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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>When Parents Are Late, At What Point Do You Call?
SilverSabre25 02:25 PM 03-09-2011
Contracted hours for this family are "technically" until 6 PM but they almost NEVER pick-up that late--it's generally by 5:45 at the outside, 5:30 more commonly.

6:15 and no dcd. No phone call either. (Yes, I'm re-writing my late policy asap 'cause it was wimpy before this but I digress). It's late, I'm annoyed...when do I call the dad to find out when the heck he'll be here? No, this isn't the first time I've dealt with this with this family either.
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daycare 02:30 PM 03-09-2011
I allow for a 5 min grace period....one minute over and I send a courtesy text saying your late fee of $1.00 per min charge has started to accumulate. Please be sure to pick up your child asap to avoid a huge late charge. Also please don't forget fees are due upon pick up. Thanks and have a safe drive.


I would have called at the 10 min mark and said hi your child is still here and I am closed, is someone coming to pick them up??
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Preschool/daycare teacher 02:32 PM 03-09-2011
I usually call after they're 10 min late. I'd go ahead and call now. Unless something's wrong they shouldn't be that late, especially if they're usually there by 5:30 pm (even if they are contracted til 6).
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SilverSabre25 02:37 PM 03-09-2011
Dad finally showed up as soon as I posted that, of course. No mention of it, not even an apology . It's partially my fault though because I've let it happen before. Now that my backbone is finally growing, I'm getting to be less of a wimp about stuff like this. I do know that sometimes the dad is unavoidably detained (long calls, problems with their computer system, etc) but I really would appreciate a call to let me know, dang it.

So, 10 minutes, eh? I'll keep that in mind for next time. And I'm SO rewriting my late fee policy as of this minute.
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Michael 03:14 PM 03-09-2011
You might try some of these late pickup letter ideas from a previous thread: http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21228
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Meeko 11:38 AM 03-10-2011
I close at 6PM. If I still have a child at 6PM, I call right away. As they haven't had the courtesy to call me and tell me they will be late...I start bugging them immediately! I have a life and it begins at 6PM!!!

Also, parents must sign in and out using the clock that is in my entry way (that's in their contract) so there's no arguing over time. All late fees must be paid by close on Friday. The children cannot come to day care on Monday if there are any outstanding fees.

I will make exceptions if they are reasonable of course. Our interstate is undergoing HUGE construction right now and I know that there are delays.

However....the young mom who called me at 6:15 and told me she was going to be about another half hour because she was getting her nails done........not so much!
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Unregistered 12:42 PM 03-10-2011
I'm sorry this family is regularly doing this to you. And I praise you for being so professional about it. Most families would have gotten termed for doing this regularly. I would never intentionally be late for one, and secondly, I would never not call. State regs sometime cover that. I think you should call if they're not there by 5 minutes after but you definately need to make changes with that family.
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SandeeAR 03:02 PM 03-10-2011
Originally Posted by Meeko60:
However....the young mom who called me at 6:15 and told me she was going to be about another half hour because she was getting her nails done........not so much!
She would have arrived at my house, and I would have been GONE! She would be calling me and finding me in the middle of Walmart or the nearest mall. Finding her kid would NOT have been easy for her.
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AfterSchoolMom 04:09 PM 03-10-2011
I'd have met her at the door with a term letter! OMG!
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marniewon 07:19 PM 03-10-2011
Originally Posted by SandeeAR:
She would have arrived at my house, and I would have been GONE! She would be calling me and finding me in the middle of Walmart or the nearest mall. Finding her kid would NOT have been easy for her.
Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom:
I'd have met her at the door with a term letter! OMG!
I would have done the first, and when she finally found me and her child, done the second! LOL

She may as well have spit in your face for all the respect she is showing you by getting her freaking nails done AFTER you closed?!!
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melskids 04:38 AM 03-11-2011
Originally Posted by SandeeAR:
She would have arrived at my house, and I would have been GONE! She would be calling me and finding me in the middle of Walmart or the nearest mall. Finding her kid would NOT have been easy for her.
ive done that too

our walmart (i was actually in sam's club) was across the river, 35 miles away. when she made it to the store, she kept texting me to see what isle i was in. too bad i didnt have any service. and the kicker was......she was late because SHE was at walmart (where she wasnt supposed to be in the first place) and had to turn ALL the way around and go back! lets just say, she was never late again


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Kaddidle Care 04:47 AM 03-11-2011
10 minutes after closing for sure for a call. Our contract says something like if they are not picked up on time or shortly afterward it's considered child abandonment and the authorities are to be called.

