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Charging For Late Pick Ups In Pvi Sector Preschool.


sam2368
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Hi

What do you all charge parents who pick up their children late?

From September we'll be running a lunch club and afternoon session which could potentially overlap & mess up ratios. I currently have at least 2 families who are repeatedly late, sometimes as much as 15 minutes, and whilst its inconvenient it doesn't mess up my day as i don't have anywhere i have to be at 12.15.

September will be a different story altogether.

We're trying to write a policy but are struggling to know what to charge, particularly to those who only have NEF & don't pay for anything else.

 

Thanks everyone

Sam

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We don't charge although we would make a fortune from some families if we did! We have been advised that if we wanted to offer more hours than were covered by NEF we should make the charge per hour proportionate to the NEF amount. That is not to say we can only charge the equivalent hourly amount of the NEF, just that we shouldn't charge ridiculous amounts like £10 per hour if funding is £2.50 an hour. I would think that if you used a similar figure for your out of hours/late charge that would be fair. I would also charge for every 15 mins or part of.

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we charge £5.00 per 15 mins.... seems a lot but it certainly stopped the late collections.

We have a form which they sign when they collect late which gives details of what time they should have been collected, what you did (any phone calls made to what number and time) what time they arrived to collect, any comments and a statement for them to sign with the amount owed stated for them to agree to make the payment at the next session the child attends. we alway give the first time as a warning and that the next time they will have to pay. we charge even if they call to tell us they will be late unless the reason is really good, being stuck in supermarket queue is not good enough!!

 

So far we have not had anyone refuse to pay, usually the warning is enough, and one parent who had a really good reason and we would not have charged her -paid when she collected.

 

we state is is for the additional childcare staff are not paid for that time, that we are in breach of our registration and could be closed, inconvenience to staff, our own children suffer and end up having to wait for us and any other reason we can give.

 

Long story but circumstances made us do this 2 years ago.

 

It is not just extra hours to pay for but could cause a problem with your registration.- we look at is a s a sort of fine!!

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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Guest Wolfie

We charged per 15 minutes and I think it was £5 for each. It does sound excessive but you need it to be an amount that is a real deterrent - the late collections could potentially mean you having to employ an extra member of staff for that extra time or otherwise affect your ratios.

 

From experience, it will only take one or two late collections when you stick to your guns and insist on the charge being paid - then you'll find that collections are a lot more prompt. It sounds harsh but you do need to cover yourselves and not be taken advantage of.

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Guest Wolfie

I'll just add that Inge and I do not work at the same setting...just posted at exactly the same time! :o

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We charge £1 per minute, they get 1 warning and only 1 then they are charged. It does work as the minutes can very quickly mount up!!

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Hi janny

 

Harsh but fair i think

 

Our charges is the same as most £5 for 15min but still parents are late - i feel they have more money than they know what to do with at times! :o

 

Claire

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Like the sound of Inge's idea of actually getting them to fill out a form and sign to say late collection. I must admit we do have a system in place for charging late collection but because myself and another member of staff are paid until 3.30 anyway I have been a bit generous and not charged anything......I get every annoyed though when we don't even get an apology and even more so when the parents don't even apologise to their own child.

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Although I suggested a lesser amount I can see how £5 per 15 minutes would be very useful as a deterrent. I am now wondering if we should introduce this at our setting. Mind you we would have to get our clock fixed first so it told the correct time!

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Hi,

 

Harsh..............maybe, Fair............maybe, does it work.............definintely!! If parents ring us to say they will be a few mins late then we don't charge, however, if it becomes a regular occurence then we do, and like I say we give them 1 and only 1 chance, we explain that next time they will be charged. Remember if the late child knocks ratios out then a member of staff has to stay, if its at the end of the day then 2 members of staff have to pay, and someone has to pay for their wages.why should the setting?! We do still get some parents who are late more than once, though not many!!!!!!!!!!1

 

Remember we are not a babysitting serivce!!!

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Although I suggested a lesser amount I can see how £5 per 15 minutes would be very useful as a deterrent. I am now wondering if we should introduce this at our setting. Mind you we would have to get our clock fixed first so it told the correct time!

 

 

we invested in a radiop controlled clock so parents could not argue about the time.. really works too... and it was all for a small investment of under £10. we found it in Lidl. just need ot keep an eye on their offers actually buy lots in there at a really good price..

