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  #1  
Old 06-30-2011, 10:07 PM
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Default Parents Trying To Flake On Last Two Weeks Of Payment

I'm a Registered user who needs privacy for this post.

I enrolled a 20 mo little boy into my daycare two weeks ago. I interviewed with his mother previously and she seemed like such a great fit. She did question a lot about my home daycare but I expected it because she was a first-time parent. She loved that I accommodated cloth diapers and that I sent out daily reports. The mom had been home for the first 3 months of the little boy's life before Grandma became the nanny so Mom could go back to work. He had never been away from Mom or Grandma and had never experienced a daycare setting.

First couple days go by perfectly. DCB cries on and off but by the third day he was engaging with the other kids and playing with toys. He had slept well and ate well, and overall I was very happy with the progess DCB had made.

Thursday comes and Mom drops off DCB. She says DCD, who I've never met with or seen, will be picking up DCB today and to not be "intimidated" by him as he can come off as very protective. I give her a funny look before saying goodbye and continuing on with my day. 11am comes and DCD knocks on my door to pick up DCB. He immediately starts looking over DCB and I get the weird feeling he's looking for any clues that his child's been harmed or hurt in anyway. I try and tell him about DCB's good morning when he interrupts me and starts asking one of my DCK's where they got the bruise on their head from. I'm not sure what kind of response he expected from an 18 mo but I filled him in on how she tripped on a toy at home. I finish telling him about his child's morning and progress and he makes a quick departure.

Friday morning Mom comes in with DCB and completely takes me off guard with her questioning of every....little....thing that I'm sure I covered in our intial interviews. She asks to see where he sleeps (I show her), how I put him to sleep (I describe it), what he ate the previous day (I tell her to read through the daily report), if there are any males in the house at any time (umm, yes, as this is a HOME daycare), if his cloth diapers are posing any problems (nope), if my sister who I live with has a boyfriend and whether or not they would be in the house during daycare hours (whaaaaa?), would I be entertaining visitors during naptime when the children are sleeping, how much supervision do the children have while outdoors, how often do I clean the toys and what do I use to clean them and many more questions that take up more than 30 minutes of my morning and leave me exhausted! Mom finally leaves and says she will be picking up at 4:30. I go about my morning until I hear the familiar sounds of the mailman coming down the street. All of my kids go nuts over this and will stare out the window waiting for the mail man to deliver the mail and wave at their little faces pressed against the window. It's 11am.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a car pull down the street three houses down from us and I see DCD step out of the car and literally RUN up the sidewalk to my driveway. He keeps going until he gets to the side of my house and he peaks over the fence that leads to the backyard. He stares for a few minutes before he comes back to my front door and knocks hard on my front door. I answer it almost immediately and his first question after he picks up DCB is: "Do the children play out there?" with this finger pointed towards the general direction of my backyard. I respond with a "yes......of course, that's the backyaaaaard......" and with what I'm sure is a disbelieving face. He nods, picks up DCB's belongings and leaves without another word.

Monday morning comes and I get an email from DCM saying that she is so sorry that she has to pull DCB out of my daycare, but Grandma has decided to continue watching him instead of going back into the working world and she believes it will be the least stressful for DCB. She asks for a day and time to which she can come by to collect his belongings. I email back and tell her that we will miss DCB very much and she can collect his belongings on Friday. Also, as per our contract, I require a two-week notice of termination of care and that payment is required even if DCB isn't in attendance. Monday goes by without contact, Tuesday goes, Wednesday goes, Thursday afternoon I finally email her again and ask her if she will be coming by so I can be sure I will be home (going on a fieldtrip) and to remind her of the balance that is due. She responds "Sorry for the late reply. DCD will be by tomorrow afternoon to collect DCB's stuff". I email her back with an "I'm sorry, but because DCD isn't listed on his registration packet and he didn't sign the contract, I'm only allowed to distribute DCB's belongings to you".

I'm still waiting for an email back when DCD texts me and asks if he can swing by in 20 mins to pick up DCB's things. I tell him I'm not home and that Mom will need to pick up his things and she is the only one listed on the contract. No text back from DCD and no email back from DCM.

I feel like they are trying to skip out on paying. Dad isn't listed on the contract (only as an authorized pick-up person) and I will not release the belongings to anyone else but the Mom. I'll be waiting tomorrow for a response of any kind but I will not be putting off my fieldtrip as my kids are very excited to visit the zoo.

