a great place to for your children to stay. I have thought about opening my in-home childcare. I have everything I need to open my own daycare. I feel very strongly about how our children are cared for and it seems you were let down. Hang in there.



answers from San Antonio on

Does she have a section in your contract that says she gets a week of paid vacation? If not, I would let her know that since she will not be able to care for your children the last week of your three-week notice, then you are not paying her for that week. You followed her rules about giving notice, so you are not breeching the contract. I would get it in writing BEFORE THAT WEEK HAPPENS with her signature that you will not owe her for the last week of notice/week she is unavailable. If you're still unsure about it, call a lawyer ~ ask if they have a One-Question consulation. You may have to pay for the time, but better than paying extra if she takes you to court for breech-of-contract even if you win.



answers from Milwaukee on

I wouldn't pay for it. Look elsewhere now. Do you have another one lined up? See if you can get them in now. Honestly the sooner you get them out the better and report her. That is unsafe for your children or anyone elses. Threats are not to be used to help keep a child in line and car seats are to be used to keep a child safe. I wouldn't pay. I would also write her a letter stating why you pulled them out (after the fact) because if you do it before she may treat them even worse.



answers from Minneapolis on

****I just have to add something after reading so many other responses. As for the provider's paid vacation, in my area, it is VERY common for a provider to have paid time off. I believe the way this particular woman is doing it is not right. But I do charge my daycare parents even if their child is not in care, as do most providers in this area. The parents are paying to hold their spot. If their child is not here, it isn't like I can take another child that day to make up for the income. A daycare provider deserves paid time off, just as anyone in any other job.

***As for the provider taking the children on a driving field trip, I would check to see if you did sign a form when you first enrolled. One form I have, that is required by my county, that all parents sign when they enroll and that gives me permission to take the children on a driving field trip.

***Again, I do feel this provider is trying to get out of the last week of care and the care was not acceptable. I hope you pulled your kids out and reported this provider. This is really too bad.

I am sorry it isn't working out. I am a home daycare provider. I would say, look in your contract and see what it says. If I were that provider, I would definitely NOT charge you for that last week while the provider is on vacation. That just doesn't seem right. Do you believe her? 3 weeks seems long, most providers request 2 weeks notice. So, if you only had to give 2 weeks notice, that last week would not matter. While I would like to side with the provider, being a provider myself, I do not. Is she licensed? I would contact licensing. She should not be taking your kids on a driving field trip with out your permission or with out car seats! Also, the bear thing is not right. It is not acceptable to scare a child into being quiet! Is there any way you can just take your kids out of her care now? I would feel uncomfortable having my kids there. I am sorry this happened. Most providers are much better than this.



answers from Minneapolis on

Our daycare lady does not charge us for her vacation. I have actually never heard of an in-home daycare that actually charges you when they are gone. That is crazy, especially for what has happened. I would have pulled my kids out immedialty. Good luck.



answers from Omaha on

I wouldn't, she doesn't sound legit anyway so by what contract do you owe her any money????



answers from Chicago on

they didn't honor the contract so neither would i.
no way would i pay


answers from New York on

Yes you need to pay for the days your children were in her care but only for the days she is actually caring for them and not one day more. Terrible care doesn't mean you get to skip out on payments. And yes I would classify telling a young child that they will be eaten by a bear if they aren't quiet as terrible care.



answers from Sheboygan on

I would tell her that she didn't give you notice of this VACATION and now you (I) don't have daycare for your kids and that she doesn't get payed. Because you have to find some else to watch the kids and pay them. In her contact there should be a section saying that she will give you at least 2 week notice of her vacation and that you have enough time to find replacement.
I hope this helps.



answers from Minneapolis on

Do you have a written contract with this provider? If so, how much notice is required? Most require a 2 week notice in writing..... If there is no contract then you don't need to pay her and I'd pull the children right now and of course not pay her. Without a written and signed contract she doesn't have a leg to stand on in court.

As far as telling your children there is a bear in the house. Was it the provider that told your children or another child? I am a day care provider and I can tell you that children have wild imaginations. I actually had one 4 yr old tell his mom that we had a lion in the basement and that we feed him raw meat for lunch. We had just read a story about wild animals, lions being one of the animals in the story.

If this provider is licensed or not she needs to be reported to the proper agency. You MUST have legal car seats for all children if you transport them. Here in WI I need written permission and proof of insurance.

Good luck,



answers from Duluth on

From the stand point of a mother AND a care provider I'm shocked if they're actually telling children the bear story. If you need some quiet time there's always book time or a quiet contest (for us the winner used to be the first in line, we would rotate so everyone got to do it). Like someone said, kids have such active imaginations. We used to listen to a song that was like the bear hunt song, only it was dinosaurs. We had to skip it for a while because we had a little girl that would get quite upset thinking a dinosaur was going to pop out. Not contradicting you, just saying that it is a possibility. Hopefully you did confront them and get the truth.

