Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: bah12 on June 10, 2013, 11:43:10 AM

Title: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: bah12 on June 10, 2013, 11:43:10 AM
I love our daycare provider, Bonnie.  She's a wonderful person and a good friend.  DD loves her.  All the kids do.  They are happy and well cared for in her home. 
I wrote a few weeks ago about an issue where she told me that she wanted some time off, which coincided with another parents' family vacation, but was not the agreed upon notice in her contact for closing her facility.  That was the first ever issue I had with her and after I spoke to her about it, she offered a solution that worked for all of us.  So, overall she is a reasonable person.

Now, my second issue has come up:

On Friday, DD was the only child in her care.  Normally, there would be more, but for whatever reason, everyone was off work or had other appointments (one child was sick), so DD was alone.  DH and I both had busy days.  I was more concerned about getting off work in time to pick up DD (there's an earlier pick-up on Fridays) than anything else.

About an hour after I had arrived to work, DH and I both got a text from Bonnie that DD was sick and one of us needed to come pick her up.  I called her immediately and asked what had happened.  She told me that DD had asked to pull the matt out and take a nap in the morning (nap time is in the afternoon).  I asked her if there were any other symptoms, such as a fever, or loss of appetite.  Bonnie told me that she "felt warm", but when I asked her to take her temperature and tell me (so I could call the doctor and tell her if needed), she read back a normal 98.8 degrees.  DD had eaten a full breakfast at our house that morning and had taken a morning snack to daycare with her.  Bonnie told me that she ate that just fine. 

I then told Bonnie that chances were that DD was just tired.  Our dog had gotten spooked around 4am that morning and woke us all up. DD never really went back to sleep.  Add that it was hot, none of her friends were there, etc, and she probably just wanted to take a nap.  I asked Bonnie if it would be ok if she just let DD sleep and then see how she was when she woke up.  I also asked her to keep me informed and if I had to leave work early to get her, I would.

About 20 minutes later, Bonnie texts me back that DD was awake and "seemed ok for the moment."  I wrote back "great!" and went on with my day.

Then, just after lunch, and coincidentally when nap time would normally be, I get another text "DD is not well.  She didn't eat much for lunch and is wanting to nap again. You need to come get her."  I had to leave an important meeting to call Bonnie back. I asked her if she could tell me her exact symptoms, because I would call the doctor on the way home.  Bonnie said that going to a doctor wasn't necessary...she was just sick and needed to go to our home. 

I leave work and pick DD up.  When I arrive at Bonnie's, DD is sitting on the couch watching TV.  She's eating saltines (which Bonnie said was the only snack she would accept).  She had no fever, no vomitting.  She was talkative when I asked her how she was feeling.  In other words, not sick at all.

I admit I was angry and didn't want to speak to Bonnie.  Bonnie told me that the inspector told her that she couldn't have sick kids at the daycare because they make the other kids sick.  That if he had shown up that day, she would have gotten written up because DH and I didn't come get DD the first time she asked us to.

I feel very strongly that Bonnie just wanted the day off.  DD was not sick.  She came home and ran around and ate normally.  She had no symptoms other than requesting to take two naps when normally she takes one (and that was explainable given the circumstances earlier that morning).  I also feel horrible, because Bonnie made me feel like I didn't want to take care of my sick child.  That my work and my meetings trumped my child.

I have no problem leaving work if I have to take care of DD if she is sick.  I have called in sick in the past when she's had fevers or was vomitting.  I always ask the doctor if she is contagious to other children (most of the time the answer I get is that the kids are contagious before they show symptoms, not once they've shown up).  I'm cognizant that Bonnie did not sign up to take care of sick kids.  One time when DD had a rash and the doctor told me that DD was not a danger to other children, I still asked Bonnie if she and the other parents would be comfortable if DD was in care (there was no ointment or any additional care for Bonnie). 

But, what I do have a problem with is dropping everything at work and rushing to pick up DD because she did one thing out of the ordinary and might be sick.  I don't have that kind of time in my schedule.

I feel that Bonnie lied.  To add to my suspicians, she texted me a couple of pictures over the weekend of DD running around in a bathing suit and playing in a kiddie pool.  I replied and thanked her for the pictures and asked "this was yesterday?"  Bonnie, I think, realized her mistake and texted back "are you just now getting these?"  I know the pictures were taken on Friday.  It's too coincidental...the same outfit she wore that morning draped over a chair, the same scuffed up left knee, the barrettes in her hair.   

I need to speak to Bonnie (DH may have done so this morning, but I don't know).  I am very angry though and while I don't want to jump the gun and start looking for alternate care, I need to let her know that what she did on Friday is not ok.  Yet, this is a difficult situation to navigate, because I will have to come out and accuse of her lying.  I also need to somehow get us past this (where she doesn't do it again and we don't dwell on this incident), or I will probably be forced to find alternate care.  This would not be easy for DD.  She loves it there and she loves Bonnie.

So, first, am I being unreasonable?  Did Bonnie do the right thing by assuming that DD was sick simply because she asked to take a nap early?  And is there some sort of standard for determining when DD is too sick to be at daycare?  Is it even reasonable to try to define that?  And then, finally, how does one go about confronting the lie when I'm not ready to give up on her services?  I'm highly doubtful that Bonnie will come out and say "Oh you got me.  I just wanted the day off.  Won't happen again."
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: NyaChan on June 10, 2013, 11:47:46 AM
No you are not overreacting.  I would sit down and chat with Bonnie about this and maybe start looking at other childcare options.  Sounds to me like Bonnie has gotten to that comfortable stage where she tries to figure out how far she can slack and still get away with it.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Eden on June 10, 2013, 11:55:17 AM
I wouldn't even bother chatting with Bonnie. I'd start looking at other options.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: ncgal on June 10, 2013, 11:55:58 AM
I dont think you are over reacting.  For me and my daughter, the day care/track out program will call me when she has been actually physically sick or running a temp of around 100.1 or something.  Normal temp and just wanting to lay around, would not rate a phone call. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: LeveeWoman on June 10, 2013, 11:59:00 AM
I'd start looking for a new provider. If she'd lie about this, what else would she lie about?
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: bah12 on June 10, 2013, 12:04:57 PM
I dont think you are over reacting.  For me and my daughter, the day care/track out program will call me when she has been actually physically sick or running a temp of around 100.1 or something.  Normal temp and just wanting to lay around, would not rate a phone call.

The phone call wouldn't even bother me all that much.  If she had said something like "FYI, DD asked to take a nap early.  She doesn't have a fever so I'm just going to let her sleep and see how she does.  I just want you to know now in case it's the beginnings of her getting sick,"  I would have been fine.  It was the, "she asked to take a nap.  Come get her now," that bothered me.  If I had to leave work and pick her up every time she so much as coughs, I might as well not work.  Also, kids (including DD) have been there with runny noses and colds.  I get that daycares and schools are germy places.  We have never been told that she can't come to daycare if she has a cold, yet as far as potential to make other kids sick, I think that would be more the case than just a "less active and hungry than normal."

This hasn't come up in the three years that we've been going to Bonnie, so I'm just at a loss and wondering if something is going on with her.  I'd hate to fire her over one incident...
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Bexx27 on June 10, 2013, 12:11:04 PM
You're not being unreasonable at all. I would be angry, too. I would let her know that DD was not sick and having to leave work for no good reason was seriously inconvenient. Rather than accuse her of lying, maybe say it seems that she was overreacting to DD's behavior because all the other kids were sick and she was expecting DD to get sick, too.

It's surprising to me that she doesn't already have guidelines for when kids are too sick to stay there. For example, the parent handbook for my DD's daycare center says:

Your child should not come to [daycare], or will be sent home, if s/he has:
• A temperature of 100 or more as determined by an underarm or oral thermometer or temporal scan thermometer. Your child should not return until 24 hours after temperature returns to normal without the aid of a fever reducing medication.
• Severe cold: runny nose, cough, sore throat, sneezing and/or fever.
• Vomiting (more than infant "spitting up").
• Diarrhea (watery or greenish bowel movement that is more frequent than usual). Your child should not return until 24 hours after last diarrhea-like bowel movement. If diarrhea is a side-effect of medication taken by the child, your child may return to [daycare] with a doctor’s note indicating they are well enough to participate in group care.
• Rashes you cannot identify or that have not been diagnosed by a doctor.
• Severe headache, earache, or upset stomach.
• Signs of extreme fatigue or general ill feeling.
• Red and/or runny eyes

I would propose coming up with a similar list to guide future decisions.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 10, 2013, 12:14:46 PM
Quote
Bonnie told me that the inspector told her that she couldn't have sick kids at the daycare because they make the other kids sick.  That if he had shown up that day, she would have gotten written up because DH and I didn't come get DD the first time she asked us to.

