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Late payment - happening too often (cm)

(45 Posts)
MUM2BLESS Wed 02-Jan-13 21:25:24

I have policies and procedures in place, which includes payment policy. Over the years I have introduce a late payment fee.

Looking back I would have asked for payment in advance from ALL parents.

Even though I have the late fee payment in place I am still getting payments in bits and also late payments. This has been happening quiet a bit over the years. I deal with five families.

In 2013 I really want to nip this in the bud.

If I send invoices out late I allow extra time for payment. This can be very fustrating as I have bills etc to pay.

How long do you allow late payment before this is addressed? Its not an easy topic to bring up.

HSMM Wed 02-Jan-13 21:29:11

I get payment in advance, but crack down on late payments straight away. I also send invoices 2 weeks before they are due, to allow time for vouchers etc to be processed. If parents are still late after a couple of reminders, I call them in for a meeting. I found it very hard when I first started, but I have found the more I act like a business woman, the more they treat me like one.

MUM2BLESS Wed 02-Jan-13 21:39:38

Thanks HSMM. I think I should have dealt with this ages ago.

Last month I did send out the invoices early but it still happened.

What did you say during the meeting, if I should be so bold to ask? I know this needs to be address as its happened too often.

Its a new year I need some changes to take place.

What action do you take next? How do you put this in writing. I will be charging the late fee and would like to attach a reminder to this. What do I include?

Thanks

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Wed 02-Jan-13 21:45:28

Can you review your policies and change the late payment one to include quite harsh late payment penalties?

Our last CM stated that she would charge £5 for every day that payment was late. I made sure that everything was paid on time every month!

MUM2BLESS Wed 02-Jan-13 21:49:56

Thanks IwishyouaMerryChristmas I have made a note of this.

Anyone else got anything else in place to deal with late payers, who does everyone charge in advance?

My late payment fee is £5.00 per late invoice.

MUM2BLESS Wed 02-Jan-13 21:51:22

sorry or does everyone charge in advance? excuse me its getting late blush

Delayingtactic Wed 02-Jan-13 21:56:16

I have always paid my CMs in advance. I actually find it quite hard that her invoicing is pretty haphazard and I have to ask for it a couple of times. There have always been clauses about so many late payments (I think three) and then a late payment after that (I think it was within 3 months of last late payment) will result in CM refusing to have child until balance cleared.

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Wed 02-Jan-13 22:04:49

We've used a few different childminders over the years and some have charged in advance, others in arrears. <Not Helpful>

MUM2BLESS Wed 02-Jan-13 22:32:15

Thank you for your comments.

More welcomed...thanks

lechatnoir Wed 02-Jan-13 23:18:05

You could always do a group email a bit like a newsletter and hide include a note about new & more rigid late payment fees along with holiday dates & plans for the coming months.

ZuleikaD Thu 03-Jan-13 06:29:05

I charge in advance and also have a £5 per day late fee. If a payment is late, a family gets one warning and then gets charged the following month. It's extremely rare - once they've had a set of late fees - for them to be late again!

BranchingOut Thu 03-Jan-13 07:05:03

I just don't understand this and how parents expect to get away with it. The nursery we use, albeit in an expensive part of inner London, always charges in advance, plus a hefty deposit equal to one month's fees. You have to pay by direct debit and any voucher payments are refunded to your account, as and when they clear.

Give them notice that you will be changing to billing in advance, or change to billing in advance as you get new families.

beamme Thu 03-Jan-13 09:24:47

I pay my CM weekly, to avoid a big all in one payment, she prefers it that way too. I pay on a Friday so that any extra hours for the week are paid for. My DC's also attend a daycare and I pay that on a Tuesday each week, when I get my tax credits.

Bonkerz Thu 03-Jan-13 09:26:44

I send invoices in the last week of the month. Payment is due before 10th of month and if payment not made by 10th then care stops and 25% of total bill gets charged. I've never been paid late!!!!!!!!

MUM2BLESS Thu 03-Jan-13 19:14:21

Thanks again.

