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Holidays & Sick Days at Daycare/Preschool
Berkeley Parents Network >
Holidays & Sick Days at Daycare/Preschool
I have a question for full time working parents out there, particularly single
Moms. I am a currently unemployed single Mom, having moved back to the country
recently with my now 2 1/2 year old. He just starte preschool, but as I'm not
working, I can pick him up and deal with the days and many weeks the school takes
off. I donB4t know if they are exceptional, but they take a week in Nov, a week
at Christmas, a week in April and another in June, not to mention the various
days they take. I wonder 'what will I do when I have a full time job?' which for
me will likely entail a 8:30 or 9:00 am to 6:00 or so, with 2 or 3 weeks vacation
per year. Do you just eat up your vacations on being dependant on a preschool's
schedule? Or is this school particularly vacation prone? or do there exist other
options for those weeks a preschool is on vacation?
Thanks for any clues.
There are a number of options to ensure you have childcare (and can work) during
school holidays. First, ask your preschool if they provide childcare during all or
some of those breaks. Often a school with long breaks will not provide instruction
but will provide childcare during those times -- for a fee. Second, research camps.
There are many camps of all kinds of varieties offered during many popular breaks,
but they do cost $. BPN posts camp information all the time. Third, options like a
temporary nanny, nanny share, babysitter, etc. will also come at a cost. Fourth,
sometimes a stay-at-home parent will offer to watch a few children during a break,
but, never having taken advantage of such an offer, I do not know if they charge.
Last, some employers offer back-up childcare with select providers for a reduced fee.
Sometimes that is in the form of a daycare facility (e.g., Bright Horizons) or
in-home nanny provided through a service.
I know, when looking at preschools, I went with one with as much overlap with my work
holidays as possible and no long breaks, except for during the winter holiday. I know
in advance that I have to use a week of vacation that week in December each year. It
is a huge challenge finding a preschool that works for working parents. I wish you
much luck in finding support for school holidays while being able to use vacation for
Now that your child has entered the world of "school schedules" you will find that
family time off corresponds to school time-off from here on out. If you are
using a home-based preschool or daycare, resign yourself to taking vacation
when your provider does, because that's how it's going to be in kindergarten
You could also try to find a preschool whose holidays and vacations match those
of your local school district. That way you can take advantage of local camps and
resources like the JCC and YMCA which operate summer and holiday programs.
Keep in mind that many stand-alone preschools shut down for the summer. So if
you need year-round childcare you should either make sure they have a summer
program or look for a home-based preschool. There
are stand-alone preschools and childcare centers that do operate year-round, so
look for these too. It can be done!
My partner and I are looking for some feedback on how many weeks
vacation + sick time do people typically pay their home-based
daycare providers. Thanks
--Looking for guidance
We had our now five-year-old in a home based daycare for a couple
of years and paid for a full twelve months of care. They took
two weeks for winter break, one week for spring break, another in
summer and a day off a month for personal business.
We now have another child in a home-based daycare and they are
closed less frequently - two weeks for Winter break, one week (I
think) at another time during the year and a few holidays.
Again, we pay a monthly fee, and as was true for our son's
daycare, if we take vacation, we still pay the full month's fee
to ''hold the spot.''
We are asked to provide 3 weeks of paid vacation, plus federal
holidays. I hate to complain, because daycare workers certainly
need a break, personally and financially . . . but this still
seems like a lot! I have never received paid vacation (or
holiday bonuses, etc.) from any of my own service-related jobs.
When our own son is sick and we must miss work to stay home with
him, of course this is not the daycare's fault and we have to pay
for those days too. It really adds up! (On the other hand, I
can't remember ever having paid for a sick day at our daycare.)
I will be curious to see what others post.
I own a very successful home based daycare. When parents sign their children up
(and now with the new year). I give them a printed list of days that I am closed.
take all the holidays that the schools would take off like MLK Day, Veterans Day,
Memorial Day, etc off. On Easter weekend, I take Friday and Monday off. I am then
closed a week in the summer and from Xmas Eve until Jan 2nd. I am paid for all of
my holidays and vacations.
However, if I have to close the daycare because I am sick, the parents do not pay
the days I am closed for my illness.
I look at it this way. If I was working for someone else, I would get paid
and vacations. I do a hard job and deserve a break. I also have bills to pay.
