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Picking Up Late!


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What do settings do when a parent/carer constantly picks a child up late? We have one child who is with us two days a week, finishing at 12.00 one day and 12.30 on the other. We finish our extended session at 12.30. This child is collected late virtually every day, at almost 12.15 on Mondays and 12.35 and sometimes 12.40 on Fridays.

I understand that parents/carers get waylaid or stuck in traffic whatever on occasions and we are very tolerant of this. But this is almost all the time and we know that the parent is abusing the fact that we are there until 12.30 on Mondays and just being downright cheeky on Fridays. Do settings have a policy about charging for late pick ups?

Linda

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Hi Linda,

I know one setting who charges £5 per quarter-hour if parents are late. It did backfire, because parents who are well-off used it as extra childcare on a regular basis!

We had one parent who was always late, and the child hated being the last one to be collected. We told her he became really distressed when all the other mums/dads/childminders arrived, and it helped for a week or so, and then she began to be late again. On the last occasion, I did speak sternly to her, saying that this couldn't go on, her being late every time, and that X would lose his nursery place if it continued to happen. She was a bit shirty for a week or so, but everything is fine now. I hate confrontation, but also hate being taken advantage of. The nursery is stuck on the side of our house, and she obviously felt that I wasn't going anywhere, so it didn't matter if she was late.

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I know how you feel Helen, I hate confrontation but just feel this parent is taking the micky!! It only happens once in a blue moon that we get a parent like this and the rest of the time there are genuine reasons for them being late. She had the nerve to be cross with me on the last day of last half term because I was stood on the doorstep with her child at 12.40 waiting to leave-I have to drop off one of our children at a local LEA nursery at 12.45 so I was really pushed for time. And I won't ask my staff to stay much beyond 12.30 because I know there isn't a genuine reason for her being late.

The same parent has today taken her child off for a week on holiday and not informed me! I know she pays for the childs place but letting me know she won't be in next week would just be a courtesy.

I don't really want to start charging for late picking up but feel we might need to put something in place.

Linda

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Hi. I sympathise with you, its a tricky problem and one which I have been fortunate to avoid for quite some time.

Off the top of my head I wondered whether some kind of reminder added to the bottom of your fee letters would help. It would not be targetted at the main offender thereby avoiding any confrontation but it might provoke some conversation amongst the other parents and make the offender feel guilty??? We can but hope!

 

We do use the following poem occasionally in our newsletters. Its a bit corny but tells it as it is. You could add a glum little face from clip art to make it more eye-catching:

A PLEA FROM THE HEART FOR ALL PARENTS AND CARERS

We love to have your child here

We love to help them play

We love to guide them,

Teach, provide them

with a fund and worthwhile

day.

 

We gladly give our time up

We enjoy all that we do

but when its home time

coats and go time

what we need is YOU!

 

Please be on time as often

As its possible to be

The children need you

Love to see you

And so, most days, do we!

 

A last parting shot- how about giving out your business cards termly with a little note on the back saying keep this in your purse so you are never without our number if you are going to be late picking up?

Hope this is helpful!

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Thanks for that Lisa-it brought a smile to my face!!

The trouble with this parent is that she doesn't bring her until late either so she never comes into contact with the other parents for them to make her feel guilty!!! For one or two we are just a glorified baby sitting service!

I like the idea of business cards though, which wouldn't be too hard too make up on the computer. That would be a good way of ensuring that they had our phone number to hand!!

Linda

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Glad I could be helpful. I'm sure its always best to be as positive as possible with the more challenging parents or situations and I have heard others in our area say that a late fine just seems to give the offenders even more opportunity to abuse the situation.

Good luck!

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I've had 2 parents on successive years who I'm sure think we're on flexitime - if they bring them late in the mornings it gives them the right to be late after school!!

 

Seriously though, as a punctual person myself (imagine how cross they'd be if we were consistently late!) I have a friend who is always at least 20 minutes late for everything, as is my mum. It drives me mad. I can't really get to the bottom of why they are like this. I don't think it's an attention seeking thing, and I don't think they have too much dread of being too early. I think they just have a genuine problem with organising their time, consistently underestimating the amount of time things are going to take.

 

Mmm, not sure why I'm posting this really, or what I'm going on about at all. I just think that the causes of this habitual lateness are quite interesting. Maybe it's a hereditary thing (I know I get my punctuality from my dad who's a stickler for it - I think mum is generally late to wind him up actually!)

 

Love Dianne xxx

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Guest rhodessj
What do settings do when a parent/carer constantly picks a child up late? We have one child who is with us two days a week, finishing at 12.00 one day and 12.30 on the other. We finish our extended session at 12.30. This child is collected late virtually every day, at almost 12.15 on Mondays and 12.35 and sometimes 12.40 on Fridays.

I understand that parents/carers get waylaid or stuck in traffic whatever on occasions and we are very tolerant of this. But this is almost all the time and we know that the parent is abusing the fact that we are there until 12.30 on Mondays and just being downright cheeky on Fridays. Do settings have a policy about charging for late pick ups?

