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Late Collection Charges


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I need to let off some steam after having a run in with a parent who collected her child late from pre-school yesterday. This particular parent is notorious for being late to collect and I have had words with her in the past about trying to send her 15 year old daughter to collect (we have a strictly no under 18s policy on collections).

 

Anyway, she arrived 10mins late yesterday and like any other parent, I gave her a late charge slip witht he collection time and her total charge. Now we are very generous with our late fees as I know others charge a lot more (£3.00 for 15mins). However, her (rather rude) reply to me was that she was not going to pay it because she can't help that the bus was late. I explained to her that unfortunately she would have to pay this fee as my staff are not paid beyond 3pm and I have to keep two staff with her child. She said to me "well get used to it coz it will be happening every day now" (my face must have been a picture) However, I calmy replied that if the bus timetables were proving difficult to correspond with collection times, I could always change her child's sessions to mornings to accomodate. She didn't seem too impressed that I had an answer for her every excuse but my question is what can I do if she refuses to pay the late charges? I know it's only £3.00 but it's the principle of it that bothers me. I may have been more inclined to compromise with her had she not been so abusive to me. Although, when she told me she doesn't have any money on her, I did suggest payment by installments if that made it easier. I even checked the bus timetables myself yesterday and there are definately buses that will get her to preschool on time so I have printed them off for her if she comes back at me.

 

Any advice from others who have had similar experiences will be greatly appreciated.

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Didn't want to 'read and run'.........sounds like you handled the situation as well as anyone possibly could - how very rude of her to speak to you like that :o

 

I have never been a great 'fan' of 'late fee payments' - I would rather work on a 'this can't happen' basis, as I know that some of my parents would feel that this somehow provides an 'option' to be late :blink: xD

 

Great idea to print off a timetable for her!!! :1b

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Didn't want to 'read and run'.........sounds like you handled the situation as well as anyone possibly could - how very rude of her to speak to you like that :o

 

I have never been a great 'fan' of 'late fee payments' - I would rather work on a 'this can't happen' basis, as I know that some of my parents would feel that this somehow provides an 'option' to be late :blink: xD

 

Great idea to print off a timetable for her!!! :1b

 

I am very much of the same opinion as you Sunnyday. When I do my welcome visits with parents, I emphasise and emphasise that this is not to be used as an option as I feel that it tells them it is ok to be late. This parent is definately of the opinion that its her right to be late and that the bus timetable is my problem!! I have even gone as far as speaking to other parents who use bus trasnport to inform them that the timetables have been changed so could they check the new times correpsond with collection times.

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crumbs tinkerbell i could have written this yesterday, we introduced a late charge because the same few parents kept arriving late ...which was then everyone elses fault but their own, re-occuring one yesterday refused to sign our late collection book..telling me (again) that she was here .........she seems to think being anywhere on the main school premises rather than at the door to collect her child is 'here', we often also have her child and the one she looks after sat in the cloakroom in the morning for 10 mins before she finally strolls in with their bags as shes in the playground chatting, when i said the other morning it was a security concern as they then try to leave to find her and their things, she replied "i didnt even know they were already there" grrrrrrrrrrrrr where the hell does she think they are....and would you admit it ???

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Guest Spiral

We charge £15 for 15 mins. After all I have to cover two staff being paid extra to stay behind.

 

Some people argue itr out or get nasty, but they would be charged at a nursery too.

 

Well done Tinkerbell :-)

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crumbs tinkerbell i could have written this yesterday, we introduced a late charge because the same few parents kept arriving late ...which was then everyone elses fault but their own, re-occuring one yesterday refused to sign our late collection book..telling me (again) that she was here .........she seems to think being anywhere on the main school premises rather than at the door to collect her child is 'here', we often also have her child and the one she looks after sat in the cloakroom in the morning for 10 mins before she finally strolls in with their bags as shes in the playground chatting, when i said the other morning it was a security concern as they then try to leave to find her and their things, she replied "i didnt even know they were already there" grrrrrrrrrrrrr where the hell does she think they are....and would you admit it ???

 

Oh gosh Mouse63, we could be talking about the same parent!!!! My deputy had a run in with her a couple of weeks ago because we wouldn't walk him out to the bus that had pulled up outside the bus stop in front of our pre-school. What on earth does she think we are providing here?!!!!

