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  1. #1

    Need Help Managing Payments from Parents

    Hi everyone,

    Not sure where to post this, but i have been having issues with my daycare business and clients not paying, or constantly delaying payments. A couple parents have gotten up to 2 weeks behind in payment. Another likes to pretend that I don't charge vacation days, or sick days, and takes payment off themselves for those days. Past clients I've had to terminate are still owing payment. I am always a very nice person and find it hard to be firm with people about these types of things. For example, like not allowing them in unless they have payment ready.

    I constantly feel that the parents are taking advantage of my kindness. It is sucking the joy out of running the daycare wondering whether or not ill even be paid for the work I'm doing taking care of their child. Because honestly, most times I'm seeing I'm not getting paid!

    Is it unreasonable to close the daycare down, and start over fresh with new clients? Maybe make new pay rules and accept no one that asks for biweekly payments? Only do upfront? What is your tolerance level for this type of stuff? How do you strongly enforce your rules? I'm very unhappy with all my current clients and tired of chasing parents around for payments. It is causing a lot of undue stress.

    How would you approach this situation?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    486 Times in 369 Posts
    You can run a business with firm policies and still be a nice person but closing your daycare and re-opening with new clients is pointless unless you are going to make some serious changes.

    If you don't take the steps to run your business, it will run you.

    In your situation, this is what I would do :

    1. GET A CONTRACT. Outline in it clearly when your fees are due.
    2. Fees are due in advance. No fees = no care. Period.
    3. Have a late payment fee as a deterrent too. Every day they are late, not only are they without care but there is a $10 (or whatever) penalty. After a week, they have lost their space.
    4. Decide which clients you have now that you want to keep. Fire all of the others and make the ones staying sign a contact.
    5. Be willing to take debtors to a court or refer their accounts to collections. Stop working for free. Stop letting people get away with this.

    I have zero tolerance for BS. My policies and firm and DOCUMENTED. If I had a client who didn't remember my vacation was paid, I would simply refer them to the right section of their signed contract and attach a copy of their signed contract. Problem solved.

    You set the rules.
    You decide when fees are due.
    You enforce your rules.
    You don't enable disrespect.
    You don't keep repeating the issues.
    You have to be prepared to deal with debtors.

    Without a contract, you are screwing yourself. You cannot prove what your agreement was. You can't prove what your terms were. You can't prove your vacation is paid. You can't take them to court because you have no proof of your agreement.

    One page is all you need. Lay out your agreement and both sign it. Stop the madness.
    Last edited by Suzie_Homemaker; 08-08-2019 at 11:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    299 Times in 222 Posts
    1) no pay no stay. If my clients don't pay then care is suspended until their tuition payments and late fees are paid in full. Payment is still due for days missed due to suspension.

    2) $50/day late fee. If I don't get paid by 8:00am every 2nd Thursday I charge them a $50 late fee. If I still don't have it by 8:00am Friday it is another $50 late fee ($100 in late fees) and so on. The late fee applies to every day late this includes weekends and holidays.

    3) I have a secret face book group just for parents. On the Sunday or Monday of pay week I post: Just a friendly reminder that tuition payments are due anytime between now and 8:00am Thursday (Date).
    on the Wednesday of pay week I post: Thank you to all who have already sent their tuition payments. For those of you who haven't please insure I have it no later then 8:00am Thursday (date) {tomorrow}, to avoid late fees.

    Since I started doing all of this I haven't had any late payments.

    If I don't have my payment in full (including late fees) within 7 days, care is terminated. Payments are still due or I either take them to small claims court or a collection agency.

    If payment is late, but paid within 7 days, 3 times within one year, care is terminated.

    I only accept EMT's (electric money transfers), this gives proof of payment emails, to both my client and to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    153 Times in 132 Posts
    I agree with above postings. No pay, no stay.
    Take payment in advance of care, ie all on the 1st of month or divided between the 1st&15th
    Or on the Friday of the week before.
    I do post dated cheques and take 6 months at a time so I have the payment. I’ve only had an NSF twice in 10 years
    Make sure it’s all in a contract, as well as late payment fees per day of outstanding money.
    If you don’t have the payment, refuse care to the child.
    Make sure contract says you will take them to small claims court for non payment and they must reimburse your costs for time of work related to appearing in court.
    Be clear on your termination clause- ie how many instances you do/don’t allow for late or non payment, and then follow through. Every time you tolerate that behaviour, you have weakened your own credibility, and they know they can continue to do it again.
    Stand up for yourself and your business.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    78 Times in 74 Posts
    All are.wonderful and useful suggestions.

    So far I haven't had to deal with something like that. I found useful to:

    1. Print a yearly payment due dates (given at the begining of the year) just in case if they want to keep it somewhere visual.
    2. It is also Posted in my website (for when they're not sure and want to check it again)
    3. For any late day there is an extra fee. "Adm. Fees"
    4. Currently all are e-transfers (it is also suggested that they can set automatic payments from their acc with their bank) so. No reminders needed. It is automatically taken from their accounts biweekly like a mortgage payment.

    We live in a digital era so (I try to speak their language), I think the new generation deals best if all is done online. Well at least that's how it has been working fine in my case. You can also set an automatic reminder for everyone to get it on time .

    Many people is too distracted, verbal reminders get easily forgotten, visually works best.

    I hope it helps,
    Good luck.

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