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  #21  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:01 PM
EdEd EdEd is online now
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Originally Posted by saralynn2006 View Post
It is a scary situation to be in. I don't want to offend anyone, regardless of their actions. I have the child's conference tonight, so all of these issues will be brought up then. Scary! I really should dismiss them for nonpayment, but just am scared to actually do it! She finally paid for part of her bill yesterday, but has not paid for this week yet. I might just have to suck it up and cut my loses. I'm just afraid what the parents will say to other community members if they are dismissed. I could see them saying things to badmouth my business just because they are mad at being dismissed.
That's definitely a very real possibility, but hopefully you have strong relationships with the other families who can negate any possible bad mouthing by the dismissed parent. I mentioned this a page or two ago, but again I like the idea of having stages of dismissal, whether for behavior or nonpayment. If you give no warning to the parent and all of a sudden dismiss, you're more likely to run into a negative reaction. If you have a "warning" or probationary period, and have given several notices, you're more likely to be perceived as fair. Don't get me wrong - I think you're within your right to terminate for nonpayment, but just because you have the right to doesn't mean it's the best idea.
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  #22  
Old 11-16-2012, 04:07 PM
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TeacherNY TeacherNY is offline
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I would try to get the rest of the payment then give a warning that non-payment will lead to termination. Can you have parents pay at the beginning of the week instead of at the end? That way if they don't pay they will not be admitted for that week. I really would not be upset about turning them away. This is your business not charity.
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  #23  
Old 11-16-2012, 05:12 PM
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WaProvider WaProvider is offline
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Yep, make your policy that all parents pay PRIOR to service....otherwise this happens. Yes, parents might talk badly about your program....but in reality....you were already worried about that "good"parent talking badly about your program as well and leaving.

I realize you are scared and nervous. The best thing to do is really take stock in your program...and know what you are the best at (and what you are not the best at) strive to make folks see what you are the best at. Don't just remove the family. If you are going to change from letting attend without paying then you are going to have to come clean about how you can't continue...and please don't continue to work for no pay. This sort of money issue makes it very hard to appear professional. If the payment isn't forthcoming....you need to move on. You will not look at the child the same otherwise. They will either pay you or the money will go under their tree...and you will be frustrated.

Just work at raising your professionalism and many of these issues will work themselves out.
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  #24  
Old 11-17-2012, 05:20 AM
Nitch Nitch is offline
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Are you running a home child care? It is hard to terminate a family but sometimes it must be done. You can terminate for several reasons but there are some you can't terminate for. You can terminate because they are not a 'good fit' for your family, they pay late, they violate your behavior policy. You can not term because of race, medical condition, food allergies, or from a behavior caused by something they might be on an IEP or IFSP for. Tom Copeland is a very good reasourse for providers working from home.

Rewriting your policies and changing to ore-pay may make this family go away. Set a date to start pre-payment. Offer parents a way to slowly switch to pre paying. This policy is also a good way to weed out non payers before they even start care. With this family if you plan to keep them at all, I say they need to pay all back fees, plus a week in advance, or they can not return to care. Find your back bone, people will respect you more if you stand up for yourself.
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:18 AM
saralynn2006 saralynn2006 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdEd View Post
That's definitely a very real possibility, but hopefully you have strong relationships with the other families who can negate any possible bad mouthing by the dismissed parent. I mentioned this a page or two ago, but again I like the idea of having stages of dismissal, whether for behavior or nonpayment. If you give no warning to the parent and all of a sudden dismiss, you're more likely to run into a negative reaction. If you have a "warning" or probationary period, and have given several notices, you're more likely to be perceived as fair. Don't get me wrong - I think you're within your right to terminate for nonpayment, but just because you have the right to doesn't mean it's the best idea.
My conference with this family was an hour long last night! We spent a lot of time discussing their child's increasingly inappropriate behaviors, and they have been seeing this at home too. I suggested that we create some kind of behavior plan and rewards system, which they were on board with. The more I thought about it, I just couldn't dismiss them since I knew that the child needed my help. We are hopefully working in the right direction here as to being on the same page at home and at school (with consequences towards his actions) I talked about the parents about payment and gave them another chance, so hopefully that won't become an issue again. They know that this was their final warning about not paying on time, so next time will lead to dismissal.
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  #26  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:52 AM
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Cerek Cerek is offline
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Parents are just like school children, many of them will look to test the boundaries you set to see how firm you are and how much they can get away with. The more "flexible" you are, the more they will take advantage of you.

