Author Topic: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43  (Read 14613 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2013, 11:03:33 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.

gen xer

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2013, 11:42:06 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! 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 02:38:02 PM by gen xer »

Peregrine

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2013, 12:08:59 PM »
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.

fountainof

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2013, 12:15:30 PM »
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.

Yvaine

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2013, 12:40:39 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.

bah12

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2013, 12:41:57 PM »
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....

Peregrine

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2013, 01:19:49 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.

TootsNYC

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2013, 02:35:43 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."

NyaChan

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2013, 02:53:41 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.   

bah12

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2013, 03:01:29 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. 

Deetee

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2013, 03:18:48 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.

BarensMom

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2013, 05:55:55 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.

*inviteseller

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2013, 08:53:24 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.   

bah12

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2013, 12:47:17 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.

Eeep!

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2013, 12:58:32 PM »
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. :(
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