I would suggest you contact this public agency and ask them to provide you with the criteria THEY use to determine whether a child is sick.

I would imagine that it would have to be a fever. Or extreme listlessness.

This wording:
Quote
• Signs of extreme fatigue or general ill feeling.

is probably what Brenda will point to--that wanting a nap at an unusual time is "extreme fatigue." So you might probe about whether the inspector has any further guidance on what constitutes "extreme fatigue."

But no, wanting to take a nap at an unusual time, when all other behavior is pretty normal is not what *my* doctor would have called "extreme fatigue."
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Penguin_ar on June 10, 2013, 12:21:53 PM
You are right to be annoyed.  The play school my kids go to have similar rules to Bexx, those seem standard. There is a  difference between a child being sleepy (esp. with reason such as yours), and being lethargic (potential sign of illness).  A good carer knows the difference. 

I think it is worth setting some perimeters for the future with the day care provider, but ultimately, this relationship may go south anyways.  :(
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: NyaChan on June 10, 2013, 12:23:36 PM
bah12 - I know you said you don't want to end this arrangement based on one incident, but I see it as the second incident.  Plus, I think having a backup will help you feel more able to decide what you actually want from Bonnie and able to walk away if she can't provide it.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: kherbert05 on June 10, 2013, 12:24:38 PM
Sick is
- Fever


- upset tummy


- a child who is not normally a whiny kid complaining about pain I had a student with no fever who had an ear infection that burst his ear drum. Because he normally doesn't complain nurse and I sent him to the free clinic and they immediately put him on medication.


- This one is hard but allergies so bad the child can't function. (I was generally sent to school because you have to live with allergies. But when I was coughing so hard I couldn't talk and  or stand, I stayed home.)


- Known exposure to contagious illness where you are contagious before symptoms show up. (A few years ago we had like 5 pregnant teachers a family found out their children had been exposed to a illness that is mild in children but dangerous to pregnant women and you are contagious before symptoms. Mom called the school ASAP told the office to isolate her children and that she was on the way to pick them up. Thankfully no one got sick and all the babies were fine. Principal had all the classrooms scrubbed down just to be safe.)




It doesn't sound like your daughter was sick. I agree your child care wanted the day off so she latched onto your daughter being sleepy because she woke up hours early.


At this point with the previous problems, I think you need to start looking for more professional child care. At least do some research so you know your options if things come to a head. It almost sounds like she is gearing up to fire you.


 Can you ask the policing/licencing agency for a copy of inspections/reports to see if Bonnie is telling the truth about inspectors comments and if there was a more serious problem.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: JenJay on June 10, 2013, 12:28:33 PM
When I worked in an in-home daycare (and I believe it is the same for centers) the rule was a child needed to be kept home in they had a fever over 100, vomiting, or diarrhea. When I was a nanny I called in sick if my temp was over 99 (it never goes over 98.8 and will usually be a touch lower, anything over and I'm sick). You are not being unreasonable and she was unreasonable to jump to "sick" because your child was extra sleepy

I don't know that you can confront her for lying at this point, instead I'd say "I was speaking to some work friends the other day, they asked if DD was okay since I had to leave work early to get her on Friday. Apparently it's standard for most daycare contracts to cite the terms under which a child needs to be kept home due to illness. I understand that a fever over 100 and/or vomiting are the norm. That sounds reasonable to me and I've brought my copy of our contract so we can amend it to reflect that. Is there anything else you think we need to consider adding?"
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: citadelle on June 10, 2013, 12:29:06 PM
I think you need to choose between keeping Bonnie as a provider and getting satisfaction on this issue. Like you said, she is not going to admit that your daughter was not "sick", so there is very little room to make a stand unless you are willing to leave.

About the only thing I can think of is to ask her to clarify her policy on illness and ask her to define parameters such as: fever, vomiting or visible stuffiness. Let her know that beyond those symptoms, you would like to be contacted but that you will make the final decision about whether she needs to go home.

This way, she knows you are "onto" her, but you don't have to make an accusation. I think if you want to directly call her out, you will also have to fire her.

Good luck.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: B on June 10, 2013, 12:33:27 PM
Personally I would not be so quick to sever a 3 year child care relationship that appears to have been positive until this event.  I would not assume the worst and instead assume she had an error in judgement that may have been influenced by the other children being ill.  However I would point out that my child was fine and play it as a so next time, if there is no vomiting or ferver, an extra nap is a symptom of fatigue and nothing more and you are sure she wouldn't have you leave work in that instance.

Being a working parent is tough but if you feel she genuinely cares for your child and has provided quality care for 3 years, I would give that serious consideration.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Roe on June 10, 2013, 12:34:19 PM
This is not the first incident.  It's the second (rather serious) incident.  Would you rather wait for a third to occur before you starting looking elsewhere? 

If I were you, I'd start now that way when the third incident does happen, you already know how to handle it.  Honestly, I don't think I'd wait for the third incident.  (esp with the pictures she texted)
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: SleepyKitty on June 10, 2013, 12:34:41 PM
I would propose coming up with a similar list to guide future decisions.

This sounds like an awesome way to approach it. Why not sit down with her and say something like, "I appreciate your concerns about the inspector, but when I got DD home, she was totally fine. I think maybe there's some disparity between how you were seeing how she was feeling, and how I saw it. Why don't we sit down and come up with a list to help us determine if I need to come get her? It ended up being very inconvenient for me to get her on Friday when she wasn't actually sick, just tired, so this can help up avoid that in the future."

That way, you're telling her straight out you know DD wasn't sick, but you're framing it as her being overcautious, and not a liar. And then if this happens again, you can point to the list and say: "When we made this, you were comfortable with keeping DD in your care as long as she wasn't showing these symptoms. She's not showing then, so I'm going to ask you to keep her the normal hours today. Please feel free to call me as soon as she exhibits one of these."
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: lilfox on June 10, 2013, 12:44:53 PM
I think the PPs have some good suggestions as to how to handle this situation (I would be annoyed too).  But I also want to put out there that since this is the second incident in a month (?) or so where she's taken the opportunity to close up for a bit, it sounds like Bonnie is getting burned out.  If there's a chance she will end up taking a long break, you might want to check out other options now.  I think the odds are good that the next time your DD is the only one present, Bonnie will find another pretense to send her home - her excuses this time were thin to begin with.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: B on June 10, 2013, 12:50:16 PM
The first incident was she desired time off that hadn't been previously negotiated, let the poster know who expressed her dissatisfaction and they worked out a mutually beneficial solution.  We all have lives and I would not react by pulling my child out of a situation where there had been 3 years of happy care over a misunderstanding.  That said, if the arrangement isn't working any longer, may be time to look elsewhere.  I would just give it careful consideration.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Hollanda on June 10, 2013, 01:08:16 PM
No you're not overreacting.  I'd talk to her about it and keep a very close eye on things indeed.  :-\
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: bah12 on June 10, 2013, 01:56:08 PM
So, there are guidelines for when a child should be sent home in our contract packet.  (I just looked it up, as I had scanned it in after we started going) and they are generally in line with was said here.  "Extreme fatigue" is on that list.

As for the first incident, I don't want to call that an "issue" as once I talked to her and mentioned that while she's entitled to paid leave, I am entitled to the proper notice, she fixed it.  Her mother is watching DD at no additional charge to me while she is out (next week). 

But, there is a point in her getting burned out.  I can feel it a little bit.  I don't see it compromising the care of the kids.  DD talks about the "fun" they have over there.  She is good with activities and takes them on field trips often.   I know she needs the income and can't afford to close down permanently, but I also know that she has some personal things going on right now that may just be stressing her out to the point that she feels she needs a break.  I care about her as a person, but I also want to make sure that DD is in a good environement.  So, now I'm thinking this afternoon, I should have a conversation with her about this (vs the whole lying to get a day off incident). 

DD is starting preschool in the fall.  That would be a good time to transition her into alternate care if necessary.  DH and I have already discussed that timeline as well. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: doodlemor on June 10, 2013, 02:37:13 PM
We went through issues like this when our daughter was small.  It was a huge relief when we changed providers.

Bonnie wants the money from caring for children, but she doesn't understand that this will necessarily infringe on her freedoms.  She is devious, too, and I think rather selfish. 

If you stay with her there will likely be one issue after another.  You don't need the stress.  If I were you I'd look for another daycare right away.