If you take your child to a large daycare, you will most likely have to pay for the
they are closed for holidays and you will probably have to pay for your child's
when your family goes on vacation. They do this, because they have to pay the
daycare providers for their holidays.
Just because my daycare is in my home, it does not make me a babysitter. I am
running a business. Although it is sometimes hard to discuss the finances in a
caring profession. I AM a business and I run my daycare like a business when it
comes to that.
So, after that long explanation, I think you need to ask your daycare provider what
the policy is about holidays etc and paying. If they do not already have one, they
may want to supply each parent with a copy of what their policy is and what days
they are closed.
Family Daycare Provider
Recently my in-home daycare provider added a new policy of 10
paid vacation days and I was wondering if this is common. I'd
be interested to know how many others out there pay vacation for
their provider. (In home- large family daycare)
I am completely on board with paying for childcare when *my
family* takes vacation, some holiday and sick. Maybe this new
policy bothers me because over the 2 years that I've been with
her things keep getting added on. Example: 1st there were 9 paid
holidays. Now there are 12, including Veterans Day and Columbus
day. Then added were 7 paid sick days and now 10 paid vacation
If all paid days are taken (and why wouldn't they be if they are
paid), this totals 29 days. She made the point that I get paid
vacation with my job, so she should with hers. (This is more
total time that I have with my job, that I've been with 10
years!) I pointed out that I have to accrue that vacation by
hours worked, I don't get it automatically. AND that # of days I
am able to accrue is also linked to years of service. She and I
don't have an employer-employee relationship. It is not the
same thing. She is an independent contractor. What's next, her
her healthcare and taxes?
I also pointed out that what happens is I am paying twice for
childcare in the same week. Either I am paying her (for the
vacation)AND someone else for care for that week she's gone. OR
I am taking off work (at this point unpaid, because I don't have
any PTO left due to any of my own vacation taken plus taking off
for sick kids) AND paying her. OR, my husband (an independent
contractor)takes off work and doesn't get paid if he doesn't
work. If we didn't pay her vacation, yes, we'd still have to
take the time off (or pay someone else), but it's the fact that
IN ADDITION to that we also now have to pay her also.
Am I crazy that this bothers me? Are my thoughts on this
unreasonable and without merit? (I add that otherwise, I truly
like my provider-she is great w/my kids, 2 DD's) Maybe it's
because we are also financially barely making it that this also
bothers me. Interested in your responses. Thank you
In my experience, most family daycares do take paid vacation. In fact,
I am now looking for a daycare for my second child, and have just
written down the schedule of the provider we're seriously considering.
She closes for 11 holidays a year (more than either my partner or I get
at work), plus two week long vacations.
We are expected to pay ''tuition'' each month, just as we do at our
son's preschool which also has vacations. I think there may be a few
exceptions to this, but the general rule of thumb is that the parents
pay for vacations.
It is a bummer, especially now that we have two kids with ''schools''
that have two different vacation schedules. It does mean we have to
either miss work (using our precious vacation days) or hire outside
help, but it's standard practice. Berkeley Mom
Our daycare provider takes the 12 holidays you referenced and more like
5 or 6 weeks of paid days off. And I think she deserves it, I think she
needs it, and as difficult as it is to deal with.... we do, because we
firmly believe our children are the best possible place they can be, bar
our home, when they are with her. Your childcare provider is running a
business, these are her hours of operation, and the terms of the
contract she makes with her clients..... and if you think about it that
way, it either works for you or it doesn't. You are probably not going
to change her terms or hours, so you make peace with the topic because
there is no better place for your kids or move on to place that better
suits your needs. (This happens occassionally with our daycare
provider's customers). A comparison between your work vacation accrual,
is probably not helpful.... it's her business, not anyone else's.
Yes, we have our kids in a famiy daycare that shuts down for two weeks a
year - 1 week in the summer and 1 week during the Christmas period.
Also, all the other holidays we get.
