Child Care Provider Pet Peeves - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-30-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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I think the thing is that the OP was asking for helpful suggestions as to how we, the WOHMs who read the Mothering board, can make our relationship with our DCPs better; and it was misinterpreted by some subsequent posters as being intended as a gripe session. Obviously threads evolve, but it means that when I was reading for things like a reminder to bring extra clothes, I was wading through a lot of negativity.

The thing with the closing time is strange, though, and I think that is a systemic issue if it comes from the center's not wanting to pay staff to close.
I really don't agree with this, by the way. If they say "doors close at x time", it seems clear to me. Do you also think it makes sense to go sit down at a restaurant at 10:55 if they post that they close at 11? Management may allow it, but you can be sure the employees won't be happy.

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Old 01-30-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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I'm a DCP and I solved a lot of these problems by switching to contracted hours. I'm available 15-30 min before and after parents get off work, depending on the travel time they need. I need to go to the bank occasionally too and do other things that are only available during the day. I don't get a lunch break to run my errands like most of my daycare parents do. Sometimes I have to pack 2 double strollers, and umbrella stroller and a baby sling into the van and take 8 kids to the bank on friday (closes at 6pm on fridays) because all of the parents are mysteriously late that day....then I see them at the bank.... it does tick me off. I make it clear that I do always need to know where parents are. If there is an emergency and you went out of town shopping with your girlfriends and I can't get ahold of you...and if this happens more than once.....expect a 4 weeks notice from me sometime soon.

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Old 01-30-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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I really don't agree with this, by the way. If they say "doors close at x time", it seems clear to me. Do you also think it makes sense to go sit down at a restaurant at 10:55 if they post that they close at 11? Management may allow it, but you can be sure the employees won't be happy.
In the northeast, no, I wouldn't. In other parts of the country, yes, I would. And I have worked at service-type jobs in different regions. In my cafeteria job in Michigan, our stated closing (end-of-serving) time at breakfast was 11:00 a.m., which meant my hours officially went until 11:15 a.m. And we would expect people to sit and eat breakfast until 11:30; this was common. We employees wouldn't start to get annoyed until after 11:30. "Doors close" in most of the US means that is the last moment that customers are acceptable. In the northeast it means that is the moment the employees expect to go home; the doors are not locked until then but it still is "rude" for customers to walk in 15 minutes before door-locking time. Obviously there are individual variations, and variations by industry. Other countries have still different norms. It's not a value judgment.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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I know this is has already been discussed, but unless you have a private caregiver (nanny, babysitter, etc.) this analogy is not the same as a day care teacher : parent relationship. This is very important.

In a childcare center setting, the parent is NOT the boss as it were in the analogy. You are buying a service. If you do not like that service, you are free to buy another service, but you are not the boss. This is not to say that parents shouldn't have input because there should LOTS of open communication and discussion, but you cannot treat a childcare center teacher like an employee. It just doesn't work that way.
Was just thinking about this post as a home childcare provider. Who is my boss? Do I have one? Who could fire me?

I am contracted to an agency, which gives me guidelines to follow, does home visits and safety checks, refers clients, and pays me some moneys (subsidies for low-income families, mostly). If I failed to meet their standards, they could terminate my contract.

But the bulk of my fees are paid to me directly from the 4 families that currently contract with me to care for their kids. The agency could "fire" me or I could quit the agency, but my parents could still choose to continue with me or not (I know someone who left the agency but kept all her clients). Or every parent could separately terminate their contract, and I'd be well and truly "fired".

The parents are my bosses in the sense only that "the customer is always the boss" which is a very important idea, but not the same thing as being employed by an institution or company. They don't pay me jointly or do performance reviews., or hand me written policies to follow...

No one sends me a T-4 every year, and I report as self-employed on income tax, so that would make me my own boss. Which is good, because I certainly *feel* like I am my own boss, ultimately.

This isn't the "best things about being a provider thread" but I really do like having my own business, being able to deduct a lot of home expenses, and being free from the constrictions of office politics, and unions (if I dare say it -- my previous working life was very unionized).

I was always a good employee at my workplace, but after seven years as a home provider and having the freedom to set my own hours, routines, etc. , I think I would now have trouble going back to working for someone else.