The no car seat thing is -huge- and so is the no consent. I've worked for centers before and that would have been an instant issue for corporate and state licensing. Even for riding the bus we had to weigh the children to make sure they weren't too light to ride it because we could get into that much trouble.

I would pull your kids NOW. Send a certified letter stating that you don't feel your children are safe there etc. Get them into someone else's care. Not all home daycares are bad, some are actually wondeful, but this one just sounds horrid.



answers from Dallas on

Absolutely not!!

If you don't have a contract, pull your child out now. If she is licensed, report her. If she isn't, then this is your lesson on why to pick licensed sitters and how to say, "that is not acceptable."

If it happens with another sitter, fire her on the spot. You should always strive to have a Temporary Plan B for when a sitter gets sick or you need to fire one on the spot. If you sign a contract, think about worst case scenarios and write in things to protect you.



answers from Minneapolis on

If you have a contract and it states that she is allowed a paid vacation as long as she gives a certain amount of advance notice and you signed that contract and she met that requirement, you may have to pay it. Even if your contract term is only 2 weeks notice to quit, ff your notice was in writing and you gave 3 weeks, she could fight you on that and probably win if it looked like you changed your notice to 2 weeks AFTER she put in her vacation request. She is probably playing dirty, but whatever is in writing would probably stand in court. The question is, would she bother taking you to court over it?



answers from Minneapolis on

Nope, no need to pay since they are making their service unavailable to you. Good luck!!


answers from Minneapolis on

As others said, is she licensed? Do you have a contract? I would report her to the licensing county for the field trip with no permission and the bigger deal, the car seat violations (does she even have the required car seat training?)

As far as contract issues, not that I would ever advocate a family going against a contract they signed..but if this provider is expecting you to pay them a week of vaca for your last week in't think so! Thats just a nasty tactic..aside from the fact that if they put your children in danger willingly (the car seat thing) you have every right to remove them and no small claims court judge is going to hold you to that contract (if the provider brings the action against you...which costs them a day off of work and some money to file it) if you say you backed out of it because you were afraid for the safety of your children.

Learn from this. Find a qualified, professional licensed childcare provider with a good and reasonable contract. Look on Craigslist..look on and (those last 2 you can search by city name or zip code and all those will be licensed caregivers).

Good luck and let us know what happened!



answers from Tulsa on

They most likely won't take you to court. I had a really nice contract at my center and every parent signed it. I talked to the DA about one case in particular where they were consistently late picking up their child and would not pay the late fees.

The DA said #1. The contract was not notarized, therefore not legally binding. #2. Children who attend my center that have state assistance in their payments can not be made to pay ANY fees outside of their co-pay, therefore if I took a cash paying parent to court they could claim discrimination.

If you have a vacation clause for your family having vacation in the contract then envoke it.

I say just tell her you are leaving on your regular date but you are taking your yearly vacation the last week...

I would definantley call your local office of child care licensing and report her, she may or not be legal and they need to know her poor business practices.

I am not sure what county you are in but here are to links:
Anoka County
A better link, actual child care licensing office on the previous website:
Ramsey County Offices: Day Care Licensing
4570 Victoria Street North, Saint Paul, MN 55126-5800


answers from Dover on

Most daycares require a two week notice and those two weeks are payable even if you don't take your child. What does your contract say? Had she already notified you of their week vacation (at any point, even in passing) prior to your notice? If not, I would say that you tell her (and give the same in writing) that although you gave three weeks notice (as a courtesy) since she is not available on the third week your notice has now been shortened to just 2 weeks.

I would also be sure that my notice is in writing AND specifies that you are withdrawing them due to repetitive problems including the scare tactics, travel without permission, and disregard for their safety as well as state laws. I would also contact your local licensing agency and see what they say about this conduct.

I must say that I am not entirely convinced you should send them back for the two weeks. Do you have someone, anyone you trust (even if it is several people at different times) that could help you our for those two weeks?



answers from Des Moines on

Contract or no contract the bottom line is that the care your children were getting was unacceptable and unsafe. I would certainly not pay for that last week. I seriously doubt she would sue you for it even if there were a contract... and if she did, you can certainly argue that her unsafe care broke the contract long before your parting.



answers from Minneapolis on

Are you kidding me?? I would not pay, I would demand a refund of whatever I had already paid for breach of contract (there has to be a due care requirement) and I would call social services and the police. What you described is outrageous, reckless and boarerline abusive, not to mention illegal. That is unbelievable.



answers from Chicago on

Do not pay her for that week. You gave notice and she gave you notice she is not available that week. Forget it.

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