We had the best experiences with a licensed daycare run by an agency.  The children were fed snacks and meals according to nutritional guidelines, and there were set standards for illnesses.  If a teacher was sick and couldn't work, they had a sub list. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on June 10, 2013, 03:20:06 PM
We went through issues like this when our daughter was small.  It was a huge relief when we changed providers.

Bonnie wants the money from caring for children, but she doesn't understand that this will necessarily infringe on her freedoms.  She is devious, too, and I think rather selfish. 

If you stay with her there will likely be one issue after another.  You don't need the stress.  If I were you I'd look for another daycare right away.

We had the best experiences with a licensed daycare run by an agency.  The children were fed snacks and meals according to nutritional guidelines, and there were set standards for illnesses.  If a teacher was sick and couldn't work, they had a sub list.

I agree with this.  It's not so much how many times she has done something like this, but the way she went about it.  I wouldn't want to stress over whether or not she's lying to me.  If she's lying to you about this, what other things is she lying about or keeping from you?
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: YummyMummy66 on June 10, 2013, 03:28:24 PM
You need to find other daycare for your daughter.  I would go with a regular busiiness type daycare, not with an in home provider.

Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: kitchcat on June 10, 2013, 03:30:57 PM
So, there are guidelines for when a child should be sent home in our contract packet.  (I just looked it up, as I had scanned it in after we started going) and they are generally in line with was said here.  "Extreme fatigue" is on that list.

But, there is a point in her getting burned out.  I can feel it a little bit.  I don't see it compromising the care of the kids.  DD talks about the "fun" they have over there.  She is good with activities and takes them on field trips often.   I know she needs the income and can't afford to close down permanently, but I also know that she has some personal things going on right now that may just be stressing her out to the point that she feels she needs a break.  I care about her as a person, but I also want to make sure that DD is in a good environement.  So, now I'm thinking this afternoon, I should have a conversation with her about this (vs the whole lying to get a day off incident). 

It's good that you found the list of guidelines in your contract, but what you described doesn't even sound like "extreme fatigue." It sounds like a typical three year old that was tired after a night of little sleep. I agree that it looks like Bonnie was making a mountain out of a molehill to get the day off, which is seriously  not cool.

I would have a conversation with her explaining the impact her actions had on you.

"Bonnie, I had to leave a very important meeting at work because you insisted I pick up DD. The only symptom DD displayed  that is mentioned in the contract is fatigue, which is easily explained by the fact that our dog woke DD up last night and she did not get much sleep. If I have to cancel important meetings and leave work every time DD is a little tired, I don't think this arrangement will work out for either of us. We chose you to care for DD because we feel you are a reliable, responsible, caregiver, and yesterday I did not feel that way."
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Eeep! on June 10, 2013, 06:33:53 PM
Our daycare provider (who is an in-home provider who is incredibly awesome and we love) goes by the fever over 100 or actually physically sick rule, for the most part.  She has called me for my son when he was baby and was super duper cranky and not eating - both of which are NOT like him at all - which I appreciated. But she would never call because one of my boys wanted to take an extra nap.  Even if they were tired and not really hungry, she will mostly just let me know so I can keep a closer eye on him.  I think the fact that this happened when your daughter was the only one there is what makes it extra suspect. I would be really annoyed if my provider made me leave work thinking one of my boys was sick and the only symptom was wanting to lay down. And you had a perfectly good reason why she was tired.
As to what to do, I think going over the guidelines would be a good start. But I think I personally would at least start looking for a new place so you can get an idea of what is out there/available. Because it really is a bad sign if she is willing to start lying to you to get a day off.  (And if the picture of your daughter were really from that day - then she has a strange way of caring for "sick" children and that is concerning.) That is a pretty big deal.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Bluenomi on June 11, 2013, 02:09:11 AM
This is the reason good centres have a written list of reasons to send a child home sick. DD might have the odd day where she sleeps more and the carers will let me know when I pick her up, usually just a heads up she was extra tired in case it might mean she's coming down with something. They won't send her home just for being tired.

I agree with others, I think she was after a day off and thought your DD being tired was her way out!
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: YummyMummy66 on June 11, 2013, 06:07:06 AM
You can go by all the guidelines you want.

It is clear that this in home provider, that when given the option of free time over watching children in her home that she signed up to watch, will try and take the free time over her choice of a job. 

And yes, there may be state guidelines that you should follow, but I am not sure if an in home provider has to follow those same guidelines. She might be able to follow her own guidelines in her own home.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: *inviteseller on June 11, 2013, 06:51:28 AM
I would look for a new provider.  I had my older DD in a center, but it was a small family owned place, and they started having staff issues (high turnover) then I started getting calls at work to get her for all sorts of reasons...air wasn't working, heat quit working, they closed for weather (in their packet was going by school guidelines and the schools were open), she was sick (she wasn't) and my boss was NOT amused because I would have to drop everything because they said I had to be there in an hour and I had to run to get a bus).  I was so happy to change to a place that was reliable..so was my boss!
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Roe on June 11, 2013, 07:06:10 AM
I still can't get over the pictures she texted you that showed your DD having fun!  When you asked "was this yesterday?" what did she say to that?  Obviously, your daughter wasn't sick if she was outside playing. 

I'm rather upset on your behalf. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Winterlight on June 11, 2013, 08:15:25 AM
Personally I would not be so quick to sever a 3 year child care relationship that appears to have been positive until this event.  I would not assume the worst and instead assume she had an error in judgement that may have been influenced by the other children being ill.  However I would point out that my child was fine and play it as a so next time, if there is no vomiting or ferver, an extra nap is a symptom of fatigue and nothing more and you are sure she wouldn't have you leave work in that instance.

Being a working parent is tough but if you feel she genuinely cares for your child and has provided quality care for 3 years, I would give that serious consideration.

This. I would not jump to ending the relationship at this point.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 11, 2013, 10:03:33 AM
This is not the first incident.  It's the second (rather serious) incident.  Would you rather wait for a third to occur before you starting looking elsewhere? 

If I were you, I'd start now that way when the third incident does happen, you already know how to handle it.  Honestly, I don't think I'd wait for the third incident.  (esp with the pictures she texted)

POD Roe. It sounds like Bonnie is starting to flake about having a home daycare and all the obligations required for it. Closing for a week for vacation? As long as adequate notice is given, and it is explained to everyone, fine. Wanting to have a day off without the pesky child you are being paid to care for? Not fine.

I would be looking in another direction for child care.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: gen xer on June 11, 2013, 10:42:06 AM
OP I have been through the exact same issue you are going through.  I had a friend provide in-home daycare and she was great - warm, trustworthy and conveniently just a few houses down from me....but I got several calls to rush home for kids who weren't really sick.  The only difference was she would exaggerate the symptoms ( she tends to exaggerate about everything  ) and since I couldn't tell over the phone I would end up rushing home.

The "screeching with stomach pain" was gas.
The "burning up and beet red with fever" was from running around outside in the summertime.
The "lethargic and barely moving" was from a poor nights sleep just like you had.
 ???

Of course I wouldn't know this until I got home and the kids were just fine.  I am like you too - if they really are sick I keep them home and have no problem leaving work - for a good reason...but not dropping everything for a false alarm.

I wrote the first couple of incidents off as a misjudgement although i think i was being pretty generous with the benefit of the doubt there.....but after a couple I called her up to tell her in a flat voice that DD was not sick - no fever, no pain, vomitting, no nothing....and believe it or not that kind of disconcerted her into being a little more judicious in her "Come home NOW!!!!".

I think what a couple of others have suggested is a good idea - call her, flat out tell her that you dropped everything to come home to a child who was not sick in the slightest and hammer out a set of criteria for calling.  This will let her know that she is on notice so to speak and you are giving her the chance to clean up her act one more time.  If it continues...well then you're looking for a new daycare provider.

Good luck! 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Peregrine on June 11, 2013, 11:08:59 AM
In my admittedly short 2 and half year of experience as a parent, I would not be so quick to leave a situation that has been good up to this point.  I look at the prior incident of vacation planning as something entirely different than this particular situation.

In this case, going off of my own experience, I would certainly be exasperated to find that my kid wasn't sick after all.  But, I also know that the precursor to all of my son's illnesses have been Very similar to the sleeping pattern that the OP's daughter exhibited.  While the child in question had an early morning that could explain it, I would also give the day care provider the benefit of the doubt because other children in her care had fallen ill.  While yes, it was suspiciously timed with a sunny day....you never can tell what was going through her head.  Plus who knows the OP's daughter could just have easily woken up the following morning with a raging fever and the flu and been fighting off the virus the previous day.

