Aibu to expect people to pay me on time.....

(46 Posts)
Peachyjustpeachy Mon 05-Aug-13 22:34:46

Or at least let me know that they are struggling.....BEFORE the date the money is due?

I'm a childminder, I only have a couple of children, but I've had more over the holidays.

I am OBVIOUSLY poor. I'm talking threadbare carpets, holes in curtains, one pair of shoes each etc....
But caring and loving and all the kids love being here

This month I've given three bills out. The first couple claimed they haven't got the bill... I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
The second couple turn up with only half the money, and said.....I want to tell you we won't have the rest of the money for another 3 weeks when we get paid. Okay so it's a new job, and you always have additional costs, that first month is Always a killer...

But now, couple three, when I reminded them today that they are overdue replied with.....won't have it till 20th.

Totally pissed off. I don't have any savings and my outgoings increase considerable,you in the school hols when I'm looking after children.

So I'm pissed off.... But aibu to expect them to let me know, and at least give me the option of not spending mOney on their kids if they have no intention of paying on time.

I feel, ike cancelling all their future sessions, but I need the money

Peachyjustpeachy Tue 06-Aug-13 22:07:34

Yes I think that I'm really going to have to put my foot down. I think I need to several contact with the cheekiest one....cos this is just the tip of the iceberg....

Gradual withdraw and suspiciously full on the says she needs me or full on in your face?

wendybird77 Tue 06-Aug-13 19:20:27

Time to get tough! No money no childcare until they pay. Literally turn them away on the doorstep - bet they will find the money quick.

nokidshere Tue 06-Aug-13 13:36:38

I charge monthly in advance. First month of contract cash and then bank transfer on or before 1st of the month.

Foxred10 Tue 06-Aug-13 13:23:28

As the others have said;

- weekly payments
- in advance (kids can't be dropped off if they haven't paid)
- late fees

I'm sure they will sharpen right up if not paying = no childcare! Cheeky buggers angry

Viviennemary Tue 06-Aug-13 13:16:06

Charge them extra for late payment if you feel brave. It isn't fair what they are doing.

KellyElly Tue 06-Aug-13 13:13:46

They are completely unreasonable. I pay my childminder weekly and the day before she starts work. I have once had to ask for an extention of couple of days but wouldn't dream of telling her she had to wait three weeks. Get some better contracts with clauses in for late payment AND some better clients smile

LoisEinhorn Tue 06-Aug-13 12:34:50

I have a late payment of fees policy, where I state I will charge £5 per day its overdue and that I will seek legal advice if any invoice remains unpaid after a certain amount of time. And that I will stop minding the child/ren.
In my new parents pack I have printed off my fees policy and late payment policy so they can't say they haven't seen it and they sign to say they have 'read, understood and agreed' to each policy.
I've never had to enforce it (touch wood).

Saffyz Tue 06-Aug-13 11:53:17

YANBU. Like the sound of the weekly payments and overdue interest fee. They're being disrespectful and rude. If there's a shortfall in their money that's for them to deal with, not you.

iloveweetos Tue 06-Aug-13 11:49:45

Ive always paid on advance due to not wanting to put anyone out! crazy that people just have no respect of others.
At school club I pay the friday of the week before and if she goes in any extra days, i add it onto the next pay date.
Charge late fees, and ensure they pay in advance. Although might be tough getting it out of people who cant even pay in arrears...

Groovee Tue 06-Aug-13 11:37:51

My childminder charges a late payment fee of £10 per day that you are late. As I pay directly in to her bank account, I always do this the day she gives me my bill.

I've only been late once because I was rushed into hospital and had surgery. Unknown to me dh paid her in cash and then I paid her in to her bank account once I got home. She refunded me and took my late payment charge off too as it beyond circumstances that I was unable to pay and the fact that dh had paid her.

But we were both aware she needed to be paid and ensured this happened.

ChunkyPickle Tue 06-Aug-13 11:36:33

You need to change your terms so that they either pay in advance, or at least 50/50 advance/arrears.

I use both a childminder and a playgroup and for both I'm issued a bill at the beginning of the term, and am expected to pay fairly promptly (although they are wonderfully easy going as long as you don't take the mick)

fackinell Tue 06-Aug-13 11:26:06

It's your business, OP, you can change the rules to suit.

I always asked for advance fees and had I had any late payers would have emailed out a late fee list. I had the money a month in advance apart from my ad-hoc kid who paid after every session.

LukewarmBath Tue 06-Aug-13 11:09:02

I bet the non-payers would kick up a real fuss if their wages weren't paid on time, yet they think it's ok to mess you around! I would do as others have suggested, and make a change to your contracts ASAP asking for weekly payment in advance. No payment = no childcare. I know that you can't afford to lose customers, but you may as well lose the ones you're not getting paid for and devote the extra time and effort to finding new customers.

