Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Late pick up fine


TORO
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dear all,

I have certain parents that pick their children up late, 10 mins sometimes 30 mins, usual excuse traffic, runs into the nursery breathless panting, next minute, they are ok, chatting away. We charge them, give them invoice, but they don't pay, staff are now rightly getting annoyed.

 

we are open from 8-6pm, we tried to extend the hours, but staffing wise it proved difficult and not all parents stayed till 6:30 normally left with just 1/2 children. The help i want now is how can i word a letter/note to parents politely via our newsletter/memo stating that it will not be tolerated and unfair to staff, and fines to be paid promptly

 

I have to admit we are struggling with numbers (children) and i don't want to chase them to other nurseries that now open till 7:30, gosh don't know how you can leave a child from 7 to 7:30 anyway that is another topic.

 

Please just need help with the write up, have an idea, but need more input

 

Thanks all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you considered charging them a ridiculously high hourly rate for that care rather than a 'fine'?

It might open you up to parents thinking that care is available at that time at the very high rate so you'd need to be clear about it but parents may be more likely to pay for 'care' than a 'fine'.

I once changed a parent's attitude by having her son standing outside in the freezing cold on my drive with my children in the car because she'd made me late by being late again. Her son complained at her as I opened her car door and put him in without a word.

He did have a coat on so wasn't suffering but would much rather have been in the warm playing with toys while we waited for her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read an article about this - someone did some research into parental attitudes towards fines for late collection. Parents just accepted it as part of the weekly childcare fees, so it didn't actually change behaviour.

Although this isn't the case here, if parents aren't even paying the fines. :o

Is there scope to include the number of extra minutes in the amount of childcare they actually pay for? So you'd add up all the minutes of unpaid for childcare that you offer when they are late each week, and then once they hit the magical number of unpaid for childcare you could just tell them they can't bring their child in for one session next week unless they pay up front?

Ultimately there is very little you can do to make them pay if they absolutely refuse, other than refusing to accept their child until all outstanding debts are paid, or taking them to the small claims court. Any kind of action will be difficult though if they can just hold the fact that they might withdraw their child over your head. :(

Have you talked to your Local Authority about what options you have? They have a vested interest in ensuring childcare providers are profitable and so should be able to offer you sound business advice about how to proceed.

Good luck - if only we didn't have to worry about money, eh?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, they won't pay and then have the neck to keep you late?? How about you not opening the door to them for, say 10 minutes first thing in the morning when they arrive?? Tell them they might just realise how YOU feel at being kept waiting??

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply,

 

We do have after hours charge, but they will not pay just shrug off and say i cant afford to pay, cant help it if there is traffic :(

People's attitude to childcare amazes me at times.

 

Would they take extra groceries in Tesco then refuse to pay more because they can't afford it? I doubt it so why is it OK to just take extra childcare time without paying for it?

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would they take extra groceries in Tesco then refuse to pay more because they can't afford it? I doubt it so why is it OK to just take extra childcare time without paying for it?

 

Because they know that they're likely to get away with it, whereas if they did the same at Tesco they'd be prosecuted. :(

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This makes me so cross....these people are rude and disrespectful to you and your team!!!!

I think it is time to be tough....don't open the door even one minute before 9am and at the end of the day get them all in their coats etc and stand outside with them in the cold if necessary....you shut at 5pm so you shut the door and wait outside with them and see if anyone dares to object!

Traffic....what a pathetic excuse....people who make a journey regularly know how long that journey takes and when to allow extra time because dependant on the time of day traffic might be heavier.....the problem is not traffic it is their bad organisation and thoughtlessness :angry: :angry:

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok my two penneth worth (for what its worth! :P )

I do not believe in late fees...IMO i think Maz id correct that it alllows people to be given permission to be late (like when you're allowed sick days people always seem to take them!) I think i would go with the making them feel guilty brigade. Turn off the lights get the children sitting (bored) by the front door tell them you are now VERY late for your appointment at school/dentist /doctors etc etc....pull on the heart strings :blink: :ph34r:;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gabysagal

Could go down the really nasty, heavy route and talk about safeguarding etc. I heard of a situation many many years ago, when the caretaker took children who were persistently left late to the local police station. They learned very quickly to come on time!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to the above suggestions I'm wondering if you could also highlight that your Insurance is invalid after a certain time. Does your insurance cover you for time, over your opening hours? Maybe worth checking terms and conditions of your insurance and using this reason to highlight clearly to parents that you are not insured after 6pm?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have "palatable" late fees - instead I have exorbitant late CHARGES which are meant to act as a deterrent for those "abusing" our opening hours (not those who have the odd one off genuine instance where circumstances make them late I hasten to add).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a similar policy to Sue - really steep charges in order to deter late pick ups. We are flexible if there are genuine traffic or other problems and parents let us know, but very quick to invoice for those who are taking liberties and don't call. For parents where it starts to become a regular 5 minutes late every few days, I speak to them and explain that as of the following Monday they will get a late charge every day they are late, even if it is only five minutes, and that soon seems to sort them out. If parents don't pay late charges, I give them a few days warning and say they can't bring their child in after this date if they haven't paid.

I also use the "not insured" tactic to re-inforce pick up times - and also drop offs as we have some parents who try to sneak in before 7.30am! I always make a point of saying that they are very early and make the parent wait in the car or stay in the hallway with the child until opening time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a mix of all of the above

We had a parent complain to Ofsted about us asking her to be on time and not be late as she arrived 40 mins late and into the second session of the day.. hence making us over ratio ... she then claimed she had been outside for 30 mins unable to get in! This is despite parents seeing her pull into the car park as they left after leaving children for the second session... triggered all sorts of checks and a complaint against me.. all unfounded but what a issue because she was in the wrong and would not accept it!

From then on we had a late collection form.. more paperwork but it was to cover us.. had details on what happened , date etc, and what we did detailing phone calls after 5 mins late number we used, who we spoke to etc.. all came into a late collection policy that we had but gave a paper trail on what we did.. parents had to sign one every time they were late collecting.. and it detailed the cost to us and the charge to pay.. charge was waived first time only..unless it was a genuine problem and was at our discretion. made them think about what they were doing and how often they were late if they had to sign to say they had been late and we had a spot on the form for them to say why!

I also did the put coat on, sit in dark waiting or outside the door.. all locked up as we had to some days when hall was used after us.. and the comment that I was now late for my own child who was stood waiting unsupervised.. or missed appointment...etc.

Some parents just dont get it... Once I git tough on them all word 'got out' and we seldom had someone collecting late and when they were they rang to let us know.

My thought are also how long before you begin to think of it as an uncollected child.. rather than a late collection? Maybe parents need reminding on what could happen if the child was deemed as uncollected and what you have to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Extract from Uncollected Child Policy

 

"If a child is not collected at their expected collection time, we follow the procedures below:
- The day book and the child’s file is checked for any information about changes to the normal collection routines.
- If no information is available, parents/carers are contacted at home or at work.
- If this is unsuccessful, the adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child - and whose telephone numbers are recorded on the Admissions Contract - are contacted.
- All reasonable attempts are made to contact the parents or nominated carers.
- The child does not leave the premises with anyone other than those named on the Admissions Contract or in the day book or their file.
- If no-one collects the child within half an hour of their expected collection time and there is no-one who can be contacted to collect the child, we apply the procedures for uncollected children.
Our next step would then be to contact Children's Social Care
Link to comment
Share on other sites

im afraid i have been told that social services would not get involved in these cases...they advised me that i should contact the police as it would be classed as abandonment and the police would co-ordinate in this case. I have now changed my policies accordingly. We had a long discussion about this at our last designated person training!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)