As some of know I do in-home child care. Seriously I told you this way back at the beginning, I need ya’ll to pay attention; this will be on the test. Anyway , I provide contracted care , which means I am not paid by the parents, I am paid by DHS. Once my timesheets are submitted, the parent has to submit their check stubs to verify the hours I claim and then I get paid. Simple right? Nope. There can be as long as a 6 week turn around if the appropriate papers are not turned in by the 5th of the month or if there are any questions about the timesheets.
I started care for my 2 great-nephews when they were a little over 1 and an infant. I had them until they were 4 and 3 and headed to headstart. During that time was paid 6 times, 6 freaking times!. I had to constantly stay on her to turn her paperwork in and sign my timesheets etc. I made exceptions for her outside my normal rules because she was my niece. I had decided to stop doing the in-home work and start working in IT so I could bring in a steady weekly paycheck but she came to me crying and panicked because she was starting school and needed someone to watch them extended hours, some days up to 14 hours counting school and work hours. I sat her down and reiterated my needs as a business person and what was required of her to continue with the boys in my care. All was well for a couple months and then she just stopped bringing them to me. Then I began having issues getting paid, the one thing I kept hearing was she was non-compliant and had not fulfilled certain criteria to have her care paid for by DHS. I called, texted, emailed, involved her Mom, cussed, fussed, cried, everything to get this taken care of. This began in June. Each month there was an excuse, so B.S reason why they had screwed up, but not her because she would never eff me over, blah , blah , blah. I finally got to the bottom of it this week, in freaking November. She requested a provider change to her kids paternal Grandmother, so that put a hold on my money but someone else has been getting paid for the last few months. Angry doesn’t begin to describe how I feel right now.
I let her know I knew and that I had contacted the Supervisor of that office and let them know what had occurred and now the new provider won’t get paid until she clears up the issue with my money. Needless to say this has caused a rift in the family, her Uncle (my ex) feels like I should have stopped watching them the first time there was a hold up with my money, her Mom thinks “I am being too hard on her because this isn’t her fault, someone at the provider department is out to get her and if Granny doesn’t get paid , who will watch the boys after all?”, my kids, her cousins, are upset because they know the shortage of funds around here has something to do with her not coming around anymore or bringing the boys by ,while my BFF thinks I should sue her in small claims court. I won’t though because I just can’t see spending money to hope I get some and if she could pay it she wouldn’t receive subsidized care, plus underneath it all I am a sucker who loves her nieces and nephews and doesn’t want to hurt them even if they crap on my head. The bottom line is she messed it up for any other family members to get care here. I will stick to strangers and non-family because I always get paid from them.
The worst part of it all is I miss the boys; I want to know how school is and what they want for their birthdays in the next couple weeks. I learned a couple or three valuable life lessons from all of this though. The first thing I learned is to follow my instinct, I knew I should have withdrawn as her provider the first time she screwed my money up, but I let heart overrule head. The second thing I learned is that you can’t do business with everyone. It only works when you have someone on the same page as you and finally I learned that being related to someone doesn’t mean letting them shit on you and to not protect yourself from their garbage, it sometimes means walking away from them in order to preserve your own sanity. In the IT world we call this a soft reset.