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  #1  
Old 11-05-2018, 07:54 PM
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Thumbs down $82 Early Fee

I just charged a parent that.

She is contracted to come at 8:30 and showed up at my house at 7:08. I wasn't surprised, but I was still disappointed. No one was supposed to arrive until 7:30 today, so I was enjoying my late morning until I saw her walking up to my house.

No call, email, text, smoke signal, nuthin. I told her I have an early fee and would charge her this time and she explained the perfectly good reason why she was early. I told her I would still charge her and I don't think she believed or understood me. I charge parents based on their contracted hours. I've had issues with her in the past but have been very lenient. It was always, "usually I would charge you blah blah blah, but since you blah blah blah, I'll let it pass."

She took forever to pay me the first two weeks. Last week I gave her a final warning that from then on, I would follow my policy handbook, especially after she didn't pick her child up until almost half an hour after I closed last week. I didn't even charge her a late fee all the other times she's been late or paid late in the only two weeks she's been here.
I'm trying to be understanding. I really am. She's having a hard time-recently divorced, new to the country, low-income, but I really feel like she is using me as the point in her life that she can do as she pleases, you know? She has to get to her job on time, she has to pay for the food she eats, but the daycare lady? Meh, come early, come late, you don't have to really pay the fees and it's all good! None of the other parents would even dare. I don't think she understands that I am a legitimate business. I feel pretty bad for charging her this, but if I don't, I feel like she's always going to take advantage of me not wanting to rock the boat.

Maybe I should just term her, but her daughter is actually a pretty good kid and I don't want to give up the tuition.

I guess I'm not really looking for advice, just for someone who understands where I'm coming from to tell me I'm not a monster :/
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2018, 08:14 PM
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You're not a monster. Sometimes people need a wake up call and nothing says, "Wake up!" louder than a big fee. Just curious...what was her reaction?
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2018, 09:26 PM
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I don’t think you are wrong. I personally would not have even had my door unlocked or possibly not have even been up yet if someone came that much earlier than they were scheduled and 22 minutes before my first arrival.

How did she react? Are you expecting her to show up tomorrow? I would worry she would ditch out on that fee and ghost me after all you’ve said she’s done already.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:49 PM
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Why did you open the door?
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2018, 03:55 AM
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Why did you open the door?
This! I would of ignored her until her contracted time.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2018, 04:17 AM
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Between that and the previous issues I would let DCM know that she's ran out of chances with you. It might be the "lightbulb moment" that she needs to treat you professionally. If late payment, late pickup, or early drop off happens again she needs to find other care.
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2018, 04:46 AM
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If she's new to the country, maybe she just has no clue?? No excuse really if she's read the policies. I think I'd suggest a sit-down conversation with her just so she's perfectly clear on everything?
And if you hadn't charged her the early fee, she'd just keep playing by HER needs and rules.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2018, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storybookending View Post
I don’t think you are wrong. I personally would not have even had my door unlocked or possibly not have even been up yet if someone came that much earlier than they were scheduled and 22 minutes before my first arrival.

How did she react? Are you expecting her to show up tomorrow? I would worry she would ditch out on that fee and ghost me after all you’ve said she’s done already.
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Why did you open the door?
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Originally Posted by amberrose3dg View Post
This! I would of ignored her until her contracted time.
You know, I guess I didn't really know what else to do. I felt like I had to. I have a hard time turning people away when I know they're counting on me, but maybe that's what I should have done.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2018, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storybookending View Post
I don’t think you are wrong. I personally would not have even had my door unlocked or possibly not have even been up yet if someone came that much earlier than they were scheduled and 22 minutes before my first arrival.

How did she react? Are you expecting her to show up tomorrow? I would worry she would ditch out on that fee and ghost me after all you’ve said she’s done already.
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If she's new to the country, maybe she just has no clue?? No excuse really if she's read the policies. I think I'd suggest a sit-down conversation with her just so she's perfectly clear on everything?
And if you hadn't charged her the early fee, she'd just keep playing by HER needs and rules.
She hasn't responded yet.
I think I should schedule a time to meet and remind her of the policies. That's a great idea. I should probably have my husband around for that one
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2018, 05:58 AM
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Sometimes you just have enough you know? People are so rude. That is a huge difference in drop off time. What did you say to her when you opened the door? Does she know that you're charging her that?
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  #11  
Old 11-06-2018, 06:43 AM
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Not wrong at all. Other businesses would not open their doors early and you did.

With her circumstances, are there resources you can point her towards to help her? I had one mom who moved across the country with 2 kids plus 1 new infant to try to make it work with new baby's dad. She had no job and was in a hotel. I helped her find the right resources (state daycare scholarships etc) and she is heading in the right direction now.
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2018, 07:20 AM
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I think you done what you should have. I charged a $66 late fee last week. I charge $10 the first minute per child and and $1 a minute per child after that. Made them pay before leaving the two kids the next morning. This was after the 9.5 hours they are allowed; it wasn't even my closing time yet but their hours were up. We are a business!
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2018, 07:36 AM
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Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Enforcing your policies is always the way to go. Why else have them? If your contract says early arrival is $1 per minute, then she should have expected the charge. If your contract says you open at 7, you are on the hook.

