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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    3 Times in 3 Posts

    How to deal with parent breaking contract

    I have been dealing with this family for 2 years now, when they first started with me I would only charge for attendance of children- if they canceled last minute so be it (boy did I learn that does NOT work). Mother pulled out children from care but then brought them back to me in April 2016. I then told her I had made some changes regarding payment and attendance which meant payment for days booked in advance whether child attends or not she agreed to this and signed a contract. If parents inform me of any absences minimum 1 week in advance I do not book in child and no payment required for the day....

    In the beginning she was paying me weekly for the days she needed but after a little while she began forgetting or "not having the money" or "I'll pay you next week" to which I have tried to be understanding and allowed to slide. This month she went 3 weeks without paying every beginning of the week saying "I'll pay you next week, having money troubles." Not only that but last week she cancelled on me monday morning stating that she would still be bringing child tuesday and wednesday, cancelled again tuesday morning saying would bring child wednesday and wednesday didn't even bother to let me know she was cancelling again. Wednesday evening sends me a payment for the two weeks prior but not that week which she had booked over and over and cancelled every day. I sent her a polite text message explaining that I was charging her for the week according to contract despite not bringing child as I had the spot saved for him. No reply.

    I thought she was upset and wasn't going to bring child anymore but shows up monday morning as if nothing had happened and quickly dropped him off (I assume to avoid conversation) and left. Father comes to pick up early and mentions he is keeping the child the rest of the week(child is only pt time 3 days a week mon tues and wed) as walking away to car but says will bring child again normal schedule starting next week.

    I am officially tired of them. Currently looking for someone to take up the spot. Wondering if anyone has any advice or how to deal with this. I avoid confrontation like the plague and have never dealt with non paying clients before. I know I will terminate as soon as I find someone else but would also like to get paid!

  2. #2
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    299 Times in 222 Posts
    1) pay in advance. Change your pay so you are getting paid before care is given.
    2) If payment isn't paid in full and on time there is a late fee of $50/day (including weekends and holidays) and care is suspended until both the tuition payment and late fees are paid in full. Days that the child is suspended fees are still due.
    3) set days and/or set weekly tuition payment instead of daily. (min. days paid no matter what. If they need an extra day they pay extra (before care) for that day)
    4) have in contract that you have the right to take the client(s) to either small claims court or collections and that all costs for these serves will be paid by the client(s).

    Not much help with this client, but will help with future ones

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    751 Times in 483 Posts
    Sadly I think your best bet is to find a new family. The pattern of this has been going on so long that the only way to stop it would be a GREAT deal of confrontation on your part. Face to face confrontation. Every single time. Refusing care every Monday morning until payment is in hand etc.

    That is not enjoyable for you. If you can fill the spot, set the stage by having your policies clearly in place. Stop them the first time the new family breaks a policy so they know they are legit policies. It should set the tone to keep things smooth.

  4. #4
    Starting to feel at home...
    Join Date
    May 2016
    57 Times in 42 Posts
    I would send them a written message (text or email) that they have not been following the contract they signed. For that reason, you will require payment for the day's outstanding (that they had booked for) and in advance for the 3 days next week, or you will not accept the child into your care next week. Stay firm, do not allow the child inside without payment. If they choose to walk away, so be it, wash your hands of them and chalk it up to a learning experience.

    Some parents will smarten up after they realise they can't get away with it. The ones that don't, never will, so it's best to just not deal with them. In the future, give written warnings the very first time (late payment or late pick up) and charge a fee the second time. You need to set out in the beginning what is acceptable.

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    677 Times in 507 Posts
    Payment in advance ... no pay .. no stay !! Minimum of 3 days per week

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    76 Times in 57 Posts
    Agree with above...this is a no-brainer!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    153 Times in 132 Posts
    Same as all the above posters. Payment in advance of care. I take postdated cheques for 6 months worth of care. Set days each week, not variable ones. Put hefty late payment fees in place(ie. 40-50 a day) And lastly, no pay no stay, as stated above. Start looking for a new family, as this one is very disrespectful.

  8. #8
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    486 Times in 369 Posts
    Pay is bi-weekly, in advance. No pay = no care. They don't step foot inside the door if they haven't paid their fees.

    In terms of these client's, I would terminate but also have an invoice with their termination letter and a copy of their signed contract. Be clear that fees are due in full by no later than the end of the month or the debt will be referred to Small Claims Court. Advice parent that if this happens, you will also be adding late payment fees and court costs to the claim. A CCJ will negatively affect their credit rating for a full 6 years after being settled. Keep all communication in writing.

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