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  #1  
Old 10-13-2015, 05:40 PM
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Default Late Payment the First Day?

A new family started today, since it was their first day I don't require payment the week before. At the interview mom said she would put checks in the front of the backpack the night before. Mom drops off quickly and leaves since I was making breakfast (I loved that!)! Checked the backpack and no check. The little girl did great all day and didn't have any accidents. A real sweetie!

When she came to pick up I asked about the check & she said "I thought I would have it, I will on Thursday" I stood there shocked and before I could even compose myself they left. I'm really on the fence if I should charge a late fee or not. I am their first daycare so maybe she just doesn't understand yet? Or assumes since its part time to get her accustomed before switching to full time it's not a big deal?

What would you do?
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2015, 05:50 PM
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I would charge the late fee. It's the beginning of the relationship and its up to you to set the tone. I would look at it as business - you can't call your credit card and expect them to not charge a late fee because you just didn't have the money! Plus, at this point, if it does end, you don't have anything invested.
If you decide to waive the late fee, then I would explain that it was a one time courtesy waive.
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:58 PM
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I would charge the late fee. It's the beginning of the relationship and its up to you to set the tone. I would look at it as business - you can't call your credit card and expect them to not charge a late fee because you just didn't have the money! Plus, at this point, if it does end, you don't have anything invested.
If you decide to waive the late fee, then I would explain that it was a one time courtesy waive.


Yeah...NO! I would not take her into care tomorrow without payment. I would, in fact, call her tonight and tell her so.

"Hey, DCM, just wanted to tell you that we had a great day, and DCG really fits in well here. However, we do have a problem. Payment is due before services are rendered, and that means, today. I will need payment tomorrow morning in order to care for DCG. I'm sure you understand".
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:08 PM
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Your right, I will charge the fee otherwise she will most likely try again in the future if I let it slide. She won't be here tomorrow so I will let her know she has until 5:00pm to give the check or another late fee will be added. I can do this!
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:31 PM
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i personally wouldn't.

i would tell her, I know you are adjusting to our program so I will let you slide only this one time, but if it happens again I will charge you a late fee of xyz.

Do you have a no pay no stay policy?
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:52 PM
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i personally wouldn't.

i would tell her, I know you are adjusting to our program so I will let you slide only this one time, but if it happens again I will charge you a late fee of xyz.

Do you have a no pay no stay policy?
That's what I would typically say, but the mom said 'I thought I would have it'. Makes it sound like dcm
Thinks payments are not a priority.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:30 AM
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I would charge the late fee. It's the beginning of the relationship and its up to you to set the tone. I would look at it as business - you can't call your credit card and expect them to not charge a late fee because you just didn't have the money! Plus, at this point, if it does end, you don't have anything invested.
If you decide to waive the late fee, then I would explain that it was a one time courtesy waive.
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Yeah...NO! I would not take her into care tomorrow without payment. I would, in fact, call her tonight and tell her so.

"Hey, DCM, just wanted to tell you that we had a great day, and DCG really fits in well here. However, we do have a problem. Payment is due before services are rendered, and that means, today. I will need payment tomorrow morning in order to care for DCG. I'm sure you understand".
Same thing happened to me this week. Mom was reminded at pickup, emailed an invoice, and charged a late fee. I also gave her a schedule of payments and when they are due. They weren't happy 'because it was a busy morning they just forgot' but I had gone over it and over it with them, and she scanned and emailed me all paperwork over the weekend- she should have written the check or paid the invoice then. They were DEFINITELY trying to not pay prior to service.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:49 AM
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I go by the "no payment, no Childcare" rule myself. Now, I did have a parent forget to pay at drop off their first day (it was a busy day and dcg being dropped off was screaming and well, I didn't think to say anything until later. Lesson learned, that won't happen again!). However I texted mom and let her know (nicely, but firm) that payment was due. She apologized a million times and had it for me at pick up. That time, I let it slide. Never had any problems after that.
Now if a parent did what your dcm did...yeah...no Childcare would not be provided until the payment with the late fee was paid. I would not do well with someone saying "oh I thought I'd just pay it whenever I want."
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:24 AM
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I would text mom today and say "Just a reminder that payment of $XXX is due tomorrow morning at drop off please. A $XX late fee has been applied. Thank you."

