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Early Arrivals


caffinefreak
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Am I being really petty or is it really frustrating when parents arrive 10 minutes before we open and have left the building before they should even have arrived?

We open at 8 am and we have a maximum of 2 children booked on permanent early starts, at 7.50 this morning there were 8 children (not including the 2 booked earlies!) in rooms whose parents had dropped off.

We have lots of staff arriving before 8 (as well as 2 early children) so locking the door would be a problem as it would mean I had to stand behind it to let each staff member in

I've sent letters out in the past but as usual it's the same families who continue to ignore them and drop off early.

Any suggestions for tactics that work? I'm interested to know if any of you charge in the situation, what the charge is and how you administer it? i think we are at a point of having to use the threat of a charge but I'm wondering if this is workable?

Or am I being petty? Arrrgghhhhh!! :rolleyes:

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Hi what do you charge for your two 7.50 starters. If parents are requiring it and more importantly you can staff it, perhaps there is a need. Obviously they would have to pay.

The worry is the 7.50 would then become 7.40 and so on.

Maybe a look at your start times by way of a questionnaire might be worth investigating too.:)

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I have had the same problem. Some parents pre-book to come in at 8.30.Thats not a problem but other parents now try to bring children in. I let parents in at 8.50 on condition that they collect 10 minutes earlier. This staggers the drop off and collections because we have 39 children at each session.If parents try to come in earlier I give them the choice of paying for the extra half hour and coming in at 8.30 or to come in at the correct times.

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We have this with breakfast club! Staff arrive at 7.30 and doors officially don't open until 7.45am but you can guarantee there is always someone wanting to come in before the start time.

Fortunately we have a door so I just don't go to it until 7.45 but on occasion the parents have come in with other school staff..... We then have to have the we are not covered by insurance until 7.45 chat!!

 

Nursery is the same. Official start 9am but because when the weathers bad we open a bit earlier then us taken for granted!!! So when we open ON TIME there are a few unhappy faces!!!

 

You can't win!

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You are not being in the slightest bit 'petty' 8am is 8am not 7:50..........

Not sure how you can round this if you have some that are booked in for 'early starts' - usually I would say 'tell them your insurance doesn't cover until 8am'.........

My parents/children can enter the building at whatever time they choose - i wouldn't want anyone standing out in rain/snow/howling winds - whatever.......but they can't enter our pre-school room until 9am - some have tried (usually dads :D ) and i just smile sweetly and say "sorry we are not open yet, a few more minutes and I will open the door to you" - have never had any sort of problem with that (touching wood now!)........

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no, not petty as the ones who are early are usually late at the other end (and when you add it all up...mmm!)

 

We have a clock at the entrance now as when I canvassed staff, all our watches said different times! Now we go by the 'nursery clock'. (for lunch breaks too!)

We also ask parents to wait with their child until start of session - this is usually the biggest thing that puts them off!

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I agree and don't think you're being petty, although some of the parents probably would!

We're lucky and are able to lock the door and only open it at 9am (unless parents have pre-arranged an early start in an emergency), although I did get slightly annoyed at the parent who arrived 5 minutes early one day last week and decided to bang on the window to attract our attention! He may have thought we were just having a nice chat but we were in fact discussing the plan of action for the day!

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Not petty and you are definitely not alone - we have the same problem - we open at 0800 - and those parents are fantastic - it's the children who are due to start at 0900 and come in at 0840 - I think they think that as we are already open they can just drop off when they like. I feel that I am being petty if I point it out to them as we are already there so it doesn't really make a difference but that really isn't the point. I also tend to find that the parents who take advantage are the ones who offer the least support at fundraisers etc

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You've convinced me not to have 2 different start times - something we were considering due to some of our very young 2yr olds really struggling with the full 3 hours.

We have an entrance hall which is open for parents to stand and wait in the warm and hang up coats etc but the inner door to our main hall is not opened until opening time - we make it quite clear that children are not allowed to be left in the entrance hall and as yet no one has ever left a child un-supervised.

We do however get it the other end we have 2 children who are consistently picked up between 15-30mins late EVERY day and it is driving us up the wall and as much as we have all spoken to the parents concerned they don't change their ways - we have considered having a late pick up fee but as a playgroup feel it's a bit extreme and also the children concerned are both funded and therefore don't have a fee slip :(

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Ooooo....I like the idea of a clock in the entrance ! That's such a good idea - as school drop off is 8.45 ( we are on school grounds) so parents wander over and look longingly through the window ! ( they were all asked if they wanted us to open earlier / close earlier - or pay for the extra 10 mins, no one wanted that !)

Those 10 mins must drag a bit, so a clock on 'preschool time' is fab - also good for late collections too

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We're a day nursery and its not the full daycare children we have problems with, it's the funded children - who try their best to sneak their children in before their funding starts, but it's the same ones that are late collecting too! We have the biggest problem at the lunchtime change over - I had a very disgruntled parent who tried to drop off their child at 12.25 for a 1pm session - she was amazed I told her to come back later! We have become very strict now and don't let them in before their times, if you give them five minutes today then they'll take ten tomorrow.

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We're a day nursery and its not the full daycare children we have problems with, it's the funded children - who try their best to sneak their children in before their funding starts, but it's the same ones that are late collecting too! We have the biggest problem at the lunchtime change over - I had a very disgruntled parent who tried to drop off their child at 12.25 for a 1pm session - she was amazed I told her to come back later! We have become very strict now and don't let them in before their times, if you give them five minutes today then they'll take ten tomorrow.

