Author Topic: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43  (Read 13373 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10191
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2013, 01:44:21 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
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

kitchcat

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 317
    • Flickr
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2013, 04:26:56 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.
Quote from: magician5
Quote from: Kinseyanne
In the bag was two cans of kitten formula

So now ... just add water and you get kittens? What will they think of next??

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30461
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2013, 04:47:37 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."
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 04:52:16 PM by TootsNYC »

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8430
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2013, 08:58:37 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.


wonderfullyanonymous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2560
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #49 on: June 17, 2013, 09:45:19 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.


Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4801
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #50 on: June 17, 2013, 11:06:29 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. :)
~Lynn2000

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5048
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #51 on: June 17, 2013, 11:57:01 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...

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #52 on: June 17, 2013, 12:08:42 PM »
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.

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5048
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #53 on: June 17, 2013, 12:23:56 PM »
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. 

Shoo

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16393
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2013, 12:33:05 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.


bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5048
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #55 on: June 17, 2013, 12:48:02 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. 

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4801
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #56 on: June 17, 2013, 12:50:05 PM »
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.  :-\
~Lynn2000

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #57 on: June 17, 2013, 12:52:38 PM »
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.

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5048
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2013, 12:56:53 PM »
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....

Eeep!

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 808
Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2013, 02:38:41 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.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss