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Late collections


grumpymum
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Hi All

 

Hoping for some suggestions please!

We are full day care but also offer funded places. There are some parents who regularly pick up late and my policy is to charge them the same as fee-paying parents. However, they seem to take little notice of warnings then complain when they are charged - I think it is the mentality of "You're still open, what's the issue?" despite me constantly explaining about ratios and staff lunch breaks and that we are not paid for this extra time. We had a few parents towards the end of last term who were notching up an extra half hour a week with dropping off a few minutes early and picking up a few minutes late.

 

I want to make the fact that they are early/late a bit more "in their face" to try and nip it in the bud from September. I was thinking of having an NCR type pad, where I could give them an instant invoice for the early/late charge and also get them to sign to acknowledge they were late (or early).

 

1) Does anyone else have this type of system and does it work?

2) Where do you get a suitable NCR pad from? I really want something that's like a receipt pad (but not saying receipt obviously!)

Thanks

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must be early... NCR?

 

We became very strict on this when a parent complained about us because she was 30 mins late and we asked her to please be on time, she then became abusive and vocal shouting at us that she was there all the time and could not get in but other parents said she had arrived 20 mins late and then stood chatting outside for another 10 before coming in. Had so many issues with O over it, so decided to be very proactive.

 

I had a letter/ late collection form which we filled in and parents had to sign every time they were late collecting. For us it included a phone call to parent after 5 minute, time of call /details of who called and result of the call.. this was repeated if necessary..when they arrived they had to sign along with the time they arrived and I then added the cost on the bottom, giving them a copy and us one for our records. We charged £5.00 for the every 10 mins or part of. I used to give them one warning letter by writing on it to say this being the first time we would waive the fee but next time they would need to pay.

 

I included the reason for the charge and the fact that late collection meant we were in breach of our registration rules and could us to be closed down. I also had some sort of clause about repeat offending and the charges could increase.

 

 

We had a late collection policy stating it all clearly including when we would have to start our non collection policy. It also has a bit about genuine reasons and calling to let us know, most of these would not be charged as they were a one off. I once had a setting with 10 children left at end of the session,there was a boat on a trailer had caught fire on the local bypass and parents could not get to us as the road as closed.

 

We a parental agreement we had them sign before the child started that included all this kind of info.. we had a copy and they had one so no way could they say they didn't know. .

 

Getting the money was sometimes the harder thing, if they were funded only we could not say we would refuse entry etc.. but with a lot of everyday complaining we usually got it.. and the cost was high so many did not reoffend once they realised we followed through.

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I would do the same as Inge suggests - one form to sign each time (name, date, amount of time, signature) to avoid many small receipts, and then add it up and put it onto the next invoice for fees, or a separate invoice if the child is leaving. Then parents get to see time in hours rather than some minutes here and there, which they may seem that it is petty to be charged for. Another idea is to have a money box by the entrance, to pay there and then.

Edited by Wildflowers
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It is not a breech against registration if a child is collected late as long as two staff with adequate qualification levels stay, is it? If so, it must affect insurance if anything happens to the child during the extra time.

Edited by Wildflowers
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We've had about 3 committees trying to write a policy on this and there is always something you missed, you get the 'if I'm five minutes I may as well be 15 minutes late attitude', and then the charge needs to cover the cost of 2 staff to stay if at the end of the day.

 

We do ask them to sign and also make them aware that it is anyone who collects their child late that will incur a charge not just them.

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Thanks everybody for your replies - I like the idea of having a cumulative sheet just to bring the message home about how often a parent is late.

 

We do have everything really clearly in all our information for parents but it has just got VERY tedious this last term explaining so many times why it is important about drop off and collection times. We have a morning/afternoon swap over at 1.00pm which is the worst time for parents being late, and also ones picking up from 3 hour funded sessions, as we are still here for the full day children. We have high late pick up charges to discourage for this very reason and they still do it - worst ones are the ones that don't bother to call and then moan that it was only a few minutes when I say they will be invoiced, which I usually back up with how many times they have been late recently.

 

I just really need a simple system that all the staff can use and will catch all the relevant parents.

 

It is not a breech against registration if a child is collected late as long as two staff with adequate qualification levels stay, is it? If so, it must affect insurance if anything happens to the child during the extra time.

