I am a fairly new childminder and have just taken on a new child whose parents are seemingly routinely late in picking him up. Each session so far they have been between 10-15 minutes after the agreed time. I don't want to ask them if they want me to put a later time in the contract, as I don't want to be working any later than I already should be. What do people generally do for late charges? I charge £5 per hour, so would you charge say £5 for 15 minutes late. When does your charge kick in? The minute they are late or say 10 minutes grace? If she knew a charge kicked in after 10 minutes, I am sure she would turn up 9 minutes late every time... It is not the end of the world but it is irritating me as it implies that she feels her time is far more important than mine.... Any advice?
I am having to toughen up too. I now charge £5 per quarter hour or part quarter hour late. In practice I think I would allow five minutes grace as long as it wasn't habitual, but if it was taken for granted I would have to say something - such as "I have let you off the late fee twice already this week but I am going to have to charge it if you are late again".
Thanks minderjinx - the mum always arrives apologetically and in a flurry of activity but I think I will have to get tougher with her. I normally charge at the start of each month and she has only just paid me for December too.... Shame her child is so easy and lovely or I'd be tempted to tell her it isn't working out. I have a feeling she's going to cause me more stress ongoing. Maybe I've just been lucky that my other 5 families are all prompt payers and pick up on time, or often 5 mins early!
You need to deal with this now and I know how hard it is when you first start out.
When I began childminding, one of the parents did this almost immediately and it got later and later with her also dropping off earlier and earlier. She did it so gradually, and I let it go, that when I did eventually check back on the contract, I realised she was getting an extra one and a half hours free every day!
I sat her down there and then and suggested we change the contract to her new hours and she complied. If she hadn't, I'd have told her I was charging her for the extra time and late fees.
These days, I don't charge late fees: I factor it into my hourly rate, then no-one has to stress about being on time.
Thanks - the thing is, her child is here the latest anyway. The others all go home half an hour earlier, so the mum being late is really cutting into my own children's bath/bed routine, which is why I find it so irritating, and don't want to discuss changing the contracted hours. I'm thinking that maybe the late fee should be even higher than £5 per 15 mins, to act as more of a deterrent for her...she has plenty of money, but terrible timekeeping!
many nursery's i know charge £1 per min so if 15min late then £15
its a good time as a new year to write a newsletter and give to all your parents so that no one feels singled out (tho they should if taking the piss and always being late)
simply state that it has come to attention that some but not all parents are collecting later and later and your shut time is say 6pm as states in their contracts and will be charging £1 per min late for all parents