 

It's so frustrating that there is always one that causes us grief. There was another parent who came at the same time, took her late charge slip and went no problems whatsoever

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I suppose the hefty late charges are to act as a deterrent so parents don't just think 'if I pay another £3, he can stay late'. We have late charges in our terms and conditions but I've never enforced them. Its a really tricky one and I don't have the answer.

 

On a similar note, I had a parent yesterday who owes a huge amount in unpaid fees tell me I should "consider myself lucky as I have been putting money in your pocket for years." I pointed out that the money had not gone in my pocket and that she was paying for a service we provide, without which she couldn't work. Funnily enough she didn't see it like that...

 

I hope you get things resolved with your difficult parent.

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I always feel that not only are the staff having to stay late but our insurance stops at the time we are supposed to close. So if anyone is there after that they are uninsured which is a scary thought.

I agree the it just can't happen but do charge a late fee which does seem to deter people repeat offending, although, somehow it is always unique circumstances for them!

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We don't charge parents who are late at all ( maintained nursery)and some see it as an option. One was 50 minutes late altogether over 3 days after Easter, blaming road works. Like everyone else, we have to have 2 staff there til the parent comes so it's a bit of a problem, but not sure we'd be allowed to charge for being late!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have late charges and do impose them but they are too cheap at the moment so there are a few who do as you said and just pitch up late. But it does deter most of them. I am putting them up in September to £3.00 every 15 minutes. I did have much higher fines of £10.00 every 15 when we were closed and a lower rate when we were open but no-one apart from me would actually ask for the money so it became a bit difficult - I wasn't available every time.

 

I have had the bus excuse, the car excuse, the 'I fell asleep' excuse and even the 'I forgot to come and fetch her' excuse. It's outrageous as far as I'm concerned and in terms of the transport ones, we are in a city with loads of different nurseries so they shouldn't choose one which is a bus/car ride away if they can't get to us on time!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Think you need to change your policy.

 

Our states that failure to pay fees/fines may result in their child loosing their place.

 

If yours says this call her bluff and send her a letter stating that unless fines/fees are paid by x date then you are withdrawing her child's place from that date too

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You are a business, you need to be tough regarding fees of any sort. Stick to your policies, be prepared to change them when needed and stand firm unless you are given a good reason. Pay up or get out (obviously you can word it nicely ;-))

Edited by Rea
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  • 3 weeks later...

back to this again...have jsut sent out a news letter to sept returners, reminding them that we have a late collection charge, one (habitually late parent) has come in ranting that we cant do that its illegal ? i fully realise that like notice periods if they choose not to pay up theres prob not much can be done about it, but just wanted to know about the 'legality' of it, cant find any info one way or another, (found this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/nov/22/nurseries-fine-parents-late-collection makes mine look quite reasonable ) thanks

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Cannot see that it could be illegal.

 

I am assuming It is part of the terms and conditions of using the setting.. in policies and they are informed of this when starting .. and given a chance to read have policies where it will be found.. you are only following these.. If it was a hidden cost then that may be different but you are upfront and they are told in advance...

 

It costs every time someone is late.. maybe she would prefer to pay the actual cost of the time.. 2 staff wages and all other costs incurred..

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Thanks for adding that mouse! :1b Illegal my eye :o

 

I think I said somewhere earlier in this thread that I don't levy a charge..........guess what's just happened - a phone call "I'm going to be about 10 -15 minutes late, a delivery has just turned up" :( this from a mum whose daughter is enjoying a free of charge extra morning with us - OK so someone else funded is on hols - not the point........so my reply.........."oh right I will have to tie her to the fence outside then as I can't be late leaving today" - this was said with a laugh in my voice :D but hey she soon found someone to collect her!!! xDxDxD

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thanks for replies, we have a policy for 'late collection', parents are made aware as they join, it states we have one in the prospectus and where they can find it, its available to view on website so no one can say they arent aware of it, think i'll show her the article from link :)

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Nothing illegal about late charges as long as you apply them according to your policy. If children are funded then once they are "outside" your funded hours period you can charge what you like. We have some outrageous additional charges that are deliberately outrageous to put people off taking the ***** xDxD

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i dont do late collection charges (have 2 who are always late...but i know why and accept this) but i do give my lecture to those who do not turn up on time. Parking is an issue around us...so sometimes there is an excuse having no policy gives me the opportunity to chose whether to tell them off or not!!!! :oxD

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