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Old 01-02-2014, 08:19 AM
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mbullette mbullette is offline
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Default Advice on payments please!!

I have had most of the same families since I opened. My families are wonderful all but one. The family is not bad and their child is great to care for. I am just having problems with them paying on time. I have charged late fees and it has not helped at all. They have been having financial problems which I am aware of. I am still charging them the same rate even though she tells me daily childcare is so expensive. My payments are due on Friday at pick up which she is aware of. She has been here 3 years now and the payment issue has been a problem for the past 3 months. It started with the atm at her work didnt have money in it, the bank closes at 5pm and she doesnt get out of work until 5:15pm, her atm card doesnt work, she lost her atm card, the roads were bad so she couldnt go to the bank, she forgot it was Friday, she just didnt have time, she didnt have the money and the latest was she needs to wait for a new atm card because of the issues with the Target stores. Her weekly rate never changes so she is knows ahead of time.

I know that I shouldnt have let it get this far but I was trying to be nice. They are nice people and I have had no other problems with them. I am working on my new contract and want to know how you handle the payments. Do I make them prepay? She has had a contract since she started and the late fees dont help. She is suppose to pay Friday and normally I dont get paid until Tuesday morning at drop off. Her child is only here Tuesday-Friday. I have talked to her about payments must be paid on time and she just doesnt get it. I cant let them go until I have someone to fill the spot so that is not an option right now. I am just trying to get ideas on how you handle payments.

Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:25 AM
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Increase your late fees. Double and triple them for each subsequent time. Obviously she is having money issues and I am all for being understanding once maybe twice but you are running a business and her paying late effects you financially. Unless you live in the middle of know where her atm card works at more than just her work atm. She needs to either pay or time or her fees increase. Lay it out for her.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:32 AM
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TwinKristi TwinKristi is offline
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Do you only take cash? IF you accept checks you could have her post date the month's checks in 4 weekly pmts. But I would probably be weary about taking checks from someone who can't even manage to pay with cash! What about getting a square card reader and accepting her debit card and charging her a fee to cover your % from the company? It's not a lot but if she's paying a late fee it may be nicer to offer her another payment method even it it's a little bit more ($5?) Prepayment is ALWAYS easier in daycare, but if they can't pay on time now, what will help them prepay any easier? If anything it will be harder for them to come up with more money to prepay.
But personally, if you're not willing to term them, I don't know what your recourse could be. Maybe just ask if she has a few moments to sit down with you and explain that you don't want to terminate them but something has to change because you cannot allow them to keep paying late. Otherwise start advertising for an opening, keep them for now and keep charging a late fee and eventually term.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:42 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Personally, I would begin having her PRE-PAY for a minimum of 2 weeks care.

I would NOT allow services to be offered unless ALL payments are paid IN FULL.

I know you say they are really nice people, but ask yourself what type of nice people "forget" to pay the person who loves, cares for and protects their child?

This mom should be embarrassed at the flimsy excuses she has been giving you.

I understand financial issues, we've all been there but if she needs the services, then the services MUST be paid for.

She can tell her phone company or her mortgage company all the difficulties she has been having utilizing her bank/ATM and let them deal with it.

I have very little patience for a client that deliberately uses poor excuses to either get out of paying or bide their time.

I prefer parents to simply be upfront and try to work out a plan that works for BOTH of us.

Either that, or do not use my services.

It REALLY is that simple.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:01 AM
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Annalee Annalee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Personally, I would begin having her PRE-PAY for a minimum of 2 weeks care.

I would NOT allow services to be offered unless ALL payments are paid IN FULL.

I know you say they are really nice people, but ask yourself what type of nice people "forget" to pay the person who loves, cares for and protects their child?

This mom should be embarrassed at the flimsy excuses she has been giving you.

I understand financial issues, we've all been there but if she needs the services, then the services MUST be paid for.

She can tell her phone company or her mortgage company all the difficulties she has been having utilizing her bank/ATM and let them deal with it.

I have very little patience for a client that deliberately uses poor excuses to either get out of paying or bide their time.

I prefer parents to simply be upfront and try to work out a plan that works for BOTH of us.

Either that, or do not use my services.

It REALLY is that simple.
Love reading your post, Blackcat!
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:01 AM
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daycare daycare is offline
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with the new year, it is now your chance to make some changes.

I also have this family. The parents split and since then, the payments have been late weekly. Charging the late fee was not helping this family either.

I sat and talked with the DCM and said I noticed that you are having some $ issues and making payments on time. I love having you guys here and you have been a great addition to our program. Just like you depend on your income to pay your bills, I do as well. This means that all payments must be paid on time so that I can be certain to have the money to pay for the things your child uses while here. Would it help any if I was able to change the payment due date for you? Either way, we need to come to an agreement that your payments can no longer be late.

LOng story short, maybe if you tried to work with them and set up a payment plan that works for both of you (temp) then this will stop. There may be something going on that they are too embarrassed to tell you, so this is why the nonsense stories.

I have done this throughout the years for those families that had a good credit history with me. If they didn't, then I would not offer to help them out.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:55 AM
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cheerfuldom cheerfuldom is offline
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Jack up the late fees. $25 per day. That means an extra $100 if she waits till Tues That should do the trick.

ATM card issues is a flimsy excuse at best. you know people can go into a bank and get cash right? pul-ease! Black cat had great advice.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2014, 10:00 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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That's really too bad that they are going through financial difficulties but please remember that their financial difficulties are not your fault and therefore should not affect you. This is something that they should be reminded of. If this is now a constant and regular thing I would immediately have a sit-down with DCM/DCD and have a new contract at hand.

"Susan, you have been my client for 3 years now and so you know well how my daycare works. As you well know the past two-months you have had difficulties with paying your daycare fees on time. I understand that sometimes things can happen that are out of our control however this is still no reason to be late in paying for daycare. Because late payments have been so regular lately some changes will need to be made and a new contract is needed."

I would require that they pay in advance, still on Fridays. This may be difficult for them especially since they already have trouble paying on time but I would require them to pay their normal fee PLUS an extra amount to cover the advance. In essence they will be making payments until they are ahead. For example if you charge $150 per week then I would have them pay an extra $30 a week so that in 5 weeks they will be ahead or $25 and in 6 weeks they will be ahead.

Continue to require late payment fee's but add a "no pay, no play" policy. If they don't pay on time then they incur late fees and they can't bring DCK to DC until ALL payments are made ... regular fees AND late fees ... and they will still owe for the entire amount of that week even if they miss a day or two because they are late in paying.

I would also then start requiring a two-week deposit. Have them continue to make additional payments per week until you have a deposit worth two-weeks' worth of child care. Require a minimum of two-weeks' notice for termination and use this amount to pay for those last two-weeks of care. This way if they leave they don't leave you in the lurch. Have this be non-refundable.

They may not like it or feel comfortable with it but if they refuse or try to negotiate any of the new policies then to me that a sign that they have every intention of continuing to pay late and you may want to jut replace the family.
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2014, 10:01 AM
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SSWonders SSWonders is offline
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My families pay on Friday for the following week's care. Unless I know the family very, very well and they have been very good to me, then it's not a big issue to me if they pay early the next week. However, that is few and far between. After having been stiffed to the tune of $1600 two years ago, two different families, no more Mrs. Nice Daycare Provider. If payment isn't made on Friday and isn't to me by Monday morning, do not bring your child.
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