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  #1  
Old 10-13-2016, 10:52 AM
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Default Late Pick Up - How Do I Address It Now?

I'll be the first to admit I am so bad at confrontations. Usually I can just give reminders to my policies and solve most issues without major confrontation.

But I have a mom who has started running late each afternoon. She came in with an excuse the first day or two and I thought we came to an agreement to help "solve" her issue but then yesterday she wasn't even working and was still late. I didn't address it much yesterday as I really needed to get out the door and this morning I was going to say something (but didn't know what) but she came in right with another parent so I felt I couldn't say anything in front of the other parent.

I need a way to bring it up now. How do I approach it especially if she is on time today? I have been lenient with late fees, I basically never charge them bc no one is ever more than a minute or two late but her late fees for this week would be almost $20 ($1/minute).
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:17 AM
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I would email her right now.

"DCM,

Last night you were x minutes late. The fee will be x amount which will be due at pick up this evening. Failure to pay the fee will result in care not being available tomorrow. Please note my closing time is x and I am unable to accommodate late pick ups.

Thank you for your understanding

Sincerely,

Happy Provider"

If she questions it you can always say "I had an appointment last night that I was running late for because you were late, so I didn't have time. You are aware of the policy as we've already gone over it. If you can't make my closing time then you need to find a day care with later hours."

Yes, it's nice to do it face to face, but this way you can think about what to say out of the heat of the moment.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:26 AM
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There are days where I have another child here beyond her contracted times so it technically isn't my closing time.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
There are days where I have another child here beyond her contracted times so it technically isn't my closing time.
This was one of the reasons I couldn't make contracted times work. Parents just never understood why they were "late" if Sally was still here. And it didn't matter how many times I explained it. For me, it was much easier to have a set closing time.
But if you are closed for HER at x time, and she's agreed to it then you need to charge.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
There are days where I have another child here beyond her contracted times so it technically isn't my closing time.
I always explained to parents that it didn't matter if other children are here or not as each individual family has individual needs.

If you don't use contracted times how is she late if she is still arriving before you close?
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:38 AM
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I always explained to parents that it didn't matter if other children are here or not as each individual family has individual needs.

If you don't use contracted times how is she late if she is still arriving before you close?
I do use contracted times, her contracted time is 4:30, but another girl is here till 5pm. So technically I am not "closed" at 4:30 but she is late. So I can't always use the "I have somewhere to be" excuse and I don't even want to use that because sometimes now she even asks me if I have to be somewhere. Whether I do or not doesn't matter, she needs to pick up by 4:30 or pay extra. I just don't know how to start the conversation really.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:41 AM
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I use contracted times with the amendment, "It's fine if your late, you will pay the amount in overage charges on your next bill."

I charge by pickup times and use a really general structure:

Pickup before 4 is xx
Pickup before 5 is xx
Pickup by 5:30 is xx

It doesn't bother me is parents are late, because they automatically are charged a fee. If dcb stays for another 5 minutes, and it's past 4, parents pay an extra $5. But they could also stay the whole hour.

Now, if parents show up after 5:30, late charges are STEEP.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:47 AM
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I'm probably not the best at this and I don't have too much trouble with parents being late. But what I have done in the past is just hand them a short note that just says Late fee of $XX from XX/XX/XX (and list the dates).

Short, straight to the point, and no explanation or confrontation needed (usually). I used to hand out paper daily reports and would put a sticky note right on top or write it under the "don't forget" section.

I've never had a problem getting paid after that. Either they pay it right away or tack it onto their regular payment, which is fine by me as long as it is a small amount.

If it is happening a lot, you could ask if they want to extend their contracted time, so that they don't incur any late fees.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
I do use contracted times, her contracted time is 4:30, but another girl is here till 5pm. So technically I am not "closed" at 4:30 but she is late. So I can't always use the "I have somewhere to be" excuse and I don't even want to use that because sometimes now she even asks me if I have to be somewhere. Whether I do or not doesn't matter, she needs to pick up by 4:30 or pay extra. I just don't know how to start the conversation really.
That is what I would say. "Dcm, your contracted pick up time is 4:30 and you were late again yesterday. The fee is XX and is due at drop off tomorrow. If you need to change your pick up time to 5, your new rate will be XX and I will have you sign the new contract tomorrow. The late fee is due regardless, so lmk what you would like to do."
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:52 AM
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I would say that her rate is based on the times that were agreed upon in her contract. If she is going to be past that time she needs to pay the appropriate amount for the extra time used.

