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Topic: unpaid daycare bill
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sammy

1/23/2012 9:12:08 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
unpaid daycare bill

what can be done if a parent refuses to pay their daycare bill?  
 
i know small claims can be an option but is there a certain amount for it to be worth the time and trouble? is contacting the police and reporting their name an option? technically it is theft since they received a service and did not pay for it. is it no different then walking out of a store with a shirt that was not bought, or not paying for your lunch or walking out with paying for your haircut?  
 
ps. this is not for me but for another person i know that runs a daycare out of her home. my parents pay 2 weeks in advance and i have suggested this to her so that this does not happen again. it is just so irritating to me that parents do not respect their daycare providers and pay them on time! a daycare bill is no different then other bill..it has to be paid!!  
 
thanks in advance for any helpful advice and suggestions.  
 
and a big thank you to all the wonderful parents out there who DO pay their daycare bill!! your daycare provider appreciates it!!

 
 
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holybatman

1/23/2012 9:36:56 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:360
...

This happens FAR to often. I wish daycare providers could call the police. But I always have a 2 week deposit and also get paid in advance so if I'm not given two weeks or the parets refuse to pay then I have that deposit to fall back on. I had to learn the hard way once but thank god I ended up getting paid.

Triplejsec

1/23/2012 9:43:07 PM
Member since:
Apr 2011
Total posts:178
.

is it ok to not give the parents two weeks notice when you dont want to take their child in your care anymore, because of behaivoral issues?

sammy

1/23/2012 9:43:18 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
erin...

i agree that it happens way too often!! its pretty sad that these parents think so little of the people they trust their children with.  
 
so i take it you can not call the police? i wonder why not? theft is theft.

Brandon2012

1/23/2012 9:43:46 PM
Member since:
Jan 2012
Total posts:207
Not worth it

Her recourse will depend on how legit she is. Does she have an actual small business or is this under the table. If she were to go to small claims court she would likely be asked. There is also a cost to file. She would most certainly need to prove she had a contract, show previously given receipts for payment, provide bank statements to show there was no deposit of a normally deposited amount of money paid for service, etc. The likelihood she can produce all the things needed to prove it are probably not high.  
 
The police would not even take the call and really it wouldn't be their responsibility.  
 
The only way to combat against it is to do things like having them pay in advance.  
 

Cheezies

1/23/2012 9:45:20 PM
Member since:
Oct 2010
Total posts:1111
Daycare bill

It's a big ole pain in the butt, when you get parents like this. It ruins things for all of the future daycare parents. I had this happen last June. The child didn't really need daycare, but was just in to be socialized (and give to give grandma a break). So I was last priority. The child was in my care for over a year. The payment was one month late the first time (the child did not attend for that month), then they came to pay me. I (like a sucker) let them back into daycare. Then it happened again last June. Needless to say I have never been paid for this. I received calls and texts from the parent saying they would come and pay me, and it has never happened. He would even show up and say it was coming. I ran into the parent over Christmas and he was embarrassed and said he would be over next week to square up. Pathetic!  
 
I was being paid after services were provided as well. Now I have to have all new parents pay in advance, just to cover my bases and not be left hanging again.  
It's funny how some don't think this pay affects us. We can't buy food to feed their children if we don't get paid.  
 
You can go through small claims court. I think that is the only thing that can be done. Does your friend have a written contract signed by the parents? That would be something needed. Also if your friend included a clause, such as late charges for non-payment would be included in the claim. I have a $20/day late fee added on to mine. It's always good to have things layed out and signed....I found this out the hard way. I just let mine go, but if you have everything in writing I would say to proceed with small claims.  
Good Luck

Manitobagem

1/23/2012 9:54:11 PM
Member since:
Jan 2011
Total posts:100
This

Is off topic but what is the going rate for private daycare these days?

