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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Am I in the Wrong?
booroo 09:58 AM 04-23-2010
Ok I have a full time dcb, but he has not been here since tuesday, mom did call wednesday late in the afternoon, and then called me thrusday morning, and said she was sick and keeping boy with her. I have heard nothing from them this morning, he is suppose to come at 8am. Well Since I didnt hear from them, at all I went ahead and took some drop ins. Now this dcb cant come, Im full. Well mom called me and said they will be here at noon, I told her Im sorry But Im full today, she said I couldnt do that, because she is paying for the spot, which she is because in my contract it states, that you pay whether you are here or not. IT also says that I must be notified if you are not going to be here an hour in advance, or if you are running late and that if not contact is made then you are charged an inconvience fee.
But she did not call me to tell me they were runnning late, or that they wouldnt be here or that they would be here until 1045. So I filled his spot today.
Am I wrong for this? Also should I charge her for the days that the dcb was not here and the inconvience charge as well?
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mac60 10:08 AM 04-23-2010
Personally, if it was me, since I charge whether or not you are here, I don't feel I could charge an inconvenience fee. That is a tough one on your end. Your contract is clear, but as a parent, I would be upset if I had to pay and couldn't use the spot. Let us know how it works out.
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laundryduchess@yahoo.com 10:15 AM 04-23-2010
I would think you were wrong. I hate to say that because I agree with you on the whole, call me and tell me your not coming thing. But,.. you are basicly selling the same thing twice.

Here,...

If they pay,.. they can come any time. I dont take drop ins if I dont have an extra space.
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MarinaVanessa 10:38 AM 04-23-2010
I kind of feel inclined to agree with laundry here only because she is paying for the full-time spot. I know your contract says that they have to call before a certain time to let you know if they are coming or not (mine does too) but I am wondering if it tells them what happens if they don't (besides being charged a fee). Because I am open 6am to 6pm but each child can only be here 10 hours a day, we have a schedule pre-set that they have to follow. If they don't come by that time and I don't get a phone call letting me know that they are or are not coming by their scheduled time then I assume they are not coming and will fill the spot. But it actually spells it out like that. If your contract says that you can fill the spot if they don't come in or call by a certain time then you're ok, but if not then you have quite a pickle in your hands. Let us know what happens and what you decide to do.
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booroo 10:41 AM 04-23-2010
My contract states that I can fill the spot at my disclosure, and that by not calling by your drop off time, then I have the right to fill your spot. This lady is behind on your dc bill anyway, so I thought I would get my drop in fee and paid up front for the time.
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TGT09 10:46 AM 04-23-2010
I do not charge whether they are there or not so it probably doesn't help or apply but this is what my contract states: You are required to notify me 24-48 hours prior to your contracted drop-off time if your child will not be coming for the day or if you will be late arriving (Please see note below). I reserve the right to fill your spot with a last minute drop-in, leave for an errand, and/or close child care for the day if no other children are coming, in the event that you do not call me by your contracted drop-off time.


Note Below**If your child is absent due to illness I require at least a 30 minute notice before your contracted drop-off time. If you know your child is going to be ill for the next day during the night, please leave a voicemail so that I have it first thing in the morning.
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momofboys 11:02 AM 04-23-2010
Originally Posted by booroo:
My contract states that I can fill the spot at my disclosure, and that by not calling by your drop off time, then I have the right to fill your spot. This lady is behind on your dc bill anyway, so I thought I would get my drop in fee and paid up front for the time.
At first I was inclined to agree with the previous posters; however, since you are very clear that the client must call in advance that they are late it seems that they are in the wrong - in my opinion. If she is behind on her bill I would not cut her any breaks. You say she pays for a full week but that is not true if she is way behind in payment. Good luck!
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booroo 11:13 AM 04-23-2010
Originally Posted by janarae:
At first I was inclined to agree with the previous posters; however, since you are very clear that the client must call in advance that they are late it seems that they are in the wrong - in my opinion. If she is behind on her bill I would not cut her any breaks. You say she pays for a full week but that is not true if she is way behind in payment. Good luck!
She does not pay in advance, I tried to get her to and she said she would not. So she pays me every 2nd saturday, for the care recieved. I also have clearly stated that, you still pay for care, here or not.
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misol 11:31 AM 04-23-2010
In my contract, I request (not require) a courtesy call from the parent for lateness or absence. There is no real consequence if they don't call, it's just a courtesy thing. I've had it happen twice that a parent didn't call when their child wasn't coming that day. Just to avoid a situation like the one you are describing, I figured it would just be easier for ME to make the phone call. I just said Hi Mom, we were waiting for Little Billy and since he is usually here by now, I was wondering if he is still coming today? Both times the parents were apologetic for forgetting to call. The next day I just told them that I didn't mean to bug them but the sooner that I know someone isn't going to be here the better. That way I can avoid making a plate for the child or possibly take a drop-in. They said that they understood and luckily it hasn't happened since with either parent.

