35 answers

Home Daycare Late Pick up Policies and Fees

Hi there moms,
I have a few questions about home day cares late pick up policies and fees.
My daycare provider has a policy of $5 per minute late of pick up, which I find a bit excesive.
Is this a normal fee? How much do you pay?
Also, both my husband and I have a big commute from work to the daycare, and although we leave our work places with a 30 min wiggle room for traffic, we still sometimes get in really bad traffic. Just this week we have been 50 min late - which makes a huge late fee of 250 dollars :(
The daycare closes at 5:30, which makes us leave work at around 4 for both of us.
I know holiday traffic seems to be the problem this week - but this late fee has been bothering me a little for a while - although we are late once in a while...

If you have a daycare, how do you deal with traffic - caused lateness? We do all we can to be there on time, but sometimes traffic can be terrible.... (and in this week's case, can make us 50 min late!)...

Just questions, need a little venting...

Thanks,
A

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I haven't looked at the other answers, but I do want to say that whatever the policy is, you have to either renegotiate, live with, or not be late ever. The only other thing to do is find another daycare.

That is what I would do if I were you.

I was lucky - my daycare closed at 6:00 and they charged a dollar a minute. We were late just a few times, once because of a blown out tire.

I always tried to respect the fact that they wanted to go home on time. Without strict penalties, people would do it everyday.

All my best,
D.

2 moms found this helpful

I remember that my daughter's preschool had a really high penalty for being late - $5 a minute was the fee. The bottom line is that you should NEVER be late. These people are waiting to get on with their lives and they should not be expected to wait for you. The place closes at 5:30. In the non-kids world the employees walk out the door when they close - not wait around for a late parent. I think that the fee is fair.

1 mom found this helpful

WOW! I would switch daycares.......... I had a late fee in my policy as well. $5 for each 15 MINUTES BUT NEVER charged it. It was really to stress the fact that I NEEDED a phone call if they would be late. And all my parents respected me by calling or asking in the morning if it was okay if they would be a little late. And I always took weather into consideration!

$5 per minute sounds excessive.

More Answers

Different areas will support different fees. Where I am in MN, even a few blocks away from me, providers charge way less (or teeny more, but I am in the higher range) for their weekly rates..and this includes my late fees.

I understand traffic can cause lateness, but parents need to understand, this is a business for us, and unlike the drycleaners or pet food store, we can not just close the doors at closing time and say no more customers. We still have your children. And likely, we also (especially at this time of year) have children or family obligations to attend... dance recitals or classes/rehearsals, church functions, college classes and tests of our own, and many other varied activities (things where other people are depending on us as well) ..many of which begin 15-30 minutes of our closing time...we have to deal with traffic or snowy roads as well. If you showed up at Target, past closing time, you would not even be able to pay a fee to still go in and grab your prescription or milk or shampoo.

The point, for me anyway, of the high late fees, and super obnoxious strictness of them, is not to punish you finacially, but to make you never ever want to be late, so for you to do every thing you can on your end to not show up at my door late. If you know there will be snowy or holiday type traffic, then I am sorry but you need to leave even earlier. If it happens once in a blue moon, I do excuse it...but if it happens more than once in a season...I do charge. I have a life too and after working 11 hours a day..plus set up, clean up and all the cleaning and laundry and shopping and activity planning I do on my weekend and evening hours... I want to be with my own family, or out doing my own errands. Even if I want to just be sitting at home in my PJs watching a DVD with my family...that is my time to do that with.

I am just trying to show the other side here. This is a business, albeit one that creates very personal relationships, but it is still a business. If the hours are this much of an issue, perhaps its just not a good fit, unfortunately.

I wish you luck!

6 moms found this helpful

OK, as a provider here's our side. Some parents take off an extra hour for lunch to hang with girlfriends, then can't pick their children up on time. Or take the day off ( their right totally) while they bring the kids to daycare. Then get "BUSY" and lose track of time. As a provider we are still parents and have family's, children who have evening events. I have in the past made exceptions to parents being late I understand about traffic,accidents, your boss grabing you as you are trying to walk out the door. But all to often these are the same parents who if I forgive once they will take advantage of the situation. I ask that they call me if their going to be late, if not then I WILL CHARGE, or if I have somewhere to go I will just take the child with me and they can pick up from where ever I am. One time no one called I had the children to 9 p.m. at night. See if you can offer your sitter a flat rate of $25.00 per week for an extra 1/2 hr a day, if she knows she may be willing to work with you. Unfortunatly it's the parents who take advantage who will spoil it for the good ones. I have soooooo many stories of parents not picking up. Once MOMMY went out for happy hr. with co-workers showed up late and drunkner than a skunk. Once the parents met up at the Hockey game when mom asked dad how babies day was. Dad said I thought you picked her up 2 1/2 hours latter Grandma shows up totally imbarresd.