 

Inge

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suppose in this case you would set the fee at an appropriate one to discourage your parents.. this will vary depending on your location and parents circumstances.. we find our fee in our location works. Plus the threat of having to close because of breach in registration but would increase or change it if needed

 

Inge

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My only concern would be that we have a few parents who would think 'Oh well, I am being charged for it I may as well get my moneies worth' :o

 

 

 

Hi Shiny, that's exactly why you need to make it a high charge to discourge parents from thinking like that. I truly have no qualms about charging, my girls work a long enough day as it is without parents taken advantage of them, and why should we as a setting foot the bill for the girls overtime?

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We charge the hourly rate for 2 members of staff - because that's what we have to have with the child. And since our sessions are currently £4.20 for 2½ hours and the hourly rate for 1 junior member of staff is £5.20, and at least 1 of the staff members staying will be a senior member... It adds up to a serious deterent!

 

But to be honest, though we do it in theory, our manager vary rarely enforces it. A parent would have to be more than 30 minutes late before she will tell them they have to pay.

 

The other thing we say we do - & this we do do, because we offer a lunch club, if a parent late with a reason eg college course on the other side on town that gets out the same time the morning session does, we'll remind them about the lunch club - we're never over numbers for that. We wouldn't offer it to someone late through what appears to be poor organistation on the parents part, as then they'd be late for pick up after that...

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We charge the hourly rate for 2 members of staff - because that's what we have to have with the child. And since our sessions are currently £4.20 for 2½ hours and the hourly rate for 1 junior member of staff is £5.20, and at least 1 of the staff members staying will be a senior member... It adds up to a serious deterent!

Is this junior member of staff a young person, Lyanne? I thought the minimum wage was more than £5.20 an hour... :o

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Is this junior member of staff a young person, Lyanne? I thought the minimum wage was more than £5.20 an hour... :o

 

Oops, I don't do wages! But yes, we do have a someone of 18 who's still qualifying so I could be thinking of her... or I could be thinking back to last time boss charged someone for late pick up.

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Guest Wolfie

Miminum wage for 18 year olds is £4.60 I think...just had to check it for my son who's got a pub job over the summer!

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We charge £2-50 for each or part 15 minutes the same as Inge but we dont haveany paper work to go with it.

We finish the afternoon session at 3-15 and they are not charged if they arrive before 3-30 we do get the odd parent arriving at 3-28 on a regulary, it always the same reason 'O sorryI was up the city and the bus was late'

 

Rosie

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I just had to join in!

 

My committee decided that we should charge a stiff amount after one family were consistently late and not bothered. The last time they were over 45 minutes late and I was calling Social Services as mum breezed in - she didn't even apologise or explain!

 

We found we had to pay the staff extra to stay to look after this little one and that they were furious as they couldn't either have their lunch break, pick their own children up from school or go to their other jobs.

 

Sometimes the next group would also be turning up to set up the hall for their dancing, so it really was tough.

 

Remembering that we would need a level 3 staff to stay and one other, we decided to charge £15.00 for 15 minutes in a block (so if you are 5 mins late you still pay £15.00)!

 

This is at my discretion as if a parent who is never late phones to say they are stuck in traffic or texts to say they aren't well and are asking for gran to come I'll let them off and remind them that there is a fee and it could be imposed next time - I always thank them for phoning/texting and remind them of how important this is.

 

It works. It has to and it helps that poor child who is feeling very strange as there are no other children and the staff are trying not to be concerned.

 

Of course, if there was a genuine incident and the child wasn't collected we would not impose the fine, but as there are now very few late occurrences, we can really tell if a child isn't picked up that there is something wrong and we prepare.

 

We added it to the parents policy booklet so they are all aware and popped it onto a newsletter too.

 

Hope this helps - incidentally, we were told that we could impose a fine of whatever we like as the sessional, funded time has been met and this is our time. We are in Kent (if that helps).

 

Good luck x

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After commenting on this thread over the last few days my manager and I are seriously considering bringing a late charge. I agree with the above post regarding the charging of funded children as I too have been told that charges can be made for time outside of the funded session. I just wonder how others make sure the parent pays up if a late charge occurs. If it was for a fee paying parent I could see that a place could be withheld if payment was not made but how do we stand for those who are fully funded?

