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Thread: Late fees

  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home...
    Join Date
    May 2012
    11 Times in 10 Posts

    Late fees

    Couple of questions.

    Do you charge a late fee if a parent forgets a cheque at pick up time but offers to bring it later that night?

    If payment is due on Friday and they don't bring it until Monday, do you charge a late fee for one day or three days (incl Sat/Sun)?

    Does anyone ask for post-dated cheques from parents to avoid the issue of late payment?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    949 Times in 781 Posts
    I have an early/late fee of $5/half hour if the families exceed 9 hours per day or arrive 1 minute before 7:30 which is my opening time or 1 minute after 5pm which is my official closing time. I think it is a good idea to also have a late payment fee but I actually haven't had the need to include one in my contract.

    If I had a client who was consistently late with payments I would actually make up an addendum to the contract to enforce a new policy if I wasn't renewing for several months and get them to sign it because I won't put up with crap like that! Once in a while I have a family tell me that they didn't get to the bank or something like that and ask if they can pay the next business day and I'm fine with it because I trust my dcfamilies and they are awesome 90% of the time with payments. But definitely look out for yourself where payments are concerned!

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    946 Times in 686 Posts
    According to my contract everyone's fees are due at NOON on Fridays according to their payment schedule (aka weekly biweekly or monthly in advance of care) ... this gives me a buffer zone to be 'flexible' that if they forget in the morning they have until close time to pay up without incurring a late fee so if they forget AGAIN at pick up time they better high tale it home and back before I close

    Otherwise YES I charge $10/day late fee for the inconvenience of not having my payment on time and having to make additional trips to the bank ... so if they paid 'after hours' on the Friday that would be $10 additional, if they paid on Saturday that would be $20 and Sunday would be $30 and if they chose to not show up until Monday with payment they would have a $40 late fee and a reminder that late payment is disrespectful and affects my ability to budget for the program as we are not a big corporation who overcharges our clients in order to have a huge buffer of profits sitting in a bank account .... my contract also says that 'chronic payment issues will result in termination of this contract' and I MEAN that I do not deal with disrespect well!

    I have waived the above policy on occassion when clients are truly in crisis and the forgetfulness is a result ~ aka dealing with a sick family member or death and so forth cause do not want them worrying about anything else in a time like that.

    I hate having to do the 'termination threat' but it is in case I ever come across someone who does not think it is a 'big deal' to be late paying cause they pay all their bills late and other companies keep offering service and so they just figure its ok to pay the late fee and move on ~ the late fee is not a 'deterrent' to actually having people pay late so if you do not want to deal with late payment issues you need to make it clear in your policy that 'lateness' will not be tolerated ... aka the late payment is not permission for this behavior to continue.

    My late pick up of children payment reads the same ~ if you do it it incurs a fee of $1//minute to compensate me for my time but if you are chronically late it is grounds to terminate the contract without notice ... aka plan your day to ensure you are here before pick up time!
    Last edited by Inspired by Reggio; 10-22-2012 at 06:18 AM.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    677 Times in 507 Posts
    I don't accept cheques ... Cash or EMT only and my fees are due on Fridays by 5 or yes they get a late fee per day.

  5. #5
    apples and bananas
    No, I don't charge late fees for late payments. If they forget it then I control when they bring it back. I either request that they bring it right back, if I need it right away, or I might give them the option of a money transfer before the next morning. I rarely have anyone forget payment so I don't see any reason to put a policy in effect right now.

    If you're having trouble with someone paying on time I would make sure you give them a written warning first, and explain to them that their payment helps pay for groceries... house insurance... crafts... etc. These are important things for a home daycare.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    1,469 Times in 1,125 Posts
    I have payment on Monday for the week ie in advance of service. Yes sometimes a couple parents forget for whatever reason and I do have a late fee - failure to have money to me by Wed at drop off means no service till fees paid so they go home with child in tow to get money. No excuses when there are so many ATM machines around these days.

    Once I changed to a Monday payment it means I always have my money by the end of the week when I want to do banking - no weekends involved.

  7. #7
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    292 Times in 225 Posts
    I have a $30 late fee if I am not paid by 6pm on Friday. I will normally let it slide the first time or two, but I did have to send out an email last week to a repeat offender letting her know that her chances were up. She paid on time for the second time, ever - since July! Funny about that...

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