May a Parent Stop You From Holding Birthday Parties?


How would you handle this situation?

While talking with a parent who wants to enroll in your program, she tells you that she is a Jehovah’s Witness. She says she doesn’t believe in her child attending any birthday parties.

Federal anti-discrimination law says you cannot discriminate against parents or children because of their religion.

So, you cannot tell this parent that you won’t care for her child because she is a Jehovah’s Witness.

However, you don’t have to agree to the wishes of parents who wants you to follow her religious beliefs.

So, you can respond, “You are welcome to attend my program. I will continue to have birthday parties. I’ll be happy to notify you about them ahead of time but I won’t be changing my program.”

Or you can respond, “You are welcome to attend my program. I am willing to reduce the number of birthday parties to try to make your child feel more comfortable.”

This is the beginning of an article I’ve posted on In the rest of the article I describe how to handle this situation. is a community for family child care providers and parents that offers a wide variety of resources including recipes, a blog, and a newsletter.  It serves as a clearinghouse for many online resources (children’s activities, training opportunities, equipment, and more). was created by Minute Menu (now KidKare) to offer free assistance that will help the family child care community grow.

Tom Copeland –

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Categories: Legal, Legal & Insurance

1 reply

  1. I am a family chikdcare provider as well as a Jehovah’s Witness. If tbe parent does nit want their child to celebrate, and they want to enroll in a program tbat does, parent can also ask that their child does not participate and parent can have their child not attend on day of party. Tom compland’s advice is good, but the provider and parent can work together in having parent explain to the child and send a snack and let the child sit away from thr party and eat snack and provide an activity for the child.

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