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  #1  
Old 06-13-2013, 09:15 PM
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spud912 spud912 is offline
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Default Late Payments

So I never thought I would fall into this problem, but here I am stressing about it. Payments are prepaid for the next week and due on Fridays by 5:00 pm. All of my parents are super wonderful in every respect and I've had all of them for 2+ years now. They always pay on time WHEN their child is in care during their normal scheduled days.

However, there are occasional times when their child is not in my care on Fridays for various reasons....vacations, someone is sick, spending time with their child, etc.. In these instances, my contract states that they either have to pay on the last day their child was in my care or they need to make a special (albeit out of the way) trip to my house to drop off payment by Friday at 5:00 pm.

Well occasionally, the children will randomly be out of my care on that Friday or whatever their usual last day is on a typical week and it becomes more convenient for parents to pay on Monday. This has happened fairly irregularly so I've never made a huge deal about it or enforced the late charges. Again, these are really great parents, I don't want to burn bridges when this is the only problem and it occurs very rarely. I know, I know it's probably something I should have been more strict on but I'm a reasonable person.

I'm sure you all can see where this is going . It's become more and more of a problem lately due to summer vacations, family visiting, random illnesses, etc. While each set of parents do it infrequently, the fact that they have ALL been doing it makes it a problem for me because lately almost every week someone will not be paying until next week. Not only do I rely on these payments to come to me ON Fridays, but it becomes a hassle for me to try to make multiple trips to the bank to make deposits (plus the wasted gas money driving there ).

As a result, I sent out a "friendly" reminder on the newsletter a couple of weeks ago reminding everyone that payments are due on Fridays by 5:00 pm. If the child is not in attendance on Friday, they still need to find a way to pay by that day and time. I reminded them that I have been very flexible and have not enforced late fees up until this point but if it becomes an ongoing issue I will have to start.

Fast forward to this week, I have 2 children out tomorrow and I'm getting nervous that they won't pay. One is out randomly tomorrow and the mom (my very favorite mom by the way) is not always the best about remembering to swing on by to drop it off. The second child has been out on vacation for the past 2 weeks and I just don't know if they intend to make a special trip out just to pay me. I only have 4 families so this is half of them!

I feel like I have two options. One of which is to send out a reminder email or text tonight or tomorrow. The other option is to just let it happen and they don't pay until it's too late. If that's the case, then I absolutely will send a written letter home next week to ALL families stating something along the lines of "Due to ongoing problems with paying on time, I will be charging late fees for payments made after 5:00 pm on Fridays effective immediately."

Anyway, what would you all do? It's becoming very frustrating!
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:00 AM
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Since you haven't charged them the late fees, I would give them a reminder today.

"Just a reminder that all payments are due by today at 5pm for the following week. Late fees of $X/day will apply."

I usually send that text and email to my parents if they haven't paid me by naptime on Friday, and I bumped up my late fees, even *I* think they are outrageous (20/day first time, 30/day second time, 50/day and a term notice the 3rd time). I have VERY VERY few late payments/issues. I just charged my golden family their first late fee, and Mom paid me at 7pm. I had given her an invoice and texted her twice about it. She interrupted my date night dinner to text me that she was at my house, and I had to excuse myself and go call her. I ALWAYS charge, it IS a huge hassle. ESPECIALLY if more than one doesn't pay me.

If 6pm(here) rolls around and I haven't been paid, they get a text "Your payment for the week of X/X to X/X is now late, and late fees of $20/day will accrue. Please keep in mind X will not be accepted into care Xday without payment + late fees in cash."

I also allow parents to postdate checks to me if they will be absent on Friday (my M/T/W family does this weekly)
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:38 AM
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momofboys momofboys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spud912 View Post
So I never thought I would fall into this problem, but here I am stressing about it. Payments are prepaid for the next week and due on Fridays by 5:00 pm. All of my parents are super wonderful in every respect and I've had all of them for 2+ years now. They always pay on time WHEN their child is in care during their normal scheduled days.

However, there are occasional times when their child is not in my care on Fridays for various reasons....vacations, someone is sick, spending time with their child, etc.. In these instances, my contract states that they either have to pay on the last day their child was in my care or they need to make a special (albeit out of the way) trip to my house to drop off payment by Friday at 5:00 pm.

Well occasionally, the children will randomly be out of my care on that Friday or whatever their usual last day is on a typical week and it becomes more convenient for parents to pay on Monday. This has happened fairly irregularly so I've never made a huge deal about it or enforced the late charges. Again, these are really great parents, I don't want to burn bridges when this is the only problem and it occurs very rarely. I know, I know it's probably something I should have been more strict on but I'm a reasonable person.

