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Old 05-16-2019, 08:47 PM
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Default Closing Time

I have a question regarding operating hours. I am open 7:00-5:30. No one is to drop their child off prior to 7:00 am. And technically, no one is to pick-up after 5:30 pm. However, if I have a parent that walks through the door AT 5:30 and takes time to get their kid out the door, is that considered a late pick-up? I would assume ideally, I am shutting my door at 5:30 as the last child is walking out the door. I will be addressing these 5:30/5:31 pick ups, but trying to get feedback about what expectation I should be setting.

"We close promptly at 5:30. Children that are picked up at
5:30, will be ready with their backpack in hand."
"Late pickup means any child that has not left the premises by 5:30." ???

Do I allow a minute or two window for parent to come in and say hi to child and gather items, etc? Any feedback on the quoted statements above?

TIA
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:19 AM
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Here are more threads on late pickups: https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=late+pickup
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:16 AM
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I use "Children should be picked up by 5:30. A $1 per minute late fee will be applied after that time."

I then add it to their online billing account. I use the time on the sign-out sheet that I write in before they sign.

I also do Bye-Bye Outside. It is much simpler for me to go back inside when I need to than get them out. I like simple.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:24 AM
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Everyone does things differently. Some give grace periods, some charge per minute as they arrive, some say they need to be off the property by closing.

Personally: I think it's late. I charge contracted times to each family and each family may have a different rate/timeframe. If they aren't off the premises at the contracted time, they're late. They are receiving a customized rate for no more than the timeframe they chose. Using any time beyond that is not only a big no-no but at a hefty premium. There are NO grace periods. I used to have people sign in/out and would tell them they can't sign out until they are actually going out the door. If they went beyond their timeframe they paid for, they would be charged. $1 per minute before 5:15, $2 per minute after that.

If you want them to be off the property by closing, the ONLY way to change that behavior is to verbalize they are late and charge them... each and every time.
Even letting it slide once gives them permission to do it again.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:27 AM
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Close at 515. That way everyone is gone by 530. I think this will give less headache than constantly policing parents.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:18 AM
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Many parents need it spelled out.

I would give out a letter explaining that 5:30 close means everyone is GONE when the clock hits 5:30...not just arriving to get their child and spending another five/ten minutes chatting etc. Tell them that if they are still in the house after 5:30, there will be late fees.

Then enforce it. EVERY time.

I close at 6PM. Any kids left here at 5:55 have on coats etc and are waiting on the entryway bench. When Mom/Dad pulls in...I am by the door and usher them out asap.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:56 AM
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As long as the parent is in my home for 5pm (my closing) then I don’t mind a couple of minutes to gather things. I feel like that is part of the “customer service” aspect of the job and maintaining a good working relationship.
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:32 AM
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I set my closing time with the expectation that parents would see that as the latest they can arrive to pick up their child. I also expect that there will be some chatting about the child's day since that's what I wanted as a day care parent. I want everyone out of my house by 4:30 so I set my closing time for 4:00. Currently I allow one family to pick up at 4:15 because of both parents' commute times so my official closing time of 4:00 also allows me a little wiggle room for flexibility when I want to offer that. I once had a family that needed a 4:30 pick up time which I agreed to with the firm understanding that the pick up would be quick and the parents would not be late for any reason. If they were, the agreement would end. I had the family for years and they were wonderful so I wanted to keep them and trusted them to hold up their end of the deal.

I think that you can set your closing time for whatever you like. Just be clear to the parents what your expectations are so they know what closing time means to you.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:59 PM
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If they come in at 5:30, just say "she had a good day. Here's her stuff. I'm going to let you get going. I need to start supper" or "She had a good day. I'll just lock up behind you" and follow them to the door. Make sure kiddo is ready to go ahead of time. If kiddo dawdles or tries to delay, pick them up and hand them to DCP or grab their hand and lead them to the door. If parent tries to make small talk, keep your answers short, offer to talk more in the morning or get back to them and reiterate that you need to get going with your evening.

It was awkward for me to do at first. I could feel the confusion from the DCP because I'm usually so friendly and chatty, but I show them as much consideration as they show my business hours. You want a few minutes of friendly chatter, come at least 10 minutes before closing time.
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buh-bye outside, bye bye outside, late fee policy, late pick up fee, late pickup

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