Triplejsec

1/23/2012 9:56:35 PM
Member since:
Apr 2011
Total posts:178
..

between 25-30 dollars.

sammy

1/23/2012 9:58:09 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
:)

thanks for the advice guys!! i am not sure what she has in writing so i do not want to answer for her.  
 
i have a pretty detailed contract and am very strict when it comes to paying and its all in writing and signed by both me and the parent and we each of copies of agreement. thank goodness i have fantastic parents so far and have had no financial issues at all!!  
 
jujebabe...i have it in my contract that if after talking to the parents and trying things to deal with the behaviour, the behaviour is still there, that i may ask them to find new daycare. there is no notice given but i would try to give a week or two just to allow the parent to find new care. but if its in the first month then no notice at all.

Triplejsec

1/23/2012 10:01:19 PM
Member since:
Apr 2011
Total posts:178
.....

thanks Sammy that helps alot!

mumof3

1/23/2012 10:06:00 PM
Member since:
Nov 2010
Total posts:2
...

Ihave a question!! I have a daycare parent who is over a month late and while they do not need care they gave me there notice i am still waiting for my money which is over 300 dollars, but she still wants her son to come occasional days over the summer, how do i tell her that i can't look after her son if she is so late in paying me?

sammy

1/23/2012 10:09:02 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
:)...

your welcome jujebabe! i had a lot of great help when i was starting out and making my contracts so i know what its like!  
 
manitobagem...jujebabe is right...between 25 and 30 is pretty normal. there are some that do charge as low as 20 and as high as 35 but those are more uncommon. some also do a hourly rate of about $3. i myself charge 30

StoryTeller

1/23/2012 10:10:35 PM
Member since:
Feb 2010
Total posts:574
I'm sorry...

That any of you are having to go unpaid. This should not happen to anyone and as far as I'm concerned, there are no excuses.  
 
However, my advice would be to have your services ALWAYS prepaid 2 weeks in advance. Ask for post-dated cheques up to 6 months. Care should not be provided if the payments are not made. You may also want to re-consider who you are offering your services to. If communication is lacking, then maybe they're not the right fit for you?  
 
I provided child care in my home for many years. Mutual communication is key. I was fortunate to avoid that situation, but feel terrible that others have not.

sammy

1/23/2012 10:14:45 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
...

  
mumof3 said "Ihave a question!! I have a daycare parent who is over a month late and while they do not need care they gave me there notice i am still waiting for my money which is over 300 dollars, but she still wants her son to come occasional days over the summer, how do i tell her that i can't look after her son if she is so late in paying me? "

im surprised she would even have the balls to ask that of you with her bill still unpaid!! some ppl i tell ya...  
 
anyways...i would tell her that she has until (insert a date your comfortable with here) to pay off the previous bill. when that is paid in full she may bring him to your daycare over the summer as long as it is paid in advance.  
 
i know that after looking after their children you create a relationship with these people but you always have to remember that this is YOUR business. You need to be able to seperate the business part about the job from the relationship/friendship part. the parents will honestly respect you more if you can do this. i dont particularly enjoy talkin finances with my parents but i know it has to be done or else MY bills dont get paid.  
 
good luck!

traveller

1/23/2012 10:59:29 PM
Member since:
Jun 2007
Total posts:7419
:)

i'm not sure if small claims court would be worth it except to set an example. i too look at it like stealing and i think the same about other types of thrift/fraud, like shoddy contractors and business people, i wish the law would take these kinds of crimes just as seriously as shoplifting or any other crime, unfortunately they don't, good luck to your friend, it was an expensive lesson to learn  
 

hkrp07

1/24/2012 12:55:58 AM
Member since:
Dec 2010
Total posts:145
This is kind off topic I know

Basically my daughter neeeds some socializing. She is almost 5 and there is no kids in my building as I live far in the East end. I was wondering if anyone in the East end that has a daycare out here would let her come visit and play with their other children say once maybe twice a week and if so what would you possibly charge. Im a stay at home mom so dont need daycare all day but maybe for a few hours just to get herself socialized more to get her ready for school this Sep. Plz let me know. Thanks.

slurpeegirl

1/24/2012 7:58:04 AM
Member since:
Feb 2010
Total posts:1117
start a network

let each other know who is bad for not paying. you may not be allowed to post names on here, but you can privately let each other know by messages.  
 
