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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Payment Advice Needed - DCF Wants Special Treatment
KDC 08:13 AM 12-03-2014
Background... sorry if long! I have a DCF that has been with me for 7 years now. They are neighbors that live across the street. Since I had just started and didn't have you ladies helping me out, I made some mistakes early on that I've made strides to fix so that I could avoid being walked on. I've always had a contract that spells out payment, sickness policy and what not. I am state licensed. We live in a nice neighborhood (new construction 10 years ago), this family owns all name brand items, drives nice cars, and are definitely not 'hurting'f or money. They do however view themselves as 'special'. Yup, they're that family.

DCG is 5 and only comes 3 days a week. She is in 1/2 day kindergarten and I charge $35/day (Normal rate is $50/day). She arrives at 7am, I feed her breakfast and put her on the bus at 8:30. She arrives back at my house by bus (bus stop pick-up) at 11:50. I feed her lunch & snack and she's here until 4:30/5:00. They have another child that is 7 and in 2nd grade that I do before and after school for those same three days a week. I also feed him breakfast and get him on and off the bus. I charge them $80 a MONTH for this.

I had them sign a NEW contract this year and explained the drop-in policy for their son since they are not paying per day they would need to pay a drop in fee IF I had the space for him. I explained this and she seemed to understand.

November 4th was election day. My own SA children were off school so I already had additional children here, they asked if I had room for DCB. I said I'd check into it. I did have room and he came for the entire day. He arrived at 7, ate breakfast, lunch & snack and was here from 7-5.

Problem: They pay monthly, it's set up ahead of time. I sent them an invoice 2 weeks ago for December (including the drop in fee) and received the check less the drop in fee. (They use bill pay and it comes by mail). I was going to send a new note today, thinking it may be been overlooked. He came this morning with his two children during drop off to tell me he saw the invoice, but felt the situation was 'special' and that he feels he pays me enough (LOL, his words!) (he took days off to go to disney, I held his spot and he was still required to pay.. he looks at this like he paid for care he did not receive). He's argued my prices before in a confrontational manner to which I told him to go elsewhere if he found a better deal (after imagining myself kicking him in the chin). They do get 'special' in that I don't charge them summers (teacher family), I do not charge them a part-time rate and have given them the dreaded sibling discount in the past. I feel like I provided care they asked for, they knew ahead of time I charged for drop ins and to not pay me is not acceptable. HOW DO I WORD THIS PROFESSIONALLY... I feel like my emotions are too wrapped up and I'll get off track to easily. My DH doesn't want this to become an issue since were neighbors, but they obviously aren't worried about the same thing. I could overlook the fee to keep the peace... but why should I work for free just to avoid conflict. I feel this is fair. Help!
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melilley 08:32 AM 12-03-2014
Sorry, I don't have any advice on what to write, but just wanted to say that I can't believe that they expect you to take care of their child for free!
The nerve of some parents.

I have it in my policies that drop ins need to pay at drop off that day.
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ColorfulSunburst 08:35 AM 12-03-2014
"I don't see any special and I don't feel you pay me enough. I can not accept your children until you pay." Smile, keep eye-contact and don't say anything more. Let him find a way how to finish the conversation.
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craftymissbeth 08:35 AM 12-03-2014
I wouldn't providd care until the fee was paid. He sounds like the type of person that will continue to do this. I also would not have space open for anymore drop ins for them... since it's clear they don't want to pay for the service.
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TheGoodLife 08:35 AM 12-03-2014
Dear DCF,
As per our agreement, $ was due for the full-day care for DCB on <date>. Payment is due at drop off before further care can be provided.

Thank you,
DCP
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TheGoodLife 08:37 AM 12-03-2014
And I agree with PPs- always get drop-in payments upfront at drop-off, and be "full" the next times they need full-day care for their kids.
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SquirrellyMama 11:12 AM 12-03-2014
So, dad didn't pay at all for that day? Wow! No advice, what a jerk.

Kelly
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Unregistered 11:17 AM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by TheGoodLife:
Dear DCF,
As per our agreement, $ was due for the full-day care for DCB on <date>. Payment is due at drop off before further care can be provided.