4 moms found this helpful

Many years ago I worked in a daycare center and yes, they had a late fee. If you were 5 minutes late, there was no charge. If you were more than 5 minutes late is was $5.00 a minute for every minute you were late after that. I was usually the one who closed the center, so it was me who was stuck there until some one came to get the child. In most cases, I never charged the parent, because I never had any one more than 15 minutes late. However, it was irritating that I was no longer getting paid by my employer, yet had no choice but to stay until the parent arrived. I understand traffic, but I had a life to attend to also. Perhaps you may have to look into a daycare that is open later or one that is closer to your work, so that the late fee is not an issue.

3 moms found this helpful

We used to take my son to a daycare facility....they charged the same late fees. They truly only enforced it though on those that were repeat offenders. They closed at 6 and by a parent being late, staff had to stay, lights had to be on, etc and that cost THEM money...so they had to off set it.

In regards to an at home daycare....my mom ran one (licensed) and she had two parents who were NOTORIOUS for coming late every day (and also wanting to stay around at that late hour and chit chat about non-related kid things). She imposed these fees and, amazingly, those parents found a way to be on time, get the info on their kids and leave. With an at home daycare, by being late or hanging around, parents are now cutting in to regular home time for that person. In my mom's case, it was that hour she would have to get dinner going/homework for her Grandkids going/running around to be done that she'd never take her daycare kids to do.

Just think how you would feel if your boss required you to stay late every couple of days (routinely) and NOT get paid for it.

Again, if you don't do this very often or have bad weather that they realize will put you in a longer commute, they will likely work with you. Talk to them....call when you know you'll be running late. These two things will go a long way.

Also, just an FYI....in most licensed daycares (whether in home or not) the state will mandate a max number of hours a child can be in daycare. In ours (in Michigan) it was 10 hours max (i.e. I dropped my son off at daycare at 7:00 a.m....so I needed to pick him up by 5:00 p.m. or be deemed "late") This prevented our daycare parents from dropping kids off when they opened (6:00 a.m.) and not coming to get their child until 6:00 p.m. (usually making pit stops at the grocery store/clothing store/etc before picking up kids) So if parents are running over that 10 hr time limit...the facility can be fined if the state reviews their time keeping. So this is also a way for many daycares to keep parents from putting them in a costly situation.

3 moms found this helpful

How would you like it if you thought you were done for the day but your boss said that you had to stay for an undetermine amount of time?

Though it is a lot of money, I think it is appropriate. She is basically 'encouraging' you to get there on time. It is certainly not her fault that there is traffic.

I am a teacher. During the summers I used to run Reading and Writing workshops. For the most part, parents were able to get their children there on time and retrieve them on time. I did have one family who just couldn't follow the rules. They arrived an half hour early, used the wrong door to enter, their father dropped them off without checking to make sure I knew they were there, etc.... Since this behavior was consistent, we had to renegotiate a new schedule and weekly payment. I am sure that the dad thought, 'what's the big deal with my kids being there a 'little' before?" However it was a huge deal because I used that time to finish preparing and since I was legally responsible for them, not knowing that they were 'waiting' on my doorstep was down right dangerous.

You are totally inconveniencing her everytime you are late. At least with the fees, she is compensated.

2 moms found this helpful

Our last day care provider had a $1-a-minute policy. She said if you are late without calling to notify me, I will call the parents' cell phones at exactly 5:01. If she could not reach the parents and they had not shown up by 5:15, she called the parents' emergency contacts. By 5:30....She stated (tho I don't know if it ever came to this) she'd call CPS or the police.

We were family friends and we thought the policy was strict but fair. Here's how I think about it: Day cares are being run out of someone's HOME. Their family should be able to enjoy their home and their mother...Have both all to themselves -- As soon as business hours are closed.

As for traffic/weather related lateness...We always chose providers who were within 5-10 miles of one of our work locations. Viola! Problem solved.

2 moms found this helpful

I haven't looked at the other answers, but I do want to say that whatever the policy is, you have to either renegotiate, live with, or not be late ever. The only other thing to do is find another daycare.

That is what I would do if I were you.

I was lucky - my daycare closed at 6:00 and they charged a dollar a minute. We were late just a few times, once because of a blown out tire.

I always tried to respect the fact that they wanted to go home on time. Without strict penalties, people would do it everyday.

All my best,
D.

2 moms found this helpful

My sons school charges $1 per minute. $5 does seem high, but that is there policy and you knew that when you signed the contract. At this point you need to either be sure you are on time, or find a new daycare that is more forgiving about this. I fully understand why they charge though. If they did not people would think they could just be late all the time, and that means all the workers at the center would be late getting home as well.

1 mom found this helpful

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