I'm not interested in taking this to small claims as I don't have enough energy or time to do all that is required, but is there another way I can maybe get them to think I'll be going that route should they decide not to pay me? How should I respond if either of them comes to my house without notice to pick-up DCB's belongings?

Thanks for any advice!!
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2011, 05:34 AM
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no real advice, I definitely think they are trying to skip out on you. I actually had a mom never come get her kids stuff because she wasn't going to pay what was owed.
I would just send them an email stating that if a CASH payment is not made by such and such date that you will be filing with small claims court and you have a signed contract to back you up.

For future clients can you maybe collect 2 weeks payment as a deposit so that this doesn't happen?? I also require 2 weeks notice like you do but I only collect 1 week payment as deposit, and will apply it to their last week of care and payment is required on Fridays for the following weeks care. So in a case like yours I wouldn't get the 2 weeks payment but I'd still have their deposit.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:40 AM
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I would try to find a collection agency that handles small accounts and turn it over to them. I would send one final letter, certified mail, giving the parents a chance to pay by a certain date, including any late fees that you have in your contract, first, though.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2011, 05:44 AM
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No advise on collecting your funds but DCD sounds like a wack-a-doodle! You're better off without them!
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2011, 06:10 AM
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My jaw was dropping reading your post. They sound really nuts and more than a bit over the top. I can't even imagine what game they were playing, and am hoping that maybe they had some sort of legitimate reason for acting like such weirdos...however I kind of doubt it.

Definitely pursue payment. And if you're licensed, I would call your licensor and let them know what was going on, because it sounds like they were trying very hard to collect some sort of "evidence" that there were problems going on at your daycare and you might find yourself under investigation...especially if you pursue payment.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAngels View Post
I would try to find a collection agency that handles small accounts and turn it over to them. I would send one final letter, certified mail, giving the parents a chance to pay by a certain date, including any late fees that you have in your contract, first, though.
I use a collection agency because I don't have the time to deal with small claims. I let them deal with it. Doesn't cost me one dime. Ten minutes to fill out paperwork and off I go. No court dates, having to close my day care etc. PLUS the clients have to pay what they owe me AND 40% to the collection agency. I make sure parents know this as it's in their handbook. Makes them think twice about stiffing me.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:59 AM
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yeah I bet that is why dad was sneaking around....waiting to catch you doing something that would justify them pulling him out anyway. What a big fat waste of time that family has been. Totally weird since DCB sounded like he was doing just fine. A lot of parents these days feel that no one can do what they can do and thus, the DCP is surely lacking in some way.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:48 AM
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I can understand their questions about having men in the house. That is a valid concern. If the father was ever so concerned about the baby's safety that he can't be satisfied leaving him in your daycare, he should try to make some more money so his wife could stay at home with the child, not put you through the paces like a criminal!
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:38 AM
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Here's my guess:

Grandma has been taking care of kid for cheap and they all got into it. She tells them to find someone else better if they think they can do better. They storm out and find day care to show Gma they CAN do it themselves...

so there.

Once they start actually PAYING for it and don't get all the bennies from having your mommy take care of your kid then Grandma started looking a lot better than she did pre-blow out.

They made nice with Gma and Gma decided to go ahead and give them another chance. All she's asking for is a bit of respect. She loves her grandbaby and they don't appreciate her like they should. They do now. Now Dad knows that when he does the "intimidated" with Grandma that she will fight back by with "no more special for you". Lesson learned for Daddy. He will just leave his intimidation for his wife and leave Gma out of it from now on out.

When they went back to Gma to get her to get back onto the ride they had to have some "my child" in it to get Grandma to go tribal and protect her young. They did that with stories from all the scarry... not right.... might not be about my precious every minute of every hour of every day.... as it should be... at your house.

When they pulled their kid they did it to show the ultimate in protection... best for ME AND MINES... aint gonna let the big bad wolf get to my young.... me and you against the world.... MY CHILD. Grandma bought it hook line and sinker. She feels better about herself already.

So your involvement was JUST to reset their deal back to new. Parents realize that "nanny" care they got from Gma was best for THEM and gma now has them by the nads cuz they can't replicate her special special.

They did a Finegan Begin-again at your expense. You had the extra pleasure of the implication that goes along with interviewing the same stuff they did before they started AFTER they started AND a sneak attack that didn't show them they were right to be so suspicious and leary.