I'm sure you all can see where this is going . It's become more and more of a problem lately due to summer vacations, family visiting, random illnesses, etc. While each set of parents do it infrequently, the fact that they have ALL been doing it makes it a problem for me because lately almost every week someone will not be paying until next week. Not only do I rely on these payments to come to me ON Fridays, but it becomes a hassle for me to try to make multiple trips to the bank to make deposits (plus the wasted gas money driving there ).

As a result, I sent out a "friendly" reminder on the newsletter a couple of weeks ago reminding everyone that payments are due on Fridays by 5:00 pm. If the child is not in attendance on Friday, they still need to find a way to pay by that day and time. I reminded them that I have been very flexible and have not enforced late fees up until this point but if it becomes an ongoing issue I will have to start.

Fast forward to this week, I have 2 children out tomorrow and I'm getting nervous that they won't pay. One is out randomly tomorrow and the mom (my very favorite mom by the way) is not always the best about remembering to swing on by to drop it off. The second child has been out on vacation for the past 2 weeks and I just don't know if they intend to make a special trip out just to pay me. I only have 4 families so this is half of them!

I feel like I have two options. One of which is to send out a reminder email or text tonight or tomorrow. The other option is to just let it happen and they don't pay until it's too late. If that's the case, then I absolutely will send a written letter home next week to ALL families stating something along the lines of "Due to ongoing problems with paying on time, I will be charging late fees for payments made after 5:00 pm on Fridays effective immediately."

Anyway, what would you all do? It's becoming very frustrating!
I would text mom & remind her that payment is due by 5:00 today. Then state that if she is unable to pay today to make sure to add the $20 late fee (or whatever amount you have in place) to her payment on Monday's drop-off.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
Since you haven't charged them the late fees, I would give them a reminder today.

"Just a reminder that all payments are due by today at 5pm for the following week. Late fees of $X/day will apply."

I usually send that text and email to my parents if they haven't paid me by naptime on Friday, and I bumped up my late fees, even *I* think they are outrageous (20/day first time, 30/day second time, 50/day and a term notice the 3rd time). I have VERY VERY few late payments/issues. I just charged my golden family their first late fee, and Mom paid me at 7pm. I had given her an invoice and texted her twice about it. She interrupted my date night dinner to text me that she was at my house, and I had to excuse myself and go call her. I ALWAYS charge, it IS a huge hassle. ESPECIALLY if more than one doesn't pay me.

If 6pm(here) rolls around and I haven't been paid, they get a text "Your payment for the week of X/X to X/X is now late, and late fees of $20/day will accrue. Please keep in mind X will not be accepted into care Xday without payment + late fees in cash."

I also allow parents to postdate checks to me if they will be absent on Friday (my M/T/W family does this weekly)
So did this mom come to the reataurant you were at! I would be steamed as we don't get many date-nights!
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:43 AM
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No, but only because we were 45 minutes away from home!!! She was reluctant but eventually left her check under a specific pot in my front garden. She wanted to me to come home for the check or waive the fee & she would pay me Saturday. Grrr
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2013, 08:55 AM
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I'd send a message, like was suggested, and absolutely enforce that late fee.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:55 AM
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I was having this problem a lot. I did a few different things to curb it. Now I use receipt and invoice books that I buy at the store. I write out bills and receipts and put them on my front door a few days before every payday so there is no excuse. I post reminder letters on the front door, reminding my parents when payments are due. I also, changed my paydays to twice a month so I don't have to deal with the weekly stress of wondering who is and isn't going to pay me. Hope that helps! Good luck!!!
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2013, 03:38 PM
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I moved my payday up to Thursday for that reason - this way if parents are out on Friday they still pay.

ITA about writing a reminder/warning, then charge the late fee next time.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:59 PM
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I have been having issues like that too. I sound much like you that I try to be flexible as long as I am not feeling taken advantage of.

I sent out one reminder like you did in the news letter. I said...

as you all know, I am typically very flexible and easy going, however due to the fact that so many people are not making on time payments, I have no choice but to start applying late fees. Just as you expect me to be here on time for you so that you can go to work each day, I expect for your payments to be on time to me. Hopefully I won't have to charge any late fees and we can use this reminder to all get back on track.

Once you send out that reminder after that you have to charge them ACTIONS speak louder than words......

Last edited by daycare; 06-14-2013 at 04:21 PM.
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