Personally, it doesn't bother me since the caregiver also needs time
with her family. This makes for a happy, well-rested caregiver and
hence, some very happy kids in her care. It also helps that in the 2.5
yrs my kids have been with her, she has only shut down one day for
illness. Maybe a childcare center might be more suited to your needs. Luv
my family daycare
It's fairly common for home day care providers to take paid vacations
and paid holidays. The day care to which I sent my son for 3 years took
all federal holidays (I think there are 11 or 12 of them), plus 3 weeks
of paid vacation every year. One of their three weeks of vacation was
always the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, one was in late
July, and one was some time in the spring. Each year on January 1, they
gave their parents their vacation schedule for the year, so parents
could plan ahead. They didn't take sick days (the day care was run by a
wife and husband team -- if one of them was sick, they would hire
someone else to cover), but since they took 3 weeks of paid vacation
whereas your provider is only asking for 2, the total amount of paid
time off is similar. I visited several home day cares before choosing,
and the others that I visited generally had similar policies too.
It seems totally reasonable to me for home day care providers to get
paid vacations and sick leave, like any other working professionals.
And yes, I did have to pay another provider or take time off from work
myself when my providers took a vacation. That's the nature of the
business a day care provider is in -- should they not get to take
vacations just because you'll need someone else to watch your kids when
It seems to me the only cause for complaint that you have is that your
provider added the paid vacation after you hired her. I do see that as
an issue, given that you may have chosen her in part based on her
previous vacation/holiday policy. Do you have a written contract with
her that lays out her vacation and sick leave policy? If you do and
she's changing it after the fact, and especially given that it's a
hardship to you, you may want to talk to her about sticking with your
original agreement. If you don't have a written contract with her, then
I don't see that you have much grounds for complaint -- but I would
recommend getting a written contract in place with her to cover the rest
of the time you plan to keep your child with her, so that you won't have
any more issues of this kind.
This is a major sore spot with all working parents. What she is asking
for IS normal in my experience. (My son's daycare, a similar set up,
takes 2 weeks at Xmas, 2 weeks in summer, plus all the major holidays.)
I know how frustrated you feel but I don't think you should feel as
though you are being treated unfairly or abnormally. I think it is just
one of those things we have to work around.
Almost all family daycares have a similar setup. It doesn't work for
them to plan their vacations around yours, because not all the kids'
families would be gone at the same time. So an ''enforced'' vacation
period is the only way the workers could have more than 1 day off at a
When you are shopping for a new daycare (now that you know), factor in
that ''double care'' (times when you would have to get childcare when
the center is closed) into the price and into your family budget. Many
families including mine just plan their vacations around the school
closures where possible. This is what we will all have to do later when
our kids are in school, after all. (Although it's different when we are
paying through the nose- I feel you.)
Sometimes families get together to hire a caregiver (sometimes even one
of the daycare workers who needs the extra $$!) during the center's
vacation days. This can help with the cost. And we sometimes are able to
have retired grandparents come during those periods - they love being
able to help in such an important way Squeezed but resigned
First I would like to say that I think every parent struggles with this
issue at some point or another. It seems like a lot of your paycheck
goes to the daycare provider. Still if you think about it, you actually
make enough till have money after you pay her. Which means that in terms
of dollars,your job is considered more valuable than hers. Mine is too
and yet i struggle with that because nothing should be more important
than taking of my kid right? Most people don't get good vacation and yet
i think we could all agree it's not right. If she is good to your
children and a good worker then do the right thing. You are basically
taking your frustration form lack of adequate time on her..really you
should take it on your employer or your government. I stayed home for a
while and it dramatically changed my attitude towards day care provider
and i think often their job is not considered like a ''real'' job and it
should be. So be to her the kinof employer you would like to have...take
the high road. However, I would sit down with her and talk about rules
and how often they are expected to change...so that once a year she can
rework the ocntract but not just whenever. ML
I am glad that you bring this up, because I completely agree with you! I
have been in the same boat and have coughed up the money. You make an
excellent point, though. She is an independent contractor! I think that
it is fair that you provide vacation pay to a nanny who exclusively
works for you.
However, this is a different arrangement. Our previous daycare provider
had similar policies and though I thought she was great, I didn't really
like that I paid when I received no service. Now I found a wonderful
daycare who is significantly cheaper and works all the time. She doesn't
take sick days. Her daughter will cover for her if that is needed. The
only days that she is closed are Christmas and Thanksgiving. I think
that the daycare provider has every right to ask for all these perks,
but that she may loose out on customers by doing so. You have the choice
of staying with her or finding someone who doesn't take advantage of
this. Good luck!
