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parents always late

(69 Posts)
calmlychaotic Tue 06-Nov-12 23:51:16

i don't really want to charge late fees, i mind for friends or friends of friends and if i charge some would have to charge all. i do feel they take advantage though because they are friends. 20 mins late as norm, often no apology. my other problem is parents hanging around for ages when collecting. i expect them to want to chat about the day and how the child's been but 45 mins, parent are chatting to other parents while im trying to cleanup! i know i need to be tougher, its a lovely atmosphere at pick up kids are happy, parents are happy and i don't want to ruin it but i do need my own life too! i have let it go so long i can't suddenly start charging. any advice how to do this nicely.

mumnosbest Tue 06-Nov-12 23:54:46

can you say you're updating all contracts. ask them if they need to make any changes and suggest they need to change their hours.

Could you "start" a new activity that requires you to be out of the house 15 mins after pick up?

GrimAndHumourless Tue 06-Nov-12 23:59:35

you need to be assertive and professional; this is where minding for friends can be difficult

give notice that you are going to start charging late fees, say from 1st December, and set the fees quite high

lead the parents to the door at pick up, usher them out, and shut them out; this takes a bit of skill to do discreetly. feel free to say 'I must get on, bu-bye' if they don't take the hint

if in the early years group, refer the parents to your arse their diary, a few quick sentences 'a great day little Jonny, lots of detail in the diary' smile and swish them out

SminkoPinko Wed 07-Nov-12 00:03:18

Start charging. Honestly, it works wonders! My nursery charges astronomical late fees and no one is ever late. Give letters to all parents to announce the change. re the chatting- can you politely but firmly shepherd them to the door?!

SminkoPinko Wed 07-Nov-12 00:03:58

x post with grim!

calmlychaotic Wed 07-Nov-12 00:12:51

love the suggestions, i know i am so lame! i like the activity idea, must dash off for a run, all info is in diary, brilliant! also got several breastfed and they stay to feed. no problem with it other than they take ages! how do i hurry them?

GrimAndHumourless Wed 07-Nov-12 00:29:12

you need to open the door and gesture them out

I know it seems harsh but they can chat on doorstep outside between themselves, you shut door and pop on kettle

I wouldn't invent activities because sure as eggs is eggs you'd get Found Out, but there's nowt wrong with saying ''chop chop, I need to get to tesco, here we go'', and step out with them, lock up and zoom off. every night til the penny drops, yes?

we are not thinking you are lame, or sappy, most of us have Been There and Done That, experience is key

minderjinx Wed 07-Nov-12 11:54:32

Definitely not fair to you to expect to stay to breastfeed or chat after hours. I would offer a contract review and remind parents that the finishing time needs to be the time they leave, not when they arrive give or take ten minutes. Presumably that is what your attendance register will show and you can show them in the nicest possible way that they need to add half an hour onto their contracted time each day or get to you much earlier. I'd also introduce hefty late fees, perhaps sugaring the pill by saying that you are not proposing to increase normal charges in the current climate but that you are introducing substantial late charges as your ACTUAL hourly income is getting lower due to so many late pickups.

ZuleikaD Wed 07-Nov-12 12:17:21

Blimey I wouldn't let them stick around to breastfeed! Not unless I was charging them for the hours, anyway. I think the suggestion of letting everyone know that you're going to be updating the contracts is a sound one - take note for a week of when parents actually leave and suggest that as you've noticed they don't take the children until X time then your contracted hours should be extended until then. But you MUST GET TOUGH!

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 07-Nov-12 12:23:31

Friends and friends of friends - it's not the same as 'regular' client is it...

I think you should just be honest with them and say something like 'Look, it's lovely to chat every night, but I'm just finding that I can't get our dinner on the table/the kids homework done/the shopping done/house sorted (whatever) and that you really need an empty house by x o'clock. Say that it wouldn't even be so bad if it was only one set of friends etc, but with everyone staying to chit-chat it's chaos smile !!

Then maybe organise an actual social event so it doesn't look like you don't want to still be friends with them?! <<< that does NOT have to be at your house!

lechatnoir Wed 07-Nov-12 12:27:33

Best advice I was given is explain you have been advised that you are not insured for free childcare so unfortunately you will either need to amend contracted hours or start charging late fees.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 07-Nov-12 14:13:13

be tough grin

start charging hefty late feees and they will stop

love the not insured reply, prob is true and you can always say that a friend who is a cm got inspected and this came up and if a child fell over and hurt his self after their contracted hours then you wont be covered

people stay and breast feed? shock

shoo them out firmly and say you need to start bath/homework(if older ones) tea etc

mindingalongtime Wed 07-Nov-12 16:44:24

Say, I think it is time to review our contracts as the hours seem to be extending beyond what is agreed, and that over a wek it equals x amount, I did this and it stopped immediately when faced with an extras bill of £70 a month!