If it was me, I would be inclined to revisit the sick policy in the contract....keep an eagle eye out for similar incidences over the summer and be ready to transition to a different situation in the fall at school time.  But it might also be helpful to still be able to call on this person for occasional childcare for evenings/weekends/emergencies.....so I would recommend not burning bridges unless there is something more going on than was presented here.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: fountainof on June 11, 2013, 11:15:30 AM
I think I would also look for alternate care at least in the fall when the preschool starts.

If I was watching kids and all were away but one and that one wanted extra sleep it would be like a day off a bit so I don't see why that tired child would need to go home if she weren't vomiting or obviously very sick.  When my DD gets extra tired and sleeps extra long it is like a vacation for me. ;D  I can see why the provider called the first time as it could be illness but when the dog explanation was given she should just have enjoyed the quietness/space/whatever that comes with a tired kid who just wants to rest rather than repeated attempt to send the child home.  I personally would be peeved, as when my DD is tired and wants to rest she is the easiest kid ever, almost like she isn't even there.  The only thing I cannot do when DD is like this is leave the house but I could easily get extra housework, laundry, read a book, etc. done.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Yvaine on June 11, 2013, 11:40:39 AM
This is not the first incident.  It's the second (rather serious) incident.  Would you rather wait for a third to occur before you starting looking elsewhere? 

If I were you, I'd start now that way when the third incident does happen, you already know how to handle it.  Honestly, I don't think I'd wait for the third incident.  (esp with the pictures she texted)

POD Roe. It sounds like Bonnie is starting to flake about having a home daycare and all the obligations required for it. Closing for a week for vacation? As long as adequate notice is given, and it is explained to everyone, fine. Wanting to have a day off without the pesky child you are being paid to care for? Not fine.

I would be looking in another direction for child care.

Yeah...my gut feeling is that she saw that she only had one kid that day and realized that if she could just send that one kid home, voila, day off.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: bah12 on June 11, 2013, 11:41:57 AM
In my admittedly short 2 and half year of experience as a parent, I would not be so quick to leave a situation that has been good up to this point.  I look at the prior incident of vacation planning as something entirely different than this particular situation.

In this case, going off of my own experience, I would certainly be exasperated to find that my kid wasn't sick after all.  But, I also know that the precursor to all of my son's illnesses have been Very similar to the sleeping pattern that the OP's daughter exhibited.  While the child in question had an early morning that could explain it, I would also give the day care provider the benefit of the doubt because other children in her care had fallen ill.  While yes, it was suspiciously timed with a sunny day....you never can tell what was going through her head.  Plus who knows the OP's daughter could just have easily woken up the following morning with a raging fever and the flu and been fighting off the virus the previous day.

If it was me, I would be inclined to revisit the sick policy in the contract....keep an eagle eye out for similar incidences over the summer and be ready to transition to a different situation in the fall at school time.  But it might also be helpful to still be able to call on this person for occasional childcare for evenings/weekends/emergencies.....so I would recommend not burning bridges unless there is something more going on than was presented here.

Yeah, I can see where it may have been a precurser to her getting sick, which is why I wouldn't have minded a heads up call or text.  As it turns out, she's still just as energetic today as she normally is.  No signs of illnesses.

I'm like you and don't throw away relationships at the first sign of trouble...at least not without having a conversation first.  When taking advice on this board, I try to remember that posters only have a snapshot in time and are reacting to that without considering all the backstory, years of relationship, other environmental factors that could be influencing behavior etc.

Childcare, I think, is difficult, because I have to balance understanding and forgiveness of a friend with the proper care of my child...and that can conflict.

Like I said, I don't count the "first incident" as an "incident" because it was resolved, almost immediately, to my satisfaction.  Absent of any other issues, I'm now faced with what to do about this one thing.  Do I react by immediately assuming this is the beginning of the end, or do I try figure out what's really going on before making permanent irreversable changes that would not only affect our providor but my child?  Being that my DD is happy where she is, the other parents (who I also know...one is a neighbor) are all satisfied, DD as well as the older children tell stories of how they both learn and have fun, I have no reason to sever the tie based on this.

That doesn't make it not concerning though.  I'm not ignoring it and I don't think what she did last week is ok.  I haven't had a chance to talk to her in depth about it, but did ask yesterday, briefly, how things were going in her life.  I know she's stressed.  She communicated that she's really looking forward to her upcoming vacation.  She's going to spend some time with her son and DIL, which she has been craving for the last couple of years.  I think this will help her (hopefully) feel renewed.
I did mention to her that DD showed no signs of illness over the weekend and that I was also stressed because I had both been distracted at work and missed an important meeting and was behind yesterday as a result.  I told her I'd like to talk about it more today and she agreed to do that. 

Still not sure exactly how I want to approach this....
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Peregrine on June 11, 2013, 12:19:49 PM
I also wonder if perhaps the childcare provider wasn't feeling slightly under the weather herself.  It sounds like she has a tremendous amount on her plate right now, and she just made a bad judgement call.

Bah12 it sounds like you at least want to find out what was going on....and perhaps on a different day when you hadn't been so stressed about what was going on at your job you might have been inclined to feel differently if she had asked you to come get your daughter?  If it were me, I think I would talk to her and see if she had anything else to go on besides fatigue.  Once you establish that, I think you might want to talk to her about what the sick policies are, and get them ironed out in writing. 

I do know as a parent/provider you just have to make a judgement call, sometimes it's the wrong one.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 11, 2013, 01:35:43 PM
Another possibility is to be honest.
I
Say, "Brenda, when you called me about DD's extra nap, I ended up wondering if you were ditching her just so you could have a kid-free day. I've been trying to figure what factored into that impression, because I don't normally assume the worst of people, and I've been trying to figure out what signals I've been getting. And I'm worried about what it means for the future of our child-care arrangement.
  "I think I'm going to need for you to, by your actions, make it clear that you don't see us as "an imposition" but instead as your clients, the source of your income.
   "There are no "favors" here, of course--you aren't doing us a favor by watching out kid; we aren't doing you a favor by hiring you. But when you overreacted to our daughter's sleepiness, it felt like you were putting us on some other sort of term."

Of course she can say, "well, if you can't identify why you think this, then maybe the problem is in YOUR attitude." And it's true that this could be part of the problem.

But I think that your earlier impression over the vacation has lingered. And you might also seriously think about what things HAVE fed into this being your assumption.

SOMETHING did; you didn't come up with this out of the blue. See if you can identify them.

And then take them, and this incident, to her and say, "I'm being left with this impression, which is one that will harm our business relationship. What can you do to dispel that impression? And, in the future, please remember that this *is* what impression has been made, and choose courses of action that negate it."
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: NyaChan on June 11, 2013, 01:53:41 PM
I like Toots idea of explaining that you were left with a certain impression.  That way you are raising your concern - that she tried to ditch your daughter to get a day off - without saying "I think you lied to me about her being sick." which would make it very hard to continue your work relationship.  This way, the onus is on her to explain her thinking behind sending DD home whether she had a legitimate reason or not, while putting her on notice that her behavior is not going unnoticed.

I also think it was a very good point of Toots that there is likely a particular reason or two why your mind went to the possibility that she was just wanting a day off rather than genuinely believing that your DD was too sick to stay there.   
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: bah12 on June 11, 2013, 02:01:29 PM
I like Toots idea of explaining that you were left with a certain impression.  That way you are raising your concern - that she tried to ditch your daughter to get a day off - without saying "I think you lied to me about her being sick." which would make it very hard to continue your work relationship.  This way, the onus is on her to explain her thinking behind sending DD home whether she had a legitimate reason or not, while putting her on notice that her behavior is not going unnoticed.

I also think it was a very good point of Toots that there is likely a particular reason or two why your mind went to the possibility that she was just wanting a day off rather than genuinely believing that your DD was too sick to stay there.   

Yes, that impression came from me knowing that she has some personal things going on right now that has her a bit stressed out and that she has communicated how badly she thinks she needs some time off (the whole vacation issue).  I know she badly needs a break, I don't necessarily blame her for it, but Friday was not that day.  I'm not happy with how she went about it....

Not that it matters, but the personal stuff that had her stressed out is actually almost resolved, but she's had no time to decompress and I think dealing with young children all day on top of the other things has just caused her the need for a vacation.  Since she found a sub that I approve of at no additional cost for me, I have no problem with her taking a vacation...and I definitely understand her desire for one. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: Deetee on June 11, 2013, 02:18:48 PM
Without the pictures that she texted of your daughter running around, I would have been willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. With my own kid, I will see behavior and I'm certain she is heading for illness  and then she will be fine (or vice versa). Kids are really variable. So I would never say she lied. Just that she misjudged. And maybe she did want a day off and felt bad and it was so easy to project onto the little one (who was napping) that she felt as bad. I know I have so much more empathy for someone's illness when I am feeling under the weather myself.