Don't let it shake you. If you are in this business for very long you will get caught up in a "my child" cycle or a "resetting" of a free or near free child care.

Make them PAY the two weeks. That is the ONLY thing that is going to let them know that there is actually a price in involving someone else in your "my child" and your family power/respect/gratitude positioning. If it cost them MONEY they will think twice about whether to tiptoe into it again. Better to stay making nice with Gma and show her some respect and thanks then to pay for two weeks of child care you won't be using.

My Child is only free when the ones on the receiving end allow it to be free. It's words... and free actions... NOT MONEY. Show them that it IS money. Make them pay. You don't get to get your "my child" on for free at my house. Pay the two weeks.

I'm just guessing so YMMV on my theory. I've seen this chapter of parenting before and it's pretty easy to spot during the interview. Learn from these guys.

Last edited by nannyde; 07-01-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:48 AM
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interesting thoughts nanny. I believe I have had this situation before. I don't know for sure but the longer I do things, the more I agree with you. The situations are the same over and over and parents think that they have invented something new. So once you do daycare for a few years, you have basically seen a good variety of the parents and circumstances and it does get so much easier to spot these people. My "reset" situation ended up going back to free child care with the aunt because I was not willing to include all meals and lower my price AFTER we agreed on a rate! see ya, bye bye! so DCM tried it in the same neighborhood with another daycare (I know that provider) and ends up leaving there and having to pay the two weeks notice. Now she is back to free with the aunt, no surprise there.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:22 PM
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i'm going to check into a collection agency here, thats a good idea
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2011, 06:06 PM
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So.....just as I expected my wacky family has decided they don't believe they are responsible for paying for the last two weeks of care. After no contact on Friday, I added the late fee of $15 and I send this email to the mother:

DCM,

I have yet to hear back from you regarding you coming to pick up Dck's belongings and also, paying off the debt of $240.00 for the final two weeks of care that is required as per our contract. As it is now past the cut-off time (Friday at 6:00pm) to pay the amount, there is now a late fee of $15.00 added onto the above amount which brings the final total to $255.00. If I do not receive the above amount listed by Monday, July 4th by 6:00pm, I will be taking this matter to the courts and you will be responsible for any fees and/or court costs associated with this case.

On a personal note to you and your family, as a Childcare Provider I am dependable, professional and I take my job very seriously. I enjoy working with children and I consider this my career. I respect my families and I expect to be respected in my home and my career as a result of this. I, however, believe in honoring my word and by signing up with My Home Daycare you were aware of my Policies in the Handbook (as stated previously in your emails that I have copies of). You were aware of the Termination of Contract Policy where it is stated that I require a two-week notice of termination of care and that payment is required regardless of if the child attends for the last two weeks. Attached in this email is a copy of a previous email you wrote to me stating you read through the handbook and find it reasonable, and also a copy of my Handbook with the Termination of Contract Policy highlighted that you have signed. I'm providing you with the copies so that if payment isn't made, you are aware of the legal binding you had to my Home Daycare.

You will be receiving an Invoice where you will be paying the total bill directly online. If the payment isn't in by Monday July 4th, 2011 by 6:00pm, I will be taking this matter to the courts to have it settled.

-Me

This morning I received this email back from her (It's amazing how she couldn't be contacted until this morning):

Dear Ms. Provider,

With respect to your email outlining the penalties you consider due and, after consultation with our family attorney, it was determined that several misrepresentations of the services of your daycare renders the contract null and void. For example, when asked if there were ever any adult males in the home you stated (in an email,) that only your father was occasionally in the home at lunch time. However, when Maurice dropped Joseph off for daycare (not at lunch time,) he witnessed two males sitting on your couch. Later that day when I asked you about the men you acknowledged that they were there but could not recall exactly who they were. This is just one of three serious misrepresentations that our lawyer will present if you choose to pursue the $245 "penalty fee" in court.

On a personal note, my son was in your care for less than 20 hours over the course of only one week, a trial period in fact. In the future you may want to consider offering at least a two week grace period that allows parents an opportunity to determine the suitability of the arrangement before a penalty is assigned.

We feel very strongly about this and will take necessary steps to defend our position. Please have my son's belongings ready for pick up at a future mutually agreed upon date. You are not welcome to keep them.

