Do Parents Owe You When Christmas is on Sunday?

This year Christmas Day is on Sunday. If your contract states that parents must pay for Christmas Day and Christmas Eve Day, does this mean that parents must pay for these days even when you are normally closed?

The answer depends on your contract and how you interpret it.

In Your Contract

The best way to handle this in your contract is to include the following language: "Payment is due for my paid holidays even if the holiday falls on a day that I am normally closed (i.e. Saturday or Sunday)."

If you don't have similar language in your contract, you can add it now and ask the parent to sign the addition.

Or, you can tell the parent now that you expect them to pay you for the upcoming holidays, even though it's not directly addressed in your contract.

Parent Doesn't Agree?

What can you do if a parent says she shouldn’t have to pay because it’s not directly addressed in your contract? You can respond, “The intent of my contract is to give me some paid vacation days. If I don’t get paid for Christmas I won’t get a paid holiday. I’m sorry that I didn’t cover this situation in my contract, but that’s how I’m going to interpret it.”

Since it’s your business you can set your own rules. These are your choices: You can let the objecting parent not pay; you can only require that they pay you for one day instead of two. Or you can enforce your interpretation of the contract and insist on the parent paying. If the parent refuses to pay you can then decide to terminate your contract.

Federal Holidays

In my opinion, providers should consider being paid for all federal holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, George Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Which holidays do you get paid for?


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Tom Copeland

I've been the nation's leading trainer, author, and advocate on the business of family child care since 1981. I'm a licensed attorney and have presented hundreds of business workshops for family child care providers across the country. I answer thousands of calls and emails each year to help providers, tax professionals and trainers understand complex business and tax issues. Call me at 651-280-5991. Email me at tomcopeland@live.com. Visit me on Facebook. From 1981 to 2009 I worked at Resources for Child Caring in Minnesota (now called Think Small), where I was director of Redleaf National Institute for 15 years. I've written nine books on the business of family child care published by Redleaf Press, a division of Resources for Child Caring. I was on the board of directors of First Children's Finance, a non-profit organization providing low interest loans and consulting and technical assistance to help family child care providers suceed as a business. They operate in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Here are some YouTube videos of me talking about my work with this organization and the business of family child care. I graduated from Macalester College (BA) in 1972 and from William Mitchell College of Law (JD) in 1980. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota with my wife Diane and two cats, Duke and Ella.