It's the pictures that make me suspicious.

Anyhow, if you are thinking about pulling DD, there is nothing to be lost by talking with her and clarifying the sickness criteria. I would concurrently start researching and maybe carrying out a couple informational interviews with some other places. It is easier if you don't feel "stuck" there.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: BarensMom on June 11, 2013, 04:55:55 PM
This is not the first incident.  It's the second (rather serious) incident.  Would you rather wait for a third to occur before you starting looking elsewhere? 

If I were you, I'd start now that way when the third incident does happen, you already know how to handle it.  Honestly, I don't think I'd wait for the third incident.  (esp with the pictures she texted)

POD Roe. It sounds like Bonnie is starting to flake about having a home daycare and all the obligations required for it. Closing for a week for vacation? As long as adequate notice is given, and it is explained to everyone, fine. Wanting to have a day off without the pesky child you are being paid to care for? Not fine.

I would be looking in another direction for child care.

Yeah...my gut feeling is that she saw that she only had one kid that day and realized that if she could just send that one kid home, voila, day off.

Even if DD were sick,  as long as she was napping and not touching toys, etc., she couldn't infect the other children because there were no other children.  Bonnie just wanted to get rid of your DD so she could take the rest of the day off with pay. 

Bonnie is becoming a scammer.  Find another childcare provider STAT.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: *inviteseller on June 11, 2013, 07:53:24 PM
It is a shame that she is stressed and needs a vacation, and it is nice that as a friend you get that, but you also have a business relationship and if she is unable to keep her end of this business deal, then it is time to move on.  The fact that she sent those pics then tried to lie about it and as vague about DD's illness would make me wonder about her ability to be reliable.  She has a business that you pay her a fee to perform and her personal issues should not enter into it.  The vacation issue was one thing...annoying but settled satisfactory,  but to continue to call you with vague complaints is bad business.  I think if you approach any issues from a business/consumer standpoint instead of friend to friend you may be able to work out these issues better.   
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: bah12 on June 14, 2013, 11:47:17 AM
Update:

I have not  had a chance to talk to her about this in depth, but have gotten some tidbits.  I verified that her licencing inspector did visit her and gave her a warning for having a sick child in her care with other children (not DD).  She has been flexible with illnesses in the past...perhaps too flexible and she is concerned that she will lose her license if he comes again and finds sick kids in her care.  The problem is that she is WAY overreacting to this.

Yesterday afternoon, I, along with all the parents of kids in her care, recieved a message from her that all the kids are coughing and need to see a doctor.  I did take DD to urgent care after work and verified that she has a simple cold and that over the counter cough medication should take care of it.  The doctor also said that she would be fine to go to daycare.

I didn't want to deal with it, so I called Bonnie and told her that I would not be bringing DD to daycare today.  I have a friend watching her later so that I can attend a meeting.  Bonnie seemed surprised and I told her that I couldn't afford to drop her off and have her call me in the middle of the day to come back and get her like last week.  I also said that I don't expect to have to pay two people to watch my child every time DD has a little cough or doesn't eat all her lunch.

Another update.  I work a flex schedule that allows me to be off one day a week.  Unfortunately, due to the time of year, I still have to work on some of my days off.  I spoke to Bonnie the other day about having her watch DD on a day in the near future.  This has never been a problem in the past, as she's open and has the other kids on those days.  I always pay her extra when I do this, though often she refuses payment because of all that "we do for her".   Once again, I told her that I would pay her her daily rate for this extra day and her response was "that would be really nice".  The very next sentence was to ask me if I was working on July 5th (I'm not, but it's a regular work day and I haven't told her I took vacation yet).  Bonnie told me that if I was working, DD would be the only one in her care and it would be nice if I could arrange alternate care on that day.  So, obviously this isn't the required notice for her to close and she didn't come out and say that she would, but after asking me to pay her for an extra day of care, her very next sentence was insinuating that I should also pay her for a regular day of care though she doesn't want to work.  This is not ok with me.  She also called DH last night asking him to come do some work at her house, which we always either do for free or at a reduced rate because she's on such a limited income.  We don't mind helping her, but all these extra paid days off and constant calls about DD being sick and then asking for continued free service from DH's business, is not cool.

It is becoming clear to me that I need to make a change and I have an appointment for DH and I to visit a facility this afternoon.  It breaks my heart, because DD loves her so much and this will no doubt ruin our friendship, but I think this change is necessary both for my own sanity and for my peace of mind that Bonnie's care of my child won't decline due to her being so burned out and stressed. 

To make it worse, she sent me a heartfelt apology last night on email, stating that she can see how frustrated I am with her.  She feels like she stuck because the licensing board will come down hard on her, she's worried she'll lose her license if she doesn't fully comply, but that parents are threatening pull their kids because her policy on care has changed. 

I did speak to another parent about this last night and she too is frustrated.  She said she's trying to be understanding and only has two more years before her kids will no longer need Bonnie's care.  She wants to hold out, but is worried that she can't.  It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one feeling this way, but completely awful for Bonnie.

I am not telling her that I am shopping around and know that I still have to talk to her in detail about my current issue with her.  This pretty much sucks.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Eeep! on June 14, 2013, 11:58:32 AM
Oh dear. That is not a good update.  It is a shame that she got in trouble from the licensing board - and I totally get the freaking out - but making every parent of a child with a cough or a sniffle take them to the doctor is just not going to work. I mean, calling every parent and telling them they need to take their child to the doctor? Especially during cold (or allergy) season that could mean weekly trips to the doctor. She really needs to clarify with the licensing people where she misstepped. But I highly doubt the child at issue just had a cough. 

And the asking for you to find alternative care for July 5th while still expecting you to pay? Um, no. That clearly shows what her attitude is about the situation. I suspect that if you continue there, anytime your daughter is the only one who will be there, you will hear something. Not cool.

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. What a shame, for everyone. :(
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: kherbert05 on June 14, 2013, 12:44:21 PM
Update:

I have not  had a chance to talk to her about this in depth, but have gotten some tidbits.  I verified that her licencing inspector did visit her and gave her a warning for having a sick child in her care with other children (not DD).  She has been flexible with illnesses in the past...perhaps too flexible and she is concerned that she will lose her license if he comes again and finds sick kids in her care.  The problem is that she is WAY overreacting to this.

Yesterday afternoon, I, along with all the parents of kids in her care, recieved a message from her that all the kids are coughing and need to see a doctor.  I did take DD to urgent care after work and verified that she has a simple cold and that over the counter cough medication should take care of it.  The doctor also said that she would be fine to go to daycare.

I didn't want to deal with it, so I called Bonnie and told her that I would not be bringing DD to daycare today.  I have a friend watching her later so that I can attend a meeting.  Bonnie seemed surprised and I told her that I couldn't afford to drop her off and have her call me in the middle of the day to come back and get her like last week.  I also said that I don't expect to have to pay two people to watch my child every time DD has a little cough or doesn't eat all her lunch.

Another update.  I work a flex schedule that allows me to be off one day a week.  Unfortunately, due to the time of year, I still have to work on some of my days off.  I spoke to Bonnie the other day about having her watch DD on a day in the near future.  This has never been a problem in the past, as she's open and has the other kids on those days.  I always pay her extra when I do this, though often she refuses payment because of all that "we do for her".   Once again, I told her that I would pay her her daily rate for this extra day and her response was "that would be really nice".  The very next sentence was to ask me if I was working on July 5th (I'm not, but it's a regular work day and I haven't told her I took vacation yet).  Bonnie told me that if I was working, DD would be the only one in her care and it would be nice if I could arrange alternate care on that day.  So, obviously this isn't the required notice for her to close and she didn't come out and say that she would, but after asking me to pay her for an extra day of care, her very next sentence was insinuating that I should also pay her for a regular day of care though she doesn't want to work.  This is not ok with me.  She also called DH last night asking him to come do some work at her house, which we always either do for free or at a reduced rate because she's on such a limited income.  We don't mind helping her, but all these extra paid days off and constant calls about DD being sick and then asking for continued free service from DH's business, is not cool.

