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Dont know what I should do(15 Posts)
Friday night, due to the heavy snow, my last childminded child was picked up 2hr & 15mins late, Step dad had gone to his sons nursery to be father xmas, and what is normally a 15-20min journey took just over 2 hours.
The thing is, after reading another thread should I charge for those 2 hours or leave it?
I would say that if you normally have a very good relationship (ie friendly, don't take the piss with regards to being late normally, don't normally pay late etc) with this family I would leave it.
I have just started with a lovely childminder, and it was touch and go whether I would be late on Friday and I would have been a bit if she had charged me, knowing that I was doing everything I could to get there on time.
But then we have just agreed that this Friday I would pick my DC up several hours early and then it wouldn't matter if I was a few minutes late every now and then (still paying for those hours otherwise it would be all take on my part and no give then, wouldn't it!!!).
I would expect the parent to offer to pay me if they were 2.5 hrs late...for any reason! If I had a good relationship with the family and they were usually were good at timekeeping and I knew they had made every effort to get to me then I would (and have in the past) refused payment from them.
Chitchat- a childminder is running a business and charges for her time. If you hire a car and return it late...for whatever reason then you still have to pay for the extra time! As a cm I don't 'swap' hours with a parent. If you pick up earlier that your contracted hours then you still pay me..I can't fill that space for those few hours? If you collect late then you 'should' be expected to pay. I would be terribly resentful of a client if they kept being a 'few' minutes late and then expected to trade the time they were early to pick up from 2 weeks ago for those minutes. Actually Im very flexible on lateness and never charge...but personally I would feel you were taking advantage if you were one of my parents.
Using a cm is not about give and take...its about you using her service and respecting her! If you respect her and her time then she is far more likely to be accomodating and flexible to your needs...if you take the proverbial then you may find her to be less so in the future! Worth bearing in mind!
I wouldn't charge, the weather was awful and they couldn't help it
But then I am a bit of a softie
Jendot, I haven't actually been late but
it was a close call due to the weather and my train being cancelled. The 'swap' of picking up a few hours early and then it not mattering if I was a few minutes late occasionally was the CM's suggestion not mine, and one I was happy to accommodate - that is what I meant with give and take!
Of coure in MY mind a few minutes late is exactly that, a few minutes and definitely not more than 10 minutes.
Also I do agree, if I was several hours late I would offer to pay, but the OP wasn't asking what the parent should do, she was asking what SHE should do. And if she has had a good relationship with them in the past then she I stand by what I said, then she shouldn't charge them. However if they are frequently late, even if just by a few minutes and never expect to pay, then yes, she should charge them!
(Oh and I don't have a lovely personal relationship with a car hire company, but we do use a 'chauffeur car service', and no they didn't charge for my DH's journey taking longer due to bad weather - but that is because we use them frequently and have a 'good relationship'!)
I'd just leave the cash on the bench on way out if refused for 2 hours late regardless of circs. A few mins on occasion I feel awful about but cm says no worries (this rarely happens and ds is collected much earlier than others anyway). I'd send in yummy biscuits or cakes, though to say thank you.
I think just make sure you show /express your appreciation for keeping your dc later on this occasion.
Chitchat I don't thinkjendot knew it was your cm extending the hours swapping.
In this case he was doing something nice for the kids and really couldn't avoid being late, without having cancelled doing that, so I would happily put 'No charge for late pick up - due to Santa getting caught in the snow!' and leave it at that.
IF this weather continues I think you have to decide what your policy is going to be and let the parents know in advance - not that they can do anything about being late really - but if you decide to bill them then they know that up front and wont be miffed when you do OR if you decide you wont bill them, then it creates some good will doesn't it.
If I was the parent I would be fine with paying as we would be using your service - no problem at all, however, I would also really appreciate any CM who didn't charge because a) I think it shows you understand it was out of our control and b) it reassures me that it's not all about the money, but actually caring for my child/our family and to me that would be important. But then I am quite give & take and flexible with things and I would want a CM to be like home away from home, I'd be fine with you taking them to do things for you (supermarket shopping, buying gifts etc).
Haven't read whole thread but just posted on another thread about something like this. I once had a mindee arrive at 9pm when they should have been with me at 6pm. I did NOT charge for this as it was flooding which took us by surprise and not her fault (poor thing was in tears on the phone as just wanted to get back for her little baby!). If she'd have been late the next day I'd have charged as we all knew it was bad by then so need to allow for it.
no wouldnt charge as a one off...
but chitchat... find a lot of parents miss the point and think that because they pick up early one day then its fine to pick up later another day.. as they feel they have done the cm a favour.. they havnt.. we work to contracted hours for a reason.
what you have to understand is that your cm may have lots of commitments you have no idea of.. for example my dd needs me to pick her up from after school; activities at certain times so i only work till 6pm..
but for the occasional unavoidable late pick up then no.. no charge..
I am a nanny and I would not charge, of course it is about give and take.
Thanx all for all your thoughts, Im not going to charge.
Ive only had my mindee since beggining of October, and they are generally only a few minutes late each day.
Body - my 9yr old had to miss a party, coz I didnt feel it approprite to drag mindee out in the snow, we would have had a good 20 min walk there and 20 min back as I wont drive with mindees in this weather. He wasnt happy, bless him.
Chitchat - your right if theyre a few minutes ate every day, that could add up to goodness how much that Could that add up to over the course of a year..
Star - We all know your not an 'ordinary' parent, bless you
Chippinin - thanx for you thoughts from a parents perspective.. I like to think my home is like home from home.. My parents and dare I say, the kids seem to be happy with me.
My kids are generally after schoolers, so I dont have to worry to much about taking them out and about, I must admit I dont like driving in the car with them, as I would never forgive myself, if I were to have an accident with them in the car with me.
I think whatever you decide to do you have to treat all the parents the same, unless some are always late and not appreciative or apologetic.
As a parent it wouldn't even occur to me not to pay for the extra time. It may not be my fault that I'm late, but it certainly isn't my childminders so why should I expect her to provide her service for nothing?
If she refused payment I'd give her a bottle of wine (budget = 2.5 hours at £5/hour - could nearly run to Champagne!)
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