Also at interview I also said that the finish time on the contract is the time they leave my house, not the time they arrive, so if we need an extra 15 mins for handover, lets write it in now!

ZuleikaD Wed 07-Nov-12 17:09:10

I don't actually let parents into the house; I meet them on the doorstep with their coated, shod and hatted child, hand over the child's bag and say goodnight!

Friends I mind for get 15 minutes (stretched to 20 now she's pregnant) and then a big smile and told 'as much as I love you I need a lovely cup of tea so we'll see you on x day to play again. I'll text you to arrange coffee, bye now' Had to start doing that after she stayed until 6:30 because her DH was out and the girls love to play together!

Be firm, tell them that you are knackered at the end of the day and you are sure they want to spend lovely time with the kids themselves. Oh and put a stop to the feeding, that is taking the proverbial.

sunnyshine Wed 07-Nov-12 17:27:51

Me too, on the doorstep front room door shut. Everything is done in hallway!! It's my time!!!

bubblepops Wed 07-Nov-12 17:38:07

Yep, don't get past the hallway, I chat but if they don't start I will start putting coats on the babies lol!!

readysteady Wed 07-Nov-12 18:18:20

Sorry I feel a bit sorry for the mum wanting to breast feed (but only if she is doing so within the allocated time and if not if she is very apologetic about being late) I remember being desperate to feed when I picked mine up. And so was the baby.

SamSmalaidh Wed 07-Nov-12 18:22:37

If they want to stay and breastfeed though they need to get there 15-20 minutes before closing time.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 07-Nov-12 18:23:17

Zule - I like your style smile

And mums can bf in their car

Welovecouscous Wed 07-Nov-12 18:23:55

You sound like the kind of cm I would love. smile I'm one of those late, bf mums grin

After 30 mins I would just say 'ooh, look at the time, must get dinner on'.

expatinscotland Wed 07-Nov-12 18:27:15

Meet them at the door. YY, not insured beyond contracted hours.

expatinscotland Wed 07-Nov-12 18:28:06

30 minutes? And you're doing your CM a favour by hanging round to feed your child?

You need to get tough, OP, that is 30 minutes of your time.

Leafmould Wed 07-Nov-12 18:28:53

As a parent, I would have liked it if my cm had had me wait at the doorstep. It was a nightmare dragging them away from their activity and getting them ready!

Much as I did like to talk to her, and I do think it was good that we always had good communication.

I was charged up to the nearest 15 min that we were in her house, so I had some motivation to be on time. She did not do late fees. I got stung recently at the out of school club who do do late fees, and it has got me running to be on time!

SarkyWench Wed 07-Nov-12 20:11:58

Another parent view...

I'd far rather that my cm was clear about stuff like this that that she seethed quietly without me knowing.
It is tricky when you get on well to not let the chat drift on. Particularly when you are friends.
I try and have a long chat with her in the morning (in paid time) and then be quickish at pick up.
And if they want to bf in your house then that should be within contracted hours IMO.

Late fees are tricky. Our CM doesn't charge but there us a clear give and take system. Occasionally i get stuck in traffic, but then sometimes she asks for a slightly early finish. But if the parents are consistently late then I think you might need them. Maybe try a friendly letter first?

Tanith Wed 07-Nov-12 20:19:16

Oh dear! I'm letting the side down, aren't I? blush

You see, I don't mind this at all - I will quite happily chat for ages to parents at the end of the day and one or two do stay a while while the kids play. I don't have late charges either.

I do get a bit stressed if they arrive early in the middle of tea-time although, if they're happy to wait in another room, that's fine.

And arriving earlier than the contracted time in the morning really upsets me: I like to be fully dressed and at least part way through my first cup of tea before I open that front door!

Always shocks me people are late I asked for care til 4.30pm but childminder charges a daily rate from 8-6 but agreed would charge me same for 7.30-5pm but I always collect from 4.30pm and generally slightly earlier and have left her house by 4.30pm. Remember with last childminder I always collected early and when once I was stuck in traffic I rang her to say would be 10-15mins late I was mortified and she laughed when I apolgised so much and brought her some cakes the next day as she said many parents are late and dont even acknowledge it - mind you poor time keeping is a huge bug bear of mine.

