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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Payment Methods Question - Bank-Issued Check?
momofboys 12:40 PM 07-12-2013
I signed a new family up - school-year only (what I prefer), perfect aged child (child is 2 1/2 which pairs up perfectly with the 3-year-old I have so that child will finally have someone their own age other than babies to play with!). I am happy b/c things have fallen nicely into place.

When parents came for interview I did give them my policies, etc which state that childcare fees are always due in advance on Monday at drop-off only & that failure to pay in advance will result in no services. I am very strict about payment. Parents mentioned that their bank issues a check to their providers for the whole month, I really didn't ask much about this but I did say that was OK so long as I have payment upfront by the first day of care for each month.

Anyone else have a situation like this? I was thinking maybe they participate in a FSA & have the $$$ on a credit card (that is how our medical FSA works) & then they just take $$$ from it in the form of a check. I don't know but I am worried they will expect me to wait for the check to arrive even if it is late & I am not willing to provide care without advance pament.
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Heidi 12:46 PM 07-12-2013
I do have one family that does the same thing, but they paid me a 2-week deposit upfront. They were only here a month before school let out (mom's a teacher), but the check arrived prior to baby starting.

It's probably a "bill-pay" service. Since you are not a major company, they can't pay electronically, so they mail the check. As long as the "date due" is set up right, you should have no problems getting your check on time.
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momofboys 12:50 PM 07-12-2013
Originally Posted by Heidi:
I do have one family that does the same thing, but they paid me a 2-week deposit upfront. They were only here a month before school let out (mom's a teacher), but the check arrived prior to baby starting.

It's probably a "bill-pay" service. Since you are not a major company, they can't pay electronically, so they mail the check. As long as the "date due" is set up right, you should have no problems getting your check on time.
Ok, makes sense - it may make convenience sense for them but it just causes worry for me - I would rather have the check in-hand, handed to me by the parent!
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Lyss 01:36 PM 07-12-2013
We pay the majority of our bills this way, we just set it up via the website and every month they automatically mail (or electronically submit to big companies) checks out for us. Saves a lot of time and is free!

One thing we ran into though is that our bank wouldn't issue rent or other large checks until 3-5 business days after DH's pay check cleared (he's a state employee, paid on the 1st) so in order to pay our rent on time we had to just write the check ourselves instead of using the service. It would be late every month because they'd mail it from a different city (45mins away so not that far) but it took 2-3 days plus not being issued til 3-5 days after clearing. Their bank and pay dates may be totally different though so you could get it on the correct days! If not maybe they could print you a receipt that said it was sent so at least you know its in the mail?
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momofboys 02:09 PM 07-12-2013
Originally Posted by Lyss:
We pay the majority of our bills this way, we just set it up via the website and every month they automatically mail (or electronically submit to big companies) checks out for us. Saves a lot of time and is free!

One thing we ran into though is that our bank wouldn't issue rent or other large checks until 3-5 business days after DH's pay check cleared (he's a state employee, paid on the 1st) so in order to pay our rent on time we had to just write the check ourselves instead of using the service. It would be late every month because they'd mail it from a different city (45mins away so not that far) but it took 2-3 days plus not being issued til 3-5 days after clearing. Their bank and pay dates may be totally different though so you could get it on the correct days! If not maybe they could print you a receipt that said it was sent so at least you know its in the mail?
That's just it though - it can't be late unless they want to have care lol!
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Lyss 02:17 PM 07-12-2013
Originally Posted by momofboys:
That's just it though - it can't be late unless they want to have care lol!
I understand! I've said no to this type of check in the past, my fees are monthly and I don't trust that "its in the mail"
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Familycare71 02:50 PM 07-12-2013
I personally would touch base with them on the timing... Just so you don't have that aquard moment first day of care... ESP if they already "paid" it but you didn't receive it yet.
My bill payer is very clear about when my payee will receive their money. They essentially would have to have it delivered to you the fri prior to ensure you have it by mon am.
I have had one parent do this and it was a mess- turned into the whole "oh well it's coming" and it did but hello... This is my job and I need to get paid on time!
If a parent wanted to do it again I would allow it but would be very specific that I had to have received the check prior to it being due or they would have to issue me a personal one on time- or no care...
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Cradle2crayons 03:04 PM 07-12-2013
I would do as pp said and have them tell the bank it needs to be due the Friday before to give it a few extra days.

As long as the parents know and understand if the check isn't there you won't provide care, then it should be fine,
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momofsix 03:31 PM 07-12-2013
I have one family that used to pay me by mail via chase banking. They now pay me electronically via the same bank. I had to set up my account in the beginning but it was easy. I am only a small home daycare, obviously not a big business They send me an e-mail letting me know I have a payment to accept, I go the website and accept it. A day or 2 later it shows up in my account I wish I could do this with all of my families-I NEVER need to discuss money with them because it's all automatic.
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MarinaVanessa 04:02 PM 07-12-2013
I wouldn't worry too much about it if they want to pay through their bank issued check as long as they understand that it isn't "paid" until you have it in your hand. Then I would head straight to the bank and cash the check that same day if possible. I would also have firm policies about bounced checks that says that after the first bounced check and no more checks from them etc.

I just make sure that my clients know that a check is considered the same as cash. It has to be in my hand by the due date with the correct amount (and correct date) ready to be cashed whether I cash it immediately or a month later. It is not my responsibility to balance their checkbook. If they can't keep their finances straight they can go to the bank, pull out the money and pay me cash instead. KWIM?
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momofboys 08:51 PM 07-12-2013
Thank you all for your advice!
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Heidi 08:50 AM 07-13-2013
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
I wouldn't worry too much about it if they want to pay through their bank issued check as long as they understand that it isn't "paid" until you have it in your hand. Then I would head straight to the bank and cash the check that same day if possible. I would also have firm policies about bounced checks that says that after the first bounced check and no more checks from them etc.

I just make sure that my clients know that a check is considered the same as cash. It has to be in my hand by the due date with the correct amount (and correct date) ready to be cashed whether I cash it immediately or a month later. It is not my responsibility to balance their checkbook. If they can't keep their finances straight they can go to the bank, pull out the money and pay me cash instead. KWIM?
FYI-These checks can't "bounce", because the check is issued from the bill-pay service. BUT, if the parent's don't have enough funds on the day the bill is set up to be paid, it won't go out in the first place (unless they have some sort of overdraft loan).
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MarinaVanessa 10:18 AM 07-13-2013
Originally Posted by Heidi:
FYI-These checks can't "bounce", because the check is issued from the bill-pay service. BUT, if the parent's don't have enough funds on the day the bill is set up to be paid, it won't go out in the first place (unless they have some sort of overdraft loan).
This is true so if they use bill pay then at least the OP is that much more protected and all she needs to worry about is making sure that the client makes sure that they enough funds to cover the full amount so that the check makes it out on time.
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Crazy8 12:16 PM 07-13-2013
I had one family doing this for a while. I required payments on Friday for the following week and 90% of the time it arrived on Friday. Sometimes it arrived on Saturday and a handful of times it was really late. Especially if there is a holiday during the week, etc. They offered to change it to being due on Wed. and then it would usually arrive Wed/Thurs so they were fine.
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