-let all of your new clients know that it is a pay in advance business. if they don't pay, they don't come. they should not be surprised by this, housing is paid in advance as well as groceries etc.  
 
-be firm! if people are falling behind, let them know that there will be NO CARE until they are caught up. i know this leaves you with a lower income at that moment, but let them know you have a waiting list and are willing to move on.  
 
as far as people who need daycare to get themselves to work.....don't shoot yourself in the foot. pay your provider BEFORE you go get your nails done, go out to diner etc. otherwise, you may find yourself taking time off work that you hadn't planned on, because your provider finally got fed up.

notme

1/24/2012 8:17:18 AM
Member since:
Jul 2011
Total posts:636
You are

a business (or your friend is) and as such should conduct your past due accounts as a business. In my line of work, I send out current, 30 day, 60 day and 90 day bills. If after 90 days the bill is unpaid or arrangements, to my satisfaction, have not been made, it goes to a collection agency. They take a percentage of what they collect, as their fee, but at least you usually get something. If they don't pay, it goes against their credit rating and believe me if they go for a loan at a bank and can't get it due to a $300 bill, they pay the bill pretty quick.  
 
I have gone to small claims before and in the end you usually end up going to a collection agency anyway. So save the time and aggravation and skip the middle man.  
 
Also, do not let this person use the service anymore until the bill is paid in full. The collection agency will insist on this, but in reality it is just good business practice - If they haven't paid that bill, they won't be paying a new one!

sammy

1/24/2012 8:23:31 AM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
:)

thanks for the advice!! i agree with what everyone is saying!! i especially like the idea of passing on their name. brandon is a small town and word spreads fast!! parents might be more willing to pay if they know that they are ruining their own name but not doing so. i talk to a few ppl who do HDC and i know of a few ppl who i do not think i would like to take on but if anyone wants to take it a step further and set up like an email chain, im all for that!  
 
this is our job, our paycheques. you dont beg your employer for your cheque so i dont understand why some parents make their daycare provider beg for theirs. its really irresponsible and rude on the parents part!! grr..it just annoys me that so many of you have to deal with this!!

Oh Canada

1/24/2012 8:41:33 AM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:925
small claims

You have to decide if it is worth it or not . Make your decision and then go with it . If you decide not to go to small claims court then it may be time to change your process and procedures. I would make sure that the paperwork you have to win a small claims action is rock solid !. Then have a written agreement that will hold up in court, with late fee charges and that you will go to small claims court if these funds are not paid in full. Set the ground rules up front and then people know you mean business. It has to be structured as a business to enforce the collection on outstanding funds for what ever service you are providing! good Luck!!

don brown

1/24/2012 8:46:18 AM
Member since:
Aug 2010
Total posts:2843
My wife

ran a home daycare for years and did have one instance where a bill did not get paid, and she never did recover the money. The one thing that was talked about after this happened was sort of a reverse reference idea. When people are planning to bring kids to your house, for you to look after, they usually like to talk to parents that have had kids there, so they can get a bit of an idea if things work well or not, our idea was to start asking parents where they had been taking their children so that we could find out something about the kids as well as the parents,(if you know what I mean). There will always be a small part of the population that wants to stiff you and we found out by asking a few questions that these people leave quite a trail and it made it easy to refuse to take them on.  
 
I thought I should put this in just for something to think about.

lovemygirl

1/24/2012 1:31:07 PM
Member since:
Nov 2010
Total posts:1434
unpaid bills

In the past 18 months that I have been running my daycare I have had 2 families that have had issues paying. I collect my money 2 weeks in advance and still have had issues with bounced cheques, forgetting to bring a cheque. I have had families quit with no notice and are still required to give me 2 weeks pay. Luckily my contract was very detailed and I ended up getting my money before I had to take it to Small Claim`s Court.  
 