I have never personally experienced the "you are my employee" attitude from a parent I contracted with to provide childcare, but I know dcp who have. It was the source of a lot of frustration for them, and the relationships never lasted very long.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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I used to watch two little girls in my home three days a week and I just adored them. However, the biggest pet peeve was when they would cancel.. literally 5- 10 minutes before they were suppose to show up! She would either call ( rarerly) send me an email, or leave a note on my door. Like, she just thought I was waiting at home with nothing better to do than watch her kids??! It drove me crazy.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:09 AM
 
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-Whenever we ask them to return a form by a certain date and they don't. One parent had two weeks to fill out and return a form and she kept saying she would bring it. She came in on the morning it was due and still didn't have it. She was shocked when we asked her to return home and get it. We were the ones that would get cited if we didn't have that form in the child's file when licensing came that day. Another parent was stunned when we sent her a letter of termination when she failed to bring a work verification form.

That's the big one for me right now and also same as everyone else has said.

All I really ask of the parents is that they know my name, they seem genuinely interested in what I have to say about their child and that they respect me and don't treat me like hired help.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:40 AM
 
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I'm a working parent and my daughter will be in daycare soon. I found this thread very informative, and don't agree with the complainers about it.
I agree. I was not offended by the DCPers' vents. That's what I expected when I opened the thread. I actually think it would be really useful for parents who have never used daycare to read a thread like this. I have never done daycare but I had a friend who was a nanny. I heard from her about the disrespectful treatment she got from the "bad" families. And I also heard how wonderful it made her feel when she had a good connection with a family. I heard specific complaints from her that I think make me a better daycare parent.

I hear many parents I work with making complaints about their daycares/daycare providers that I think are absurd. The man who complains constantly that he pays too much yet he pays the lowest fee that anyone charges in this area (one-third as much as me, and I still think my kids' daycare teachers don't make enough money). The woman that complained that her at home DCP was in her pajamas when she showed up to drop her kids off 1.5 hours early. The two women who are always encouraging me to dope my sick kid with tylenol and drop her off so I can work the whole day instead of splitting it with my husband (They do it all the time). The parents who complain that they have to pay even when the daycare is closed even though they themselves get 5 weeks of vacation. It doesn't seem to occur to them that maybe daycare workers deserve vacation too...

It wouldn't hurt parents like that to have a little perspective, the type of perspective they would gain from reading a thread like this.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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I really don't agree with this, by the way. If they say "doors close at x time", it seems clear to me. Do you also think it makes sense to go sit down at a restaurant at 10:55 if they post that they close at 11? Management may allow it, but you can be sure the employees won't be happy.
Sure but there's a huge difference between that and not picking your child up a full half hour before closing time so there's time to clean.

In one case you are planning to stay well after the posted closing time. In the other you may have allowed for "boot putting on time" but you are not putting in cleaning time and so on and so forth.

I'm glad to know so I can ask any future DCPs, 'cause it would never, ever have occured to me that some people say 6 but mean 5:30. Ever.

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Old 02-01-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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Just want to say I've adored and been grovelling grateful to every DCP I've ever had. I couldn't do that job, and I think those of you who can are heroes, and definitely underpaid ones!

(And I'm looking for a new one of you right now--wish me luck!)
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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Gosh- makes me wonder whats going on in my DCP mind...

~I expect a learning plan and schedule- but thats because she said she had one (which she doesn't do)

~I pick my DD up "at closing" - which is 4:30... but I told her in my interview that there was a chance I might not make it there for 4:30 some days but I would try my darndest to do (and trust me- I do, because I know she wants that time to do her own things)- I work 30 minutes away....

~I question her fees because she is on the higher end of the rate scale and often I hear about how they spent the day at WalMart or grocery shopping or paying her bills. To me- these are not age appropriate activities for my DD and when I think about DD being in her infant car seat all day I cringe... I mean once and awhile is okay with me... several times a week?

BUT on the same note I recently had a reduction in hours and income at work... DCP was kind enough to reduce her rate $25 a week... which I asked her to... she didn't have to do it but she did- which to that! So I make sure I arrange the time off with what works best for her.

Thing is - is I often get there and DCP provider is in one room and DD is in the livingroom with her daughter (12) or someone else. Or I hear how when someone else washolding her... blah blah... I don't mean to complain too much- but I am paying HER to watch DD- not her daughter...

The thing is I asked soooooo many questions during the interview and she painted a completely different picture.... I try my best because she is the only one right now.... and really want to respect her more and treat her as a co-parent.....