I am having this exact same problem with funded children arriving early for their 1pm session. No matter how many memos I send out to parents or polite reminders in person they continue to do it. It is very frustrating and makes this changeover period very hectic for both staff and children. They seem to be pushing it earlier and earlier. We had 3 of them arrive together last week at 12.45. Plus its not like they come a minute before 6pm to collect them. Grrr! I think I am going to have to start getting very strict and not let them in.

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We make them wait outside (we don't have room for them to wait inside) - they are now trying excuses to get in "he needs the toilet... Desperately" - the "I've got an appointment to get to" annoys me as they know their session doesn't start till 1pm so why make an appointment at 1?!

I always tell them that the 9o'clock staff haven't arrived yet and at lunchtime that the morning children need to go home before the afternoon children arrive, plus some staff are still having lunches at 12.45. It doesn't make much difference as they still try, but making them wait outside does work - at least it gives them time to check out their facebook whilst waiting!! (Either that or they're moaning about me on their status!!)

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I think you just have to start getting really strict on drop off and pick up times.

I am really mean and allow nobody to drop off early- if they need the toilet then we stand outside them until finished and very politely usher them back outside. I just say insurance doesnt allow us to take children earlier. At lunchtime, I have very recently spoken to a parent who was adamant she only wanted her funded hours- which means she cannot start until 1 pm each day (our afternoon sessions start at 12.30) but she has spent the last week coming in and droppping off at 12:40/12:45 pm. So I very politely pointed out to her that if she wanted her child to start before 1 pm she would have to pay as others did. She said 'she didnt realise it was that big of a deal ' However if I was paying to drop my child off at 12:30 but someone else got to drop theirs off for free I would be extremely cross. Likewise- for pick up- we had a parent 20 minutes late on friday- she was met at the door by 5 staff all with their coats waiting to leave.

Anyway- I keep threatening it but am determined to start charging these parents- it's always the same ones as well.

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I think you just have to start getting really strict on drop off and pick up times.

Likewise- for pick up- we had a parent 20 minutes late on friday- she was met at the door by 5 staff all with their coats waiting to leave.

Anyway- I keep threatening it but am determined to start charging these parents- it's always the same ones as well.

Ooo think I'm going to try this on Monday! :1b

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Hi what do you charge for your two 7.50 starters. If parents are requiring it and more importantly you can staff it, perhaps there is a need. Obviously they would have to pay.

The worry is the 7.50 would then become 7.40 and so on.

Maybe a look at your start times by way of a questionnaire might be worth investigating too.:)

Thanks for your replies, It's good to know its not just us!! I don't think parents understand that we have things to do in the half an hour between arriving and opening. I think a questionnaire is a great way to raise awareness of this and if needs be we will reconsider our opening times. We charge £5 for the half hour or £2.50 if its a regular booking, do any of you have an 'early drop off or late collection form that you get parents to sign?

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That's what I worry about caffinefreak, we don't charge for being late at the moment because I would have to raise an invoice really otherwise I just don't think they would pay! Interesting to know how other people 'chase up' people owing for 5 mins etc as we have a few that do pick up regularly late too! I think as we are open 8-6 and parents drop off/ pick up at varying times they think it doesn't matter if 3:30 is 3:45 as we are here anyway!

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We never used to charge before but now have introduced an early dropp off/ late collection charge- our hourly rate is £5 an hour and they get charged to the nearest 15 mins- so £1.25 for every 15 minutes.

 

We are open 7.30 - 6pm- and if parents collect after 6 theres an automatic charge of £5 +£2.50 for every 5 minutes! (We usually just charge £7.50!

 

It needs to be done as parents then start taking advantage!

 

Now, when the same parent is 15 mins early and someone asks whether they're dropping off early (obv considering we have a space)- they refuse as they don't want to pay the £1.25! :D

 

(all these 1.25's do add up though!)

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I must be a real hard nut.

I charge for absolutely any time over and above booked hours. If they want 1/2 hour earlier start in the morning I charge for 1 hour, after all I have to pay two members of staff to come in early, same if they are late 1 hour charge for half an hour; double time as it were to cover two staff members coming in early of stuck after 6pm.

I compare it to buying a loaf of bread, Tesco wouldn't let me out their front door paying for a loaf and me expecting to get a cream cake for free

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It is a standing joke in my place that we have adopted the "Sainsburys" business model - you pay when you are due to pay and you pay for what you have - many is the time that we have cited how we wouldn't be able to take our shopping out of the store without paying for it so please don't ask us to have your children without paying for the service - all said tongue in cheek but they get the message none the less.

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I must be a real hard nut.

I charge for absolutely any time over and above booked hours. If they want 1/2 hour earlier start in the morning I charge for 1 hour, after all I have to pay two members of staff to come in early, same if they are late 1 hour charge for half an hour; double time as it were to cover two staff members coming in early of stuck after 6pm.

I compare it to buying a loaf of bread, Tesco wouldn't let me out their front door paying for a loaf and me expecting to get a cream cake for free

Thanks so much for your replies! Pimms o'clock I'm interested to know, do you charge that on the day or do you invoice separately? my worry is that as most parents who are late are voucher paying parents, they wont end up paying the extra, do you find it a hassle to administer?

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