I get paid 2 weeks in advance. I also have a $15 a day late fee charge for every day late. The child is also not allowed back to daycare until the money is recieved and if after 2 weeks of late fees adding up then I immediately will take it to small claim`s court. The thing is if you win your Small Claim by having a signed copy of your detailed contract then you will be awarded costs as well. You can then get their wages garnisheed. I also hold all receipts until the end of the year so if they want their receipts then I need all my money.  
 
Good luck to your friend Sammy. It is so unfortunate that this happens but not everyone feels their daycare is a top priority when it comes to paying their bills.

sammy

1/24/2012 1:33:23 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
:)

  
don brown said "ran a home daycare for years and did have one instance where a bill did not get paid, and she never did recover the money. The one thing that was talked about after this happened was sort of a reverse reference idea. When people are planning to bring kids to your house, for you to look after, they usually like to talk to parents that have had kids there, so they can get a bit of an idea if things work well or not, our idea was to start asking parents where they had been taking their children so that we could find out something about the kids as well as the parents,(if you know what I mean). There will always be a small part of the population that wants to stiff you and we found out by asking a few questions that these people leave quite a trail and it made it easy to refuse to take them on.  
 
I thought I should put this in just for something to think about. "

thats a good idea don brown! i have current parents on top of my regular references that have okayed me to give out their number to new parents looking for daycare. i have never thought to ask the parents where they last had daycare so that i could get references on them!! very smart...seems kinda silly that i didnt think of that lol  
 

sammy

1/24/2012 1:39:03 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
:) :)

  
hkrp07 said "Basically my daughter neeeds some socializing. She is almost 5 and there is no kids in my building as I live far in the East end. I was wondering if anyone in the East end that has a daycare out here would let her come visit and play with their other children say once maybe twice a week and if so what would you possibly charge. Im a stay at home mom so dont need daycare all day but maybe for a few hours just to get herself socialized more to get her ready for school this Sep. Plz let me know. Thanks. "

i have a home daycare in the east end(on first street near richmond) and I would be willing to allow your daughter to come play with the kids but unfortunately i have very young kids right now. they are 10 months, 16 months, 2 years and 28 months. not sure if this would interest you. if so, please PM me!

foxtrot11

1/24/2012 2:06:40 PM
Member since:
Feb 2009
Total posts:1627
Unfortunately

  
notme said "a business (or your friend is) and as such should conduct your past due accounts as a business. In my line of work, I send out current, 30 day, 60 day and 90 day bills. If after 90 days the bill is unpaid or arrangements, to my satisfaction, have not been made, it goes to a collection agency. They take a percentage of what they collect, as their fee, but at least you usually get something. If they don't pay, it goes against their credit rating and believe me if they go for a loan at a bank and can't get it due to a $300 bill, they pay the bill pretty quick.  
 
I have gone to small claims before and in the end you usually end up going to a collection agency anyway. So save the time and aggravation and skip the middle man.  
 
Also, do not let this person use the service anymore until the bill is paid in full. The collection agency will insist on this, but in reality it is just good business practice - If they haven't paid that bill, they won't be paying a new one! "

This is not a situation that only occurs in Daycare.  
 
It is a situation that is unique to service based industries. People have issues paying for services that they cannot "touch" (to put simply.) If they buy a jug of milk - they can touch the jug, and when they have that tangible to relate to it is easier to make them understand terms of payment.  
 
Even if you have it in simple terms, everything in writing, you still will have people who stretch terms, complain about the consequences, etc.  
 
I work at a place that both sells products and offers services. When people get the products, they seem to have no issues understanding that that bill is due on receipt. But for the services, the terms are simple and clear on the invoice - payment due in x-days or interest will be charged. That way, we have enough time to pay for the rest of the incidentals on the job before WE are charged interest. But because it is a service people do not relate the end result for some reason. They stretch the terms until the last possible day, thereby ensuring I have pretty much a rush to get all my bills paid before I take the interest hit, or complain about the statement I have to send with interest if they are late. Sorry, but my suppliers don't remove my late payments if I complain.  
 