I learned this the hard way, as well, when renting my former house. The tenant was a single mom who gradually became increasingly late with her payments, which made the mortgage payments late. I took her to court twice. The first time, she brought half the back-rent, begged for leniency, and promised to pay the rest the following week. She never paid the second half and - eventually - just quit paying rent altogether. She lived in my house free for over 6 months. I filed eviction papers again and she never showed for the hearing, so I "won", but still never collected the money. I have a judgment against her for the money she owes. It's good for 10 years, but the reality is that I will likely never see a dime of it. The house eventually went into foreclosure.

The point is that lack of payment is a chronic problem with some people and they WILL simply AVOID paying you at all if you let them. I agree you need to implement a policy of PRE-payment instead. This will eliminate the non-payers before they come in the door and will keep those that DO pay on time, every time.

I also agree you can't just drop this on the current family out of the blue. You need to develop the intermediate steps for both payment and behavior that Ed mentioned, make sure the parents are informed of these steps, then stick to them. Again, parents are like school children, they WILL follow the rules when they know the rules aren't "flexible". If your policy is written down and the parents have agreed to it with their signature, then you need to stand firm so they know your rules are to be taken seriously.

Just because you didn't start out with a pre-payment plan doesn't mean you can't change your policy. People used to be able to pay for gas AFTER filling the tank, going into the store and buying a soda or candy as well. Now, because drive-away theft became more common as gas prices went up, all the gas stations have had to adopt a policy of pay BEFORE filling up. People will accept the change and you will have a lot fewer headaches to deal with in the future.

I'm glad your meeting with the parents went well. It sounds like you've reached a good understanding with them and developed a good plan. Unfortunately, it also sounds like they are still trying to avoid payment as much as possible. You've set a deadline and told them the consequences if it isn't met, so you need to make sure you do NOT bend. If they don't provide full payment by the deadline, then you need to tell them you cannot keep their child until payment in full is made, which would include a week in advance. Don't let them give you a sob story and ask you to keep their child just one day with the promise they will have the money tomorrow morning. You have told them when payment is due and they have enough time to get it, so stick to your guns. Otherwise, this problem will continue to recur with these parents.
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  #27  
Old 11-17-2012, 05:54 PM
EdEd EdEd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saralynn2006 View Post
My conference with this family was an hour long last night! We spent a lot of time discussing their child's increasingly inappropriate behaviors, and they have been seeing this at home too. I suggested that we create some kind of behavior plan and rewards system, which they were on board with. The more I thought about it, I just couldn't dismiss them since I knew that the child needed my help. We are hopefully working in the right direction here as to being on the same page at home and at school (with consequences towards his actions) I talked about the parents about payment and gave them another chance, so hopefully that won't become an issue again. They know that this was their final warning about not paying on time, so next time will lead to dismissal.
Sounds like you made some good decisions and that things are heading in the right direction!
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  #28  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:22 PM
saralynn2006 saralynn2006 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cerek View Post
Parents are just like school children, many of them will look to test the boundaries you set to see how firm you are and how much they can get away with. The more "flexible" you are, the more they will take advantage of you.
You are exactly right! This is my first year owning my own in home preschool/childcare business and am still in the learning process. Parents are definitely willing to test the boundaries much more than I ever expected!
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  #29  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:33 PM
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WaProvider WaProvider is offline
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The hardest thing for you to learn is how to show them that they aren't hiring you....you are allowing them to be in your program. One of my friends says "I just hired a new family" when she is talking about starting a new child. I think that pretty much summarizes the feeling one must project. And You must always be ready to term for non payment....in the back of your mind...otherwise you end up where Cerek did.....it isn't fun.
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