29 answers

Can't Get People to Pay on Time for Childcare. What Would You Do?

I take care of children. My policy is payments are due on the first of the week (Monday) most of the family's have no problem with this. However I have one family who NEVER seem to pay on Monday Mornings. I usually have to ask for it or "remind them" that the parent who dropped off did not pay. Most of the time the parent picking up is clueless or pretends not to know and needs to check with their spouse about it. Well today Mom drops off not a word to me about payment. Dad picks up (Late at that) not a word about payment. I tried to call no one answers the phone so I text Mom. "Dad forgot to pay me can you bring it by?" Mom replies in text "I get paid tonight-can I pay u n moring no money till then sorry. I will go to atm on my way to work."
My question is why didn't they say something this morning to me? This is not the first time they have done this. Am I being unreasonable expecting to be pd. on time. Has anyone else ever dealt with this and if so how do you handle it. I'm about ready to quit (NO notice) something I would never normally do. But they seem to do this at least 3 weeks out of every month. By the way my fees are pretty low $25 a day (9 hours.)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well they came in today and when they handed me the money I just flat out told them "Payments are due on Monday Mornings, from now on if not pd. in the a.m it's a automatic $20. late fee". I know this sounds harsh and there were alot of good pts. regarding when people receive paychecks. I have worked with other familys due to this. The thing with this couple is they can go out for lunch 2./3 times aweek, go to Mardi gras, and go out drinking every weekend, smoke, But can't come up with money for childcare or other bills. Mom is always telling me how she has to have her parents pay the bills for them. But they can go out and party. I'm not their parent and I shouldn't have to carry them because of their immature ways. Thanks for all the great advice, tonight I will have them sign a contract regarding late fees.

Featured Answers

You can send a note home with ALL children stating that if payment is not made Monday mornings, (unless previous arrangements have been made) the child will be unable to stay that day. That should do it.

4 moms found this helpful

HI D.,

When I had my kids in care, the payment was due either at the beginning of the month or every two weeks. I got paid every two weeks, but I didn't get paid until the 5th and the 20th of each month and I couldn't afford to pay out all of the childcare cost at the beginning of the month. I was upfront with my provider about this and he knew that I couldn't pay on his schedule, but I was never late on mine.

I would talk with the family and see if they have a delay of when they get paid compared to when you have asked for payment. Then I would set up a set date that you expect payment, and let them know if they don't pay on time you won't provide care until you get paid. It doesn't matter how much or how little you charge... if they agree on the tuition they should have plans to pay it. It isn't a lot to ask to be paid on time, but sometimes things aren't as they seem.

I'd have a conversation about it before you dump them.
Good luck~

3 moms found this helpful

Late Fee!!!
add that on and see what happens!
know that many daycares will not accept kids if payment is behind

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

First of all....you are not charging enough...I paid that 17 years ago. Do not diminish your worth. If the parents don't pay, do not accept the child. There have to be consequences for their actions. This is your business! Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

I agree with a late fee. Send a letter to all parents (so the offending ones won't feel 'targeted') that as of NOW, if payment is not made on time there will be a daily late fee of however much you choose. ENFORCE it. Don't let it slide if they feed you a sob story about how they won't have it until they get paid... They know when payment is due, and they know when they get paid. If payday is after due day, then they should hold the money out of the previous check. Unless they have an actual emergency (ER visit, car breaks down, etc... even then make them prove it.) that you are willing to compromise, do not bend. Money speaks louder than words. How pissed do you think this family would be if they didn't get their paycheck on time? How unfair of them to assume it's OK to withold YOUR paycheck as a matter of convenience, or poor planning on their part.

5 moms found this helpful

Your fees are not the issue. And they are beyond reasonable.

Send home a letter to this family--put it in their hands -- telling them that it has always been your policy to expect the payment for the week's care on Monday morning at drop off. Starting next Monday, you will no longer be able to accept their child for care until you are paid in full for the week. Then, stick with it. Sweetie, these people are coming to YOU for a service. You can live without them more easily than they can live without you-- believe me!!! When they come next Monday, just tell them what you wrote: "I am happy to watch your child when I have my money for the week." and send them on their way. If they want to negotiate for paying on Tuesdays, that's fine, but don't accept the child for care until Tuesday, or have them sign something in writing, and then have them pay you the extra day (up until the next Tuesday, when they'll pay you again.) You will have to be strong, but these people need to get with the program. Right now, you are being their mom and reminding them, waiting for the funds, and making it your problem.