Linda

Hi Linda

 

Our setting has only experienced the problem a couple of times; but we are planning a move to a new building and expanding our provision - such late pick-ups could cause problems with ratios... We decided to sit down and draft a policy (which we have not had to implement so far); I can e-mail it to you if you like? It does involve the mention of a fee, but says that each case would be reviewed on its merits. Any fee would need to be set at levels that make it unviable as a childcare option - one other local provider charges £1 per minute...

 

We also discovered the need for an additional 'phone line - while one of us is frantically calling all the numbers on the registration form, we need to leave a line free for the parent/carer to call us...

 

Hope that helps.

Sandra

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We also have a policy detailing fees for late pick ups. We also state in our regular newsletters that we are only covered by our insurance company till the end of the session, we do have parents who are late on occasions and tend to get the child ready in coats etc and gather up all their things to make the point. We are a playgroup who meets in a community hall and other groups use the premisis after us so maybe that helps. In our local area one group charges £15 per 15 mins, you may need to do that once or twice and make the point. Trickyone though.....

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Hi Sandra and thanks for the post. welcome to the site too!

The idea of another phone line is good-just in case. I am loathe to introduce a penalty for late pick ups. 99% of parents/carers are on time. I will have to think that one through.

We have done the waiting on the doorstep with coats and belongings Jo, doesn't seem to have the desired effect!!! I think this mother is thick skinned. She was annoyed with us at the end of last term because she said she had tried to phone us to tell us she would be late but the phone was switched off. She's never phoned before!! And she is late 99% of the time!

I would appreciate a copy of your policy Sandra-I will Pm you with my email address.

Linda

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hi all,

 

we dont seem to have much of a problem with late pick ups at the moment,but we have in the past.

 

It made me think when you said they are late arriving as well, We had a parent who was very nervous around the other parents and would come late and collect late because she couldnt face standing in the foyer with the other mums. maybe your parent feels the same, or maybe she just doesnt think and turns up when she feels like it.

 

Many groups in our area make a charge for late pick ups, we have not ever done this ourselves. If it did happen alot, i would consider charing.

Because were open all day, i some of the parents tend to think it doesnt matter cos were open anyway, but that doesnt help my ratio's and staffing levels.

 

I hope things improve, i dont know if a policy is the answer as parents dont tend to worry what the policy is anyway.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It is a bit late to reply but I used to say we were not covered for insurance after 12.30.I was also told two people must always stay if a child had not been collected?

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  • 1 month later...

What do you do if you work in a school nursery and some parents always turn up late. When I asked one mum where she had been she had the cheeck to turn around and inform me ' i had work to do you know' like i was just eating grapes!!!!

What is worse is that bec we provide lunch time supervision and have a pre-school on the premises in the afternoon, parents know that there are adults in the nursery looking after other chidlren so they think they can get themsleves free childcare for 1/2 hour or so. it is so frustrating. :o

but whats just as bad are psarents who bring theri chidlren at 8.35 am for a 9.00 session start becuase their work starts at 9.00. I find it difficult to supervise ad set up for the morning at the same time.

 

 

AAAAAh it's frustrating. xD:(:(

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i do understand Leo we have the same problems..

 

I have just taken it to committee and they are thinking about setting up yet another policy where if parents are more than 15 minutes late picking up without a valid reason they will be charged!!!!!

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I won't let them in. The door is locked. If parents knock I politely tell them that I am not ready as I have to set out the activities.I don't think that it is fair on the child or the staff. Also if a child has an accident I may not be insured.

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Hi Leo,

I agree, it's virtually impossible for us to set up and supervise simultaneously; we told a parent we are not insured until 8.30, and that they would have to stay with their child until then. That did the trick! We completely ignored them until 8.30 on the dot, then smiled and welcomed the child into the playroom :D I hate doing this sort of thing, but sometimes you just have to be assertive :o

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I have a problem of people turning up early too. They don't seem to realise how difficult it makes it for us. xD The playgroup my older two went to used to keep the door locked until 'opening' time and I never thought this was odd. I had thought about doing this too but didn't want to appear unfriendly. :( Maybe I'll start it after the summer though...... :o

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Made me smile, cybertwin!

 

When I was in a pre-school, we ended up tying internal door handles together to stop early arrivals!! xD One in particular - 8-10 for a 9-00 start!! :o !!

 

Sue :D

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We dont let our children in either until the right time. But we do now have a breakfast club, so those that really need to get off somewhere can leave their children there.

I have more problems with late arrivers (te same ones who also collect late-...maybe their watches are wrong???). But if they are late after closing of the register, they have to walk all the way around the school to register their child at the reception desk. they REALLY dont like that!!

:o

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good ideas, i thknk i'll begin to use them after the half term :o

both for later comers and early droppers

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I have just this week had to send a letter to parents re early arrival. We open at 8.30 but the main session doesn't start until 9 o'clock. Those parents who want their child to start early have to pay extra. We have, over the past few weeks, had a growing number of children arriving before 9 who haven't paid and I felt this was really unfair on those parents who had. I have said that those children just attending the main session mustn't arrive before 8.55. Watch this space!!!

Linda

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