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  #1  
Old 09-05-2013, 05:26 AM
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Default Holding A Spot With Pay But Paying Late, Keep Them?

I realize I am in a very fortunate position here, but I am needing some advice with this.

I have 2 families paying full price for a spot they are holding. One will start Oct. 1, and the other Nov. 1. The mom's are sisters, and both have recently had babies.

I have a very long wait list, and had no reason to hold these spots, but since they wanted both kids at the same childcare, they decided to pay the full rate for 8 weeks, and 12 weeks to hold the spots.

With the exception of the deposit (I took this when we signed contracts), they have not paid on time. The one sister was 2 weeks before I emailed and asked if they still wanted the spot, and the second sister was 5 days late. Now here we are, there payments were due Sept 1, and they have not shown up. They both work right near me, and they both have info to set up direct deposit.

In my contract it says If they are holding a spot, and fail to pay, I assume they no longer want the spot, and will not continue to hold it. I do not need them, as I have 2 families using those spots on a temp basis, but want to be here long term.

Should I just send an email out saying "Due to lack of payment, your spots are no longer being held, I will contact you if something opens up?" Or should I give them one more chance? I have $1000 from each of them so far, and I feel a little bad, but also, we agreed that this was the deal, and they are not holding up there end.

Thoughts??
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2013, 06:06 AM
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I would term and definitely not keep the money they've given so far unless I've communicated with them about the importance of paying on time and warned them about the option to term! If I talked with them and they still disregard my policies, then I would consider terming, though.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:16 AM
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I think you should clarify that late payments are not acceptable by letter/email immediately. I would also call and direct them to this letter by email so you know for sure they have been notified several ways that payment needs to be made immediately. They need to pay for the month of September within 24 hours or their spots will be forfeited with no refund of the amounts already paid (assuming your contract backs you up). Then I would let them know that future payments MUST be paid on time. It it not acceptable to pay late, ever.

You accepted late payments last month and it doesnt sound like you really laid down the law about it then so I dont think it is fair to just term both without being crystal clear about what will and will not be happening in the future.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:17 AM
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If you WANT these families, send them a warning: Payment is due _____. If payment is not received by_____ each week (or month), your position will be forfeited, and I will fill the space with one of the many families on my waiting list. Realize that this is my paycheck, I use this to pay daycare expenses and care for my own family, just as you do. You would not tolerate it if your paycheck is not on time, and for the same reason, I can not, either. Please drop off payment by____.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:24 AM
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I know some will say you should have to hold hands with clients to get them to comply, in this case I would call and speak to them directly. I would stress the need to pay on time and that if it happened again you would have no choice but to terminate services. This can all be said politely but firmly. I would then follow up in writing "per our conversation on x date payment is due as of x date. Failure to pay on time will result in termination of services." Then I would term if they didn't. If they are first time parents they likely have no idea what a big deal this is. Teach them

A few years ago I had a situation with a client who seemed to want to sign on, but could never get back to me with the paperwork and deposit, despite the fact those items are required for me to hold a spot. I really liked the family and the kids so I kept hoping she would pull it together When it became apparent that she was not going to, I filled the spot (several *months* after she had interviewed) a month later she calls and says she's on her way over with the paperwork! Now, this was totally her fault. But this is a small town and we all know how word of mouth is huge. In this case she "heard" I was holding her spot and left it at that. At the end of the day my biggest regret was not calling her up and being firm with her. Oh and go figure our daughter have been in the same class the last two years and are good friends - she's still not over it...
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
I think you should clarify that late payments are not acceptable by letter/email immediately. I would also call and direct them to this letter by email so you know for sure they have been notified several ways that payment needs to be made immediately. They need to pay for the month of September within 24 hours or their spots will be forfeited with no refund of the amounts already paid (assuming your contract backs you up). Then I would let them know that future payments MUST be paid on time. It it not acceptable to pay late, ever.

You accepted late payments last month and it doesnt sound like you really laid down the law about it then so I dont think it is fair to just term both without being crystal clear about what will and will not be happening in the future.
Thank you. My contract does back me up if I term with no refund.

I did accept the late payment last month, I have never had someone hold a spot before, so this is new territory for me. I have a no pay, no stay policy for active clients, but I wasn't sure what to do about the holding clients.

Woof. I hate having these red flags before they even start here.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2013, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
I think you should clarify that late payments are not acceptable by letter/email immediately. I would also call and direct them to this letter by email so you know for sure they have been notified several ways that payment needs to be made immediately. They need to pay for the month of September within 24 hours or their spots will be forfeited with no refund of the amounts already paid (assuming your contract backs you up). Then I would let them know that future payments MUST be paid on time. It it not acceptable to pay late, ever.

You accepted late payments last month and it doesnt sound like you really laid down the law about it then so I dont think it is fair to just term both without being crystal clear about what will and will not be happening in the future.
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Originally Posted by MCC View Post
Thank you. My contract does back me up if I term with no refund.

I did accept the late payment last month, I have never had someone hold a spot before, so this is new territory for me. I have a no pay, no stay policy for active clients, but I wasn't sure what to do about the holding clients.

