Saying No to a Childcare Client

I know it seems crazy to be talking about saying no to a childcare client.  After all, for most providers who are first starting out our sole focus is getting clients not declining them.  But just how we have the need to say yes to clients we also need to factor in when no is the correct response as well. So when should you say no?

Saying No to a Childcare Client

Saying NO to a Childcare Client

Updated:  11/7/2019

Out of your scope

As childcare providers, we nurture and care for children instinctively. There may come a time when the needs of a particular child or family exceed our capabilities.

Taking on more than you can handle is like drawing a straight line toward overwhelm.

Whether that’s due to a special need that the child may have or a special request that a parent may need. I think it is important for us as providers to know our own boundaries and limits.  There are times when saying NO is in the best interest of the family.

Not a little thing

A small thing can actually add up to a big thing.

Sometimes it can seem like a small thing when actually it adds up to a much bigger thing.  I once had a parent tell me that working 30 to 45 minutes longer each day really wasn’t that much more work.  

To the parent, I’m sure that it may have looked at the small increment of time. But when you factor in the extra 1/2 hour each day over a week’s time that’s 2 1/2 hours extra work.  

Not such a small amount anymore right.  

I remember pointing out to the parent that just as they had an expectation for when their workday would end and so should I.  Reluctantly, they agreed.

I regularly will remind my clients that my day is actually 11 hours long and that is just with the children.  It does not include paperwork, cleanup, shopping, planning and any of the other hundred things that need to be done when you own a business.  

I also remind them of their contracted hours and just to drive the point home, I inform them that I have state-licensed hours and violating them could cause me to be out of ratio and subject to fine and/or citation.  Finally, I inform them about the added fees attached to violating our drop-off/pick-up policy.

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Don’t feel guilty

Have you ever heard the saying, “A caregiver had better take care of themselves”?  Well, it is so true.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, both physically & mentally, we are not able to effectively care for others.

Don’t feel guilty about saying no.

Think of it this way, saying no to a client is not a dirty word.  In fact, if a client is breaking your rules or not following your policies, they are the ones saying no.

As providers, we have a lot of responsibilities. We wear many hats and need to accomplish many things during the week.  Not the least of them is caring for the children that we serve.

So think long and hard about taking on extra tasks.  Stick to your guns, remember you have a backbone and maintain the passion you have for your business.

Saying No to a Childcare Client

I hope today’s post has given you some encouragement when saying no to a childcare client is the right thing to do.  It can be a hard thing, especially for providers who are used to being a helpmate to families.  But remember, it’s not a dirty word.  Sometimes it is the right word for the sentence.

Did you get anything out of today’s post?  I would love to hear if there is something you will either start doing or stop doing because of what you read.  Please leave me a comment below and tell me about it.

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