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Old 04-22-2013, 03:17 PM
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AfterSchoolMom AfterSchoolMom is offline
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Default Two Late Parents, Different Results. Right Or Wrong?

Ok, so today there was a LOT of traffic in my area and a really bad backup that I heard about around 3:30. Both sets of parents are scheduled for pickup around 4. Parent one called me at 3:40 and told me that they were stuck in the traffic jam and had no idea when they could get here. They were SUPER apologetic and they even took a side/back road to try to get here sooner.

Parent two, even though they are avid texters (they prefer to text and that's usually how we do the majority of our communication), didn't text, call, or anything. Crickets.


Both parents were an hour late and picked up within 5 minutes of one another. Parent one got here first, I let them go with no fee.

Parent two arrived with no apology whatsoever, and is bringing me the late fee tomorrow.


I feel kind of bad, because I did have prior knowledge of the traffic, but I am so tired of being taken for granted that it rubbed me the wrong way that not only did they not call, but they didn't apologize for being an hour late.

Do you think I did the right thing?
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:19 PM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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Absolutely you did the right thing.

I make allowances for extenuating circumstances and have it *in my contract* that if they alert me ahead of time that they will be late, I probably won't charge anything.

I just require the courtesy of the call/text/email to let me know what is going on.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:31 PM
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snbauser snbauser is offline
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100% right IMO. Asking for courtesy is not asking for a lot. If they can't have the courtesy to call you and let you know, then they are taking advantage of you and can pay the price.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:40 PM
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Country Kids Country Kids is offline
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What do you have in your contract about this?

I have been told more then once in contract classes/business classes that if you break your contract with one parent-all parent contracts are null and void.

So if you have a late fee in place for late pickups and nothing about a call or anything, then you have voided out your contracts but charging the one parent but not the other.

What you have to worry about is if the one that was charged hears being charged and the other parent wasn't, thats where the problems will start.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:48 PM
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Heidi Heidi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
What do you have in your contract about this?

I have been told more then once in contract classes/business classes that if you break your contract with one parent-all parent contracts are null and void.

So if you have a late fee in place for late pickups and nothing about a call or anything, then you have voided out your contracts but charging the one parent but not the other.

What you have to worry about is if the one that was charged hears being charged and the other parent wasn't, thats where the problems will start.
Not sure how a contract I have with Parent A can possibly affect a contract I have with Parent B.

Or are you saying that by having a late fee in your contract, and then not enforcing it, you are negating THAT contract...
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:14 PM
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Country Kids Country Kids is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
Not sure how a contract I have with Parent A can possibly affect a contract I have with Parent B.

Or are you saying that by having a late fee in your contract, and then not enforcing it, you are negating THAT contract...
I have always heard it nulled it for all parents. Possibly meaning since you have the same contract for everyone but not following the contracts and it just voids them out?

I'll see if I can find something in one of my books.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:51 PM
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I agree with your decision. My wording says something along the lines of I understand life happens... please call or text at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled time... Then states late fee. That way it would cover me to allow me to charge (or not charge if I feel they did their best and abided my contract by notifying me). Traffic accidents happen, but if they were an hour or more late they obviously had to have been stopped for a while and could safely call or text!
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:59 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
What do you have in your contract about this?

I have been told more then once in contract classes/business classes that if you break your contract with one parent-all parent contracts are null and void.

So if you have a late fee in place for late pickups and nothing about a call or anything, then you have voided out your contracts but charging the one parent but not the other.

What you have to worry about is if the one that was charged hears being charged and the other parent wasn't, thats where the problems will start.
Maybe it depends on the state that you live in??? I had help from my DH's attorney buddies when I first initially started my daycare and I specifically asked about the very same issue that was described in the OP ... what happens if I "forgive" one client when they bend or break a rule but don't want to "forgive" a different client (such as in the instance that one client continually breaks policies where the other doesn't etc.). I was told that I would be fine because I could decide which rules I wanted to enforve and which I wanted to be lenient on, I was strongly urged to keep documentation of when I did this and was also suggested that I add "I understand that a waiver of any provision of this agreement does not constitute the waiver of any other provision in this contract or policy handbook." just make sure that there would be no issue (as in so I would have no argument from the client) but that it was not necessary.

But I know that things work differently in every state.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:00 PM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
What do you have in your contract about this?

I have been told more then once in contract classes/business classes that if you break your contract with one parent-all parent contracts are null and void.

So if you have a late fee in place for late pickups and nothing about a call or anything, then you have voided out your contracts but charging the one parent but not the other.

What you have to worry about is if the one that was charged hears being charged and the other parent wasn't, thats where the problems will start.
This sort of thing is exactly why the language in my contract/handbook leaves it open for fees being "at my discretion" and any other necessary language to give me contractual permission to do whatever i want as the situation warrants.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
What do you have in your contract about this?

I have been told more then once in contract classes/business classes that if you break your contract with one parent-all parent contracts are null and void.

So if you have a late fee in place for late pickups and nothing about a call or anything, then you have voided out your contracts but charging the one parent but not the other.

What you have to worry about is if the one that was charged hears being charged and the other parent wasn't, thats where the problems will start.
This is what I have at the bottom of my policies:

Quote:
Note: Failure to enforce any term or provision in this contract does not invalidate that provision, term, or any other provision or term of this contract. Policies and rates are subject to change and will be renewed annually.
and I have had my policies reviewed by an attorney and been told this pretty much covers me deciding when and if I want to charge anything.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:32 PM
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AfterSchoolMom AfterSchoolMom is offline
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Good point, Country Kids.

My contract contains information about my late fees and does say that a phone call is expected as soon as you know that you will be late. It does not specifically say "if you don't call me, you get a fee and if you do call me you don't" because I don't want them thinking that they can just call me and then be as late as they want, all the time, KWIM?
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:59 PM
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AmyKidsCo AmyKidsCo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snbauser View Post
This is what I have at the bottom of my policies:


and I have had my policies reviewed by an attorney and been told this pretty much covers me deciding when and if I want to charge anything.
I have that same quote in my policies.
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