I see it as an issue regarding not being paid adequately for the time given.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
I would email her right now.

"DCM,

Last night you were x minutes late. The fee will be x amount which will be due at pick up this evening. Failure to pay the fee will result in care not being available tomorrow. Please note my closing time is x and I am unable to accommodate late pick ups.

Thank you for your understanding

Sincerely,

Happy Provider"

If she questions it you can always say "I had an appointment last night that I was running late for because you were late, so I didn't have time. You are aware of the policy as we've already gone over it. If you can't make my closing time then you need to find a day care with later hours."

Yes, it's nice to do it face to face, but this way you can think about what to say out of the heat of the moment.

I would send this but without saying your closing time. Simply state you were x number of minutes late, and she owes it at pick up. If she asks why you didn't mention it at pick up last night, tell her you thought she was aware of your policy and was surprised she didn't bring the money this morning at drop off.
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2016, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
I would email her right now.

"DCM,

Last night you were x minutes late. The fee will be x amount which will be due at pick up this evening. Failure to pay the fee will result in care not being available tomorrow. Please note my closing time is x and I am unable to accommodate late pick ups.

Thank you for your understanding

Sincerely,

Happy Provider"

If she questions it you can always say "I had an appointment last night that I was running late for because you were late, so I didn't have time. You are aware of the policy as we've already gone over it. If you can't make my closing time then you need to find a day care with later hours."

Yes, it's nice to do it face to face, but this way you can think about what to say out of the heat of the moment.
Yes, absolutely.

Also, I've had parents get charged $1/minute per CHILD and be 20 minutes late before ($40) in one day so that amount for the week and multiple times late isn't bad at all. Don't feel guilty for charging them a late fee that is discussed in the Parent Handbook. They should feel bad for BEING late. If they don't want the late fee then don't be late.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyneedsadayoff View Post
That is what I would say. "Dcm, your contracted pick up time is 4:30 and you were late again yesterday. The fee is XX and is due at drop off tomorrow. If you need to change your pick up time to 5, your new rate will be XX and I will have you sign the new contract tomorrow. The late fee is due regardless, so lmk what you would like to do."
Great idea!
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  #14  
Old 10-13-2016, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
I would say that her rate is based on the times that were agreed upon in her contract. If she is going to be past that time she needs to pay the appropriate amount for the extra time used.

I see it as an issue regarding not being paid adequately for the time given.

Yep. "Sally is here until 5pm, her parent's pay more for a later pick up time. You are only contracted until 4:30, so you are only charged until 4:30. If DCG is here after 4:30 you need to pay for the extended care. It is $1min, or we can discuss changing your contracted hours and tuition rate."
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2016, 10:32 PM
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I do contracted times and I get paid by the amount of hours used so if a parent goes over those hours they get charged.

I had this issues last year and after a week of constant pick ups at 5pm instead of the agreed upon 4:30pm I emailed the parent informing them that they have been consistantly late and whether or not they needed a new contracted time and what the rate for that new time would be. They ended up taking the new contracted time when I reminded them of what my late fees were. I didn't charge them the late fees as they were brand new to daycare and I didn't close until 5pm anyway but had this been a regular parent I would have charged them. It is funny because this same family now offers to pay late fees if they are running late.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:56 AM
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I switch to "babysitting rate" after the contracted hours. I do charge hourly for my clients, but my rate for that is low-ish, since it's for a big block of time for working families. But after that, my contract has that the rates jump waaaay up (like triple), along with late fees if necessary.

I just had a family ask for late pick up for a week (like 1.5 hours late for a week) and I said "Remember that I do charge the babysitting rate after xpm for your family."

The time is different for each family, but that's because their work schedules are different, and I plan my days based on who is here at what time. Schedule changes can be inconvenient for me, and the extra fees just compensate for the inconvenience.

It encourages families to prioritize time with their children. Some families seem to need a little encouragement with that.
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