I’ve been working as a Childminder for a few years and consider myself to be helpful and accommodating. I’ve never charged late collection fees as my Mindees parents are very considerate to me.
I’ve had a new child start and this is his second week, there have been two instances of late collection, one 30 mins late and another 20 mins this week. In both occasions there has not been an apology for the lateness and it’s really got up my nose, i’m considering implementing my late collection fee to nip it in the bud but I feel so guilty.. what would you do in this situation?
Definitely tell them next time you see them that you will be charging late fees. I generally do it on the first occasion now, as I've been burnt a couple of times in the past. Making it clear from the start seems to work.
I’ve sent a text (which is our usual way of communicating, not a cop out) as there will be other parents present at drop off for the next few days and I don’t want to cause any embarrassment. I hate confrontation but really feel I need to nip it in the bud as it was as though it was expected, when my long standing parents have been held up they’ve always been very apologetic and it’s never been twice in a week.
I’ve happily had long term Mindees overnight with no charge when parents have been stuck in London with train problems but this feels different.
I would implement late collection fee if it’s in the contract. Occasionally I have parents who are late but they always let me know and it’s usually something that can’t be helped and they’re always very apologetic. I’ve not yet applied a late collection due to this although I do charge them my usual rate if it’s over 10 minutes late
You need to address it or perhaps update your policy and send them a copy especially to that parent in particular. It’s no tolerated because they aren’t allowed to do that at school so why should childminders sacrifice their family time for non apologetic parents. It really winds me up because I had a few parents done that before and when I surcharged them at the end of the month they were like why did you charge us extra I showed them a copy of the register and my policy which they signed after hours £5 every 15mins! From then on I had no sleepy head daddies picking up their kids 1hr late sometimes you have to stick up to your policies because parents just abuse of your services some parents are really nice you never get complaints or problems some are just «over protective parents» but that’s how the business runs
In my childminding course they did Emphasise on late collections which even social service or ofsted gets involved as the children get very distressed. Please refer to EYFS for that could help with renewing your policies.
BUT you can also add that it’s understandable sometimes parents can get held up by traffic or transport or bad weather condition or just late from work which they could give your head up before hand so you can prepare the child that mummy or daddy will be late and it’s fine you don’t have to charge them if you don’t want to because it’s a one off and they’ve told you.
If you do decide not to charge for any reason put the late charge on your invoice then show a corresponding credit and a note in bold saying "I have not charged on this occasion but reserve the right to do so in the future". This highlights to the parent how nice you have been and more importantly protects you from setting an I dot charge precedence. Contracts can be changed by custom and habit if apparent can show you have not charge in the past it can be judged that you cant charge now without re doing contracts. I would always charge a parent who does not apologise or if became a habit. If you don't it looks like you don't mind.