I think late fees should be charged if its a one off and you know parents generally collect early or on time then allowances can be made but its just cheeky and rude and disrespectful to you and because you allow it they allow you to offer free childcare,

add up all those minutes for those children over a yr and see how much money you lose out on and then you will deffo stop doing it!!

Welovecouscous Wed 07-Nov-12 21:58:14

Tanith you sound lovely too smile

calmlychaotic Wed 07-Nov-12 23:32:59

Thanks very much for replying everyone, really appreciate it, i had kids ready coats on and in the hall, i did get them out much quicker today, using lots of tips from you lot. I don't mind them breastfeeding,totally understand after long day mum and baby both want to. but when they feed several times and stay for so long it is taking the . . .! I am taking on some new starters and definitely using the line that hours are until you leave the house so if want to chat/feed etc need to add to hours. My worst culprit was 40 mins late today, no apology and tried to just walk straight into playroom. I stopped her said its not on, hours are contracted, i am over my legal numbers too as assistant finishes for the day. Made it all very clear so last chance and if not late fees start.

ReetPetit Thu 08-Nov-12 11:53:04

oh no you poor thing. this sounds like my idea of hell.

i used to be a bit like you, but had parents who sat themselves down and wanted to hear all about pfb day whilst breastfeeding and it really got to me. i had one who would open my fridge, another who let himself in my front door - errm, no, this is my home....

now, i meet at the door. for drop off and pick up. and that's it. they get a diary, there is really no need to have parents coming in your home at all.

and yes, start charging a late fee, send out a letter to all, and tell them from Jan 1st you will be introducing a late charge. You could also put in that letter that your new policy is to drop off and pick up at the door if you don't feel brave enough to say it to their faces smile

ReetPetit Thu 08-Nov-12 11:57:09

welovecouscous = i don't mean to be rude but it is extremely self centred to feel this way. 30 minutes??? why does your childminder want you hanging around breastfeeding when she has looked after your child all day? it's not on, really. and even if your childminder says it's okay it's probably because she's new and hasn't yet got the courage to tell you it's really not.
some parents need to realise that childminding is our job. Not something we do for the love of it, on the whole.
we care for your child when you are at work - that doesn't mean we want an indepth 30 minute chat on the ins and outs of pfb bowel habits hmm

calmlychaotic Thu 08-Nov-12 21:46:47

so after being 40 minutes late last night and my i thought stern and comprehensive conversation she was 45 minutes late dropping off today, i had kids in buggies and older ones with coats on all ready and exited to go out and waiting in the front garden, they started practically climbing the walls so i set off said i'd have to meet her at the toddler group which she did. I was fuming, its not fair to impact on the other kids and i really had a go at her. then tonight 10 minutes late and no apology.... if someone had told me off for lateness i would make very sure i was on time, if not early next time, that 10 minutes late is such a lack of respect or consideration, i mean 10 minutes wouldnt normally bother me but its the principle, anyway late fees will now be charged not a step i wanted to take but at least i am earning while waiting! with late drop off i am going to stop waiting and just do what i did today and set off, surely she'll get bored of chasing round differnt toddler groups and parks finding us!

ReetPetit Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:46

god how rude. i feel for you. once a parent has overstepped the mark like this, its feel irretrievable to me. she clearly has no regard or respect for you, your family or your time. it seems to me that parents like this don't even think we are working! they think we are childminding for the fun of it, not to earn a living.
if i were in your shoes, i would give notice, although i know this depends on whether you are able to fill the place easily....

and don't wait around for her in the morning anymore. go about your business and let her come find you.

and please do start charging her for lateness. she sounds an awfully rude woman who thinks the world revolves around her!!

Rant over wink

expatinscotland Thu 08-Nov-12 21:52:03

You're going to have to be a wee bit firmer, OP. You know that, don't you? But it's a business and you have clients.

calmlychaotic Thu 08-Nov-12 21:57:38

reetpetit couldnt agree more, i have been ranting about this all day! i really really like this child, i have had him since he was a baby and he is coming on so well and i dont want to see him go, rubbish businesswoman but hey! i can fill the place, in fact i have 2 looking round next week. if she is willing to pay all these late charges though i could make a fortune! i have decided to charge £2.50 per 10 mins.

expatinscotland Thu 08-Nov-12 22:06:51

That's too cheap, OP. Most nurseries are far more.