The cheek of some people never ceases to amaze me. Just after Xmas, someone I know only paid half of her rent for January as they'd spent loads at Xmas. She was then totally outraged that her landlord had dared to chase her up for the extra money and had threatened to start eviction proceedings. Her attitude was 'We haven't got the money, we'll pay what we can'. She genuinely couldn't see it from the landlord's point of view at all, and see that perhaps he had a mortgage on the property that he had to pay, and that what she was doing was very cheeky and entitled.

catsmother Tue 06-Aug-13 10:34:02

Fines are a good idea too but although they'd be some compensation they're not the complete answer as you'd still have a cashflow problem. It's not that much help getting an extra £25 at the end of the month in 3 weeks time if you need to do a food shop right now, and you don't have or don't want to use a credit card in the meantime (for example). I think you really do need to get assertive about this and leave the parents in no doubt their contract is on the verge of being cancelled altogether unless they show some respect and get their act together .... as I said before, will they really want to risk their jobs by losing childcare ?

catsmother Tue 06-Aug-13 10:30:31

I used to pay my childminder weekly in advance and we would work out the yearly cost and divide that by 50 (less childminder's 2 weeks holiday) to get the correct amount. That way I spread the cost evenly over the year and it was simple enough - even though I was paid monthly myself - to set aside the childminding money.

I just don't understand anyone who messes their childminder about. It's such an obviously vital expense if you're working - and apart from common decency I'd be too nervous I'd be given my marching orders and would have then been truly stuck for childcare, therefore jeopardising my job.

I think that's what you must have written into the contract - that if people don't abide by its terms, they'll be given xx days notice of termination. I suppose it does depend where you live but I always found it quite hard to find a childminder with spaces, going to the right school and so on. If you ditched these customers, hopefully you wouldn't have a problem replacing them.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 06-Aug-13 10:30:12

gosh, I wouldn't dream of paying my childminder or after school club late. I pay them as soon as I'm paid every month so I don't forget (especially as I'm very forgetful hence the nn)

The after school club obviously has problems with some parents as they put up notices about fines for late payment. Personally, don't blame them and wouldn't mind my childminder introducing fines either.

mumofweeboys Tue 06-Aug-13 10:19:43

I have to pay my nursery fees in advance at the start of the month. They also required a weeks deposit when kids started that the nursery holds. I wont get it back until the kids leave the nursery.

I would tell the parents in a letter that have money outstanding that your moving to weekly payments next week as due to outstanding money you currently cant afford to give the children snacks or take them on trips.

judytheobscure Tue 06-Aug-13 10:15:37

YA Absolutely NBU

I have a friend who is a childminder who has this exact same problem,

I always wonder what the parents of the children she minds would do if their employers were as slack with paying their wages.

You need to start putting your foot down and refuse to look after their children until you are paid.

Late payment in my friends experience is never a one off either. If they can get away with it once, they will keep trying it on.

pootlebug Tue 06-Aug-13 10:06:09

Is it normal to pay childminders in arrears, and by a month? As well as late payers, you also put yourself in the position where people potentially don't pay for the last month when they leave, knowing how much hassle it would be for you to chase the payment.

Can you move to weekly payment in advance? That way you're not asking for loads of money upfront but at least have the money to match your expenses better?

When I've taught the piano payment has been either:
- in full, for the term, in advance
- on the day of the lesson....no payment, no lesson.

Please don't worry too much that parents will go elsewhere - if you're a good childminder, it really doesn't sound easy to find another one. And payment by the week in advance really isn't that unreasonable.

musicposy Tue 06-Aug-13 09:49:08

I'm so with you! I teach piano and although that might make me look loaded, we're really not rich enough to afford people to pay late. DH is in a 20k a year job so we really need the piano money or the mortgage doesn't get paid.
I invoice 1st week of term for payment on 2nd, half termly. People know this and know how much it will be and when it is due. Most people are fine, but one or two are terrible.

I did kick one out once because it got ridiculous, lessons and lessons in arrears with no sign of any money. Eventually I got some of it but not all. Another regularly leaves it right up until I send "I won't be teaching next week without payment" letters. I hate having to do it.

Piano lessons are a lucury - why have them if you can't pay? OP, you wouldn't go into the supermarket and say you'll pay next month! It's no different. I've got tougher in my old age, though. People used to occasionally leave in arrears and I'd let it drop. Nowadays I would go to small claims if I had to.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 06-Aug-13 09:26:42

I posted too soon. I work in a different, but equally emotive business where people continually 'forget' to pay. I also use a template letter that I got free on-line from a firm of solicitors called McKinells that is a threat of court action letter which I use when it gets ridiculous.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 06-Aug-13 09:24:06

You can change your terms and conditions with your existing customers as long as you give notice. Write a letter tonight and hand it to them tomorrow stating that as of 1st September you will be introducing late payment fees of X per day. Then issue invoices 7 days prior to when they are due again hand them to parents or use e-mail that automatically e-mails you when they open the e-mail.
Future children that you take on switch to payment in advance rather than arrears.

Ireallymustbemad Tue 06-Aug-13 09:23:38

I used to pay the childminder in advance. Now I use after school club we get invoiced in arrears but there is a £25 charge if you pay after 10th of the month.

Good luck. I agree you need to be more strict, they can't see you as a choice or flexible payment they must start seeing you as a necessity payment.

WeleaseWodger Tue 06-Aug-13 09:18:09

Impose late penalties. Nurseries charge £5 for every 5 min you are late for this very reason. Parents would take the piss otherwise.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 06-Aug-13 09:17:18

Child care, like cleaning, is seen as woman's work, and so not respected. Plus, women are supposed to be "nice."

If you put your foot down from this point on, your existing clients may take offense because they don't respect you. But new clients will respect you.

Don't try to appease everyone. There's such a demand for quality care that you can hold out for the good clients.

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