It is becoming clear to me that I need to make a change and I have an appointment for DH and I to visit a facility this afternoon.  It breaks my heart, because DD loves her so much and this will no doubt ruin our friendship, but I think this change is necessary both for my own sanity and for my peace of mind that Bonnie's care of my child won't decline due to her being so burned out and stressed. 

To make it worse, she sent me a heartfelt apology last night on email, stating that she can see how frustrated I am with her.  She feels like she stuck because the licensing board will come down hard on her, she's worried she'll lose her license if she doesn't fully comply, but that parents are threatening pull their kids because her policy on care has changed. 

I did speak to another parent about this last night and she too is frustrated.  She said she's trying to be understanding and only has two more years before her kids will no longer need Bonnie's care.  She wants to hold out, but is worried that she can't.  It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one feeling this way, but completely awful for Bonnie.

I am not telling her that I am shopping around and know that I still have to talk to her in detail about my current issue with her.  This pretty much sucks.
Child care is not something you should feel like you are holding out till you don't need it anymore. I'm sorry for Bonnie. I get being burned out - especially after the class I had last year. I think she needs to look for another job
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: kitchcat on June 14, 2013, 03:26:56 PM
The concerns about her license and sick kids is a completely separate issue from asking for random days off just because DD is the only kid in her care. Is she trying to make it seem like they are related? If so, that's just plain manipulative and deceitful.

I don't understand why she thinks it's okay to ask you for days off if DD is going to be the only child there. If anyone told their boss, "I don't want to show up for work since there is only 1 task for me to do. Have someone else do it," they would be fired in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: TootsNYC on June 14, 2013, 03:47:37 PM

I don't understand why she thinks it's okay to ask you for days off if DD is going to be the only child there. If anyone told their boss, "I don't want to show up for work since there is only 1 task for me to do. Have someone else do it," they would be fired in a heartbeat.


And I might suggest you say, "Please don't ever again ask me for these random days off because of the other family's schedule. Don't bring it up. It changes my opinion of you."

You know, it's one thing to say, "Are you taking vacation that day? Let me know if you are, because the other family is, and if I accidentally have a day off, I'm going to do something with it."
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: blarg314 on June 16, 2013, 07:58:37 PM

My guess is that Bonnie isn't handling having children from multiple families at all well.

When your DD was the only child there, she would get random days off when DD was sick, or you were on vacation - she could catch up on sleep, do errands, etc.  And that was manageable for her. Now, with multiple children, she very rarely gets days off other than scheduled vacation, and I suspect that she isn't able to handle it. So she's asking for random days off (which would leave you in the lurch), and calling you to take your daughter home when all she is is a bit tired. I wouldn't be surprised if she is doing the same thing to the other parents.

I think that looking for a new provider is probably the best option - it's clear this isn't a case of being a bit over enthusiastic about not having sick children.  Having someone you like, but who is flaking out increasingly regularly, makes it really difficult for you. You can't take random vacation days to accommodate your daycare provider's need/desire for extra time off, and you have to restrict your staying home to when your child is actually sick, otherwise you put your own job at risk.

And if you find someone new, Bonnie may be able to handle the remaining children okay.

Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on June 17, 2013, 08:45:19 AM
I wonder if you could call the health inspecter and find out for yourself what they consider a sick child. I really couldn't imagine them saying that a standard cold, runny nose, cough but no fever would warrant needed to keep a child out of day care.

Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Lynn2000 on June 17, 2013, 10:06:29 AM
What a tough situation. I know from talking to friends how tough it is to find good childcare--someone you like, that your kids also like, in a convenient location, for a decent price. You don't want to give that up once you've found it.

But on the other hand, I think you have to consider that on that particular day, your DD did not receive good care. Maybe Bonnie genuinely overreacted, or maybe she consciously/subconsciously wanted the day off, but for whatever reason, the end result was not good. You were bothered multiple times at work and eventually had to take the day off to attend to your child, who was not in fact sick at all. And the photo thing is suspicious as well, suggesting that your DD had been behaving quite normally with Bonnie that day, in contrast to Bonnie's fears of illness.

I would suggest looking around for other providers--not because you're going to switch immediately, but just so you feel like you can, if the need arises. I'm likening it to a job--maybe overall you like your job, but sometimes there are bad days, when you think, "How am I going to cope if it's always like this?" If you're terrified of being unable to find another job, you're going to put up with a lot more nonsense from your current one than maybe you should--at least, things will look a lot different through that haze of desperation.

But, if you start looking for new jobs, just idly, and get a feel for what's out there, maybe you will feel more like, "Hey, I could always try here, or here, or here." Obviously, seeing a job posting is way different from actually obtaining that job, just as seeing an ad for a daycare provider is way different from them meeting all your requirements, including having an open spot for your child. But I think it can really help one's mindset to understand that switching jobs, or switching daycare providers, is a viable, realistic option, that can help us look at our current situations more objectively.

Bonnie may be your friend, and of course you want to have some consideration for her personal life, she's not a robot after all. But the primary relationship between you at this point has to be about the quality of care your DD is receiving. I hope you get a chance to talk to Bonnie more about what happened. Maybe something like, "Yeah, Friday was crazy, huh? The thing is, DD wasn't actually sick when I got her home. Aside from being a little tired, she was perfectly fine. And then *I* felt really bad, because I had to run out on an important meeting with my boss. Which of course I would be happy to do if she was really sick, but the thing is, she wasn't. So why don't you tell me again what made you think she was so sick she had to go home, and let's discuss what the plan is for the future regarding illnesses. I get your worry about the health inspector, but the fact is, if your illness standards are going to be that strict, then I'm probably going to have to take a lot more time off work to look after DD myself than I was bargaining for, and that's just not going to work for me. So I might have to consider taking DD somewhere else."

Only not all at once like a monologue, of course. :)
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: bah12 on June 17, 2013, 10:57:01 AM
I have found a place, that I've  checked out previously, and went to again after work on Friday that I like a lot.  They have room for DD to start in the late summer/fall.  It's more expensive, but nothing we can't handle and the hours, holiday schedule is something I can easily handle.

I spoke with Bonnie briefly this morning.  Right now, she seems more intent on proving to me that she was right to call us to get DD and that she's right to ask for the days off that she has, than she is on working on a standard that we are both happy with.  This morning, I said, "what is done is done.  I don't want to dwell on that.  I do want to sit down with you later and discuss how we move forward. Can we do that?"  We agreed to talk this afternoon when I pick DD up, but she continued to argue with me over what is and isn't considered sick.  And she was very upset that I decided to pull DD out on Friday and take her somewhere else, without talking to her first.  I flat out told her that I don't need to consult her for keeping DD out of daycare.  She was still paid for that day and that is her only concern.  I ended the conversation there, so not on a good note.

I could not feel more horrible about the way things have turned out.  We owe her 30 days notice to terminate care.  Before I do that, I'd like to get DD enrolled in the other daycare center and agree on a day for her to start.  So, now my dilemma is that we have a conversation coming this afternoon.  I've already decided to basically fire her, yet I do want the conversation to be productive and I want things to be good for the next month that DD will be there.  I think I can still get there. I'd still like to attempt to focus on moving forward vs. arguing about the past few weeks.  I won't yet tell her about my decision.  I just have no idea how to have a mature conversation if she refuses to focus on the future.  I've also asked DH to join me...because I think this should be a conversation about what the rules of DD's care is and not an argument.  At the same time, I don't want her to feel ganged up on and get defensive...
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: WillyNilly on June 17, 2013, 11:08:42 AM
I think this, from the other day, is an important detail (bolding mine):

...Yesterday afternoon, I, along with all the parents of kids in her care, recieved a message from her that all the kids are coughing and need to see a doctor.  I did take DD to urgent care after work and verified that she has a simple cold and that over the counter cough medication should take care of it.  The doctor also said that she would be fine to go to daycare...

Perhaps you needed to get it in writing to submit to Bonnie, but you got medical confirmation from a trained expert that your DD was not too sick to be in day care and this was a mild and routine cold. Bonnie doesn't have to like it, but she really can't argue with it. Even if she was surprised with an inspection, she would have (or could easily get from you) back-up documentation that the child had been medically cleared for daycare.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: bah12 on June 17, 2013, 11:23:56 AM
I think this, from the other day, is an important detail (bolding mine):

...Yesterday afternoon, I, along with all the parents of kids in her care, recieved a message from her that all the kids are coughing and need to see a doctor.  I did take DD to urgent care after work and verified that she has a simple cold and that over the counter cough medication should take care of it.  The doctor also said that she would be fine to go to daycare...

