How to Break Up with Your Daycare

kids at daycare

Breaking up with a daycare is never easy. Whether you’re leaving a corporate daycare or an in-house provider, you need to handle the move with care.

The following are some of the steps you can take to make the breakup easier for everyone involved.

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How to Quit a Corporate Daycare Provider

You could be leaving your child’s daycare for any number of reasons. Perhaps you found a daycare that’s closer to your place of work.

Maybe your child is unhappy. Regardless of why you’re leaving, you must take the appropriate steps before saying your final goodbyes.

Step 1: Consult Your Contract

Most corporate daycares require their parents to sign contracts. These contracts state how long the parent must pay for childcare whether or not the child is in attendance.

Most contracts offer information about terminating the agreement.

It’s standard the parent must give 30-days notice before leaving the daycare or, in other words, the parent must pay for an additional month of services once they decide to leave.

However, this can vary greatly from place to place.

Step 2: Gather Any Documentation

Make sure you have a copy of your contract and the daycare’s handbook to back up what you need to do to terminate the relationship. Depending on the reason you are leaving, you may need even more documentation.

For instance, if your child is being bullied at the daycare and you feel they must be removed from the situation, provide documentation that displays each day the child was mistreated at the daycare.

If you’re leaving because of a move or sudden change in employment, provide written documentation of this as well.

Though it’s rare, being able to show why you are leaving might allow you to avoid paying any penalties.

Step 3: Put Everything in Writing

Provide a fully detailed explanation about why you’re leaving the daycare in a physical document.

That document, called a daycare termination letter, should be mailed or given to the daycare and emailed as an attachment.

Putting all information in writing ensures you have proof of your last day using the daycare services. This is important if the daycare continues charging you past the agreed-upon end date.

Step 4: Have a Face-to-Face Meeting

Unless you’re leaving due to mistreatment at the daycare, it’s best to have a face-to-face meeting with the daycare’s director.

You can explain the situation more fully when you’re able to talk about how your needs have changed. You do still need to provide a written copy, just in case.

If your child has formed close relationships with daycare providers and other children, this is a good opportunity for them to say goodbye.

Leaving Due to Daycare Abuse

Most parents leave daycares because they have found a less expensive provider, have had a change in employment, or are moving to a different area.

Some leave simply because the daycare is not a good fit.

Unfortunately, there are those who may need to leave due to nefarious acts. If this is the case, you should not have to pay a termination fee.

In addition, if you suspect daycare abuse you should contact your local licensing authority and the police. You might also need a lawyer.

Looking for Quality Daycare?

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How to Quit a Home Daycare

a home daycare provider

Leaving an in-home daycare can be extremely emotional. Most parents develop relationships with in-home daycare providers.

The providers themselves might get attached to the children. Parents should take careful steps to ensure no hurt feelings when choosing to leave a home daycare.

Related: Daycare Center vs In-Home Daycare

Step 1: Plan Your Explanation

You won’t leave an in-home daycare without a very good reason. Make sure you’re able to explain and articulate why you’re leaving.

Detail what initiated the decision to leave and how changing daycares is necessary.

Remember, you won’t just be explaining your decision to leave to your daycare provider. You will need to talk it over with your child as well.

Make sure your child understands why you’re leaving and allow them to spend time with other children before you go.

Step 2: Give Ample Notice

In-home daycare providers rely on their young charges for their full income. Every child that leaves takes a significant portion of money directly out of their pockets.

Give the provider plenty of time to find a replacement to take that spot. Two weeks is usually enough.

Some in-home daycares have contracts. If you signed one of these, make sure you know your responsibility before you give notice.

You could also smooth things over by providing a tip or bonus. Offer to pay for an extra two weeks if you can afford to do so.

Step 3: Meet in Person

This kind of news is best delivered in person. Explain to your daycare provider you need to meet to discuss changes in the daycare situation.

They will then offer a time to talk with you one-on-one when you won’t be interrupted. This is when you explain your new situation.

Step 4: Follow Up with Email

You need to have everything in writing, even though the daycare is not a corporate entity.

Send an email to the daycare provider that includes everything you talked about in your meeting. Attach any documentation that might be necessary to explain the situation further.

Pro Tip:
Having your intent to leaving in writing is important because if there’s ever a misunderstanding (especially if they continue charging you), you’ll have everything in writing.

Suspected Neglect or Abuse

As with corporate daycares, any suspicions of abuse or neglect should be dealt with immediately.

Take your child to see your pediatrician, who can check for signs of abuse.

If you have any reason to believe your child is getting abused, remove your child from the daycare immediately and report the abuse to a Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.

The authorities will handle following up and investigating the daycare.

Related: When Should I Not Send My Child To Daycare?

Find a New Daycare

Ending a relationship, even a professional one, can be both frustrating and emotional.

Take it step-by-step so you ensure all of your bases are covered when you decide to leave your daycare provider.

With all that said, you’re probably going to need to find a new daycare provider. Go here to start searching for a childcare provider near you.

Looking for Quality Daycare?

Find an affordable and qualified daycare center that fits your needs.

Have you ever broken up with a daycare? Tell us your story in the comments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Switching around daycares too frequently may have short-term negative impacts on your child in terms of making social connections. With that said, parents shouldn’t hesitate to switch daycares if there’s a potential safety concern.

Watch out for extreme behaviors such as erratic crying or clingyness. Kids who are old enough to start talking may be able to verbalize a bit of what they don’t like about the daycare.

Parents should consider giving at least 2-weeks notice, so the daycare has enough time to recruit a new parent and child. If you signed a contract, that contract might specify how much time you have to give.

Parents should consider giving a two-week notice so the daycare has enough time to find time to replace the spot that will be vacant.