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Extended Leave for Parent Surgery?

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  • Extended Leave for Parent Surgery?

    I just had a parent tell me that next month they'll be having surgery and will be out 2-4 weeks. They indicated that they'd like to keep their child at home with them, but that they weren't willing to pay during that time.

    My contract states that they pay whether or not their child is here, but I don't have an extended leave policy at present. I think I agree that if the child is going to be at home for a month, it isn't fair to charge the full rate....but also don't think that it's fair to expect me to take a hit on my income for that long either, especially right at the beginning of the holiday season (I already take off some unpaid time in December). Would a holding fee be appropriate here, or would you just stick with your policy? They also stated that if I was charging the full rate that they'd get [child] here somehow" (implying that it'd be a huge pain but that they'd do it to "get their money's worth").

    I really wish I could afford to just term them and get it over with. However, since I care for SA's, it's nearly impossible to find new families.

    Definitely including an extended leave policy for the updated contract in January!

  • #2
    A holding fee of whatever you can live with, plus a little for the hassle is perfectly appropriate. If you cannot replace them easily, you need to work with them. After all, it is surgery, and they must have a lot on their plate that they didn't plan for. (I might say something else if it were an elective surgery, like a new pair of...ya know... )


    • #3
      I was forced to add an extended leave policy in my contract. Two out of three of my dck's are leaving in two days to be with their dad out of state for TWO MONTHS! I let dcm know that this has never come up before, so I have added this to my contract. I handed her two copies: one for her to keep and one for her to sign and return to me.

      Here's what my contract says:

      "Extended Leave:
      Extended leave is any time a child is not in daycare for more than two consecutive weeks for any reason (maternity leave, a parent or child’s serious illness, teachers who have the summer off, out of state custody agreements, etc…). I do not offer an unpaid extended leave for families because my business and my income are based on my enrollment at all times. I do offer to keep the spot open for you using the following guidelines:

      I will hold the spot open for up to 12 weeks at half your weekly rate. You may continue to bring your child during these weeks for 2 days a week at this rate. If you would like to continue to bring your child more than 2 days per week during this time, the regular daily rate will apply.

      If the extended leave is unplanned (ex: a serious illness), full payment is expected for the first 2 consecutive weeks off.

      Full payment for the first 2 consecutive weeks off of the extended leave is not expected if it is a planned leave of absence & I have received at least one month’s notice. If you start a week and then go on leave during the middle of the week (Wednesday or later), payment is expected at regular rate for that week, and then your “hold the spot” rate will start the following week. Extended leave payments are still due every Monday AM & follows the normal payment policy."


      • #4
        I would give them two choices:

        1) It will be considered a termination (with proper 2-week notice), and when they are ready for the child to come back, they can call you and see if you have an opening. (Maybe you can fill it with someone better in the meantime!!)

        2) Same as above, with the option of paying you half your normal fee to hold the spot, and it will be guaranteed to be there when they want to come back.