I don't see how a daycare ''center'' even if it is in a home, has these
presumably ''floating'' vacation and sick days. Does she just call all
the parents and say they are closed that day? If I were her, I would
have just announced that day care was closed a certain week, and/or
raised the rates. If I were you, I would just figure that what she is
doing is the same thing. Figure it out over the course of the year--is
it really a big enough increase that would justify switching daycare?
Our former day care provider (in-home day care), whom we absolutely
adored, charged by the month, depending on how many weeks were in the
month. She took all federal holidays (9 or 10?), approximately 7 days
in the winter (Christmas through New Year's Day) and 2 weeks in the
summer. She did not ask us to pay for her summer vacation days, but we
paid for the federal holidays and the winter vacation. She did *not*
ask us to pay in advance for sick days, but when she was sick, those
days were paid because we had already paid for the month. In 2 years, I
think she was sick only once or twice. Honestly, I would have happily
paid for her vacation days, too. What we did was make sure that we took
vacation at the same times she did. She was significantly more
expensive than the previous day care provider we used, but exponentially
better. So I guess you have to ask yourself if you really love the
caretaker and how much it's worth to you. Even with all of the paid
days off, it was less expensive than preschool is now, and with fewer
days off! The fact that you are paying twice for childcare in one week
is not her problem. Yes, that's what we all do: we either stay home
with our kids or pay for childcare if our usual provider is unavailable.
I agree with you, though, that it would be very frustrating to have
additional costs added on to your childcare bill over time. Childcare
is so expensive -- it hurts! When I felt a little bit like you do, I
figured out what our daycare provider made per hour, and realized she
had to pay healthcare and taxes out of that and how little it really was
. . . to care for the most precious person in my life. On the other
hand, if you don't absolutely love your provider, it might be too much
and you might feel better finding a less expensive place. She has a
right to ask for what she wants. I hope you can find a way to feel
better about this. It is uncomfortable to be resentful at your daycare
provider. Good luck!
Time to find a new daycare!
Look for one with a larger staff so if one person is on vacation or sick
there is always someone to cover.
I hope you didn't sign a one year contract or any such binding agreement
with your current provider.
I've been in daycare for a long time (20 plus years) and know that
providers need their time off like everyone else, but it shouldn't be at
the expense (monetary and emotional) of parents that employ them!
Enough is enough
Daycare providers are some of the most hard-working and valued members
of a community. In an urban area a space with a quality provider also
come at a premium. When our first child started daycare, I admit that I
was shocked and wondering about paying for days when my child was not
receiving care. My partner and I basically live paycheck to paycheck so
it has always been hard to pay for a day off for our provider and a
second time for a substitute provider. Many providers go by the local
schools calander ( like ours ) but we still have to pay the same amount
every month of the year. One solution we have found helpful is to find
other parents at the daycare/preschool in the same boat. We hire one of
the assistant teachers or another care provider we know and alternate
houses. It's a little cheaper, and when each parent takes a day to help,
you dont have to take as much time off. We also try to take our
vacations during the times that the school is closed. Hope this helps a
little. What you describe sounds fairly common. Most of us work very
hard without many benefits (holiday/sick/etc. time off). Try to
remember how hard teaching/nurturing/loving 6+ kids is day in and day
out. If you're happy with the care that your child is getting otherwise
consider yourself blessed. anonymous
We ran into a similar situation once and I spoke to Bananas to get their
take on it. They said that daycare providers really should not spring
these big extras on the parents. Fortunately we had a good enough
relationship with the provider that it was worked out to everyone's
satisfaction. Of the other two daycare situations I was in, one was a
long-time provider who put everything into a contract up front. The
other situation was a nanny-share and the agreement was that the nanny
could have two paid weeks off/year: one week chosen by the parents and
one week chosen by the nanny. You really can't compare your vacation
allowance to your daycare provider's: your daycare provider won't be
taking care of any one child more than a few years. I can think of two
options she has: 1) write the vacations into her contract and let the
parents see the policy at the beginning, or
2) not take any paid vacations and raise her charges to compensate.
Either way, she has to price herself according to what the market will
bear, and she shouldn't change her policies without fair notice Been
there, but it doesn't last forever.
I agree with you in that she's a contractor, not a permanent employee
whose position comes with its benefits and sacrifices.