We've never had to do it although last year we had a Mom that was consistantly late. Just like with your client, no apologies, no phone call. They weren't good about late fees either so she continued. Very annoying especially for the staff that were ready to go home. Not fair to the kids either when they are the last ones left behind.

It's hard to drill plain old manners into people. Not knowing makes you worry and when you find out it's nothing that a phone call could have solved it makes you angry.

Rude people, gotta love 'em. Late fee, late fee - hit 'em hard girl!
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Zoe 06:02 AM 03-11-2011
To those who take the kids with them on errands after hours when the parents are late, I think it's completely AWESOME that you do that! But I've always wondered, have any of the parents been angry with you and accuse you of "abducting" their child?

I'm wondering this because it's in my policy that I need a permission slip before I transport the kids anywhere. So far I've been lucky to not have any issues with late pickups, but in the occasion that this happens, would I really have the right to take the kid with me? Do you let the parents know right from the beginning that this is what you will be doing in the case of late pickup?

How do you get away with it?
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melskids 08:13 AM 03-11-2011
i have one basic permission slip, that is good for every trip, that way they are not filling on out every time. it basically just says i can transport them whenever i want.
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daycare 09:01 AM 03-11-2011
I have coached youth sports for over 20 years. A lot of parents use practice as a free babysitting service with the younger kids (5-11)

I was instructed by the organization that I work for that when practice is over if a parent is not there within 15 min that I am to call the police department and report it as abandonment. I am to wait for the police to come out to my location and the parents will have to answer to them. Under no circumstances was I allowed to transport any child without prior written permission from the parents

In all my 20 years of coaching, I have had to do this only once. It was horrible and the parent pulled their child from my team, but it was happening every day and more than 20-30 minutes late.

I put in my handbook that if you are more than 20 minutes late, I will consider the situation an emergency and your child will be transported where ever I may need to go at that time. You may be asked to drive more than 45 minutes away to retrieve your child if necessary. Late fees and an inconvenience fee of $25.00 will be charged and payment is expected upon pick up. After the second occurrence, your contact will be terminated immediately without refund.
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3kidzmama 09:19 AM 03-11-2011
I really like the termination without refund upon the second offense.
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wdmmom 10:03 AM 03-11-2011
Originally Posted by daycare:
I allow for a 5 min grace period....one minute over and I send a courtesy text saying your late fee of $1.00 per min charge has started to accumulate. Please be sure to pick up your child asap to avoid a huge late charge. Also please don't forget fees are due upon pick up. Thanks and have a safe drive.


I would have called at the 10 min mark and said hi your child is still here and I am closed, is someone coming to pick them up??
THANKS!!! I'm going to use this texting tactic and see how it works for me! Very seldomly does anyone come late, but if they do, I now have a professional way to contact them letting them know that they are late and I'm charging for it!

THANKS AGAIN!!!
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Meeko 10:35 AM 03-11-2011
Originally Posted by SandeeAR:
She would have arrived at my house, and I would have been GONE! She would be calling me and finding me in the middle of Walmart or the nearest mall. Finding her kid would NOT have been easy for her.
This was about 8 years ago. I had a lot of trouble with the young woman. She eventually moved away (she used to let her boys play with lighters and they burned the grandma's home to the ground) She lost custody of the children and just a few months ago, an old friend said he had seen her. She's only 29 years old now. Drug addled beyond belief and minus all her teeth due to meth. Soooo sad. Luckily the kids are doing OK.
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Tags:late pickup, late pickup letter, late policy, policy - late
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