Do you as a DCP get upset when parents complain about the amount of TV time? we were told the TV was never on at the interview- and it is ALWAYS on... we choose to limit screen time in our house- especially now the DD gets so much at DC.

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Old 02-01-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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Do you as a DCP get upset when parents complain about the amount of TV time? we were told the TV was never on at the interview- and it is ALWAYS on... we choose to limit screen time in our house- especially now the DD gets so much at DC.
No way! I don't think children should watch it at all. This coming from someone who hasn't ever had cable So take my advice with a grain of salt

I personally hate TV. I think it exposes children to a bunch of materilistic crap they don't need. Once in a while I am okay with it. Like, for example, at my center we might get the TV out once a month in the winter months, if it has been a particurally long bout of bad weather that we haven't been able to go out in. And only to watch a movie, we don't have actual cable. This is only after exhausting every other indoor activity we can think of. And we NEVER let them watch TV in the good weather months, unless it is a show specifically targeted to our current unit, like a Martin Luther King JR video or other such educational thing.

When I was a Nanny I knew she watched a ton of TV when I wasn't there, so I rarely had it on. Once in a great while as a treat.

In general I would have a big issue if I was paying someone to watch my child and they watched TV all the time. But again, this is coming from a TV hater

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Old 02-01-2009, 09:56 PM
 
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Gosh- makes me wonder whats going on in my DCP mind...

~I expect a learning plan and schedule- but thats because she said she had one (which she doesn't do)

~I pick my DD up "at closing" - which is 4:30... but I told her in my interview that there was a chance I might not make it there for 4:30 some days but I would try my darndest to do (and trust me- I do, because I know she wants that time to do her own things)- I work 30 minutes away....

~I question her fees because she is on the higher end of the rate scale and often I hear about how they spent the day at WalMart or grocery shopping or paying her bills. To me- these are not age appropriate activities for my DD and when I think about DD being in her infant car seat all day I cringe... I mean once and awhile is okay with me... several times a week?

BUT on the same note I recently had a reduction in hours and income at work... DCP was kind enough to reduce her rate $25 a week... which I asked her to... she didn't have to do it but she did- which to that! So I make sure I arrange the time off with what works best for her.

Thing is - is I often get there and DCP provider is in one room and DD is in the livingroom with her daughter (12) or someone else. Or I hear how when someone else washolding her... blah blah... I don't mean to complain too much- but I am paying HER to watch DD- not her daughter...

The thing is I asked soooooo many questions during the interview and she painted a completely different picture.... I try my best because she is the only one right now.... and really want to respect her more and treat her as a co-parent.....


Do you as a DCP get upset when parents complain about the amount of TV time? we were told the TV was never on at the interview- and it is ALWAYS on... we choose to limit screen time in our house- especially now the DD gets so much at DC.

I don't know your provider, so can't claim to know what is going on in her mind...

Did she say you'd get a copy of the learning schedule or just that she has one? Maybe you could gently ask for a copy so you have a better idea of what your dd is doing?

I assume you knew and consented to your provider taking your dd on occasional errands when you signed a contract? How long do these errands take in terms of % of time she is in care? I can't imagine spending all day at Wal-mart (or wanting to). I don't drive with the children I care for, myself, but I truly think there is some educational content in a lot of these errands, especially grocery store trips, *as long as the child really isn't stressed out or exhausted by them*

I have a 10 yr old daughter, who LOVES playing with the children when she comes home after school, and the children love that as well. If she has a day off, she will organize the preschoolers to put on a play for parents at pickup or play school, build a fort city, or some other activity that they love but cannot quite do on their own yet. I supervise, intervene when necessary, but let it happen. It feels like a bit of a break, but there is always way more cleanup later, so it evens out.

I certainly don't leave her in charge of babies or toddlers (or even older children) while I am in a separate part of the house, though....

I'm glad you brought this up, because I'm planning to homeschool her when she is 12, and I'll have to think about what her interactions with the children would be at that time and talk to parents as well. I've been imagining paying her extra allowance starting in that year to do an hour of cleanup or to prepare lunches or something like that, that would be educational for her and make my life easier...

We cancelled cable a couple of years ago and movie time is SEVERELY limited, as in, I don't think we've watched anything during daycare hours since that morning in early December when I put a 20 min kids show on while I cleaned up broken glass in the kitchen....I might put a show on if a child was sick and waiting for a pickup, or if a child was really stressed out and comforted by tv (I have sometimes cared for children through respite care who were in my home for a very short time and perhaps anxious about a lot of changes in their lives.)

