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setting staff attendance policies

  • 1.  setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-09-2019 02:15 PM
    Hello everyone,
    I am fairly new at being a director, and a first-time director at that. It has been a steep learning curve!
    I only worked in corporate America for about 5 years; other than that, in mostly private preschools and daycares, so I need some schooling on setting policies for staff attendance/unexcused absences. Since there is no policy - yet- on attendance, some of my staff have become lackadaisical about their attendance (example: "I have a cold, so I'd like to stay home"), or not making arrangements for others to watch their sick child, so they can stay at work. Since I never knew differently, I always would say, ok, and work the shift for them. Thankfully it is only a few of my staff, (I have staff who will work their shift regardless of headaches, backaches, pulled muscles, and bad colds!) but still, I am near to tearing my hair out, having a nervous breakdown, or running screaming into the night!  I lose office time on a weekly basis. We are planning on hiring more staff, such as a person who can be a permanent full-time on-site substitute, too, but still I need to set guidelines!
     My question is: How many days do other centers allow for unexcused absences? What repercussions are there if a staff member goes over their "quota"? If they are truly sick for more than one day, should they bring a doctor's note? Also, how much time, if any, would a part-time or temporary (summer help) staff member be allowed to have? I mean unpaid, non-vacation days.
    I would appreciate any and all advice! Thank you so much.

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    Beth Flohr
    Director
    Dei Spring Academy & Child Care Center
    Cold Spring MN
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  • 2.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-10-2019 06:08 AM
    Good morning,
    I direct a program that is located within an elementary school. Full time, salaried staff gets 10 sick days and 2 personal days. The sick days can be used for themselves or when their children are sick. Part time salaried staff get 1/2 of that. Aides are paid hourly and don't have sick time in their contracts, so if they call off, they don't get paid.
    Having a sub in the building would help for you, because you should not be the one who subs whenever someone calls off.

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    Monica Gorman
    Medina OH
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  • 3.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-13-2019 02:16 PM
    I just want to say thank you to all of you who answered my question, with so many good ideas!! This will help a great deal. Have a good day!

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    Beth Flohr
    Director
    Dei Spring Academy & Child Care Center
    Cold Spring MN
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  • 4.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-10-2019 06:51 AM
    Our preschool is very small with only 3 teachers on staff and we are open Tuesday - Friday, September through May.  Each staff member gets 5 paid days of leave (sick or personal doesn't matter) and if they go over their five days, their pay is docked for the days missed.  They are technically paid salary, not hourly, but their pay can be pro-rated by the number of hours required in their contract.  We have a few subs that will come in when needed.

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    Susan Ricci
    Director/Lead Teacherl
    Oakton VA
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  • 5.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-10-2019 08:27 AM
    Beth:
    Our benefit package for our teaching staff is as follows:  Staff accrue PTO every pay period earning 15 PTO days per year, it can be carried over.  If staff call out with no leave to cover their absence then they do not get paid for that day or days.    In VA., an employer can ask for a doctor's note--I do that when their "sickness" might impact my liability and that "sickness" impacts their ability to carry out their duties as indicated in their job description.
    I do not want sick employees on site--especially with colds, sore throats etc., as that only adds to the challenge of keeping a healthy environment for the children and rest of the staff....
    I also do not ask for "details" of their illness--I just need to know they will not be present and what we have to do to cover their position, whether an Assistant or a Lead.  I do employ floaters for the purpose of covering classrooms.
    We have 108 children in the program and 35 staff--all educational staff and a Food Manager and an Asst. Food Manager...and one director...


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    Luellen Matthews, MPA
    Director
    Crystal City Children's Center
    Arlington, VA
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  • 6.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-13-2019 01:16 PM
    I have been a director for 25 years.  I have an approved substitute teacher's list that my staff can find a sub if needed.  It is their responsibility to secure the sub and then call the office to let them know who is subbing for them.  This works wonders!  I also give my staff double the number of days they work per week in personal/sick days.  If they teach 3 days, then they have 6 days for the year.  If they teach 5 days then they get 10 personal/sick days.  We have a personal day's bank that rolls unused days at the end of the year into the bank.  Some teachers never use all of their days.  We currently have about 150 days built up.  The teacher is able to apply for days from the Personal Days bank if they have to have surgery or an extended illness.  It is not used often but there for emergencies.   This year I had a teacher who had purchased a new home and then she got extremely sick and needed surgery.  When she was off of work for three weeks, she used her 10 personal days and then applied to the bank for the next 10 to be paid.  I have a teacher , board member and myself decide to approve or disapprove  the extra days from the bank.

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    Barbara Newton, Director
    First Presbyterian Preschool
    512 7th Street
    Columbus IN 47201
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  • 7.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-14-2019 06:53 AM
    The way you describe your Personal Days bank it makes me think you have a strong team of generous and connected staff. Kudos to you for cultivating a team of connected coworkers.





  • 8.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-15-2019 07:25 AM
    I really think that is a great policy too have. A lot of centers do not have that in place for their staff.

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    Elizabeth Willis
    Owner
    3 Sistas family homecare
    Riverdale GA
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  • 9.  RE: setting staff attendance policies

    Posted 05-14-2019 05:16 PM
    This is such a helpful discussion thread! I am new to this position since September and also have never seen anything like the absences and call outs from a group of employees. I have been curbing it by not bending on the current policies in place for absences and repercussions for too many absences...

    I run a nonprofit early childhood center with about 120 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. I have a team of 26 educators- some salaried, some full-time, some hourly, part-time, substitutes and very, very generous and giving longtime and FULL-TIME volunteers. :)

    I am also working with my board to revamp the employee handbook and many of the HR policies- one of which is absences and attendance policy. Instead of accruing 10 sick days and 3 personal days, I would rather provide staff a number of PTO days to use as they wish as long as they have the time accrued and the request is approved. Also, I will likely write in, as someone else mentioned, a provision for a higher PTO accrual rate for hourly or salaried FT staff versus PT staff. I also like the idea of rolling over any unused time to a "bank" that anyone can apply for to use when needed in extreme cases of absence.

    I am working on approaching the revision of this particular policy from a number of angles, but one certainly is to also attract/retain exceptional educators. While pay is not what I wish it were in this profession, I hope to create a benefits package for my team that is seen as valuable and beneficial.


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    Jessica Rowell
    Executive Director
    Rosa Venerini Early Childhood Center
    Schenectady NY
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