If you are going to waiv the fee, "Just a reminder that payment is due at drop off tomorrow morning. As a ONE time courtesy, I have waived the late fee, but in the future, a fee of $XX will be applied daily until payment is submitted as per our contract."

Personally, whether you waive the fee or not is up to you. If they are super apologetic, then I would consider it, but the fact that she was so flippant about it would make me charge her. And as a lesson learned, don't let her leave int he am without confirming payment. Instead of putting a check in the backpack, put a safety pin on the front and tell her to pin it to the front. It will be easy to see if it is not there and then you can call her on it right away. Or just make her hand it to you.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:12 AM
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I called mom this morning and chickened out a little....again!! I told her to bring payment in the morning or she won't be able to stay. Since its a new experience for you I will waive the late fee this one time. If it happens again, the fee will not be waived. She said that's not a problem see you tomorrow. I just got a text asking if they can come on Friday instead on Thursday. I am starting to have a bad feeling.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mountainside13 View Post
I called mom this morning and chickened out a little....again!! I told her to bring payment in the morning or she won't be able to stay. Since its a new experience for you I will waive the late fee this one time. If it happens again, the fee will not be waived. She said that's not a problem see you tomorrow. I just got a text asking if they can come on Friday instead on Thursday. I am starting to have a bad feeling.
Well, it is up to you, but I would say no. The first week and they have already been late paying and now want to change the schedule? And I imagine they only want to pay for friday, not pay their current rate, plus a drop in rate for friday right? "Sorry, I am unable to have dck come on friday. If you choose not to come tomorrow, payment is still due in the morning."
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:29 AM
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i personally wouldn't.

i would tell her, I know you are adjusting to our program so I will let you slide only this one time, but if it happens again I will charge you a late fee of xyz.
Really?!?

I'm kind of surprised you would do that.

As someone with experience with parents not understanding or following your handbook/policies, why would you waive their very first attempt at trying to break policy?

Like SAHM said, it sets the stage for the entire relationship going forward.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:42 AM
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Well, it is up to you, but I would say no. The first week and they have already been late paying and now want to change the schedule? And I imagine they only want to pay for friday, not pay their current rate, plus a drop in rate for friday right? "Sorry, I am unable to have dck come on friday. If you choose not to come tomorrow, payment is still due in the morning."
Yup, I'd say the same! Sounds like this family is testing boundaries...be firm! They need to know you're serious and will enforce your policies. Maybe they will improve after they realize they can't dictate how things will go? Hopefully! I'd be getting a bad feeling too though :/
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2015, 08:58 AM
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Really?!?

I'm kind of surprised you would do that.

As someone with experience with parents not understanding or following your handbook/policies, why would you waive their very first attempt at trying to break policy?

Like SAHM said, it sets the stage for the entire relationship going forward.
I believe everyone deserves at least one second chance. BUT, when a new family starts they have to meet with me the week before they even start so that I can go over everything and collect their payment.

I guess that I would want someone to do this for me, so i would do it for them.

I know for some parents this is their first rodeo and they probably are not thinking about did I pay her, they might be thinking about Oh my god is my child going to be ok.

However, I would not allow a parent to drop off without paying first, that's different than paying late since my families pay in advance.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:59 AM
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I just got a text asking if they can come on Friday instead on Thursday. I am starting to have a bad feeling.
"Let me check my schedule just to make sure that I can accommodate you and I'll get back to you about Friday. Payment will still be due on Thursday however if you'd like to avoid another day's late fee as it is already late. If you bring payment on Friday morning then make sure to bring $XXX which will include the late payment fee for the 2 days"

Usually I don't get requests to switch part time days but when I have room I will allow it if it doesn't inconvenience me in any way.

