How to Protect Yourself When an Unhappy Parent Leaves Your Program

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Occasionally parents of the children in your family child care become upset and leave your program. What can you do to protect yourself if they later decide to file a complaint against you with your licensor?

Family child care is a business where parents and children naturally come and go. Here are some suggestions for protecting yourself should a relationship end on an unhappy note:

When a family first enrolls with your program, start keeping a notebook and record any incidents, arguments, problems, or observations about the child or parents. Situations when you want to write something down might include: a parent yells at you or uses abusive language; you notice signs that the child has been injured; the child is biting other children; or the parent complains about how you are providing care.

It is always a good idea to talk with parents right away about any problems that arise, but keeping a written record will help you remember incidents and can be useful later if a more serious conflict arises. Of course, if you suspect that the child is being abused or neglected, you should report this immediately to your licensor or child protection services.

Parent Evaluation

Ask parents to fill out a written evaluation of your program on a regular basis. The evaluation should contain these key questions:

What do you like best about my program?

What can I do to improve my program?

Would you recommend me to another parent, and if so, why?

Such evaluations should be passed out at least once a year and at the time a parent is leaving. Parents will usually say wonderful things about you, and you can use these evaluations as references with prospective parents. But you may also be able use them to help you refute any serious complaints by the parent later.

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Categories: Contracts & Policies

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2 replies

  1. This is great advice. I terminated a family and the mother tried to get me in trouble twice. But because I kept excellant notes and every email she ever sent me, I was able to show that her charges were bogus. You can never be too careful.

  2. I agree, this is great advice! Parents sometimes try to take out their frustrations particularly when they have been terminated this way. Protecting ourselves with surveys and notes just makes good sense.

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