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late collection - what to do


waveawand
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Hiya one and all, firstly Happy Xmas to you all, its been a while I know - lots going on with famil( my dad died in Aug and hubbynot dealing with stress issues ) but thankfully boys are still having a great time at the new school and daughter settling in after initial regression to year 7 at alast.

 

Its my new mindee's that are causing a little concern. First time parents which is fine, lo is gorgeous - just turned one !

Problem is after turning up consistently late ie after 6.00pm i have added an additional charge of £5 per part or all of that hr after contracted time. I have extend the contract to be till 6,30 which they pay for ie £5- Now I feel that they turn up late regardless because they are already paying for it whether its five mins or twenty.

Its a start of a new year and I dont want to be working after six if I can help it. they finish work ( if they leave on time) at 5pm which is ample time to get from work to me. The thing is they dont seem to mind anymore turning up late, they have managed once to arrive at 5.55 for collection. i would like some advice on how to word a letter/email to them as they are due back at work next week and I want to get this sorted. they at the moment pay me that overlap in advance each week to cover themselves. What I want to do is remove the charge and charge them £5 for every 15mins over - which they will have to pay in cash on collection. does this seem fair to you and how would you word the change? they dont seem understand the impact it has on me and the family, its a long day for me and want to be done by 6.00pm ( as you know I have four kids and hubby arrives home at around 6pm too).

Im not interested in the money - I just want them to pick up on time and it seems the only thing that will make them do this is to penalise them for late collection.

 

Your thoughts and suggestions please. Will have to email them as they drop off at 08.00 on 2nd Jan and I want them to be aware before we start into the new year.

thanks in advance

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It is going to be a bit hard for you to rein this in as you have extended the contract, and have acknowledged this by charging them. You will need to be very firm - refer them back to the original agreement, with the 6pm finish, explain the impact that their lateness is having on you and your family, check that nothing has changed with their work hours, and stress that the pick-up will have to be 6pm from the New Year, with no flexibility, and if they are ( occasionally) going to be late you will be invoicing under the new terms but they need to notify you in advance of the pick up time so you can sort your other commitments (i.e. your family) you may have to add that if they cannot - or are unwilling to comply with this you may have to reconsider the minding arrangement.

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good advice.. many places charge as you say a set amount per 15 mins.. ours was £5.00 but we upped it to £10.00 when we has some taking advantage!

 

perhaps you could also say that you have tried to be accommodating and had a trial of extended hours but it is not working for you and your family so need to revert to the original contract ..6pm pick up and if they are late new charges will apply.. you could add that if they cannot manage that then maybe they need to find someone who could . maybe something about routine to benefit the child as they are growing they will benefit from a stable routine and late collection has an impact on night time routine and could give more issues as they become older with sleep patterns.. I am sure you get the drift..

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The above advice is all great and exactly what I would say too - in addition, are there any insurance issues that come into play after 6pm? I'm sure you've already considered this but when I had my nursery, I stressed to late collectors that I wasn't insured to look after their children after 6pm and that it left both me and them in a tricky situation. If the problem continues, maybe you need to revise the late collection charges to per FIVE minutes instead of 15.

 

However, at the end of the day, you want to establish and maintain a mutually respective relationship, where all parties abide by their side of the agreement and you don't have to issue any kind of threat,even if only a monetary one. It's very hard to keep a "business" head when you have the interests of the child at the heart of your business, but you really need to make sure that all your relationships with your customers are based on respect and honesty. I would suggest that you ask for a meeting with them during the first week back, explain and discuss the issues openly and agree a solution, with agreement with what will happen if the problem isn't resolved within an agreed timescale. If that solution is that you won't mind their children anymore then you shouldn't feel guilty about that. You have done your best and at the end of the day, YOUR life and family must come first.

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thanks so much for all your helpful comments. Will request we return to original contracted times and charge for any time over that £2 per ten mins which is a real bargain i know - but hopefully they will get the hint that one of them just needs to leave on time from work !! :)

Hi waveawand - great advise there - nothing to add really.......just wanted to say that I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your dad.......

 

Take care x

thanks sunnyday, it was a tough few months impacting everyone ( especially my eldest two love them) you never forget them and there are reminders everywhere as he enjoyed so many simple things ! XX so glad he is no longer suffering, that was defo the hardest part,

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thanks so much for all your helpful comments. Will request we return to original contracted times and charge for any time over that £2 per ten mins which is a real bargain i know - but hopefully they will get the hint that one of them just needs to leave on time from work !! :)

 

,

after thought.. never take any money in advance for late collection.... ensure they pay on collection instead.. may make them think harder about getting to you on time... it loses the I have paid so not a worry element..

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Hi,not to be a pain, just been reading through this. If you really need them to collect by 6, be careful that they are not just going to think , oh well, til 6.30 has only gone up a pound...They may just carry on taking advantage. I think you need to be firmer re.what you are able to offer, I'm sure you don't want to lose them but you need to talk to them so that it doesn't become a stressful situation over time. If they really need til 6.30 or later every night,they may need to look at different options or you may need to reconsider whether you can accommodate this.

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