I think you just have to be firm in your terms, have everything in writing - document any warnings these people have been given about their bills not being paid, and be firm when the time comes to take action. If you want to have a legit business, with good clients, you cannot let these ones walk over you.

sammy

1/24/2012 2:12:50 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
agreed

you are so right foxtrot!!  
 
and i just wanted to add that it is naptime! lol. im not on the computer all day when the kids are here!! just when they are sleeping. just thought id throw that out there as i have had ppl comment on that before!  
 
Edited by sammy, 2012-01-24 14:14:07

west

1/24/2012 2:21:52 PM
Member since:
Oct 2011
Total posts:1102
police...

the policewill tell you its a civil matter...and that they have other things to look after...fights,assaults,robberies,rapes etc....so called''nice people''ripping off businesses is done daily...you dont realize this till you have a business...then when you go after them for the money..then you are the mean,nasty businessman thats just greedy and youare picking on the poor defenseless''little guy"" who is just trying to make a living...meanwhile the money that was pegged to pay for childcare is spent on who knows what.the old saying is''the first loss is your smallest loss''..take them immiediatel to small claims court...even if you lose...the word gets around to''deadbeat''country that you will do everything to collectan outstanding account...then institute a strict credit policy...trust me...the good people wont have a problem...the bad ones will...and they wont deal with you! welcome to the business world!

lovemygirl

1/24/2012 2:24:55 PM
Member since:
Nov 2010
Total posts:1434
ha ha

yep nap time here too Sammy LOL  
 
Yes totally agree West.

sammy

1/24/2012 2:29:33 PM
Member since:
Sep 2010
Total posts:7187
west...

i agree with you when you say the good ones wont have a problem with your payments. none of my parents batted an eye when i said i charge $30 a day, am closed on stats but they pay $20 those days and they also pay $20 per day if they take their child out for holidays. they all understand daycare and that its hard to find around here.  
 
if i have a parent that would question this during the meeting/interview then i would be hesitant to take them on. its a heads up that they might be difficult with paying later on.  
 
however, not paying for daycare that you received is robbery in my eyes.  
 
i like that quote.." your first loss is your smallest loss" however i would change it to "your first loss SHOULD be your LAST loss"

foxtrot11

1/24/2012 2:35:06 PM
Member since:
Feb 2009
Total posts:1627
Very true -

  
west said "the policewill tell you its a civil matter...and that they have other things to look after...fights,assaults,robberies,rapes etc....so called''nice people''ripping off businesses is done daily...you dont realize this till you have a business...then when you go after them for the money..then you are the mean,nasty businessman thats just greedy and youare picking on the poor defenseless''little guy"" who is just trying to make a living...meanwhile the money that was pegged to pay for childcare is spent on who knows what.the old saying is''the first loss is your smallest loss''..take them immiediatel to small claims court...even if you lose...the word gets around to''deadbeat''country that you will do everything to collectan outstanding account...then institute a strict credit policy...trust me...the good people wont have a problem...the bad ones will...and they wont deal with you! welcome to the business world! "

What people do not realize is I feel AWFUL when I hit "send" to send out those extra charges.  
 
I hate harassing people about the bills they are not paying. But truth be told, so many people did that to us last year and I rolled over and took it and all their sob stories.  
 
Where did it get me? It got me needing to cancel my cable and medical insurance to pay the utility bill due to so many wracked up bank fees from bounced cheques - did the bank ever once say "oh sorry, it is just because the customer has not heeded your fine print and paid their bill on time? - Well then, we will refund all your NSF fees" - No - they did not. EVER. (That is why they make billion dollar profits)  
 
So I am sorry, I am still going to be as nice as I ever was, because I love what I do (well except the bad part of charging late fees) and I love when our customers are thrilled with what we give them, but you have to pay for what you are given - on time. Because otherwise it is coming out of MY KIDS' MOUTHS - and that is no longer happening.

 
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