Woof. I hate having these red flags before they even start here.
I agree with Cheer~

I would probably send them a reminder stating that if you don't have FULL payment by xx date, the spots will be forfeited.
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2013, 08:35 AM
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I agree with Cheer~

I would probably send them a reminder stating that if you don't have FULL payment by xx date, the spots will be forfeited.
I HOPE that they are late paying only because they aren't needing the care yet and it just slipped their minds. I would give them another chance, but make sure your expectations are very clear.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
I know some will say you should have to hold hands with clients to get them to comply, in this case I would call and speak to them directly. I would stress the need to pay on time and that if it happened again you would have no choice but to terminate services. This can all be said politely but firmly. I would then follow up in writing "per our conversation on x date payment is due as of x date. Failure to pay on time will result in termination of services." Then I would term if they didn't. If they are first time parents they likely have no idea what a big deal this is. Teach them

A few years ago I had a situation with a client who seemed to want to sign on, but could never get back to me with the paperwork and deposit, despite the fact those items are required for me to hold a spot. I really liked the family and the kids so I kept hoping she would pull it together When it became apparent that she was not going to, I filled the spot (several *months* after she had interviewed) a month later she calls and says she's on her way over with the paperwork! Now, this was totally her fault. But this is a small town and we all know how word of mouth is huge. In this case she "heard" I was holding her spot and left it at that. At the end of the day my biggest regret was not calling her up and being firm with her. Oh and go figure our daughter have been in the same class the last two years and are good friends - she's still not over it...
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:59 AM
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I would send a firm email letting them know you did not receive their Sept. 1st payment and if it is not received by tomorrow that you will assume they are no longer interested in holding the spots. I would follow up with the reminder on your payment policy and reiterate that late payments are not acceptable. I wouldn't give them long to get it to you - it was due days ago, tomorrow is the end of the work week so that's the last chance they'd get to have it in.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2013, 12:38 PM
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Well, I emailed both families.

The one who already has an outside baby (holding for Oct1) emailed back immediately and said she was So sorry, and that her sister (holding for Nov 1) "literally just had her baby" So...like she had the baby today? I'm confused why this would delay the payment from Monday, but she is bringing it by tonight.

I'm assuming I will not hear back from the Nov 1 hold, if she had the baby today, thoughts on this? Knowing that she had the baby today (or with in the past 3 days) she is most likely not checking her email, should I give her longer? I'm not comfortable mentioning this to her sister.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MCC View Post
Well, I emailed both families.

The one who already has an outside baby (holding for Oct1) emailed back immediately and said she was So sorry, and that her sister (holding for Nov 1) "literally just had her baby" So...like she had the baby today? I'm confused why this would delay the payment from Monday, but she is bringing it by tonight.

I'm assuming I will not hear back from the Nov 1 hold, if she had the baby today, thoughts on this? Knowing that she had the baby today (or with in the past 3 days) she is most likely not checking her email, should I give her longer? I'm not comfortable mentioning this to her sister.
I would ask sister when the baby was born and how she was doing - that would give some indication of how to proceed. But I bet even with having a new baby sister has access to her email - with smart phones, ipads, etc. even in the hospital she's probably completely plugged in! Pics of baby were probably on facebook minutes after being born. If daycare is important to them dad can drop off payment!
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
If daycare is important to them dad can drop off payment!
Six years ago I was in the hospital in labor and we were in the process of buying our house. Hubby was arranging things with the realtor and she met us at the hospital to pick up our escrow check. Not exactly the same situation, but adults can manage outside responsibilities even in the midst of a new baby. It might not be ideal, but it certainly can be done, especially if it's regarding the care of the new little one.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:09 AM
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Mom of baby (born yesterday around noon) emailed last night. Her husband is dropping a check today, and they have sent about 4 emails each saying how sorry they are, and how much they don't want to jeopardize little guys spot.

They said he's going to drop off the check on his way to meeting with their contractor who is installing closet shelving in the nursery....guessing they didn't forget to pay him

Thanks for all the advice, hopefully they get it now and this wont be a problem in the future!
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:42 PM
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I agree with what you did (sending a firm email). I have learned that most parents will think the rules are just on paper and not followed unless you enforce them.

I also agree that having a baby doesn't mean you don't pay bills on time! My uncle passed away 4 years ago in another country. We had to money gram money to the us consulate immediately to get his remains sent home. I was in early labor running to the currency exchange to get them money before they closed at 6pm! I went to the hospital around midnight and had my dd at 6:02Am. I was on the phone w the consulate at 9am confirming things!
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by sahm1225 View Post
I agree with what you did (sending a firm email). I have learned that most parents will think the rules are just on paper and not followed unless you enforce them.

I also agree that having a baby doesn't mean you don't pay bills on time! My uncle passed away 4 years ago in another country. We had to money gram money to the us consulate immediately to get his remains sent home. I was in early labor running to the currency exchange to get them money before they closed at 6pm! I went to the hospital around midnight and had my dd at 6:02Am. I was on the phone w the consulate at 9am confirming things!
Wow! That's a crazy story!
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:30 PM
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I was doing college homework in the hospital when I was in labor with one of my daughters. I got home from the hospital and took a final like the next day. Life goes on, no matter who is being born.


but I am glad it all worked out!
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