Everyone who works as a contractor knows that you get paid by the hour
or by the ''project,'' and you simply don't ask your employer to add
benefit policies after the original contract/agreement has been
established. No employer would agree to after-the-fact benefits without
outstanding performance or renegotiation of the original terms and
conditions. I've known in-home childcare providers moving to work for
child care centers and preschools because they wanted to be permanent
employees receiving salaries (rather than hourly pay) and vacation
benefits. In the world of work, employers, either individuals or
companies, will likely tell you to look elsewhere if you are an hourly
contractor asking for additional sick/vacation pay.
As to paid sick days, I also have the following story to share:
A few years ago we had a full-time nanny. She received a monthly salary
(which was carefully calculated to equal the 12-month average of her
hourly rate) plus 1 sick day per month, in addition to all paid holidays
that I received from work (for example, I didn't get Columbus Day off,
so she had to work on that day.) She was pretty good not to miss any
regular workdays, but she also managed to call in sick once a month
After 6 months, however, she wanted to be paid based on the actual
number of hours worked each month. I explained to her that the salary
system was better because it was based on her full-time hourly rate plus
holidays and sick days. Still, she believed that she would make more
money the other way around and told me she would rather not getting paid
holidays and sick days as long as I paid her by the number of hours
worked each month.
So, I went with it.
She never called in sick again (not only because she knew she wouldn't
get paid but also because she was never sick!)
There are a lot of good, caring childcare providers out there, whose
outstanding performance makes you want to provide them with additional
benefits as a token of your appreciation. Start looking if you don't
think the performance of your current childcare provider worth the 29
paid days she has asked for Chris
As a future childcare provider, I have looked around and think that this
IS normal for daycares. I understand the financial burden childcare puts
on a family, however from the other side, Childcare is a very demanding
job in so many ways. The value of a good caregiver with whom you feel
comfortable leaving your child each day is unmeasurable. Being a
quality caregiver starts with caring for your self, making sure that
your needs are getting met, and that you are getting down time so that
when the kids come you are ready to give 110% (and that's what it
takes). Burnout among childcare providers is very common, so just think
of this paid vacation as an investment in the continued excellent care
of your child. I am aware of the average rate for daycare, and doubt
that your provider is getting rich doing this. Like you mentioned, she
does have to pay her own healthcare, and probably pays a helper, taxes,
food, supplies, etc.....
I think it's normal, including the paid days. I look at it as ''paying
for the slot'' in the daycare, rather than an hourly thing. I'm not rich
by any stretch, but I think that you should be fair to your childcare
providers. If you like your provider and your child is happy and safe, I
say pay it. There are a lot of crappy day cares out there so if she's
good, she's worth it. We always knew well in advance when day care would
close and would work out time off between my husband and I or friends at
the day care or relatives.
I sympathize! Unfortunately for working parents, it is a seller's
market. While I fully support paying daycare providers for reasonable
vacation, I've found it is common to take an excessive number of days
(one school took 46!). I did extensive interviewing at both daycares and
preschools and found it very common for providers to take all 10 federal
holidays (many of which private employers do not give, such as MLK,
Columbus and Veterans' Days & Washington's BD), 2.5 days at
Thanksgiving, a week at Christmas (sometimes two), a week in February, a
week in April, and 2 weeks in summer. If you add it all up, it's about 7
(or 8) weeks of vacation, when most employers provide 2 weeks. If you
had to pay a babysitter at $12/hour, it would add up to an additional
$3780 per year in day care costs! I don't know how other parents cover
it. It's not like you can send a baby or preschooler to camp for those
weeks! It's a huge hassle.
I have a few suggestions: look for preschools that provide daycare for
most of their vacation days, check out Claremont Day School--they're
open year-round. Develop a list of places that accept ''drop-ins,'' (of
course, they may be closed on the same days!), team up with other
parents and hire a babysitter together.
Best of luck!
Wishing I had two months of vacation, too
After reading the responses to your question, I wanted to chime in with
my experience. NOT all home daycares take that much paid vacation. My
daughter's preschool is only closed for the
7 major holidays - the same ones that I get. I will not put my child in
a preschool that takes paid vacation because I simply cannot afford it
and there are plenty of facilities out there that understand this. I
would suggest that you look for a daycare/preschool that takes school
age children after school and on school holidays - my daughter's
preschool does this so they are open on all those teacher inservice
days, federal holidays (except the real holidays), and all summer long.