A response like the one above will handle a couple of things ... it will remind them that changing their days around might not always be an option and also makes sure that if they are pushing the date back a bit because they won't think they'll have payment for you Thursday (which was due already) that you're not going to just let it slide, late is late.

Based on their response I would consider the possibility of having a talk with her about how the #1 important priority or "deal breaker" is payment issues whether it be late or non-payment. Don't let their financial problems become your financial problems.
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Last edited by MarinaVanessa; 10-14-2015 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Rearranged my text response a bit to make more sense
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  #16  
Old 10-14-2015, 09:28 AM
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My guess would be funds are not available to make payment on Thursday, so they are buying more time attempting to switch to Friday. On Friday would payment be due for the upcoming week as well? They may need a reminder to bring payment for next week as well, at this point.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:40 AM
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I have a 6 week trial period for all new families and during that time I would also let it slide but only if it happened once. After that I would start applying late fees. I understand that some families need time to adjust but forgetting more than once is a huge red flag. I am very lucky in that I have never had to charge a late fee, mostly because if payment is late they get a very stern warning the first time.

She is clearly looking for free childcare. She doesn't get paid until Friday so she is trying to switch the schedule because of your refusing care without payment and she clearly lives paycheck to paycheck and didn't put money aside for you (very clear indication of how she feels about paying for childcare). I would switch to Friday IF it was convenient for me and I would refuse care and term on the spot if she showed up again without a payment.

Do you take a deposit? At least if you term you would still get paid if you have a deposit.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:23 AM
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My guess would be funds are not available to make payment on Thursday, so they are buying more time attempting to switch to Friday. On Friday would payment be due for the upcoming week as well? They may need a reminder to bring payment for next week as well, at this point.
I agree. IF you let her come on friday, then I would make sure she knows that she needs to bring payment that includes this week+2 days of late payment fees+next weeks full payment. Otherwise, no pay, no stay. But again, I wouldn't let her come on friday, because I don't like last minute schedule changes.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:28 AM
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I would let her come Friday if possible, if she showed up with all payments due at drop-off. I would want to know then if the arrangement was going to work, or if I was going to need to end care and advertise. I would not let her know in advance that failure to show up with all fees does would result in termination. I would just state the amount required at drop-off on Friday.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:42 AM
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If she does happen to come Thursday and pays you by a check it might be be to your advantage to go to her bank personally and cash it there. This mom sounds very flaky.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:43 PM
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I reminded her that payment for this week & next week is due at drop off and told her the amount. She agreed and requested to add 2 hours next week on a day they aren't scheduled. Since they will be moving to full time at the end of the month and I have the room I agreed. She then said she would bring $x amount at drop off. Told her she will need to add x amount because she added a 1/2 day. She said "but it's only for 2 hour and I dropped off after my drop off time and picked up early."
I really want to ask her if she even read my contract, I have a whole section on this very situation.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:57 PM
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I reminded her that payment for this week & next week is due at drop off and told her the amount. She agreed and requested to add 2 hours next week on a day they aren't scheduled. Since they will be moving to full time at the end of the month and I have the room I agreed. She then said she would bring $x amount at drop off. Told her she will need to add x amount because she added a 1/2 day. She said "but it's only for 2 hour and I dropped off after my drop off time and picked up early."
I really want to ask her if she even read my contract, I have a whole section on this very situation.
Yowza! One thing after another. "Picking up early or dropping off late does not effect payment for future days of care. If you prefer not to pay the half day rate for those two hours, my hourly rate will go into effect at $15 per hour, due before care will be provided, with a minimum of 3 hours."

Seriously, does she expect you to watch dck for free?

I would seriously have a talk with her tomorrow or friday.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:36 AM
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I reminded her that payment for this week & next week is due at drop off and told her the amount. She agreed and requested to add 2 hours next week on a day they aren't scheduled. Since they will be moving to full time at the end of the month and I have the room I agreed. She then said she would bring $x amount at drop off. Told her she will need to add x amount because she added a 1/2 day. She said "but it's only for 2 hour and I dropped off after my drop off time and picked up early."
I really want to ask her if she even read my contract, I have a whole section on this very situation.
She hasnít PAID YOU and wants FREE.