I really thinking about introducing the heavier late charge of £5.00 for each day the payment is late.

I provided service for one family yesterday and today. I was paid today. Most are prompt at paying.

MUM2BLESS Thu 03-Jan-13 19:19:25

I am THINKING about introduing this charge for the month of Feb.

CinnamonCandle Thu 03-Jan-13 20:33:47

Hope you don't mind me butting in but as someone who uses a childminder can you tell me how long childcare vouchers take between leaving my account and going into the CM's account? There is only 3 days between the date I receive them and the date the invoice needs to be paid. CM has never complained but maybe too polite.

MUM2BLESS Thu 03-Jan-13 20:46:10

It may take a few days from being trans to being in your cms account. Maybe your cm is ok with it. Bringing up late payment is not an easy topic to discuss. You can ask her if you choose to.

Sometimes cm may get paid by vouchers and cash, one may be late.

MUM2BLESS Thu 03-Jan-13 20:52:41

If I introduce a harsher late fee do I need to amend my payment policy bit or just let parents know of my decision.

I have to tred carefully as most of my parents are bril at paying invoices.

Thanks

I introduced a late payment fee of £5 per day too when I used to childmind. I found it only had to be charged once!

As new families came in I set up fees to be paid in advance. Parents could choose weekly or monthly (I advised them to choose based on how often they were paid themselves). I did on one occasion send a parent off to the very close by cash machine when she dropped off without paying. I explained I'd been expecting payment and would be using the money to take the children out to soft play so would she mind popping to the cash point for me. Again I never got a late payment after that.

Also used to do a newsletter now and then with holiday dates, reminder of sickness policy, any new equipment or trips the kids had generally all enjoyed, topics we'd been covering, etc.

I agree be business like. Fair but firm. smile

If most parents are good at paying and it's just a minority (I had same situation), be sure to thank them profusely for always paying on time when you hand out the newsletters/ explain about late payment fees. wink They will then know you appreciate them and realise it's not aimed at them.

neither childminder has charged a late fee that I know of that we have used but hadnt ever paid late.

previous cm charged in arrears each mth sometimes was 4 wks and sometimes 5wks she never gave an invoice and had to ask or text to ask how much I owed.

current one pay in advance by 1st of mth same amount each mth and if she has been on holiday/sick or we have (pay 50%) she refunds in form of cheque (I pay her some cash and some childcare vouchers so dont get into issues with tax avoidance for this - use rest childcare vouchers for nursery) - although cheque refunds are bit nightmare think I have 2 sat here and another one to come from the xmas bank hols as rarely go to the bank but oh well they will pay some next mths bill.

Very very embarassingly and am mortified I realised with everyone being ill at home and xmas I hadnt paid her for Jan - I usually pay at same time as do nursery on line as they invoice me and hadnt yet - so very quickly did bank transfer online when got to work as its instant - she hadnt text or rang me to highlight it so perhaps she isnt aware - first day back tommorow in 2 weeks so big apologises but def a one off.

MUM2BLESS Thu 03-Jan-13 21:17:25

I know you can only withdraw via cash machine, a certain amount of money

Is it possible to transfer any amount of money via bank tansfer into someones bank account regardless of the bank you are with, or is there a limit on how much can be transferred?

Is it rude to ask a parent to do bank transfer/vouchers rather than cash, if you are being paid in bits?

Sorry to go on. I am looking at my options.

I accept cash, vouchers, cheques and bank transfer.

Bank trans if the easiest as my bank is in town (paying in cash)

Thank you for your comments so far, really really appreciate your precious time smile

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 03-Jan-13 21:19:57

We used to do a combunation of bank transfer and childcare vouchers to our last CM. No problem that we used different banks.

It was great and hassle free.

we bank transfer and childcare voucher the voucher usually takes a day or two and the bank transfer is immediate so usually do it around 29th of mth. moajority is bank transfer anyway.

I think its unacceptable to pay late - and am so cross with myself for doing so today and cant believe people do it reguarly.

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