January 2022. Day 1.
I get a message from my son’s daycare that they have been exposed to COVID, with a positive result, and need to close. Along with the message is a document showing the quarantine details and dates of closure.
First of all, Happy Fucking New Year.
Second of all, are these dates not INCREDIBLY long?
So immediately my husband and I are in our heads, scrambling. What are we going to do? This is unexpected and we have to go to work on Monday. We don’t have backup childcare.
I decide to text my boss the document. I work part time and there is some flexibility within my hours as long as someone is always in the office, and as long as I get my hours in before the end of the pay period. We decide my husband will go into work first thing Monday and tell his boss and see how much time off he has accumulated. Little steps at a time is how we’re going to have to get through this situation.
Thank you Jesus, right off the bat both of our works are understanding and we get week 1 figured out.
On Thursday, the 6th, I see the little icon on my phone from daycare. I’m thinking, yay, maybe they realized their dates are wrong and this will be some good news.
Another household member has now tested positive and THEY ARE EXTENDING THE CLOSURE. By 2 days. So now the date of reopening is Thursday, the 20th.
This news comes, we have week 1 figured out and we are already planning the next. We’re thinking positive: My husband will use this much sick time/vacation time… I have Monday the 17th off due to a holiday so that won’t impede on this and we can all be back to normal by Tuesday the 18th. Maybe we’re going to be able to get through this without having to pay for emergency childcare, without using all accumulated time off for the year, and without me missing much work overall. Plus, I would still have a couple days to make up my time before the pay period ends.
What I haven’t shared is that January 21st is my husband and I’s 10 year wedding anniversary as well as my sons 3rd birthday. For months, we have had it planned to take a coast trip starting on the 20th. Through this news, that trip was threatened but still possible. Until we got that news of the second COVID diagnosis. Adding those 2 extra days gutted us. Now, if we decided to go, ALL available time off would be used for the ENTIRE year and my paycheck would be tiny because the days I had planned to make up time are now gone (I only get paid monthly.) We had until Friday, the next day, to get a full refund on our trip so we had to put an axe in it.
Why did this have to occur Right. Now. This would have never been convenient news but this is the only plans we had for the year, so far. We deserve that getaway. It was such a good deal, such a good find.
So now we’re pissed. This has been so stressful and inconvenient. The cherry on top being our family missing out on lifelong, special, memories. It’s not like we were able to make the best of it and take advantage of time off together as a family. One of us is (as we’re currently in the middle of it) always working. Exposure happens but then to later have another exposure feels like they weren’t quarantining responsibly. It’s not just our family effected by this.
At this point in the debacle I begin looking for different childcare opportunities. Somewhere with a staff, that is not in home, so that if something happens it is not the end all be all and we’re at their mercy again. Our family literally cannot scramble like this again. Maybe I’ll get lucky and we can get back to normal sooner than later… even if the trip is no longer happening.
Then we get another lovely update. This time about payment.
The message is asking for over half of our monthly rate. Over half for what is an availability of 8 days of care.
I haven’t commented or questioned or shared anything with them up to this point, but now I had to ask what their calculation breakdown was. This was not making sense. The answer?
“He was exposed on Wednesday which means his quarantine will end on Sunday. We won’t be open for 8 more business days after that.”
Are you freaking kidding me? YOU exposed my son. Daycare is closed because of YOU. So now he needs to quarantine and he technically is unable to attend due to this, you feel you can charge me? (His health was unaffected, by the way. Thank God) Under different circumstances, say, if he was exposed due to my irresponsibility… sure! Charge us! Am I crazy here?
Cut to now, still a week left to go. A new daycare WILL BE happening. I’ve already been on waitlists but I’ve expanded my search area and adding my name to more. It’s looking like we’ll go back next week and pay the amount we were invoiced for to turn around and pay the full amount the following week because it’s a new month.
What a nightmare.
I was encouraged to speak up and speak out to them. I’m hesistant to do so until I know we’re moving on. I do not prefer to take my child somewhere with tension but I did draft something to potentially send. I’ll share it with you. I kept it professional and left out any emotion:
Things have gotten off to a rocky start, to say the least. I’m going to stay hopeful that we end up better than where we started 🤞🏼 while keeping in mind that everything could be worse. 🙏🏼 I truly hope your 2022 has kicked off better than mine.
Until next time 💛 Katie