Has she arrived today?
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  #14  
Old 11-06-2018, 08:19 AM
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May I ask what was her "perfectly good reason" for showing up early?

...and what was her perfectly good reason for not texting/calling and seeing if it was okay?

She is using you.
She is taking advantage of you.
She is disrespecting you.
She is being very rude to you.
She is disregarding your program policies
She is testing you
She is not listening to you
She is being the boss of you.


and YOU feel bad???


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  #15  
Old 11-06-2018, 08:29 AM
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So I texted her this morning around 6:30 to ask when she was coming even though she should have told me last night. At 6:56 she says 7.
I ask if she got my email and she says no.

Sure enough she pulls up at 7 something but I left all the lights off and had my door locked. I think she read the email I sent about her early fee in her car and then knocked on the door at 7:15. So I'm in my dark kitchen hearing her knock on the door wondering if I should answer or not. I need to turn on my lights and get started with my day, but here I am doing meal prep by freakin candlelight like a fugitive in my own house.

This is ridiculous. I let her in. She was obviously perturbed about being late for work. She was impatient to get her kid in the door and said "I guess I'll pay the fee. It's expensive, but I have to go to work."

I don't know.

I guess she's paying the early fee. I'm going to have a meeting with her and figure out some resources that might help her as some previous posters have said. She needs help, but not at the expense of my peace of mind. I'm so stressed out about her! I want to help her, but I don't want to be taken advantage of.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGM View Post
So I texted her this morning around 6:30 to ask when she was coming even though she should have told me last night. At 6:56 she says 7.
I ask if she got my email and she says no.

Sure enough she pulls up at 7 something but I left all the lights off and had my door locked. I think she read the email I sent about her early fee in her car and then knocked on the door at 7:15. So I'm in my dark kitchen hearing her knock on the door wondering if I should answer or not. I need to turn on my lights and get started with my day, but here I am doing meal prep by freakin candlelight like a fugitive in my own house.

This is ridiculous. I let her in. She was obviously perturbed about being late for work. She was impatient to get her kid in the door and said "I guess I'll pay the fee. It's expensive, but I have to go to work."

I don't know.

I guess she's paying the early fee. I'm going to have a meeting with her and figure out some resources that might help her as some previous posters have said. She needs help, but not at the expense of my peace of mind. I'm so stressed out about her! I want to help her, but I don't want to be taken advantage of.
I guess I don't really understand. Why would she contract for 8:30, if she needs to be to work so much earlier? And why would she pay $80+ dollars for that when she could just change her contracted hours and pay a higher weekly fee? Does she understand those are her contracted hours and changing them is an option versus paying fees? Like, instead of 8:30-5:30, she could do 7:00-4 for XX amount? I would definitely talk to her about the situation. It seems like there could be an easy fix, but some clarification is most likely needed. In the meantime, enjoy your late fee money and go buy something nice!
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  #17  
Old 11-06-2018, 09:31 AM
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Clearly, your hours don't work for her. A face to face conference to discuss this issue needs to happen today. Face to face. No hiding in the kitchen.

Are you willing to open at 7? If no, then this needs to be her last week.
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:14 AM
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Of course you're not a monster

I do think can be solved with a face to face detailed discussion of her issues and how they can be solved going forward. Since she is new to this country I would do her the courtesy of spelling everything out so clearly that there can be no doubt about what you expect, and implement a one strike and you're out policy.
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  #19  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:15 AM
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I suggested she schedule her time at 7 every day, but she went with 8:30.

No more hiding in the kitchen is right.
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2018, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyneedsadayoff View Post
I guess I don't really understand. Why would she contract for 8:30, if she needs to be to work so much earlier? And why would she pay $80+ dollars for that when she could just change her contracted hours and pay a higher weekly fee? Does she understand those are her contracted hours and changing them is an option versus paying fees? Like, instead of 8:30-5:30, she could do 7:00-4 for XX amount? I would definitely talk to her about the situation. It seems like there could be an easy fix, but some clarification is most likely needed. In the meantime, enjoy your late fee money and go buy something nice!
Exactly what I was thinking!
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  #21  
Old 11-06-2018, 11:05 AM
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I suggested she schedule her time at 7 every day, but she went with 8:30.

No more hiding in the kitchen is right.
Conflict gets easier. Some say it gets easier with age but I think it is desensitization to it over time. The sooner you start, the quicker it happens. You got this.
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  #22  
Old 11-06-2018, 11:15 AM
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Conflict gets easier. Some say it gets easier with age but I think it is desensitization to it over time. The sooner you start, the quicker it happens. You got this.
Yep that being the key word.....as I am preparing contracts for renewal in the next week to get them complete before the holidays; I have added a raise, a couple extra closings, and "it is my business" so I CAN do that. Not being heartless, just past the "freaking out over the repercussions"; they can take it or leave it and I can move on....no worries!
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  #23  
Old 11-06-2018, 08:23 PM
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I don't have any solutions but you're not a monster. I'm trying to imagine how I'd react if my work showed up at my home an hour and a half early and told me it was time to start working, preferably unpaid. 🤪 nope.
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