SarkyWench Thu 08-Nov-12 22:10:00

Good for you smile

Just make sure you give appropriate notice for the introduction of late fees.

ReetPetit Thu 08-Nov-12 22:13:15

calmly, you could go higher than that. what's your hourly rate?

I think fixed penalty + time rate would be appropriate e.g £5 + £2.50 per 10 minutes. Otherwise it just reads like an optional extension to the day - needs to be an actual penalty.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 08-Nov-12 22:25:24

DD's nursery charges £15 per 15 mins late, DS's after school club charges £5 per £15 mins late....

OP, the regularly late parent is taking the proverbial....

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 08-Nov-12 22:28:54

£1 a minute - that will soon stop her

redandwhitesprinkles Thu 08-Nov-12 22:31:40

My nursery is £1 a minute late fees. Be firm and expensive for latecomers!

expatinscotland Thu 08-Nov-12 22:32:12

Now is the time, especially as you already have a wait list. That's about 6 weeks before the new year.

There are plenty here who will help you draft or review a letter regarding introduction of late fees.

If you don't want people doing this, the time is now to act.


Blowninonabreeze Thu 08-Nov-12 22:34:29

You need to make your late fees high.

At dds nursery they found that if they charged late fees, instead of deterring parents from being late, the opposite occurred, they felt they could be late and just pay for it.

So make your fee high.

Beamur Thu 08-Nov-12 22:35:06

My DD was at a nursery and I wouldn't have dreamed of hanging around another half an hour or more to breast feed - and I'm pretty sure I would have been nicely and politely told to stop it.
If you feel it is too akward to do too much about this with your friends - do draw the line with anyone new that you take on - treat it as a lesson learned.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 08-Nov-12 22:44:44

Absolutely it has to be high or it will look like an optional extra. My nursery is £15 for 15 minutes. It would work much better for me if I could be half an hour late everyday and if this was on offer for, say, twice the hourly rate instead of around 10 times, I'd consider paying it.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 08-Nov-12 22:45:04

For 15 mins late, obviously.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 08-Nov-12 22:48:51

I have heard that before too Blowin. Calmly please take note of what Blowin said!! and £2.50 isn't enough for 10 mins, your time alone is worth more than that, let alone it not acting as a deterant!

GrimAndHumourless Thu 08-Nov-12 22:51:34

actually with the late drop off this morning I would say you could think about giving notice

calmlychaotic Thu 08-Nov-12 23:09:27

very good point evreyone, she will just think well its only 2.50 and as travelincolour says its an optional extension to the day, i think £5 per 15 minutes, i dont feel comfortable going too high, i might state that i will rethin the fee after a month or somehtng and give myself the option to increase it if its not working
she isnt the only one, i have a few always late and they will all be getting this letter.
The funny thing is the ones that are late are the people who really no excuse for it, they are either working from home or are very local and have jobs that dont delay them. My parents who are always on time are the ones that have the best excuses, paramedic for example, only late once and full of apologies!
I am close to givng notice, I'll see how the late fees go, i just wouldnt like to lose this child, i really like him!

Lala29 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:12:32

As a parent, although I like hearing about DD's day and seeing her interacting with other children, I am always desperate to get her home and spend some quality time with her. I only get about an hour a day with her and would rather not share that! My difficulty is that my childminders treats other parents as everyone described - parents stay by the foot, but with me, because DD is only 12 months, she does quite a long handover most days. She also gets other parents out the door first before spending some time talking to me. Obviously I really appreciate an insight into DD's day, as I feel like I miss out on so much of her life. But a handover by the door would be very welcome for me most days, unless there is something specific either of us has to discuss.

Lala29 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:13:42

Parents stay by the door, not foot! Damn predictive text!

calmlychaotic Thu 08-Nov-12 23:29:35

sounds like you dd is your cm's favourite! I would absolutly love it if a parent said to me, look on this day and this day can we do a handover at the door so i can get straight out, maybe you could call/text me later if there is anything important you need discussing, as i hardly get any time with dd. But on this day if its ok with you could i maybe stay for say 10 - 15 minutes, have a chat and a bit of a catch up on the week and talk about her progress etc.

This thread is really showing up the lack of commnication parents and cm's have in certain areas!