Regards,

Parent

*sigh* I read through this email and rolled my eyes more than once. When DCB was picked up by his father the day she is referring to my father (male #1) was indeed sitting on the couch and my niece (who she considered male #2 -(she has a bit of a boy haircut and she dressed toyboy-ish) was also sitting on the couch. I even specifically introduced her as my "niece". Whatever. I decided to sent one last email and I'm taking her to court. I wasn't initially but I will not be ran over by a first-time overprotective parent and I will not lose out on my money that I am owed. This is the last email I am sending her and I thank each of you who responded to my post and pushed me to strengthen my backbone.

Overprotective Parent,

I'm so very happy you've contacted your family attorney, go ahead and let them know that you will be required to pay the full amount owed, $255.00, by Monday July 4th by 6:00pm or this matter will be taken furthur. Your attorney will not be needed in small claims, Ms. *****, but I'm sure they're glad you've contacted them.

I am a professional. I know how to run my daycare and I know what works best and I do not offer a trail period based on the fact that if parents don't trust me on first impression (which is what you did when you registrated within my home daycare), what is the point of having a trial period to test out anything. I believe DCB's father, BlahBlah, should have spoken up about what he saw as a concern instead of parking three houses down from my home when he picked up DCB on his final day here and sneaking up on my home during lunchtime. This was unacceptable.

Also, I understand you are not very knowledgeable when it comes to daycares as, according to you, I'm the first daycare experience DCB has had. But, "home" daycares are when a childcare provider does daycare out of their home that they share with their families, which usually consists of at least one male. If you had a problem about males being in my home daycare, I'm confused as to why you signed Joseph up with my daycare in the first place. Also, a signed contract with a home daycare is a legal document and you are legally binded to it. In court, a signed document is as good as gold and I have your signature Ms. Overprotective Parent which doesn't 'null and void" because your family attorney as deemed that it is. I hope you remember this the next time you sign up with a "home" daycare and insist you can get out of paying the last two weeks of care WITH a signed contract.

I'm sure you've recieved the invoice by now that I've sent to your email address. I'll be expecting that payment by tomorrow. I'm also not trying to "keep" DCB's belongings as I have no use for cloth diapers in my facility, but I refuse to have furthur face-to-face contact with you and I'll be sending them through the postal mail when I can get to it. As a home childcare provider, I'm sure you know how busy I am!

Sincerely,

Provider who will get her money that is owed.

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by Michael; 07-04-2011 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:20 PM
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We run across all types in our business.

Come Tuesday morning, I would be at the courthouse to file the small claims case.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:03 AM
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I'm really proud of you unregistered.

Get on with your bad self.

TAKE THEM TO COURT.

The worse thing that can happen is you loose.... and that would suck... but ... you have a good chance of winning and either way it will be an experience you will never forget. If you win you can make sure you let incoming parents know that sadly you have had to do this before WITH the contract they are signing and have won all fees due.

Good luck and keep us posted.

I don't have clients sign contracts until they have been here three to six months. I want them to be able to walk away without any conflict. Once they sign there is no doubt they know exactly what they are getting in to.

I've never taken anyone to court but if I had these guys... they would be my first. You either got caught up in their family drama or you gave gma a much needed two week vacation. Either one is THEIR problem not yours.

I don't know if you are licensed or not but if you are... get ready for an inspection.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:52 AM
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Good for you for sticking up for yourself!! They have nothing to back their claims and you've handled yourself professionally. WTG!! Keep us updated.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:16 AM
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Well done! Now, that additional $15.00 - is that per day that it's late? If so, you could have a pretty nice paycheck when all is said and done. Unfortunately, you loose a day off or a day's pay going to court as your Daycare families will have to seek other care. I hope the Judge really makes it worth your while.

I think NannyDe has them pegged. Weird people!
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:23 AM
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It almost sounds to me like there was a dispute between granny and the parents or maybe it's that granny needed time off.

Why else would a parent argue over the paperwork they signed.

Sounds to me like they needed a fill-in and rather than a full time provider and rather than being honest, they signed up with you and are now trying to get out of paying more money.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:59 PM
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Is there an update to this?
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:35 AM
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Is there an update to this?
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:42 AM
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I make sure that parents know that the daily late fee is added every single day until the case is settled. When they realize that if they lose the court case or colllection effort, they may be out a LOT of money....they will often pay up.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:01 AM
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GOOD FOR YOU!!
And PLEASe post an update when you can!!
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  #22  
Old 08-04-2011, 08:20 PM
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Hello everyone! I'm back with an update.

