Thursday, November 6, 2014

Notes From A Daycare Provider--Taking A Day Off

A couple of weeks ago, I took my first day off since Labor Day. Neither of the boys had school so I took the day off to go adventuring around the city. Those days are a rarity. When they come up I like to take full advantage. A day off of work is marvelous for some: a day of rest, a day of play, a day to get things done. Call the boss man, put in for time off, and it's done. For me it's a pain in the ass. I learned early in my daycare provider career my day off not only effects me, but other people too.

I try to notify my daycare families well in advance (a month or more) of any days off I am scheduling. My daycare families have to choose what to do with their child(ren) on my day(s) off. Do they use their own vacation/sick days to stay with their child(ren)? Do they try to find another sitter? Neither one is an easy choice, considering finding another sitter can be next to impossible or another sitter will want to charge an arm and a leg since it's a "short term spot." As nice as a day off can be, I try to put myself in my daycare families shoes. I know for certain I would be screwed if put in their position. Giving plenty of notice ensures that every family has a plan that works out.

When I do take a day off, the week just seems off--for me and the kiddos. The week I took a day off, I planned a full week of activities. I remembered that I had Friday off, yet I forgot as I was planning activities. When I finally realized my mistake in the middle of the week, I tried to cram activities in that I had told the kids we would be doing. This made for some unhappy kids because we didn't get to all of the activities we had spoken about.

One thing I never thought of (that is until I had my first day off years ago when I first started my daycare career) was who was going to watch my kids when I'm the daycare provider????. If I pre-schedule a day off, it's usually because I have things I need to do. My first ever scheduled day off as a daycare provider, I had a list of things I needed to get done, but I had no one to watch my kids! This is one of my biggest problem when scheduling days off. These days off must coincide with my husband's day(s) off as well or nothing gets done and my day off is pointless.

Sick days are a whole new ballgame. If and when one of my kids get sick, I have to make the decision whether or not to close for the day. It's always a super fun decision to make at 2 a.m. and I'm sure my families love getting the text at that time letting them know of my decision. 1.) They have to decide what to do with their child. 2.) It's a warning because they know, more than likely, their child will be getting sick too. If I do decide to close due to one of my kids being sick, not only must I deal with the sick child, but disinfect my entire house before re-opening. If I don't chose to close, I send a text that one of mine is sick. Parents can make the decision whether or not to send their child....and I must still disinfect my entire house. I in no way enjoy these scenarios when they happen, and it does happen a few times a year.

It's usually a bigger mess scheduling the day off, working around my day off, and making sure everyone remembers my day off (daycare families and my family included). While my day off was a blast, and I'm quite excited for my future days off as well (we've got some fun happenings the next few months), my decision to take days off do not come lightly since it effects so many people. As said by my neighbor, and fellow in-home daycare mommy: "it's just one of those things you don't think about until you're a daycare provider."