Wednesday, February 2, 2011

to close or not to close... that is the question!

This winter has been pretty mild until now... January hit us pretty hard with snow and now ice storms. Every year there is the big question I get from other providers and families, "do you close on snow days?". The answer... "yes, I do". And here is why. I hope I can explain this in a logical way. Sometimes what is in my brain and what comes out are two different things. So, here it goes.

I close daycare for safety. Safety of others... If our schools are not in session, it means you probably shouldn't be out driving. When I am closed, I am at home. You can call or email me and I would right here at home where I should be during my working hours. I would hate for something to happen to one of my families while trying to get to my house. Even though I can not control what happens when people are on the road, at least if I am closed, no one is attempting it.

I close for my safety. Dustin and I try our best to have our drive way covered in ice melt and shoveled for the safety of my daycare families dropping off. However, you just never know. Someone can slip, fall, break something, or worse. I just don't want to take that chance of that happening. If something horrible where to happen, because I do this in my house, I can lose my house, belongings, cars, business ect. We do have daycare insurance for those "what if's" happen but it still is my home and it is very scary to think something like this could ever happen. I know, I am pretty over the top dramatic here but doing a business in your home opens you up to a lot of unpleasant things.

I just want everyone to be safe. I realize by closing on snow days is not going to make everyone happy. I have learned very early on, I will never make everyone happy all the time. It is in my parent handbook and it is explained when signing up with me. I just provide the best care that I can and hope that my service on the days I am open out weighs when I am closed.

"Are snow days just a day off for you?"
Not really. I use snow days for planning. I use these days to work ahead on on my lesson planning for preschool, cut out letters, write newsletters, menus, and more. Yes, it is more relaxed and I still have my kids here to entertain but I am using that time so I can free up the evenings that I am normally working on daycare projects.

I don't like closing, I have lessons and outlines of what to teach my preschoolers. We are behind because of snow days (and my vacation day). I want to make sure my kids are learning and thriving as well, and when we are here for one day off for two, it makes it very hard to stay focused and on track. We then spend the next day reviewing routine and rules which makes my job a lot harder. I am so over snow days and want my routine and structure back for sure!

"Will this policy ever change?"
Not this winter. I am hoping today and yesterday will be our last snow day, if not, we'll be in school until July. All regulations are reviewed in July so I can update my parent handbook in August. If this policy isn't working for my families, I will be looking into changing it at that time. Some providers have started a "snow day drop in fee" or "snow days are without pay". I debate this rule every year. If you have a say either way- email me your thoughts! I would love to have them for when I go over my handbook!

Moving on... Dustin was home today too- he doesn't get a snow day when the school are closed but we decided that the roads were icky enough he didn't need to be driving out in them either.

So, him and the kids shoveled the drive way and steps... Okay, really, they played and he worked!

Getting good use of the snow bibs Grandma Dee got them...

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