Perhaps you needed to get it in writing to submit to Bonnie, but you got medical confirmation from a trained expert that your DD was not too sick to be in day care and this was a mild and routine cold. Bonnie doesn't have to like it, but she really can't argue with it. Even if she was surprised with an inspection, she would have (or could easily get from you) back-up documentation that the child had been medically cleared for daycare.

Yes. However, I am not willing to do that every time Bonnie questions the kids' health.  It is not reasonable to have to take my child to the doctor every time she coughs or doesn't eat all her lunch to prove that she's not sick.  At some point, the adults around the children need to agree on standards and use common sense to determine if a child is or isn't healthy enough to be in care. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Shoo on June 17, 2013, 11:33:05 AM
On a good note, and to ease your mind a little bit, once your daughter is enrolled in a quality business-like daycare, she will love her "teachers" just as much as she does Bonnie.  And YOU will really really love their business hours, their in-writing policies and procedures, and knowing no matter what, they will be there when you need them.

I did both - at home daycare and then a professional daycare.  Hands down, the professional daycare gave me more peace of mind and allowed me to relax, go to work, and know my daughter was in good hands.

Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: bah12 on June 17, 2013, 11:48:02 AM
On a good note, and to ease your mind a little bit, once your daughter is enrolled in a quality business-like daycare, she will love her "teachers" just as much as she does Bonnie.  And YOU will really really love their business hours, their in-writing policies and procedures, and knowing no matter what, they will be there when you need them.

I did both - at home daycare and then a professional daycare.  Hands down, the professional daycare gave me more peace of mind and allowed me to relax, go to work, and know my daughter was in good hands.

That's true.  It also makes me feel better knowing that I'm timing this with the start of pre-school.  So, instead of going to school in one location and then daycare in another, she will be going to school and attending day-care at the same place.  To me, and to Bonnie, this is a change in her care due to the adults in her life not agreeing what is in her best interst.  But to DD, this will just be going to school.  A transition we've been telling her about, and one that she has been excited for, for the last several months.  I'm sure she will be sad when she realizes that this also means that she won't be seeing Bonnie, but I agree that we can make sure she doesn't feel like we're fighting over her and will love her new environment. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Lynn2000 on June 17, 2013, 11:50:05 AM
OP, I know this is tough, but good for you for doing what you think is best for your child and your own peace of mind. I think it's very telling that Bonnie still wanted to argue that she was right. Not that I would necessarily expect her to grovel, but she should at least acknowledge that what happened didn't work for you, and recognize that discussion is needed for the future.

So in the conversation this afternoon, you're not going to tell her you've decided to take DD elsewhere, right? Because you wanted to get DD's spot at the new place set up first, right? So this afternoon's conversation could be tricky, because you don't want to give her the impression that everything is 100% okay between you two, and then in a couple days you give her the 30 days' notice.

I could see those last 30 days being very awkward, since you're leaving basically because you have a problem with her services. You might want to consider the possibility that the best solution for you and DD will be to pay Bonnie for the 30 days, but physically have DD being watched by someone else. :(

As a side note, I don't think home daycare situations are always inferior to larger institutional places. I think it's like any small, mom-and-pop operation vs. a corporate branch--sometimes you get awesome people who can give you individualized care and flexibility, and sometimes you get people who are in over their heads.  :-\
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
Post by: WillyNilly on June 17, 2013, 11:52:38 AM
I think this, from the other day, is an important detail (bolding mine):

...Yesterday afternoon, I, along with all the parents of kids in her care, recieved a message from her that all the kids are coughing and need to see a doctor.  I did take DD to urgent care after work and verified that she has a simple cold and that over the counter cough medication should take care of it.  The doctor also said that she would be fine to go to daycare...

Perhaps you needed to get it in writing to submit to Bonnie, but you got medical confirmation from a trained expert that your DD was not too sick to be in day care and this was a mild and routine cold. Bonnie doesn't have to like it, but she really can't argue with it. Even if she was surprised with an inspection, she would have (or could easily get from you) back-up documentation that the child had been medically cleared for daycare.

Yes. However, I am not willing to do that every time Bonnie questions the kids' health.  It is not reasonable to have to take my child to the doctor every time she coughs or doesn't eat all her lunch to prove that she's not sick.  At some point, the adults around the children need to agree on standards and use common sense to determine if a child is or isn't healthy enough to be in care.

Oh of course not! But when you speak to her and she keeps insisting she was right to have you pick your daughter up, point his out to her. You shouldn't have to take your DD to the Dr every time she sneezes, my point is Bonnie should trust you that A) you aren't dropping the kid off when she is seriously ill, only when its minor cold (and you have back-up to show that was the case last week) and B) if Bonnie did get a surprise visit and was cited for your DD being sick, then in that specific case you would provide follow-up documentation your DD wasn't sick.

If Bonnie had called you that day and said "hi I just wanted to touch base with you. Your DD seems a bit ill but nothing major. However if I get a visit from an inspector I'm going to have to prove she was well enough to be in my care. So the choice is, you can pick her up now, or you can leave her here, but if I get inspected you promise to take her to the Dr this evening and get me a dated note saying she was ok, for me to use to appeal the fines." I bet you would have thought "yeah I'll take that risk, I'm willing to bet she won't get inspected but if she is, I'm willing to retroactively follow up to keep her out of trouble," or at least thought Bonnie was trying to work with you on a solution.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: bah12 on June 17, 2013, 11:56:53 AM
OP, I know this is tough, but good for you for doing what you think is best for your child and your own peace of mind. I think it's very telling that Bonnie still wanted to argue that she was right. Not that I would necessarily expect her to grovel, but she should at least acknowledge that what happened didn't work for you, and recognize that discussion is needed for the future.

So in the conversation this afternoon, you're not going to tell her you've decided to take DD elsewhere, right? Because you wanted to get DD's spot at the new place set up first, right? So this afternoon's conversation could be tricky, because you don't want to give her the impression that everything is 100% okay between you two, and then in a couple days you give her the 30 days' notice.

I could see those last 30 days being very awkward, since you're leaving basically because you have a problem with her services. You might want to consider the possibility that the best solution for you and DD will be to pay Bonnie for the 30 days, but physically have DD being watched by someone else. :(

As a side note, I don't think home daycare situations are always inferior to larger institutional places. I think it's like any small, mom-and-pop operation vs. a corporate branch--sometimes you get awesome people who can give you individualized care and flexibility, and sometimes you get people who are in over their heads.  :-\

It is tricky and I've yet to decide what to do about the next 30 days.  I have decided that DD is moving and I have also decided not to tell Bonnie today.  Those are the only decisions I've made, and neither were easy.

As for in-home day-care.  I do not regret taking DD to Bonnie.  She's been there for 3 years and Bonnie has loved DD in a way that I couldn't even have hoped that someone beside her own family could love her.  And it made me feel good and it was good for DD to have that love as an infant and toddler.  That's what makes this so hard.  Bonnie and DD love each other deeply.  Ideally, they would still have a relationship, but I'm also aware that it may not be possible if Bonnie is too upset over how things are ending with her services.  I just don't know....
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Eeep! on June 17, 2013, 01:38:41 PM
On a good note, and to ease your mind a little bit, once your daughter is enrolled in a quality business-like daycare, she will love her "teachers" just as much as she does Bonnie.  And YOU will really really love their business hours, their in-writing policies and procedures, and knowing no matter what, they will be there when you need them.

I did both - at home daycare and then a professional daycare.  Hands down, the professional daycare gave me more peace of mind and allowed me to relax, go to work, and know my daughter was in good hands.

That's true.  It also makes me feel better knowing that I'm timing this with the start of pre-school.  So, instead of going to school in one location and then daycare in another, she will be going to school and attending day-care at the same place.  To me, and to Bonnie, this is a change in her care due to the adults in her life not agreeing what is in her best interst.  But to DD, this will just be going to school.  A transition we've been telling her about, and one that she has been excited for, for the last several months.  I'm sure she will be sad when she realizes that this also means that she won't be seeing Bonnie, but I agree that we can make sure she doesn't feel like we're fighting over her and will love her new environment.

That's great that they are at the same place - this does make it an easy transition - and truly, it might be one you would wish you had made anyway once school gets underway.  I love my sons' daycare provider. She loves them and makes their days wonderful.  I will be sad when ODS is too old for it, but if his new preschool that he is starting at in the fall had on-sight care, I would be tempted to use it just for the simplicity.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Peregrine on June 17, 2013, 01:54:11 PM
When you are ready to tell Bonnie that you are moving on, what you might do is pitch it to her that you are easing your daughter's transition into pre-school by starting her at their care center before she begins full time pre-school there.  That way she gets used to the place.

