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Old 04-09-2010, 09:01 AM
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Lilbutterflie Lilbutterflie is offline
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Question Need Some Advice - Late payment


Hi everyone! I am new to this forum, and pretty new to the daycare business! I recently started staying home with my 2 kids and watching my nephew & 2 nieces for a little extra income. I need your advice on a delicate situation.
My brother in law (parent to the kids I watch) recently found out he is losing his job. However, they never really gave me a two week notice as stated in our contract. My brother in law is in his last week of working, but the last 3 weeks he's not been working much, so I haven't really had to watch them too often. 1 of the last 3 weeks I only watched them one day. But last week I watched them full time. They have not paid me for the last 3 weeks. Not only that, but the week before their check bounced and I sustained $33 in fines from my bank. They have paid me the $ owed for that week, but haven't paid the fines yet. In our contract, they owe me the full amount for each week even if they are absent a day or two. That's how we keep a consistent income, right? Maybe if they had spoken to me beforehand we could've worked out a part time schedule & payment for part time, but there was never any discussion of this. So, if I keep to what my contract says, they owe me $633 for the last 3 weeks. I know if they had any other daycare provider, they would refuse to take them until full payment was made. Plus next week he's out of work anyway. I'm just looking for some advice on how to handle the situation, and what discount, if any, I should offer them for the past 3 weeks?
Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:47 AM
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Wow, it is very difficult since they are your family. I think it is best thing to do is asking them to set up payment plan what they owe you since they are your family. Next you would need to explain to them that they would need to pay you on time if your brother in law found a new job. They would need to respect your policy and your daycare. They should be understanding how you feel. Wish you good luck!
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:42 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Yeah the sad thing is that your treading in murky water. If you want the full payment then you need to communicate it with them and I'd put it in writing also. Give them an invoice but be prepared for a fight. He may not want to pay for time that wasn't used even if you had an agreement. Family and friends expect like they should get special treatment a lot of the times without having to discuss it with you. He probably assumes that you won't charge him for the days he didn't use. You need to clarify that with them and like I said, be prepared in case he gets upset. If you want to help them out you could just charge them for the time they did use and the fees that you incurred and call it a wash, but that's entirely up to you. Tough spot to be in.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:14 PM
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Thank you for the advice! I still haven't made up my mind whether I will charge them in full according to my contract, or charge them for only the days used. The thing is, I always have to wait around until 10am or 11am before I get the call that says whether I'll be watching them or not. To me, because I can't plan any of my days, they should have to pay in full. Half the day is wasted before I know whether they are coming! The funny thing is that my sister-in-law, their mom, used to do daycare for 10 years! She used to be MY daycare provider before I quit my job and decided to stay home. Now she works and I watch her kids! So she knows & understands the contract... she either expects me to bend the rules b/c we are family or they really do NOT have the money. It's probably the latter, but now my family is suffering because we haven't been paid! They have NEVER paid on time, it's usually four days late, but I never charge them late fees. What would you guys do if this was one of your clients and NOT your family?
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:42 PM
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i have had this problem myself, (i used to have my husbands cousins kids). as much as i hated doing it, i let it go. it wasnt worth the fight or upsetting the "elders" in the family. but i can tell you this....i will NEVER NEVER EVER care for family or friends children again!!!! lesson learned....lol
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:10 PM
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Just write it off.

And from now on collect in advance always.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:26 PM
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I had a good friend of mine that started to watch her sister's 2 children, and the sister was supposed to be applying for state aid. She babysat for her for 6 months, she went around and around with the state, and finally state didn't approve her after all!! Her sister owed her thousands of dollars. This was 3 yrs. ago, and she will never ever get paid any of it from her!! This really sucked for her!!! She is still mad at her sister for this!!!
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilbutterflie View Post
What would you guys do if this was one of your clients and NOT your family?
If it was just a client this would not have happened in my case. I require payment in advance which you may want to do from now on. If any client comes and says they forgot the payment then I just say sorry and that I can't watch the child until I am paid in advance for the week. I charge based on enrollment not attendance and so even if they miss that one day they are required to pay for the entire week. If for some reason I found myself in this situation then I would stop care immediately and invoice them for the whole amount including late payments fees and other fees from the bank. If worse comes to worse then I would send them to collections (I would first notify them of this and offer them an opporunity to discuss a payment plan and have them sign an agreement) or take them to court. Of course this is different because they are family and so I knwo that emotions and family ties make this decision more difficult.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:02 PM
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Some more posts relating to late payments: http://daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=late+payment
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:29 PM
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I have ALL families sign my policies and they have to pay a deposit on their first day equivalent to what they would pay for 5 days. Then if they are ever late they have 5 days to make the payment. At the end of those 5 days I won't take them anymore. This sounds a little harsh, but it keeps me from getting screwed and it has never been an issue. This is one of the best policies I have implemented.
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