View Full Version : should i be mean and charge late payment fee to awkward parent

05-01-2014, 06:08 PM
I would firstly like to say that a late payment charge/day is included in all the contracts i sign, but i have never actually charged for it yet (even though a few parents have been late paying at times, including this parent)

We have had siblings A and B for nearly a year now, just for 10 hours over 2 days a week. Child B is supposed to be starting free hours with us on monday, paper work all signed and sorted with the council.

However, the w/c 16th dec the children didnt turn up on the first day as they were ill. we were told about this 30 mins before they were due to come. Mum usually drops money round anyway, as she is supposed to pay daily (in contract) and she still has to pay when they are ill (also in contract); this has happened before with no problems. She didnt come and pay that day, which wasnt really an issue as the children were due to come in another 2 days anyway.

My cominder said she had a sneaking suspicion they wouldn't turn up again, as the mum had mentioned that she was really tight for money, as they had just moved house and it was christmas. (though should mention that she picked them up one day with a 7 seater car full of toys, which was apparently just for one child!!!) Didn't mention anything directly about struggling to pay childcare fees and the comment went over my cominders head, until they didnt turn up on the first day.

The second day came around and this time we had a text 10 minutes before they were due to come saying they were going to the doctor instead. My cominder said hope they get better soon, let us know how they get on at doctor etc. but please remember to drop money in and we have christmas presents for them. They were not due to come the next 2 weeks, so she needed to pay 2 weeks retainer (half usual cost) for those weeks too.

She hasnt replied at all. My cominder has tried to ring her a couple of times and then gave up. they are due back either tomorrow (if she wants to start the free hours then - this hasnt been discussed as we havent seen her or been in touch) or tuesday for normal hours with both children.

I reckon we wont hear anything again, but my cominder (who knows her a lot better then me) reckons she will turn up on tuesday as normal, with some excuse about phone not working/being abducted by aliens/some other lame excuse.

my question is do i be mean and charge her the late payment fees too? (it totals 200 for the two children) on one hand i think she should pay it, as she left us both short before christmas. yes, it could be that she was struggling to pay us, but i think its really selfish to leave us short instead. (we are not monsters btw, if she had come to us and said she was struggling to pay then we would have sorted something out, but its the lack of contact really)

on the other hand, i think the charges are a lot (as its 2 children and been left for 3 weeks) and if we dont 'let her off' then that will mean she wont come back at all as she cant afford to pay. But then will she think she can just walk all over us in the future?

05-01-2014, 09:20 PM
If it was me I would say that late payment fees should be x amount but as a good will gesture you will only charge her Half and then it wont seem as bad and she knows you mean business

05-01-2014, 09:23 PM
Agree with fionamal. Good compromise.

05-01-2014, 09:39 PM
Yep good idea

05-01-2014, 09:51 PM
yes I would go with this idea, good luck x