 

We currently have two families who are consistently late. One is leaving this summer so will not be affected if we introduce the late charge which will take effect from September. However the parent is always ten to fifteen minutes late and when circumstances would make another parent ten minutes late, she adds this on again. Yesterday she breezed in 25 minutes late without an apology! As we had had a very crazy morning all the staff were effectively standing by the door with their coats on as she walked in, and still she didn't apologise. Half the staff left the building with her.

 

The other parent is also ten minutes late almost every day and her child is nearly always last to go (with the exception of the other family). This family will be with us in September and is part of the reason we are thinking of introducing the charge now. We stress to all our families the importance of collecting their child on tme so they don't think they have been left, and we do encourage the children waiting to help staff with some tidying up jobs so they don't fret, but we are starting to think we have been too lenient for too long.

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Once the committee decided it was fine for us to go ahead I produced a newsletter.

 

Within the newsletter I just stated;

 

Being Late: Our Opening times are;

9.15-11.45 or 12.15-2.45

 

As a result of frequent late collections, the committee made a decision to charge parents who are late to pick up their children: £15.00 for 15 minutes in blocks. If you are 5 minutes late, you will be charged £15.00. If you are late, we have a DUTY to inform Social Services and have them pick up your child as well as a legal entitlement to provide staff with a break without children on the premises as required by Ofsted.

If you are late, please call the mobile ...... ......

 

 

By doing this, we found that the parents really took on board how serious this really is. We didn't specify the time limit for us having to call social services/ofsted as this could leave the parents thinking oh, I still have 45 minutes until they call them!

 

It has really worked and all of our parents are now on time or only late by 2/3 mins.

 

Hope that helps x

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After commenting on this thread over the last few days my manager and I are seriously considering bringing a late charge. I agree with the above post regarding the charging of funded children as I too have been told that charges can be made for time outside of the funded session. I just wonder how others make sure the parent pays up if a late charge occurs. If it was for a fee paying parent I could see that a place could be withheld if payment was not made but how do we stand for those who are fully funded?

 

We currently have two families who are consistently late. One is leaving this summer so will not be affected if we introduce the late charge which will take effect from September. However the parent is always ten to fifteen minutes late and when circumstances would make another parent ten minutes late, she adds this on again. Yesterday she breezed in 25 minutes late without an apology! As we had had a very crazy morning all the staff were effectively standing by the door with their coats on as she walked in, and still she didn't apologise. Half the staff left the building with her.

 

The other parent is also ten minutes late almost every day and her child is nearly always last to go (with the exception of the other family). This family will be with us in September and is part of the reason we are thinking of introducing the charge now. We stress to all our families the importance of collecting their child on tme so they don't think they have been left, and we do encourage the children waiting to help staff with some tidying up jobs so they don't fret, but we are starting to think we have been too lenient for too long.

 

 

Firstly, I don't think it makes any difference whatsoever if the child is funded or not - though if anyone works in a setting that only takes funded children & only for their funded sessions so are not set up to take cash payments I can see it could be harder.

 

We are 'full day care' - this means we have our morning preschool session of 2½ hours, lunch club, afternoon session of 2½ hours. We take children for more than funded sessions, ie we have 1 child who does 3 days/6 sessions + lunch club, so the parent pays for 1 session & 3 lunch club sessions. So our parents know there are situations where funding isn't enough.

 

But at the end of the day, the funding is for up to 5 2½ hour sessions (unless you're doing 3 hours already) - it's not for 50 minutes after that or even 5 minutes!

 

Secondly, I find in general it is the fully funded parents who are worst for being late - it's as though they're thinking 'Oh, someone else pays for it, I'll make the most of it.'

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I agree,

 

the funded ones are the worst!

 

Just last week there was an event that the parents were taking their little ones off to see (in the school we are in).

 

One mum said, oh no, I'm not taking him, I know what I'm entitled to, I pay for it'!

 

 

Like heck, she doesn't work and she accesses five free sessions!

 

We have definitely found that the parents are behaving better now - and the key is to reinforce it everywhere - on notice boards, front doors and in newsletters! Make sure they get the message.

 

Good luck

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