 

We would always have this if after 6.00pm, it's when it's in the middle of the day and staff are on lunch break, etc that is the main problem

Arrrgh!

 

must be early... NCR?

 

"no carbonpaper required", so the stuff that automatically copies onto the page below when you write. Sorry - it was a bit early when I posted!

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Difficult GFCCCC when most of the children only access their 15 hours entitlement. Not sure where you would stand with 'replacing' the late time although I can totally understand the logic.

Maybe we could add up all the late minutes that the setting has had to cover for a whole term / year and write a poster like you see in the doctors and hospitals - how many wasted hours and the cost to supervise children during this time. We also have the problem that the local primary then have to look after my staff's children because they are not able to go and pick their own children up.

Edited by lsp
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1) Does anyone else have this type of system and does it work?

2) Where do you get a suitable NCR pad from? I really want something that's like a receipt pad (but not saying receipt obviously!)

Thanks

 

Staples do a range of NCR pads, all carbonless cheapest was about £3.80 has 100 sets in it but I think you have to use the carbon paper with those ones. Carbonless are more expensive. They are made by Challenge.

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Staples do a range of NCR pads, all carbonless cheapest was about £3.80 has 100 sets in it but I think you have to use the carbon paper with those ones. Carbonless are more expensive. They are made by Challenge.

 

Panders

Thanks for that - I had only found the Pukka brand ones and they don't do one to suit what I was thinking of - may have changed my ideas to the cumulative sheet now though!

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It is so infuriating with late drop offs and late pick ups. Our local childminder arrives at least 15 - 20 minutes late every morning and then wants to chat another 10 minutes and is regularly late picking up. Despite talking to her, explaining they need to be on time because of funding, it has changed nothing. Very frustrating!!

Edited by MegaMum
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So glad it's not just me with the problem. In the past we have resorted to sitting children in the hall with coats and backpacks on ready to go to make the point!

 

I don't have a problem with parents who are very rarely late and apologise or call to say they are stuck in traffic or whatever, it's the ones that swan in and look really shocked when you comment they are late (again) and say they will be fined if it happens again. I think there must be a time warp just round the corner, as it's usually the ones who live/work closest that are always late.

 

Have a lovely mum who always apologised profusely as she was late a few times towards the end of term - but she has a baby who is only a few weeks old who kept being sick or pooing just as she was coming out the door. I can run with that as she was never late before and I know it won't (hopefully) be happening next term.

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I once contacted a Mum who was a serial 'later' to tell her the session was over and her son was waiting, and ask where she was. She was walking round a lake (Lake District) and had badly hurt her leg, she said. So she would be late. I said I'd call the other people on her contact list, and they were with her! Stoopid woman!! So she arrived, 45 minutes late, ran from the car to the gate where we were standing with her son - absolutely no sign of injury, and was furious when I told her she would be charged for an hour for three staff members, as one staff member had collected both staff's children from school and was 'babysitting' until she arrived. If she's been genuinely injured, I wouldn't have been so pedantic, but she obviously wasn't. It didn't stop her being late again, though, just not as dramatically!

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I once contacted a Mum who was a serial 'later' to tell her the session was over and her son was waiting, and ask where she was. She was walking round a lake (Lake District) and had badly hurt her leg, she said. So she would be late. I said I'd call the other people on her contact list, and they were with her! Stoopid woman!! So she arrived, 45 minutes late, ran from the car to the gate where we were standing with her son - absolutely no sign of injury, and was furious when I told her she would be charged for an hour for three staff members, as one staff member had collected both staff's children from school and was 'babysitting' until she arrived. If she's been genuinely injured, I wouldn't have been so pedantic, but she obviously wasn't. It didn't stop her being late again, though, just not as dramatically!

OMG, SOME PEOPLE ARE UNBELIVABLE.

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Same here, the end of the day isn't so bad it's the lunch time offenders that are the worst, because as said they think you're open so no problem and they are usually the funded children. I charge after 15 minutes but only charge the equivalent part hourly rate. Will have to increase methinks. Like the idea of a cumulative sheet or late book.

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We charge £10 per 15 minutes of late after 15 minutes after the time the child should have been collected - so if they should go at 11.30 and don't go ti 11.40, we don't charge but if they don't go till 12.10, we'd charge £20 as it went into the second 15 minutes.

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