Go figure.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:21 AM
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I go into any interview with the mindset that no one actually reads the whole handbook and contract on their own so I make it a point to literally sit down with a blank copy of both and go through everything with them point by point during the interview.

I also have a section in my contract that says that the parent is responsible for reading it and the handbook entirely and that if they don't it's not an excuse and doesn't exempt them from the rules. In other words if they don't pay attention or read the contract/policies ... so sad, too bad .

Sounds like it's time to sit down and go through the contract and policies with her.
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:46 AM
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I go into any interview with the mindset that no one actually reads the whole handbook and contract on their own so I make it a point to literally sit down with a blank copy of both and go through everything with them point by point during the interview.

I also have a section in my contract that says that the parent is responsible for reading it and the handbook entirely and that if they don't it's not an excuse and doesn't exempt them from the rules. In other words if they don't pay attention or read the contract/policies ... so sad, too bad .

Sounds like it's time to sit down and go through the contract and policies with her.

That's a great idea! I will try that on my next interview. Mom text this morning saying they won't be here today. I told her the check needs to be in my mailbox by 5pm or by PayPal. She doesn't have one and said I guess I will just find a way to get it to you. I'm starting to get really irritated. At this point it isn't even about the money it's principle.
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:51 AM
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That's a great idea! I will try that on my next interview. Mom text this morning saying they won't be here today. I told her the check needs to be in my mailbox by 5pm or by PayPal. She doesn't have one and said I guess I will just find a way to get it to you. I'm starting to get really irritated. At this point it isn't even about the money it's principle.
Oh lord! She obviously doesn't have the money, otherwise it would not be such an issue to bring you a bleeping check! Did you tell her that she nees to bring a check for this week and for next week too, plus a late fee? Honestly, I would text her back and tell her you are ending your contract due to lack of payment. She still owes you for that one day, but it may be best to just write her off and move on to someone else. I am frustrated for you! People bug me so much sometimes! Hope it all works out, but if it takes this much trouble to get paid the very first week, I doubt it will get any easier, so I would be done.
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Old 10-16-2015, 07:27 AM
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That's a great idea! I will try that on my next interview. Mom text this morning saying they won't be here today. I told her the check needs to be in my mailbox by 5pm or by PayPal. She doesn't have one and said I guess I will just find a way to get it to you. I'm starting to get really irritated. At this point it isn't even about the money it's principle.

If I were you, I would term her right now due to lack of payment. It sounds like she knew she owes you on the first day. She is taking advantage of you and I wouldn't want to waste your time for her because she will do it again next time. Let her go.
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Old 10-16-2015, 08:06 AM
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I'm thinking the same thing. If she's this difficult to get payment out of the first week it would only get worse. I want to curl into a ball and weep!
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Old 10-16-2015, 08:39 AM
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That's a great idea! I will try that on my next interview. Mom text this morning saying they won't be here today. I told her the check needs to be in my mailbox by 5pm or by PayPal. She doesn't have one and said I guess I will just find a way to get it to you. I'm starting to get really irritated. At this point it isn't even about the money it's principle.
I'd reply "sounds good, thanks!" And just completly disregard the "I guess I will just find a way to get it to you" comment. Yup, dcm, you will. And by the way, (once its cashed) here's your two week notice
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:10 AM
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I'm thinking the same thing. If she's this difficult to get payment out of the first week it would only get worse. I want to curl into a ball and weep!
When you chickened out you gave her the opportunity to scam you for FREE SERVICES. I try to stay firm because I donít want to provide free services. We can all have struggles in life. It doesnít mean we should allow a stranger to con us out of services.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:57 AM
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When you chickened out you gave her the opportunity to scam you for FREE SERVICES. I try to stay firm because I donít want to provide free services. We can all have struggles in life. It doesnít mean we should allow a stranger to con us out of services.
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