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Coming to Terms: Establishing a Business Relationship with Parents Presented by Tom Copeland, JD Family Child Care Trainer and Author AFSCME Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Coming to Terms: Establishing a Business Relationship with Parents Presented by Tom Copeland, JD Family Child Care Trainer and Author AFSCME Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Coming to Terms: Establishing a Business Relationship with Parents Presented by Tom Copeland, JD Family Child Care Trainer and Author AFSCME Department of Education

2 Welcome This class will help you – –Establish a business relationship with parents –Identify the four key elements of a contract –Ensure that parents won’t leave owing you money –Enforce your contract and policies

3 Instructor Tom Copeland, JD Partnership with National Association for Family Child Care Call Tom: ex 321 Tom:

4 After this class… You will be able to download the materials from this class on You will get a certificate after you submit the quiz at the end. CEU credits vary by state. Contact your local CCPT or AFSCME affiliate office. We are working with crediting agencies to have the workshops approved. Questions on AFSCME programs: Kate Headley or (202)

5 AFSCME and Child Care Workers AFSCME VOICE CCWU (in NJ) CCPT CCPUNITE D AFSCME is uniting child care workers!

6 Business Resources –Hundreds of free articles, newsletter, and other resources Resources from Redleaf Press (www.redleafpress.org; )www.redleafpress.org –Family Child Care Contracts and Policies – by Tom Copeland –The Redleaf Complete Forms Kit –Sharing in the Caring – Agreement Packet

7 Poll - 1 How long have you been in business? 1)Not yet in business 2)Less than 1 year 3)1-5 years 4)6-10 years 5)More than 10 years

8 Class Outline 1) Establish a business relationship with parents 2) The difference between a contract and policies 3) Key contract and policies terms 4) How to enforce your agreement

9 It’s illegal to discriminate based on race, sex, color, religion, disability, or national origin

10 Establish a Business Relationship You are your own boss Parents are not your “friends” You can set your own rules –Highly structured/unstructured program –Religious/non-religious –Hours open/ages of children, etc. How to say no – “I don’t think this is the best place for your child”

11 Take Responsibility It’s up to you to establish a business relationship with parents Hardest thing to say to parents – “You owe me money” No classes for parents on “How to pay your child care provider on time!”

12 Communicate with Parents Use props to communicate business –receipts –bulletin board –newsletter –written notes –contract and policies

13 Four Key Elements of a Contract Names of the parties Terms of the contract –Time –Money Termination clause Signatures of both parties

14 Enforceable Contract Terms Time –Hours open, vacations, holidays, sick days, professional days, etc. Money –Parent fees, late fees, registration fees, payment due dates, child absent, etc.

15 Two Key Contract Money Terms Require parents to pay you at least one week in advance. Require parents to pay you for last two weeks of care at enrollment –If a parent can’t afford it, allow them to pay something extra each week over time.

16 Termination Notice “Parent must give at least a two week notice” “Provider may terminate at will”

17 Holding Fee Parent wants to enroll child at a future date Two options –Provider promises to hold space for a nonrefundable fee Fee should not apply to child care later –Provider does not promise to hold space

18 Five Key Elements of Policies Provider information Client responsibilities Child care program Illness, health/safety Transportation of children

19 Parent Drop-off/Pick-up Parent shows up drunk or without a car seat When a child is in danger you face two risks: –You are a mandated reporter of child neglect –You could be held liable if a child is injured Adopt a policy to protect the child

20 Transportation Policy When you think child is at risk –Call others to pick up child –Call a cab –Tell parent to go home and get car seat –If parent refuses, call 911 You cannot refuse the child to the parent

21 Enforcing Your Agreement You must set your own limits To enforce your agreement there must be a consequence for a parent who fails to follow your contract or policies

22 Parent Late Pick-Up Parent shows up late to pick up child Possible consequences: –Late fee: $1 a minute –After two late pickups a month - termination

23 Time Vs. Money When parent is late, which is more important to you – time or money? –If it’s time – you don’t want to work Enforce high consequence ($1/minute or more) –If it’s money – you would work longer if paid enough Adjust late fees so parents will pay ($.50/minute) or set an “evening rate”

24 Caring for Subsidized Children You must follow state law Know state law to avoid nonpayment Get parent to sign your contract requiring full payment by parent Find out if you can charge parents in advance, require last 2 weeks payment in advance

25 Ending The Parent Relationship - 1 Avoid the problem –When not to accept parents –Ask for references –Question parents at the interview Deal with the problem –Trial period –Take notes –Get outside help

26 Ending the Parent Relationship - 2 You can terminate your contract –Disruptive behavior –Violation of your contract –Any other reason (except illegal discrimination) Give parents a warning before terminating Contact your licensor Don’t put reasons for terminating in writing

27 Three Choices of Life To resolve conflicts with parents, get a coach to help you choose one: –“I am happy” –“I am not happy” – Decide what will make you happy and enforce this on the parent –“I quit”

28 Closing By using your contract and policies you can establish a business relationship with parents You will have an easier time if you set clear rules and enforce them consistently

29 Contact Tom For Help Call: ex Good Luck!

30 After this class… You will be able to download the materials from this class on You will get a certificate after you submit the quiz at the end. CEU credits vary by state. Contact your local CCPT or AFSCME affiliate office. We are working with crediting agencies to have the workshops approved. Questions on AFSCME programs: Kate Headley or (202)


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