Whether that is your primary motivation or not, it might give yourself and Bonnie a way to save face and move on from her time as your DD's primary day care giver.  If you trust Bonnie to be back-up childcare it might also be a way to save her feelings.  I realize you don't owe Bonnie anything in this situation, but reading between the lines you seem at least a little bit conflicted about how things are going to end, and you do care about Bonnie as a person.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Eeep! on June 17, 2013, 01:57:08 PM
When you are ready to tell Bonnie that you are moving on, what you might do is pitch it to her that you are easing your daughter's transition into pre-school by starting her at their care center before she begins full time pre-school there.  That way she gets used to the place.

Whether that is your primary motivation or not, it might give yourself and Bonnie a way to save face and move on from her time as your DD's primary day care giver.  If you trust Bonnie to be back-up childcare it might also be a way to save her feelings.  I realize you don't owe Bonnie anything in this situation, but reading between the lines you seem at least a little bit conflicted about how things are going to end, and you do care about Bonnie as a person.

This is a really good idea! Because, like I mentioned a bit ago, it really will be easier to just have her staying in one place.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: nyoprinces on June 17, 2013, 04:19:52 PM
One thing that stuck out to me is that she's asking for you to pay for a day that she wants you to keep your DD home (July 5), and also asking you to pay for the extra/floating/changing days you need to work. Why in the world didn't she suggest a trade of July 5 for one of your floating days? I think it's reasonable for her to charge you for extra days over and above the usual arrangement, but if she's requesting a day off outside of your previous agreement, it doesn't make sense for her to ask for that to be paid as well.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: wolfie on June 18, 2013, 02:27:26 PM
Any updates? I know you were talking to Bonnie yesterday. I hope that went well.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: bah12 on June 18, 2013, 02:37:58 PM
DH and I talked to her yesterday about expectations.  I think we've come to an understanding on paid time off.  She's entitled to up to a week outside of Christmas week with 30 days notice, so these additional days (like July 5) are not acceptable.  She agreed that if she takes additional time off, that she would not be paid and that we are still owed a courtesy 30 day notice (barring emergencies). 

We never really reached a concensus on the "sick" issue.  Bonnie said that all the parents are complaining and I encouraged her to call the licensing board and clarify with them what the standard is, because her interpretation is not in line with other daycares and schools.

We did not tell her that DD will be switching care.  I'll give her 30 days notice in a couple of weeks.  The timing really sucks, because she's on vacation right now and she will only be back for a few days when I give her notice.  Things are smoothed over for now.  Now, I just need to figure out how to communicate our switching daycares and why we're making the move (I actually think it's the right thing to do independant of this particular issue, but that will not be easy to separate). 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Lynda_34 on June 18, 2013, 03:00:35 PM
You owe her 30 days notice.  That doesn't mean your child has to stay there for the 30 days.  It just means you owe her a month's wage.  Get DD situated in the new daycare ASAP.  Then let Bonnie know you've made the change.  Tell her you will pay her 30 day notice as soon as you can.  Also if you're firing her then I don't feel you owe her anything.  You've got three issues to fall back on including the July 5 day switch.

You and your husband may have to live frugally for a month or two so you can afford this expense.  However, based on Bonnie's random behavior I wouldn't leave my child with her for the 30 days.

Situations can be different but there is some anger here and I wouldn't subject my child to this or stress myself out wondering if everything is ok.

Also, my granddaughter is in a professional daycare situation to the tune of $200 a week. So I do understand having to pay daycare in two places is expensive. 
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Lynn2000 on June 18, 2013, 04:36:26 PM
For the discussion, I like the idea of stressing that you were always going to change DD once she was in school, because the new place is closer to (actually at?) the school, and its environment is similar to the school. That's more convenient for you and more consistent for DD. Maybe they have increased educational opportunities that Bonnie is not equipped to provide. And, you want to start her now, during the summer, so that it won't be one more big change in the fall, on top of actually starting school. Probably there are other kids in daycare who go to the same school, so maybe DD will make friends with them, and thus have some friends at school once it starts.

I think if you stay cheerful and matter-of-fact, she would have to be very bold to outright bring up being "fired" herself. You could assure her that you hope she and DD will continue to have a relationship through occasional extra babysitting opportunities, if in fact this is true.

And, Lynda_34 makes a good point. It really depends on how you think Bonnie will act after you've given her the 30 days' notice. Certainly you would hope she would continue to be kind, or at least professional; but it might be wise to have a back-up plan, just in case, which you might not need at all, or only for two weeks of four, etc.. Depends on what's feasible for your family--having a relative in for a week to watch DD at home, taking a week's vacation yourself, paying Bonnie AND the new place for a week, paying Bonnie AND a local teen/college student for a week, etc..
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: NyaChan on June 18, 2013, 04:44:35 PM
I would just put it in terms of wanting to transition her to a school-like setting so that she gets used to the idea of preschool and kindergarden.  That is a legitimate (and true) reason for pulling her out of the home-care situation.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Deetee on June 18, 2013, 11:51:29 PM
I have two suggestions that depend on your finances.

Option One (expensive): Do not give a month notice. Just pay for a month of childcare in both places. 

Option Two(Cheaper): Give notice, but give it in the warmest, most grateful way possible. You obviously have warm feelings towards her for the first 3 years of quality, loving care. Make up a picture album of your little one growing up and picture with the caregiver. Write a GUSHING and warm and detailed letter (just think of everything wonderful that happened before things went sideways). Give a thoughtful and expensive gift (a week of childcare) of flowers or a gift certificate or fancy food basket or something semi practical and nice. (Like 6 months of cheeses or something similar). Do not mention anything about recent annoyances and treat them as trivial in light of the years of fabulous care.

Also, I will mention that I feel for you. When I was arranging care for my daughter, we had the option of home care (cheaper and more individualized) and large scale. We chose large scale because I really wanted the consistency. It cost more. The hours are inflexible and there are more days off (all stat holidays and some pro-d days). But I just wanted to know what I was paying for. Once in 3 1/2 years there was one unplanned day off (I don't count the times we showed up and the daycare was closed because we didn't realize it was a stat). I preferred to get less for more money in exchange for knowing exactly what I would get.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: TootsNYC on June 19, 2013, 08:36:25 AM
I love Deetee's option #2. I think it's the wisest course. And it leaves things pleasant behind you, because maybe there will be a time when you'll want to see if Bonnie can assist your family, professionally.

And because there is the personal aspect to it.
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: FauxFoodist on June 23, 2013, 12:13:53 PM
While I think it does Bonnie a disservice to not be completely upfront with her about why you leaving now, I do think leaving on a pleasant note is the best option for you (not burning bridges).  However, I think if she asks if there were areas where she could improve, I'd be honest with her but in a "loving" way (as a PP stated -- let her know about the positive experiences you had).  Bonnie admitted that other parents are complaining, and she should be able to figure out from the talk you and DH had with her the other day where she's crossing the line.  I don't think she's quite getting it though and, since she seems to be something of a friend (unless I read incorrectly), I'd be inclined to let her know where things weren't working out recently (but emphasize you were going to move DD to another daycare anyway because of school coming up -- again, not to burn bridges in case you may need her in the future).
Title: Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
Post by: Lynn2000 on June 24, 2013, 09:30:06 AM
While I think it does Bonnie a disservice to not be completely upfront with her about why you leaving now, I do think leaving on a pleasant note is the best option for you (not burning bridges).  However, I think if she asks if there were areas where she could improve, I'd be honest with her but in a "loving" way (as a PP stated -- let her know about the positive experiences you had).  Bonnie admitted that other parents are complaining, and she should be able to figure out from the talk you and DH had with her the other day where she's crossing the line.  I don't think she's quite getting it though and, since she seems to be something of a friend (unless I read incorrectly), I'd be inclined to let her know where things weren't working out recently (but emphasize you were going to move DD to another daycare anyway because of school coming up -- again, not to burn bridges in case you may need her in the future).

That's a good point. Maybe for now, emphasize the positive (Deetee's Option 2), and then in a few months, when DD is happily settled in the new place that you were always going to move her to anyway, you could catch up with Bonnie over lunch or something. If the conversation turns to her business and she sees open to advice, you could say, "Well, to be honest, there were a couple of times when I felt like you wanted a vacation day, which I totally understand, but it was inconvenient for me and DH, and not what we'd agreed on. Like that one Friday when you told me DD was sick and I had to leave work to take her home, and it turned out she was fine. And she was the only kid you had that day. I'm sure it's not what you really meant, but it came off looking bad for you..."