I would HATE to fill a child's spot for the day and then have the regular child show up later. Even though they are in the wrong, I would feel horrible telling them that yes they paid for a spot but they can't have it today. Truthfully, I would probably offer a prorated refund for the day but make it crystal clear that this is the ONE and ONLY time that I will make this exception. I'd tell them that if they don't call in the future and their spot gets filled then they are responsible for finding alternate childcare at their own expense with no refunds from me.
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laundryduchess@yahoo.com 11:40 AM 04-23-2010
if she doesnt pay in advance, then I would have offered the spot up, wish you had said this before. when she begins to pay in advance, she can reserve in advance.
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JJPlaycare 11:57 AM 04-23-2010
I believe they are in the wrong since you have so clearly stated in your contract your policy regarding this, but I as well always call if a parent/child does't show up within a 1/2 hour of their scheduled time! I have only had this happen 3 times in my 5 years of childcare! The first time I called and no one answered, I felt as though something was wrong cause this is not like this family to not show up without a phone call, so I went ahead and called each parents cell phone! No answer on moms end who was the one to be dropping off the child, dad answered and went directly home because they should have been there, I soon got a phone call that mother had a seizure and was at home completely confused, bleeding due to biting her tongue, while her 3 year old was wondering around the house!! Good thing I called! Second time the mother accidently set her alarm clock for PM instead of AM and my phone call woke them all up, they made it to work, they were just late!! The third time, one of my moms had different shifts depending upon the day, so I always got her new schedule every 2 weeks and went on that based on when they would be there for the day, I called because they were not their at their certain time, turned out that she looked at her schedule wrong and was late to work, good thing I called! I guess my point is we are CAREGIVERS LOL, we not only need to take care of children, but their parents as well sometimes!! We may not be paid to do this, but it is life and I would be thankful for a phone call reminding me of somethings once and awhile myself!! I guess since you have it stated the way you do, I would make a copy and highlight in your policy where you have this stated and give it to her and she will have nothing to argue about!
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booroo 12:04 PM 04-23-2010
Originally Posted by laundryduchess@yahoo.com:
if she doesnt pay in advance, then I would have offered the spot up, wish you had said this before. when she begins to pay in advance, she can reserve in advance.
Sorry I wasn't clearly stating what was wanting... It's hard to type and think at the same time on my itouch!! This dcm has done this to me so many times, and I never filled the spot or charged, but man after the 8 th time.... I'm just really ticked! Thanks, I'm starting to see a patteren to this mom!!
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AfterSchoolMom 01:00 PM 04-23-2010
Originally Posted by :
She does not pay in advance, I tried to get her to and she said she would not. So she pays me every 2nd saturday, for the care recieved.
I can see both sides to this argument, but this statemet raised a red flag for me. She "would not"? Don't let a parent dictate to you when YOU get paid for YOUR services. Ask her if she has this same arrangement going with her rent/mortgage, electric bill, etc. I bet not!

It sounds like you have a good stream of business. Do you have a waiting list? I'd consider termination.
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grandmom 02:13 PM 04-23-2010
Since she's paying after the fact, I wouldn't feel sorry too much.

I have had parents not show at their scheduled time and I've taken another child. then the pre-paying-but-late-arriving parent shows up. I've taken them. Yes, I know that may put me over the limit for a few hours till someone goes to school or such. I considered it an honest mistake when it happened.

Generally, I don't take drop in unless I already know the family or just feel compelled by the family situation that causes the need. So it's not a regular occurance.

As for this mom here's what I'd say: I've been thinking about the situation we had yesterday, and just wanted to clear the air. I'm sorry for the confusion. I presumed you weren't coming again yesterday and just hadn't thought to call me. The other mom had asked for whatever time I had available, and it seemed at the time the right thing to do. ...... blahblah from her...... It's generally my policy not to even offer spots like this for parents who pay in advance because it's their spot. I've been thinking that's the direction we should move in your case. .... then let her decide.

Good luck.
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MarinaVanessa 05:50 PM 04-24-2010
Oh, ok. Now I understand better. Since your contract clearly states that they need to call in advance and if they don't you can fill the spot, then you're in the clear. My contract is like this also but my clients pay for the week in advance. If they don't, I don't watch them. It completely prevents families from getting behind in payments. Even thought they all pay in advance, if they don't show up by their scheduled time then I can fill their spot with drop-ins. They all pay based on enrollement not attendance. if they don't show up, I still get paid. If they don't show up by their time and don't call ahead of time to tell me they'll be late, I accept drop-ins and I get paid twice for the same time spot!
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Former Teacher 07:41 AM 04-25-2010
I was all on the parents side until I read the rest of your story. Now I am on your side.

At my former center we would require all drop ins to call 24 hours in advance or at the latest first thing in morning. I asked my former director what would happen if we took a drop in and we were full, and a FT child came in late (its happened!). My former director made the comment that she would call the drop ins parent to pick up the child and she would refund the money.

That being said: IMO this parent is not a full time client since she pays after the fact, contract or no contract. So IMO her spot is not guaranteed. However I also believe IMO that you should not charge ANY parent an inconvenience fee. The parents are paying you for a service and they are paying you for this service regardless if they use it or not. Kinda like a phone bill. You are still paying for it even if you make no phone calls.

Is it rude for the parents not to inform you? Of course. However you shouldn't make any extra money just for their lack of respect.
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Unregistered 08:24 AM 04-26-2010
I have it in my policies that they pre pay a week in advance and that if they dont show or call within an hour the spot is gone for the day, I dont care if its not fair to the parents to make them pay a fee for a service they arent using, they contracted for my time and it is beyond rude to not take 2 minutes to call and say they arent coming, it is UNFAIR to us as providers to be walked on and treated disrespectfully just because we are 'home'. Charge her whatever your contract states and dont feel bad, also present her with another contract telling her that she has till the end of the week to sign it and pay in advance like your other clients or she will be terminated, the fact that she just wont says what she is like, if she had honest intentions to pay her bill she wouldnt mind paying in advance, this is your business,run it how you want and get the respect you want by inforcing your rules, good luck.
kiddiecare
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Tags:contract, payments, spot
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