May 3, 2006

Grrrrrr Parents!

And I'm not talking about my own! Never! I love my own parents!! I'm talking daycare parents. I'm talking inconsiderate daycare parents who are down to their last straw with me being forgiving of their earliness and lateness.

You see... I have policies at my daycare. These policies are printed out in black and white on a little something I call a "Contract and Policy Statement / Handbook". This "thing" is signed by each parent under the statement "I/We have read and agree to the terms and conditions of this contract and policy statement and will abide by the rules and policies of (enter daycare name)."

Every one of my daycare parents have signed this. (If not, their child would not be in my daycare.) So, as most of my other policies, they are there just for looks only! How dare the provider actually make a parent abide by those rules. I mean hey, why don't we throw out all the rules. How about I start teaching the young children in my care that rules don't apply to them and that when mommy or daddy tell them to do something, they don't need to do it. It's OPTIONAL!!!

Anyhoo... I have a set of daycare parents who are really working on a nice little note home from their provider. They are the first ones to drop off and lately they have been dropping off anywhere from 5-10 minutes early in the mornings, which was fine when I had a child being dropped off earlier than them, but when he went to part time, they because my first drop off of the day, which means... I expect them to drop off at their contracted time. Which is 7:45am. I let this daycare mom know in advance that they would now be the first drop off so to please watch the time as I would still be upstairs getting ready at 7:35 and don't plan to have to open my door until 7:45. Well, two days this week they were here at 7:40. (which isn't a lot to complain about, I know... **I will make my point in all of this later on in this post!)

So, they're early every morning... Well, since back around Christmas time they've also had a habit of getting here late too! This is becoming a more weekly thing and that is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves.

All I ask are 3 very simple things from my daycare parents and we'll get along famously!! Seriously... 3 simple things!! These things are:
1. Pay on time.
2. Pick up on time.
3. Don't bring your child sick.

Easy, no? Ya, I think it's pretty easy. Those are the 3 things out of my 7 page contract / handbook that I will just not bend on. If you don't pay, you don't stay... I'm not doing child care for free! If you don't pick up on time, you pay a $1 a minute late fee... why should my family have to wait for our family time to start because you stopped off at the store on your way home from work or better yet, you were already off work and sitting at home and lost track of the time! As for the sick child thing... you would THINK that would be just plain common sense, but heaven forbid these people actually take off work to stay home and care for their sick child, plus, I can't be sick... if I'm sick, I have to close the whole daycare down and everyone is screwed! Besides that, be a little respectful of the other kids, they don't need your child's sickness! Do unto others, people!!!!

So, back to this family... It's dad's turn to pick up tonight. Dad is usually the dropper-offer in the mornings but occasionally mom has a meeting and he has to pick up... I can usually count on when it's dad's turn, I know he'll be late. He almost always is. (and I can prove it... I keep a log of all daycare kids' hours.) So, tonight is one of those nights. Well, I just checked my email and guess what, there's an email from dad saying he has a meeting and may possibly be late. REALLY? I was shocked!!! So, I'm sure you're thinking "Geez, why can't you be a little more tolerant, he really can't help it if it's work related!" You know what, you're absolutely right, but let's just throw a few other things out there so you can understand why I'm so ticked...

1. Mom is a teacher and doesn't have to leave for school until 8:30 each morning, however because she needs "me time" to curl her hair and put on make or go swimming before school, her 3 yr old daughter is dropped off by dad at 7:45.
2. Mom (being a teacher) gets out of school at 3:40 and is either contracted to stay until 3:45 or 4:00. Her school is about 15 minutes away from us. BUT... child is not picked up until 4:45 each night because mom needs more "me time" to go home and get her mail, change her clothes, check her email, etc.... She actually told me once that it was too hard to change her clothes with her daughter there. HELLO, she's 3 yrs old and more than capable of entertaining herself at this point.
3. LAST NIGHT, mom was late because she ran home, changed her clothes and rode her bike to my house to pick her daughter up. Excusable? NOPE!! Does it warrant a late fee? YEP!! Did I give her one, nope, but it's coming to a head very soon!!! (like tonight?!?)

**Ok, remember I had a point... here it is:
I am UP and READY (clean and showered, NOT in my pjs) and OPEN MY DOOR promptly each and every day they arrive in the morning. I have done this for 6 years and I have only over slept twice and one of those times was because I was really sick and took cough meds before bed. And YES, I still work when I'm sick. I feel guilty closing because I hate for parents to have to try and find back up care at the last minute. I always give at least a month's notice on any time I plan to take off. In 6 years, I've taken a vacation, ONCE!! Ok, going a little off the point there... My point is, how would they like it if I was always late answering the door each morning. How would they like it if I decided to just get up a little later and take my time getting ready, leaving them standing out there knocking on my door and making them late for work? How would they like it if I ran around with their child all day and was late getting back for them to get their child at the end of the day? What if they had to constantly call my cell phone to find their child? I would think that that would get quite old. Well, it's getting old for me and I am at the end of my rope. I'm tired of it and at this point, I have nothing to lose. I'm ready to voice my issues to them and give them an option, either they do what they're suppose to do, or pay the fees. It's the end of the school year and they aren't going to pull her out now. And if so, they have to give me 2 weeks notice so it would really be silly on their part. I just wish everyone would do what they're suppose to do, so other people's live would be easier. If everyone did what they were suppose to do, it would benefit everyone!! We would all win!! It's not that hard people!!!

Wish me luck... he's got 35 minutes to get here. I pray he's on time. I'm thinking positively. Yes, he WILL be on time. Traffic will be great, his meeting will let out early and all will be well.

**Update: HE WAS ON TIME!! Yippeee... point for daycare dad!! I was so proud!!