Thank you,
DCP
This is a great suggestion. I would not let the fact you are neighbors even weigh into your decision. I don't think I could continue working for a family that has little respect for me. Im sorry you are being treated so poorly by this family.
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BrooklynM 11:30 AM 12-03-2014
Here is what I would do- I would send them both an email (this is to document the convo) and attach 2 different payment agreements to it. The one that they signed and a new one that has them paying to hold the spot regardless if their child is there or not. You could word the email something like this:

DCD and DCM,

I just wanted to give you the opportunity to take a look again at your 2 options for DCG. The new agreement that you signed for a drop-in amount doesn't sound like it is working for you. Since we are still in that agreement, then the $x that was the drop in fee for such and such dates is still due and outstanding. If you wanted to avoid the drop in fee and pay to hold the spot, I would be happy to change your contract, but we would need to stick with that contract for x number of months.



The dad sounds like a jerk and they don't sound very appreciative of you as a provider quite honestly. I'd be pretty offended personally!
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Crazy8 11:41 AM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by craftymissbeth:
I wouldn't providd care until the fee was paid. He sounds like the type of person that will continue to do this. I also would not have space open for anymore drop ins for them... since it's clear they don't want to pay for the service.
This. I am getting mad just reading your post. They are REFUSING to pay you for services you already rendered?? They pay monthly for b/a school - you took the child for a full day - OBVIOUSLY that requires more in payment.

I would not take the child again until all fees are paid. They used you for a day of service they did not pay for - nothing else matters as far as summers, vacations, etc. And I'd be all booked up ANYTIME there is no school again.

I stink at writing letters but I would probably spell it out for themů

"As per our agreement the fee for extra days for DCB is $xx. The $80/month you pay covers before and after care ONLY. On Nov.4th I provided full day care and the drop in fee of $xx is now past due. Care will not be provided until all fees are paid."
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NeedaVaca 11:49 AM 12-03-2014
Wow, they are already getting a good deal! I have part time kids that go to preschool but they pay my full time rate, it's not like I can fill the few hours they are gone with someone else. Before and after school in my area is easily $50 per week. The before and after care price is so low, after snacks etc you can't be making much on that child...I would not accept any of their kids into care until they make the payment they owe you and I would never have space for him in the future...
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MyAngels 11:51 AM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by TheGoodLife:
Dear DCF,
As per our agreement, $ was due for the full-day care for DCB on <date>. Payment is due at drop off before further care can be provided.

Thank you,
DCP
Definitely agree with this, and I wouldn't entertain any further conversation on the matter at all.

I also can't get past the fact that you provide B/A care for $80 a month, and he actually has the nerve to complain about a drop in rate. I rarely term, but I'd do it over this alone, in a heartbeat.
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lovemykidstoo 11:55 AM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by Crazy8:
This. I am getting mad just reading your post. They are REFUSING to pay you for services you already rendered?? They pay monthly for b/a school - you took the child for a full day - OBVIOUSLY that requires more in payment.

I would not take the child again until all fees are paid. They used you for a day of service they did not pay for - nothing else matters as far as summers, vacations, etc. And I'd be all booked up ANYTIME there is no school again.

I stink at writing letters but I would probably spell it out for themů

"As per our agreement the fee for extra days for DCB is $xx. The $80/month you pay covers before and after care ONLY. On Nov.4th I provided full day care and the drop in fee of $xx is now past due. Care will not be provided until all fees are paid."
Yes, I agree with everyone. To your husband, I understand his position that they're neighbors so try to keep the peace, but your neighbor doesn't seem to care that your neighbors. Terrible treatment.
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BrooklynM 11:56 AM 12-03-2014
Woah, I missed the 80 a MONTH part! Wow, yeah, LET THEM GO! They are not worth your time and are completely disrespecting you!
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daycarediva 11:59 AM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca:
Wow, they are already getting a good deal! I have part time kids that go to preschool but they pay my full time rate, it's not like I can fill the few hours they are gone with someone else. Before and after school in my area is easily $50 per week. The before and after care price is so low, after snacks etc you can't be making much on that child...I would not accept any of their kids into care until they make the payment they owe you and I would never have space for him in the future...
Yup. I would give them notice, with the balance due as final two weeks of care + outstanding day + late fees for that day.