Make it THEIR problem!

People like this need a reality check, seriously.

5 moms found this helpful

It sounds to me like Mom gets paid Mondays. Is there any reason you couldn't make their payment due Tuesday? Then you would be paid every week, they would be able to pay you on time, and everyone would be happy. If that doesn't work for you, then tell them to find a different care provider because you need your payments Mondays. It may not be that they are disregarding your terms, but rather that they're living paycheck to paycheck and CAN'T meet your terms on the day of the week that is currently specified. Just my thoughts.

5 moms found this helpful

Change the day that payment is due to Friday. If they do not drop off their child or pick up their child with check (or cash) in hand on that day, tell them firmly and authoritatively that they may not drop their child off the following Monday. Don't allow them to promise to drop off a check on Saturday or Sunday or Monday. Tell them that they are to go home and get a check for you or there will be no childcare on Monday. If you feel as if you have to justify why you have had a change in policy or are being so firm in requiring payment on the day it is due, you can tell them that Friday evenings are when you make your deposit.

This is the policy my daycare worker had established when she was caring for my son. If I showed up at her house without a check in hand, because I had forgot to bring one, she did make me go home and get it. There was no arguing with her and I really didn't want to. She was great with my son and I needed her more than she needed me (can't work without childcare), so I just submitted to her authority. Plus, it is is just the right thing to do, to pay people the money that they are to earn.

Good luck finding away to peacefully resolve this situation.

4 moms found this helpful

I am sorry you are going through this,I know how frustrating it gets.I used to work in public daycare and then I watched children in my home.I have also had things like this happen and unfortunately my main offender was my SIL.Anyway I suggest two things 1.You need to charge a late fee for not being paid on time and 2.You need to charge a late fee for children getting picked up late.This is not unreasonable,I know it's very hard to deal with but you can't let them take advantage they wouldn't get by with it at a daycare.Many daycares and In home providers do this.Another thing that I know public daycares (and some In home) do is that after a parent is a certain amount of time late on payment the child is not allowed to come back until it's paid.The way I would handle this is sending out a letter to ALL of your parents,(even though your not having other issues.) I would simply say something first about how much you appreciate all of them and really love caring for their children then say that you had some new policies.Then tell them the expected due date,late fees,etc... I don't know how you want to do it.Some daycares fees are expensive like $25 dollars each day after the ___th and $1.00 per minute late.It wouldn't be a bad idea to have each of them sign it. (If you want you could explain to the other parents that you appreciate them always paying and picking up on time.)
Something you might consider is that a lot of people only get paid every 2 weeks or twice a month.A lot of people will get paid the first of the month also Fridays are common payday's.You might consider that rather than taking advantage they really do have to wait til payday and are embarrassed to talk to you about it.It doesn't make it right if they can't pay that morning they need to talk to you about it.But if you can be flexible it wouldn't hurt to ask what day of the week works best for everyone.maybe say with these new policies in place I was wandering when everyone gets paid or when the best day is for you to pay.You maybe could change it to Fridays if the majority say Friday...or paying every 2 weeks ( saying you have to or should.) Just thinking that maybe you can communicate with all of the parents and work out something that will work best for all of you.And that might make you feel better about collecting late fees if they had input.

4 moms found this helpful

My child's day care requires payment on the first day of the week the child attends, otherwise a $30/day late fee is added on. PLUS $2/min late fee for late pickups (ie. ten min late for pick up, add $20 fee). Sometimes you have to have extreme late fees for people to get the picture. If you don't have this in the contract, add an addendum. If they don't sign, say they have to find new care. It's a business and you are being taken advantage of. No bending. No special rules. Good Luck.

4 moms found this helpful

You can send a note home with ALL children stating that if payment is not made Monday mornings, (unless previous arrangements have been made) the child will be unable to stay that day. That should do it.

4 moms found this helpful

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