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What do I do? - Parent Rewrites Contract for 2010

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  • What do I do? - Parent Rewrites Contract for 2010

    I updated my contract for 2010, since I've taken on a couple of new kids. I asked my existing families to read over and sign the new one, and neither family gave me any trouble about it. Well, now I know why! The last Mom dropped off the signed contract today and went off to work. I looked it over, and she has hand written all of these "qualifiers" all over the entire thing! For instance, we often walk to local parks in the neighborhood - there's one that we have to drive to, but it's still only about a mile away and we don't have to leave the neighborhood (ie, go out onto the highway) to do it. My contract states that I'll give notice for any trips OUT of the neighborhood (that may happen once per year if at all). She CROSSES IT OUT and hand writes "I require notice of all trips regardless of distance". Um...excuse me? You require, do you? She literally means that she wants us to call her anytime we leave the house, even if we're walking to the park that's 500 feet from the back door. Where is this lack of trust coming from? We haven't had any problems the whole year before now.

    Am I overreacting here? This has really hit a nerve with me this morning, and I'm glad that she was gone before I read over the contract, because I probably would have said some things that I'd regret later. As I said, we've not had any previous problems, Mom and child are great, and they always pay on time. I'd hate to lose them over this, but would YOU confront her with this? I just feel that I spent three months creating MY contract, and as she is NOT my employer, she has no right to qualify MY contract.

  • #2
    Are the field trips the only issue?

    Did she write anything else on the contract or just about the field trips? If it was just the field trips, I would not freak out about it. She just wants to know where her kid is. That is not too much to ask. I think you should say...I have a blanket permission slip for all WALKING trips in the neighborhood. These are often spontanious and she should not need prior notice for that (especially since she has been with you awhile). But any driving trips (even if it is will get a signed consent) We have a ton of Museums...even the zoo is very close to where we live (within a mile or two), but I always get signed permission slips for trips requiring that the kids ride in a vehicle.


    • #3
      No, you're right, if it was just that one thing it wouldn't be a big deal. However, there are things crossed out, written over, and "amended" in at least six places, and my contract is only two pages long.


      • #4

        Kind of strange that they have been in your program awhile and she has done something like that. I too am sending home new contracts for 2010 with a few changes. I am hoping no one gives me a problem. That is pretty bold of her to go marking over all your policies. Unfortunately, you are going to have to address this with her and hopefully you can work it out. You hate to lose a consistent paying family. But, she has to know you are in charge of the is your business. If she doesnt like it she will have to go somewhere else.


        • #5
          Had a mom like that once. Wanted me to call her if we ran to store, park, etc..
          Told her that we wouldn't go anywhere if I had to call each parent before we go and her son sure would miss out on a lot of fun AND so would the other children. This is a familyhome and they will be treated as if they are my children.

          As far as her editing the contract I would not sign and accept it. Give her a new one. Tell her you will take her suggestions under consideration but at this time you don't feel that she has the right to govern your business. After all it is your contract and don't understand her reasons.
          I see little people.


          • #6
            paranoid mom

            If her changes were only about the walks, then I would assume she's just worried about traffic, crime, etc, or has concerns with your ability to supervise the number/age/behaviors of the children in your care. I would certainly ask her what her concerns are in regards to you spontaneously taking the kids for a short walk in your neighborhood. Make sure she understands that while you do plan your day (I hope you have some plan) occasionally you may spontaneously decide due to great weather, or some curiosity about birds, trees or seasons, or just a need to burn some energy off that you may want to take a local unscheduled walk, and you don't want to have to call and reach her each time. If that doesn't work make up some quick neighborhood walk permissions and see how she likes having to sign it at dropoff regularly when you think you "might take a walk today if its nice out" If she refuses to sign, she needs to leave and find a sub for the day because you will not penalize the otherws who want to go for a walk. If the changes are on many subjects, it sounds like she's not a good fit for your daycare and you may need to give notice and replace them


            • #7
              I totally understand your frustration. I had a mom who didn't want me driving her child anywhere. I felt if you trust me to watch her 10 hours per day you trust my driving/safety as well. I just told her that if something was scheduled she would need to keep her daughter home for the day or pay the fee to hire a sub to stay home with her. She changed her mind very quickly and I now drive her to preschool daily! I can understand her wanting to know where her child is but it is insulting because I take it as distrust.


              • #8
                So she crossed and amended several things. I would give it right back to her and tell her that your contract and policies aren't negotiable. They are the same for all parents.

                There are a few things that do require individual parent consent, like medication, sunscreen, taking pictures, etc, but the major portions are not open to change. As for the everyday things, including leaving the house, if she doesn't like it, she can find somewhere else.
                It's your business and you run it your way.



                • #9
                  I would schedule a time to sit down with her and go through the contract and address each of her concerns. However, I wouldn't change policy for one parent. I wouldn't ever, ever agree to be calling someone before we went to the park or for a walk! That is a ridiculous waste of time...leave a note on the door or make sure that they have your cell number if they need to pick up early.

                  The other big thing here is this...she needs to understand that YOU are in chage. It is your house, your business, and your policies. If you let her change this contract she is going to feel free to change whatever else she likes as well.


                  • #10
                    I too had a parent that took it upon herself to change some things in my contract and all the other paperwork i gave her. I only keep a small group so when a problem arises i address my group as a whole.( does that make sense). Well this is how i handled it. The next day new contracts were sent out with a letter and in the letter i noted everything i had changed and i also added in the contract and letter this lil statment.........Parents, I ask that you do not change any of the forms, I.E. contract, medical they are legal documents and changing them will void them, resulting in termination.

                    So what i would do, is hand her another contract, and go over it with her. Just a suggestion.


                    • #11
                      Concerning field trips in TX

                      It is required by TX minimum standards that ALL field trips must be posted 48 hours BEFORE the trip. Even if it was just a walk down the street to the local park. So of course we could never take spontaneous trips.

                      My former daycare was actually written up because we didn't have it posted. We gave all parents a calendar with the summer activities etc.. but because it was not POSTED (with the required info) on the front door we were written up.

                      About contracts: while we didn't have a "contract" we did have all the required forms from state. One parent (she was a problem parent by the way) did actually amend to her likening. My former director gave her a new one and flat out told her that this isn't grade school. These forms were a requirement by the state of TX and if she didn't like them, she should take her children elsewhere. She signed them as they were.

                      Sometimes you have treat the parent as you do the child


                      • #12
                        Afterschoolmom UPDATE?

                        Am I the only one wondering what happened or how this situation was handled? I know curiosity killed the kitty but i am really curious as the end result of this mom rewriting the policies and contract.


                        • #13

                          We worked out a compromise on the walks and she signed a new contract, after some fuss. The other things stayed the same as I had them originally. I kept it professional though. It was really hard, as I'm not a confrontational person by nature, but it worked out!


                          • #14
                            Yes, I have had 2 families now argue about my new contract!! They signed it then afterwards were not happy with something in it. Maybe I need to have like a 5 or 6 page contract with completely everything spelled out from now on!!! I think next yr. I will do this, has anyone made an addendum to theirs, spelling things, out etc......???


                            • #15
                              I have a Parent Handbook, and a contract that they sign that states they agree to abide by the policies in that handbook.

                              If you'd like a copy of it, pm me with your email addy and I'll send it to you, then you can make changes in it however you'd like.