NO WAY would I allow them to disrespect me.
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KDC 12:05 PM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by BrooklynM:
Here is what I would do- I would send them both an email (this is to document the convo) and attach 2 different payment agreements to it. The one that they signed and a new one that has them paying to hold the spot regardless if their child is there or not. You could word the email something like this:

DCD and DCM,

I just wanted to give you the opportunity to take a look again at your 2 options for DCG. The new agreement that you signed for a drop-in amount doesn't sound like it is working for you. Since we are still in that agreement, then the $x that was the drop in fee for such and such dates is still due and outstanding. If you wanted to avoid the drop in fee and pay to hold the spot, I would be happy to change your contract, but we would need to stick with that contract for x number of months.



The dad sounds like a jerk and they don't sound very appreciative of you as a provider quite honestly. I'd be pretty offended personally!

This guys is a class 'A' jerk. I made a DVD of all the pics throughout the year set to music, with video outtakes of his children and he hands it back to me and says... we don't do DVD's anymore only thumb drives and handed it back & walked away. His wife gushes over it every year, but didn't get one last year because her DH is an ass. I said if he brought one, I'd download it for him, but and he never provided one. =( He also told me I was charging too much last year after quoting him in August - he came at me in October saying my prices were 'super high' when the very next door neighbor pays DOUBLE what he pays. I absolutely LOVE DCG. DCM is kinda clueless - DCD is a major tool. I will turn them away for before and after school next year. Just not worth it.
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butterfly 12:09 PM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
Yup. I would give them notice, with the balance due as final two weeks of care + outstanding day + late fees for that day.

NO WAY would I allow them to disrespect me.


I'd probably have to term too. I would just hang on to dad's comment in my mind and I'd be too resentful to continue care. What an ***hole!
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Crazy8 01:30 PM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by KDC:
This guys is a class 'A' jerk. I made a DVD of all the pics throughout the year set to music, with video outtakes of his children and he hands it back to me and says... we don't do DVD's anymore only thumb drives and handed it back & walked away. His wife gushes over it every year, but didn't get one last year because her DH is an ass. I said if he brought one, I'd download it for him, but and he never provided one. =( He also told me I was charging too much last year after quoting him in August - he came at me in October saying my prices were 'super high' when the very next door neighbor pays DOUBLE what he pays. I absolutely LOVE DCG. DCM is kinda clueless - DCD is a major tool. I will turn them away for before and after school next year. Just not worth it.
Based on all this I'd probably just let them go after New Years. I would explain that they do not seem to value your services and you have decided to fill the spots with families who will.
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BrooklynM 02:59 PM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by KDC:
This guys is a class 'A' jerk. I made a DVD of all the pics throughout the year set to music, with video outtakes of his children and he hands it back to me and says... we don't do DVD's anymore only thumb drives and handed it back & walked away. His wife gushes over it every year, but didn't get one last year because her DH is an ass. I said if he brought one, I'd download it for him, but and he never provided one. =( He also told me I was charging too much last year after quoting him in August - he came at me in October saying my prices were 'super high' when the very next door neighbor pays DOUBLE what he pays. I absolutely LOVE DCG. DCM is kinda clueless - DCD is a major tool. I will turn them away for before and after school next year. Just not worth it.
Oh wow, that is TERRIBLE! He really is a jerk! What kind of profession is he in? Just curious why he thinks this behavior is ok. Maybe he doesn't have to deal with people or something?

It's so hard when you love the kid! If you don't want the kids to leave, then you have to get into the mindset that you are doing charity work I guess. He is making me mad just hearing about his behavior and I don't really get mad, lol. I just feel like he is really disrespecting you, the person who is loving and taking care of his kids!
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e.j. 05:19 PM 12-03-2014
Originally Posted by KDC:
I had them sign a NEW contract this year and explained the drop-in policy for their son since they are not paying per day they would need to pay a drop in fee IF I had the space for him. I explained this and she seemed to understand.
If it were me dealing with this, I would highlight the drop-in policy in your contract and hand them a copy of it. I would say, "As I explained to (wife's name), my policy is......." I love having dcg in my care and would hate to see her leave but when you signed my contract, I thought you understood that you were agreeing to follow my policies. I understand if you've changed your mind, though, and there will be no hard feelings on my part if you'd prefer to find another provider for her." All said with a look of something between concern and bewilderment.
Good luck! Sounds like you have quite a neighbor there!
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KDC 08:22 AM 12-04-2014
**update** So the Mom actually came over last night for pick-up to discuss. She has NO concept that she's paying for the spot and not hourly care. She's been here 7 years, but just thinks because we're neighbors or some reason I should be more reasonable of HER situation. <she's clueless... small background story; she's been in ballet since she was 3 and wanted to dance for a company, she heard a commercial on the radio... "Do you love to dance?", and she was like YES!! and called the number and it was a strip club advertising for dancers, but she didn't even consider that. Her DH let this slip in one of our late night neighbor parties. This is that DCM.>>