On July 5th, I called my mother in to sub for me during naptime and I headed down to the small claims courthouse. I filed for $50 and awaited my court date.

Yesterday I closed for the day and I, very nervously, headed to the court to stand in front of a judge to get my money back. I'm a super non-confrontational person so my stomach was in huge knots and I was sweating so bad!

I made sure to bring all of my paperwork, much more than I needed apparently, with me and I also brought the little boy's belongings. I stood in front of the judge, told them the situation, gave him my signed contract and copies of emails and he said:

To crazy DCM: "Is this your signature?"

She asks to see the contract to "verify" her signature, begins to ramble on about the issues she believes voids our contract, and the judge cuts her off mid-way and says:

"Ms. Crazy, as far as I'm concerned you wasted your time fighting this. You signed the contract with full knowledge of the termination contract policy and, although your concerns may or may not be valid regarding males in Ms. Provider's home, you still signed the contract. "

I walked away with the original $240 for last two weeks of care, $15 for every week payment was late (it came to $60), plus my court costs and filing fees.

I am one heck of a happy person!!
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:36 AM
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

WOW! You must be tickled pink. That's great news and I'm glad that your contract held up. Perhaps you'd share the wording of your termination policy that stood up so well in court?
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:11 AM
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Congratulations! Good for you for standing up for yourself
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:40 AM
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Well done! That's $300.00 many providers would have been out.

Did you fill the spot already?
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Hello everyone! I'm back with an update.

On July 5th, I called my mother in to sub for me during naptime and I headed down to the small claims courthouse. I filed for $50 and awaited my court date.

Yesterday I closed for the day and I, very nervously, headed to the court to stand in front of a judge to get my money back. I'm a super non-confrontational person so my stomach was in huge knots and I was sweating so bad!

I made sure to bring all of my paperwork, much more than I needed apparently, with me and I also brought the little boy's belongings. I stood in front of the judge, told them the situation, gave him my signed contract and copies of emails and he said:

To crazy DCM: "Is this your signature?"

She asks to see the contract to "verify" her signature, begins to ramble on about the issues she believes voids our contract, and the judge cuts her off mid-way and says:

"Ms. Crazy, as far as I'm concerned you wasted your time fighting this. You signed the contract with full knowledge of the termination contract policy and, although your concerns may or may not be valid regarding males in Ms. Provider's home, you still signed the contract. "

I walked away with the original $240 for last two weeks of care, $15 for every week payment was late (it came to $60), plus my court costs and filing fees.

I am one heck of a happy person!!
You did it
You know you DID it.

WoooooooooooooT

Nice going. When do you get the money?
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:26 AM
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thats awesome, good for you!!!. Some parents need to be a lesson and this one was an expensive one.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:32 AM
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AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

Good for you! Let this client be an example to future nonpayers!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:20 AM
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AWESOME!!!!

Now if they don't pay, you should know their employer and file a garnishment order! That'll really make them look like a super cheapskate!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:23 AM
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Good for you!!! Congrats on standing up for yourself and your business!!!!
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  #31  
Old 08-05-2011, 07:26 AM
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sharlan sharlan is online now
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Originally Posted by wdmmom View Post
AWESOME!!!!

Now if they don't pay, you should know their employer and file a garnishment order! That'll really make them look like a super cheapskate!
I agree.

Just because you won the judgement, doesn't mean they'll pay right away.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:49 AM
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Wowee! That's great news! Go treat yourself to something nice and then giggle thinking they pd for it when you get the money.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:28 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is online now
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That's so great!! I bet you feel awesome. I have to ask what the mom's face looked like when you won?

I think that it's great that you stood up for yourself and that everything worked out for you. I bet you feel better now. I'm wondering too if you found a new client???
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by LittleDiamonds View Post
For future clients can you maybe collect 2 weeks payment as a deposit so that this doesn't happen?? I also require 2 weeks notice like you do but I only collect 1 week payment as deposit, and will apply it to their last week of care and payment is required on Fridays for the following weeks care. So in a case like yours I wouldn't get the 2 weeks payment but I'd still have their deposit.
Exactly. My contract is worded such that if they either have a balance due and leave, or at the end of the daycare term, their original enrollment "fee" of one week's payment will be credited to their account.

Best wishes to you! Sorry this happened.
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