I would also suggest that you look for a daycare with more than one
provider. My daughter's preschool is jointly run by three women, so if
one is out sick it is not a problem (just a little more chaos that day).
One thing to think about: If the daycare/preschool is asking parents to
pay for its own vacations and public holidays, is it paying its own
staff full salary during those days? I notice that some daycare
operators/preschool directors seem to make a pretty nice salary
themselves but get away with paying their own staff salaries barely
above the minimum.
If parents are expected to pay for those days an establishment is
closed, I think at the very least parents should be assured that all
staff are being paid too. If they're not, it sounds a bit greedy to me,
to say the least.
Our family daycare providers, which have been open for about 1
year, are asking for a big increase in their vacation schedule.
The original agreement was holidays and 2 weeks vacation per
year, all paid. Now they are asking for an additional week this
year, another week at spring break and month off during the
summer as well. We want to negotiate a fair and resonable plan
for everyone. It's hard for us because I personally get no
vacation or sick time at my job, so if we're paying for daycare
and yet I'm not working, then I'm paying double. We all want our
providers to have the breaks they need. What is your agreement
with your daycare? How many paid vacation/holiday days to they
require? Do you pay them for summers off?
The family day care that my son went to for three years took 3
weeks of vacation per year -- a week at Christmas, a week in
the spring, and a week in July. This seemed reasonable to me,
and I didn't mind that the vacations were paid. I think
typically family day cares take 2 to 4 weeks of paid vacation.
Some preschools take very long breaks, including a month (or
more!) in the summer. I didn't look at any of those
preschools, because I knew that, as a working parent, those
wouldn't work for me. My son's preschool takes 4 weeks per
year (2 at the end of December, one is spring, plus the last
week in August). This was at the upper limit of what I would
Your child's day care provider is trying to change from 2 weeks
per year to 7!!! (3 weeks plus a whole month). In my opinion,
this is way too many weeks, especially if they expect for all
of this time to be paid -- and especially given what a large
increase it is over what you previously agreed to (it's a 3.5-
fold increase!) If they wanted to take one extra week, I would
go along with it, but to expect you to foot the bill for such a
large increase in their vacation time is, IMO, completely
unreasonable. If it were me, I would flatly refuse, and if
they won't agree to be more reasonable, I'd look for child care
At our family daycare (which has been operating for 10 years)
the providers take about 10 holidays + 2 weeks paid vacation
each year. They choose the dates for their vacation and let the
parents know a couple of months in advance so they can make
plans. In addition, each family is entitled to 2 weeks of
vacation when they can take their child out and not pay (any
additional time missed we pay for). This seems very reasonable
to me and comparable to most jobs.
I would definitely suggest talking to the other parents at your
daycare to see how they feel, and perhaps talking to an
organization like Bananas or CocoKids (Contra Costa County's
excellent childcare referral service) to get their perspective
on what's standard. Two months of vacation seems like a lot
(unless you live in Europe) - but unless you can convince the
providers to change their minds, you might be faced with a
choice about whether to stay or place your child elsewhere.
Did you sign a contract with your daycare provider?
Did it (I hope) outline the days that the daycare would be
If so, legally, they cannot change the contract for it's
duration. After that time, they may change it anyway they
like, but you don't have to sign up with them again!
20+ years in day care
Our daycare has the usual holidays throughout the year (Veteran's
Day, Thanksgiving, etc) plus 2 other weeks, paid. I think that's
standard and reasonable. In my opinion, your daycare is asking
for way, way too much.
I think that my day care provider is very reasonable. We pay
for the major holidays off and two weeks per year. Only in the
last 3 years has she asked for extra days; when her father
passed away she took 4 days, Dr. appointments she took 2 days
and she needed CPR training for her license and took a day.
Hope this helps, Amy.
you should not have to pay for the one month summer closure. the
rest seem in line- it is hard, but they have to live here, too.
And I think good childcare workers need more time off than most
other occupations in order to take care of themselves, in order
to be able to be present and appropriate with the children. We
pay for all closures except for summer- generally it aligns with
when public schools would also be closed- Christmas 2 weeks,
Thanksgiving 2 days, president's WEEK! and Spring Break
week,plus the handful of Monday holidays thruout the year. It
has helped for us to arrange trades with other families from the
daycare when there are closures so as to not have to pay even
more and/ or to miss less work.