So they've had to pay for Holidays and their vacations since 2007. This is not a new policy. In the past they paid for it, so they would bring the kids over and do chores, shopping, whatever and I was fine with it because they paid me (she's a teacher). Well DCB started school full-time last year so she didn't pay me for him anymore other than before and after school. So she never considered why when she wanted to bring him over with no advanced planning so she could get some stuff done around the house during the holidays that I wouldn't have room for him. I told her she could bring her DCG over, but I didn't have room to watch DCB and she was miffed. I kindly said, you don't pay a daily fee for him and I don't keep a spot open just in case you need it.

This is the **special situation** they were referring to. So she was complaining last night that she has to pay for her daughter, but that the situation doesn't really work for her or do her any good because she still has her son, and looked at me like this was all my fault? **daughter part-time and in Kindergarten** I said if you let me know when you need me, if I have the space available and you pay the drop in fee, I could watch them both. She said, we'll I'm only using one day, shouldn't the money just cover both kids since I'm paying for three? She's saying she's spending 'So' much money for daycare, that I should just 'give' them the free day. I get where they're coming from, and said if I were just a SAHM looking for extra cash, that would work... but I don't have that business model. You signed the contract early this year and this is how it works. I have other families and if I did this for everyone it would be very muddled. This is just not how I run my business. (insert, the but we're special neighbor friends face, gimme a break face here) She was dumbfounded.

I explained this is why I have the contract, and have discussions so there are no gray areas. You pay to have the spot available for your child, if you decide to go on vacation or keep her home, that is you're decision. My polices have not changed in 9 years, but they may no longer work for your family, I only require a 2 week notice if you wish to find someone else. She backed off quite a bit and said although we think it's kind of unfair, we pay for all these hours we don't use. If we have to pay, we'll pay, but we wanted to dispute it from a business standpoint. SO after talking for 25 minutes, she still thinks of all the hours she's not using and that it should magically make a spot available at her whim for DCB. *SMH
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BrooklynM 09:11 AM 12-04-2014
Wow! I hope they call around all day today looking for a daycare that will do this for them and when they find one that isn't as great as you, they will realize how much they should appreciate you and treat you the way you deserve to be treated! I'm so glad you stood up for yourself and you let her know she has an option to leave! Good for you!
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TheGoodLife 09:44 AM 12-04-2014
The question is, did she pay?
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Rockgirl 01:16 PM 12-04-2014
Wouldn't it be great if we could call the cable company and say, "I already paid you enough. Besides, I was out of town for a few days and wasn't home to watch TV, so I don't want to pay for those days. Thanks for keeping my channels hooked up during that time--I was able to come home, turn on the TV, and there were my shows, ready to be watched!"

Why don't they see that it's not that different? They want to use our services. They want those services to be available when they need them. They don't want to pay for that availability.
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KIDZRMYBIZ 01:38 PM 12-04-2014
Wow, KDC, that is outrageous. DCD sounds like a Class A Prick. I think I would eliminate the B/A care as part of my services entirely to keep the peace. I did that, and blamed it on licensing (we can't have a 3rd 12-18mo baby if we have SA too).

We have new neighbors behind us that inquired about care. I told them that I don't do business with friends, and I was so hoping we could be friends since they live right by me. With a big smile. I think it saved their feelings, and I don't have to worry about what happens if it all goes south!
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Checkinkids.com 06:50 AM 12-05-2014
Wow - can't believe they said something like that. Providers are NEVER paid enough! Some people have no sense of value.
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SSWonders 09:56 AM 12-10-2014
I'm not great at wording things. But I can say that would be the last time I take him as a drop in.
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Tags:drop in policy, drop in rates, drop ins
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