I know some providers who put on a show while preparing lunch -- I used to do that when I started, but have weaned my home off of that.

Our agency reg is no more than an hour a day, and is has to be educational or at least child-appropriate.

I've never had a parent complain about tv watching, and I think that I have had the tv on less than my parents do at home even in the bad old days when we did watch more.

Perhaps you could ask what the average length of time your dd spends daily watching tv is? You could say you don't want her to exceed X hours a week and you want to make sure she's not getting too much in combination at home and daycare?
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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I think that my DCP is fulfilling a services contract by feeding, diapering and playing with my child. Luckily, I have a great DCP with wonderful teachers and they do me (and my daughter) a huge "favor" by hugging and kissing her and helping her grow and feel safe.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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Just a note to day care center employees. If you are an hourly employee (and most are, I think) and you stay until 6:30 because a parent is late, your employer is required by law to pay you for that time. They can't refuse to pay you for that last 30 minutes (or whatever). In if that puts you over 8 hours, that time is overtime and subject to those laws. Not being paid for that time is a violation of labor laws, at least as I understand them as a former employer, and you should consider complaining to your labor board.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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Just a note to day care center employees. If you are an hourly employee (and most are, I think) and you stay until 6:30 because a parent is late, your employer is required by law to pay you for that time. They can't refuse to pay you for that last 30 minutes (or whatever). In if that puts you over 8 hours, that time is overtime and subject to those laws. Not being paid for that time is a violation of labor laws, at least as I understand them as a former employer, and you should consider complaining to your labor board.
Private school employee here, and the assistants (who do childcare) are contract employees - almost a combo between salaried and hourly (i.e. they get paid for snow days and have some sick leave, but they don't get paid from 6:00 until 6:30).
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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I'm a little late to the thread, but I'm having a minor issue w/ the family I'm a temp nanny for. (And the issue is complicated because we're also friends.)

When it's my day off and you know you have class (single mom, Firefighter, and p/t college student), please get to class early enough so you'll be home to get your daughter off the bus. Please don't call me an hour before school's out to ask if I can watch your dd for 2-3 hrs this afternoon. (I don't get paid for this.)

This is my day off. I have church tonight. I need to help my ds w/ hw, make dinner, clean up, get ready for church, AND watch your dd? Again?

I watch this child 24 hrs every 3rd day. Sometimes it's 48 hrs if the mom gets an OT shift. Sometimes we bring her to church w/ us.

Mom got home about 10AM today w/ my check. We hung out for a couple of hours then she left because she said she had to go to school today. About 2PM I happened to look out my sliding door and saw mom leaving for school. (Our homes face each other and I have my blinds open all day.) She called me at 2:30-ish to ask if I could watch her dd till 6.

If you know you have to be at school for 4 hrs, why not leave earlier? I don't mind hanging out when you get off work and I really appreciate the tea you bring me every time (thank you! That's so thoughtful!) , but I have things to do this evening. I do MOST evenings. Even if it's just sitting at home helping my oldest w/ homework or hanging w/ dh or making dinner. Heck, maybe I just feel like taking a walk or watching TV w/ my dh and our 3 kids!

It's not anything against you, but I'm not getting paid for it (not that I mind helping out!) and your child is really a lot more work than you think... (Separate post...)

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Old 02-10-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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Justthatgirl, are you feeling like you can't say no to the additional babysitting because you're worried that it will mess up your working relationship/friendship? And why aren't you being paid for the extra hours? When your friend asks you to do extra babysitting, could you answer in a way that makes it clear that you expect to be paid? Or just say no to extra babysitting when it's not convenient?

Edit: Nevermind -- I just read your other thread and saw how complicated the situation is with your friend. I'm sorry you're dealing with that!

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Old 02-10-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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Private school employee here, and the assistants (who do childcare) are contract employees - almost a combo between salaried and hourly (i.e. they get paid for snow days and have some sick leave, but they don't get paid from 6:00 until 6:30).
Fair Labor Standards Act is confusing when the situation is like this, but assistants are non-exempt employees, so they do need to get paid for all their hours, but if over the course of the year, they ever get to leave early and still get paid, then they don't need to get paid for the "extra" time. (i.e. they are contracted to work 180 days, 8 hours per day, so that's 1440 hours per contract. If they work over 1440 during the course of the contracted year, they need to get paid for those hours).
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