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Billie Holt

I disagree with the don't tell rule because there a lots of parents whom I call "daycare hoppers. You ask about previous providers and they give false information. They lie about everything but their name. If providing names and updating info on payments would greatly reduce "daycare hippers ".


Mr Copeland,

I think there are wonderful key points in this. On the other hand, thetr are some things argue. You put all the negativity onto providers. Providers who don't do anything to deserve parents poor actions. What is to be done about parents "slandering" providers? What is anyone going to do about the pare.t that daycare "hop" leaving debt & destruction in their path? Parents KNOWINGLY by the state & county being kicked off an assistsnce program only to be let back on later? Yes a deposite is great, and yes it is an ideal way to protect yourself but, faycare assistsnce does not pay it & we are not allowed to discriminate. So how about holding parents accountable for steeling. I have been bullied into taking far less than I am owed jist so I csn get SOMETHING!! This has been fairly upsetting to read.

Tom Copeland

Carolyn - It is unfortunate that parents treat you, and other providers, this way. In most states you are not required to accept subsidized parents. If parents leave owing you money you can always take them to court. Subsidized parents may not have any money to sue, but you can get a legal judgment against them that is good for 10 years. Providers should always report parents who don't pay to their county subsidy program. Providers can also contact their subsidy program before accepting a parent to see if the parent has previously not paid another provider. To protect yourself against slander by a parent, keep your licensor informed. If it continues, send a letter to the parent telling her that if she continues to slander you that you will speak with a lawyer and sue her.

Tom Copeland

Billie - If a parent gives you false information about her previous caregiver (or false information about anything!) I would suggest terminating the contract with her immediately.


Carolyn, I don't think requiring a deposit could be considered discrimination. It's a business practice. I require everyone, including assistance families, to pay a 1 week deposit and set up a payment plan at the time they reserve a spot. The assistance payments are then considered a payment towards their account. It has been years since I have had a hopper, because hoppers won't agree with this and tend to argue it during the interview. They either don't sign on or I catch on during the interviews and don't take them.


Tom, do you have some suggestions as to what we could or should say to another provider that calls for a reference? While I haven't had it happen, I could see where one could really be put on the spot if a provider asked you about a parent that you had issues with. I'm just seeing confidentiality issues all over the place here.

Tom Copeland

I would tell the provider you can't answer any questions until you get a letter from the parent giving you permission to talk with the other provider. I wouldn't even acknowledge that you cared for the parent until you get the letter. If you get such a letter I would only say things that are factually true: how long you cared for the child, would you do it again? Don't give opinions about the family.


Excellent! Thank you, Tom! I've never quite known how I would deal with this situation should it arise.

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Billy - if the parents give you false information before her caregivers (or false information anything!) I suggest immediately terminate the contract with her.

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I don't think need a deposit can be thought of as discrimination. This is a business practice. I need everyone, including family, pay 1 week deposit and set up a payment plan when they reserve a point. To help pay for then is supposed to be their account payment. Have a few years I have a funnel, because funnel will not agree with this and tend to think it in an interview. They either do not sign or I understand in interviews and don't take them.


Hi Tom,
I have been running my daycare for over 19 years. In the 19 years we have ahd only 2 people who did not pay us, we consider ourselves very lucky to have had only 2 as we know providers who have had several! If a parent is on a county program that subsidizes/pays for their daycare and they do not pay..you can report the parent to their case worker and they MUST pay you before they are allowed to go to another daycare provider and have it subsidized. Unfortunatly I had to report the parents to their providers who immediatly cut them off of "free daycare" till I was paid. They did pay me right away so they could continue to use the program. Not sure if this works in other states but it might. Read the County Handbooks, its unusally right in there.
Thank you for your great articles!

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