I'm a new family day care provider working with infants. I did
so much research and planning before starting my business, but
there is a huge gap in either the information out there or just
in child care in general (I suspect the latter): what to do when
the provider is sick. Of course in my second week of providing
care, I've gotten quite sick, and I really don't want to pass
this on to the child in my care. I've asked around to other care
providers, spoken with Bananas, and just racked my brain in
general. There isn't really an answer. What do people do when
their child care providers are sick? Do parents have a back-up?
Do providers have a back up? How do you find those people? My
ratio is so low that I can't afford an assistant, and I really
want to offer something (at least a suggestion!) to my parents.
Any suggestions and comments are welcome, from provider and
Dear Sick Provider, I'm not sure what to tell you exactly, but I can
offer information on what my daycare provider does. She includes one
week of sick time into her policy/contract for just this reason. She
doesn't offer an alternative, that is up to us. So far, we have just
used our own sick time from our jobs to cover when we need to. Sometimes
a family member can help out too. I have seen a sign on a business here
in Berkeley on 6th Street called something like 'the sick child day
care'. I've wondered if they actually offer drop in service when kids
are sick. Or, perhaps they are a referral service. Interested to know
what others day care providers policies are....
My daughter has just started daycare at a wonderful little
in-home daycare, but I am extremely shocked to find that
many places, including ours, close for up to 5 or 6 weeks a
year for holidays/vacations, in addition to another 9 or so
holidays, and families are still obligated to pay their regular
rate. This is in spite of the fact that many of us who work full
time and cannot take as much time off, must find alternative
childcare during those excess weeks, essentially paying
double in childcare 6 weeks out of the year!
I am wondering if this a commonly accepted practice? I
suppose it is a precursor to when they begin school, but it
seems a bit excessive. I would love to hear other parents'
opinions on the matter and whether this is typical, in which
case I have to just suck it up and deal!
I too was surprised when I looked for preschools. Our preschool
is closed 5 weeks/year plus holidays (which, surprise, included
Valentine's Day.) Another is closed for 7 weeks/year, including
most of August. One doesn't even run preschool in the summer,
but has an alternative program. The best coverage I know of is
offered by the Claremont Day on Claremont at Woolsey, closed only
one week/year, plus holidays.
My husband and I have flexible schedules and work near home, but
it must be near impossible if you both have set hours and commute.
In my experience, home-based daycares or preschools will have
several weeks of vacation per year, simply because it is a small
business and those running them need a break. We chose to have
our oldest daughter at a large center (St. Johns), which was
perfect for her personality and for our schedule. The center
was only closed for a few days during Christmas break. The
caretakers rotated their vacations so that parents didn't have to
take any time off during the rest of the year. The downside is
that a center is typically more expensive than a home based
daycare, partly for this reason. Our other children were in a
home-based daycare and preschool because we felt the smaller
scale school suited them better. We knew that these home-based
schools would be closed for several weeks during the year before
we enrolled our kids, but we felt that it was worth it. What has
worked for us, it to have one of the teachers at the small
preschool earn extra money during the closure by coming to one of
the parents' houses and taking care of several kids. Also one set
of parents at our preschool had a nanny, who was willing to
babysit some preschoolers during school vacations. You might also
see if any other parents would be willing to babysit your child
in exchange for you doing the same for them during school
Times like that when I wish we lived closer to family for back
up day care in emergencies, etc! My son is in a home day care
and vacations are definitely a drawback. My daycare provider
closes for all major holidays, plus any holiday that herkids
school is closed. She closes for the week between Christmas and
New Years, spring break and a week in the summer! I have been
fortunate to have jobs that respect my role as ''mom first'' and I
also have the opportunity to work from home when necessary
(although it's extremely challenging with a 2 year old in toe)!
I want my son in a home day care environment right now so we
just bite the bullet on it and keep the other benefits in our
I think five to six weeks is too excessive. I have been a
daycare provider for over twelve years, and for the longest time
was open year round. For the last three years, I have begun to
close at christmas time only, and then only from christmas eve
until new years day. This is a much look forward to and much
needed break. It doesn't inconvenience parents because most
people take time off around the holidays or grandparents visit etc.
I think parents should ask up front what the vacation schedule is
and then if it is too dificult find care at another facility.
this page was last updated: Oct 31, 2012
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