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Late charge £10 for 15 mins late first time

(28 Posts)
MyMorningHasBroken Sat 04-Feb-17 01:26:23

I'm a bit peeved. I have never been late to pick up my youngest from nursery (he is in pretty much full time as I started work again not long ago) In fact i pick him up as soon as I can which in general is about 3/4 of an hour earlier. (obviously I have to pay the whole session). I've never been late with payments ect.
Anyway, this week, I had a flat tyre which needed changing on my way home from work. I called the school (nursery is ajoined to school) to tell them I might be late and what had happened.
They said 'oh yes, don't worry, that's fine with no mention of any fees ect, but just received my bill to find a £10 late charge. I was about 15 mins late in all.

I understand that they need to cover the time and to cover their backs for persistent late pick ups but I really didn't see the need for this when I'd called beforehand and was assured it was all fine.

I 'll also add that on numerous occasions the nursery has opened 5 mins late or more which does impact my journey to work as I have quite a long journey.

Any thoughts?

ICJump Sat 04-Feb-17 01:28:21

It's harsh but I think they have to do it.

MyMorningHasBroken Sat 04-Feb-17 01:31:40

It is sad

Akire Sat 04-Feb-17 01:35:26

You would think your first one would be free but If there's 50 kids and each parent only is late once a year that's still almost one shift a week you are staying late for, which can impact on staff own childcare or other commitments.

You could charge them £5 every 5min they are late opening for you?!

MyMorningHasBroken Sat 04-Feb-17 01:38:21

Na, i just won't buy any Christmas presents this year grin

AvaCrowder Sat 04-Feb-17 01:40:59

They have to charge you. It's shit when your salary doesn't over it. But they still have to charge you.

7SunshineSeven7 Sat 04-Feb-17 01:43:24

Bit shit but they have to do it. Tip for next time you have a flat tire. Take a picture of it, then if you're ever running late for something else just send them the picture and say ''Sorry I have a flat''. They'll be much more understanding than you just running late wink

MyMorningHasBroken Sat 04-Feb-17 01:45:17

7sunshine, i told them on the phone i had a flat tyre sad

7SunshineSeven7 Sat 04-Feb-17 01:46:44

I know, I'm talking about in the future if you're ever late for anything at all (work, meet ups etc). People are a lot more sympathetic to a flat tire than someone being late. grin

AmeliaJack Sat 04-Feb-17 01:47:43

They have to cover the costs of staying open late.

It's a standard charge - it's not personal.

And not buying Christmas presents is terribly petty. I assume you are joking about that.

MyMorningHasBroken Sat 04-Feb-17 01:48:24

Oh ok sorry Lol, Yep, i will do. I'll also show them the bill for the new one smile
Just been a super crappy week!

MyMorningHasBroken Sat 04-Feb-17 01:49:00

I was joking yes, but it is costly with 3 kids!

Bahhhhhumbug Sat 04-Feb-17 01:52:48

Unfortunately the days when discretion was used seem to be gone in all walks of life. Bank managers would let a charge go for a small amount over limit in a previously 'well behaved' customer's account and so on.. Nowadays even when no computers are involved nobody seems to dare or have the authority use their discretion. Once that little box was ticked at the nursery to say you were late, the next person involved in producing your invoice probably blindly followed procedures. Have you tried raising it with them in a non confrontationsl way saying what you have told us and appealing for a little bit of goodwill for a 'first' and out ofcharacter 'offence'. Might be worth a try or otoh computer might say no <sighs> but you will have at least made your point.

MyMorningHasBroken Sat 04-Feb-17 01:54:52

Bahhhhumbug, that's really true. Well explained - thank you

dylsmimi Sat 04-Feb-17 01:59:52

It is frustrating that you don't get the first time 'free'
I wonder if when they said 'it's fine' they meant they would stay with them without worrying about ringing you/emergency contacts etc and that it was fine you were on your way all be it late. It may have been more of a 'thanks for letting us know 'fine' (such an ambiguous word sometimes)

Bahhhhhumbug Sat 04-Feb-17 02:27:26

More of a wistful reminiscing really than an explanation lol. One of my pet hates this blindly following "the system' like we are all little robots. grin

KickAssAngel Sat 04-Feb-17 02:44:58

It actually seems like a really low amount to me. Nurseries have to pay to have 2 staff stay late when parents are late at pick up, for whatever reason. DD is 13 and if we are late to pick her up after school it's $5 for each minute. DH once racked up $100 by being stuck in traffic.

