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Childcare advance payment Advice please?

(10 Posts)
casperlove1 Tue 12-Jan-16 15:54:33

Hi there,

We pay our childminder a month in advance and we also payed her a lump sum per child as a deposit for the children's places when we booked them in with her originally a few years ago.

Someone's recently told me that she shouldn't be able to charge us her late payment fee of £15 (we are late every now and then by a day!) as we are technically paying in advance of services and not in arrears.

I'd like to point out that we are only ever late because my husband works away now and then and has to process the childcare vouchers online at work.

Thanks in advance x

NickNacks Tue 12-Jan-16 16:01:50

Do you use or expect to use her service between the payment due date and the date you actually pay? Are they a day late reaching her or do you transfer them a day after they are due?

casperlove1 Tue 12-Jan-16 16:26:38

Hi NickNacks, we are late by her 'due date'.
Hence her charging a late payment fee.

But my question is, should she be able to charge that late payment fee, when technically we haven't even used her services yet, as we pay a month in advance anyway.

If you see what I mean?

casperlove1 Tue 12-Jan-16 16:31:07

I guess some childminders may say they take advance payment incase of none paying parents.

But then I'm guessing they don't then take a large deposit and charge late fees too?

HSMMaCM Tue 12-Jan-16 17:13:25

I charge in advance and charge a late payment fee. If you pay after your contracted date, you should pay the penalty fee you agreed.

NickNacks Tue 12-Jan-16 18:32:58

Sirry to be clearer, the vouchers take 3-5 working days to become clear funds in to our bank accounts. Is, for example, her due date the 1st and

a) you aren't transferring the vouchers in time so she doesn't get cleared funds until the 2nd?

Or b) you aren't sending the vouchers until the 2nd meaning she doesn't get cleared funds until 6th/7th of the month?

A I would be ok with, B I would definitely charge late fees for as all my bills would be late being paid!

Regardless, you have a signed contract with her. Your end provides that you will pay a certain amount on a certain date and hers is that she provides childcare in days and hours agreed. You can't backtrack after because you can't keep up your end of the contract.

Karoleann Tue 12-Jan-16 21:57:57

Yes she can if that's what the contract says.

However, your husband should be able to set up either telephone "banking" for the vouchers or email to say that you are able to process them on your behalf. We've done both before.

Hopefully then the payment won't be late and it shouldn't be an issue.

maryann1975 Tue 12-Jan-16 22:56:58

I am nearing the point of saying I won't accept the vouchers from one of my families. Every month, they forget to send the money on the correct day, meaning by the time the funds are in my account they are late by a couple (or more) of days. I wish I had put a late payment clause in the contract, I won't be caught out again.
It is not your Childminders fault that your DH is away and can't pay the bill on time. Would your morgagte company accept that? The cms morgagte company might not accept that her payment is late because her funds haven't cleared because your DH is away.
If your contract says there is a late payment charge and you have agreed to that clause, i would think it's fine. I assume the deposit is held and comes of the final payment so I don't think it is relevant that she holds this.
I'm afraid this topic makes me a bit grumpy at the moment.

Forresitters Wed 13-Jan-16 00:16:35

Totally agree with you Maryann1985!

I take a 2x weekly fee deposit and have a charge for late payment fee.
I make sure parents read and understand my contract and policies before they sign.
I don't think some parents realise how much of a nuisance childcare vouchers are and I too am seriously considering stopping accepting them altogether. Childcare vouchers can take up to 5 working days to clear into the childminder's bank account. It isn't just instant because it has left the parents account. Bank holidays are even worse! My parents pay fees a month in advance on the 1st. One parent didn't apply for their voucher until 1st January and due to it being a BH, it didn't reach my account until the 7th Jan. In that time I still looked after their child and have charged late payment fee but tbh even if I hadn't cares for them the late fee would still be due just like fess are paid in advance for your rent and mortgage and late payment fee is applicable.

Sometimes it's not just one parent who pays late - it's several or all of them and that can put a CM's bank account in difficulty as they will have DD/bills etc. due out. Late payment fees are there for a specific reason. If you're not clear perhaps you should ask your CM to explain directly rather than listening to someone who tells you they she shouldn't be charging you!

jclm Thu 14-Jan-16 14:21:51

Could you offer to pay a few months at a time? We pay a term in advance (though we only have 1 day a week with cm) because of the slow childcare vouchers.

If childcare vouchers are arriving late to the cm, the cm needs to invoice a couple of weeks earlier than she is doing ATM. Or offer parents the option of paying a few months in advance if they have enough vouchers in their account (we have thousands in ours just sitting there)

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