KateByChristmas Fri 09-Nov-12 00:19:15

OP I personally (as I'm a chicken confronting friends) would each day when they collect the DC run upstairs don gym kit, with full on sweat band and leg warmers and drum fingers on a fitness DVD grin

calmlychaotic Fri 09-Nov-12 00:25:27

Kate, i love it. I'll have it as plan b if the late charges don't work! If they don't take the hint put the dvd on and start leaping about!

ZuleikaD Fri 09-Nov-12 07:41:53

I encountered a parent a couple of months ago who told me that their nursery had started charging £5 per minute.

confusedperson Fri 16-Nov-12 10:46:20

I am a parent have been using CM and/or nursery for >3 years now. I would never thought of turning up late or chatting for hours as I value everyone's time.
Anyway, to the point: from parent's point of view, I would prefer £1/min late charge rather than £5/15 min. This is because sometimes the train may get delayed or you stuck in a traffic, and obviously you are trying to make to CM as quick as possible, so let’s say if it is 3 mins past time – would you be more comfortable charging £5 as for 15 mins, or would you rather say “OK it is only 3 mins, let’s leave it”. I think £1/min gives more responsibility to rush to collect on time.

Tanith Fri 16-Nov-12 12:16:09

That's why I won't charge late fees. We live in an area

Tanith Fri 16-Nov-12 12:17:29

...where traffic can be awful. Bad enough to be stuck in a jam without having to stress about late fees too.

forevergreek Fri 16-Nov-12 18:20:45

Not really tanith, if you are in an area with bad traffic then they need to acknowledge and pay for it. So if often late for 5.30 pick up, then they need to arrange with you for time and payment until 6pm to account for this.

As a nanny I have 30 mins added to estimated arrival to allow for them late ( they arrive prob 20 mins into this 80% of the time)

I also change high late fees. If I am asked in advance and I am free then I am happy to stay on and charge regular hourly rate, if they just turn up late, I charge my hourly rate per 15 mins. It is rude and unexceptable for people to just arrive late without a valid reason or advanced notice. You/ myself and other childcarer also have a life and family outside of work

I think I would change £1 a minute

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 16-Nov-12 18:24:21

ditto forver, maybe the parents need to add another 15mins on to each day if always late in traffic

nokidshere Fri 16-Nov-12 18:44:14

I love the parents being here. They sometimes come in and chat to me and/or to other parents, sometimes they make coffee - I have even fed one or two if they are waiting. grin They all know each other now and we have been known to socialise outside of working hours.

I never charge late charges. I have been that person sitting in traffic and stressing about getting somewhere on time. No-one takes the micky - everyone is thoughtful and apologetic if and when they get held up. Sometimes if they get really delayed I take their children home when everyone else has left and get them ready for bed or play with them till the parent gets in.

Everyone pays on time, everyone pays me if I am sick, everyone is happy to rearrange for me if I need time off at short notice without deducting any pay.

Childminding, for me, is so much more than just childcare and I love every minute of it.

calmlychaotic Sat 17-Nov-12 00:33:49

Well i decided to do a letter to all parents explaining why it mattered that they where on time and how it impacted others. And added a late charge of £5 per 15 mins or part thereof. Everyone was lovely about it, one even said she knew she had been getting later and later and was expecting a telling off! So far everyone has been on time and i am much happier!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 17-Nov-12 01:36:32

Good for you!

Pourquoimoi Sat 17-Nov-12 02:25:55

Oh good smile I had been following earlier but glad it seems to be working for you.

forevergreek Sat 17-Nov-12 09:14:01

Nokidshere- that's lovely, but means you can't have your own life/ plans. If I expect to finish at 6pm then I can easily book theatre/ cinema/ meal out/ flights somewhere for a certain time. If I finish an hour late I would be late and miss the above.

Fri nights I often fly and back Sunday eve. I know that if I finish at 6 I have plenty of time to fly from heathrow on 9.15 flight. However if I finished at 7pm unexpectedly I probably wouldn't make it ( or be vv close ). Parents wouldn't be happy if I started charging for missed flights, taxi fares as tube not quick enough if late etc..

nokidshere Sun 18-Nov-12 15:20:01

I don't give up my time in order to suit them forevergreek these incidents are not daily or even monthly - but they do happen.

And I am happy to do it because a) I am by nature a nurterer and enjoy it and b) they afford me the same courtesy if and when I need time off or early finishes for things in my life (like parents "evening" at 3pm in the afternoon for my own children)

nokidshere Sun 18-Nov-12 15:21:05

Also I meant to add that if a parent is consistantly late I would not charge late fees but I would do a contract review and alter the collection time to make it more realistic.

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