I know it's hard - I've been there with getting held up and struggling to make it. Do you have anyone who could pick up in an emergency? What would you have done if you couldn't get to nursery (like your car totally broke down)?

insancerre Sat 04-Feb-17 09:06:17

Have you any idea of the impact on the staff of not being able to go home on time?
What if they had children to collect from childcare themselves? And had to pay them a fine
What if they had to take their children to evening clubs?
What if they had a bus or train to catch and missing it means they have to wait for an hour in the dark for the next one?
What if they have commitments to elderly relatives who are waiting to go. To the toilet or for an evening meal or medication!
What if the dog needs letting out?
What if the car park ticket runs out and they have to pay extra?
What if the only time they get to no to the chemist for a prescription is just before it closes but they missed it because they couldn't leave work?
What if they had a medical appointment?

What if they were just bloody knaclerd from working an already long and tiring day and just want to leave work and go home?

Of course the nursery have to charge or parents will do it all the time

TiggyD Sat 04-Feb-17 10:09:30

My nursery is a pound per minute. The staff work from 7:30 until 6:30. They're quite keen to go home on time.

And I think nurseries do use discretion. I remember an occasion where there was a big dump of snow during the 5 o'clock rush hour. It was un-forecast. Tons of parents were late but none were charged due to exceptional circumstances. Another occasion there was a big dump of snow during rush hour and some parents were late, they were made to pay because it was forecast and could have made other arrangements.

If you try to time your pick-up for 5 minutes before the nursery shuts you're always going to run the risk of an unforeseen occurrence occurring. Prepare emergency pickup people. Get together with other parents. Pay a member of staff to 'babysit' for half an hour.

PinkyOrTank Sat 04-Feb-17 10:34:54

They're staying late looking after your child - I assume the most precious thing in your world, and you're complaining about a tenner? confused

I'm sorry, but the staff have commitments too; they generally work long tiring hours as it is, and I think they should charge for late pick ups, whatever the circumstances (it's not their fault you're late after all).

It's your choice to pick up before session ends; they have provisions for staff to cover that child, and could sell the slot to another parent who would use all the session, so I don't see that this is relevant to the charges/hours.

That said, if they are opening late, that is really bad and I would be discussing this with the management and charging a similar late fee.

insancerre Sat 04-Feb-17 10:40:22

The opening up late is a separate issue and one you should raise with the management as it's not acceptable to doing this
But the op can't charge them a fee for opening up late, what a bizarre suggestion

HSMMaCM Sat 04-Feb-17 13:11:19

Charging the first time can often stop someone being late a second time. It also stops the debate about "well you didn't charge me last time".

It's a bargain for the price of a member of staff staying late. Just say thank you for looking after your dc.

Celaena Sat 04-Feb-17 13:26:08

Charging for lateness doesn't actually stop parents being late

There's a really long good book called freakanomics, like why drug dealers live with their mums, and how late charges don't deter late picker uppers

KickAssAngel Sat 04-Feb-17 14:48:32

Caleana - it's no deterrent if it's a small fee, but works if it's a whacking great big one (like $5 a minute) which is partly why it often is so high. That's why I'm surprised that OP only got the ten pound fine. Every childcare I've ever used was way higher, so that parents really made sure that they were just running five minutes late.

theSnuffster Mon 06-Feb-17 16:39:37

I work in a nursery and exceptions to the late charge are occasionally made for true emergencies. It's basically at the discretion of the manager. Our policies state that we charge £10 as soon as they're late- although we do always allow a few minutes.

In the past I've cared for a child who was consistently collected late- the parents were happy to pay the late charge every time, they could easily afford it.

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