Dealing With Late Payments
You’ve got a number of parents who are consistently late with payment and quite a few who are in arrears to the tune of two or three weeks. You’re stressed out about it, fearful of a confrontation, feeling out of control and can’t see a way to resolve the situation. Sound familiar?
All too often child care business owners end up in similar situations simply because they have never formulated and enforced a payment policy. Listen up all you ‘starter upper child care businesses’ – start as you mean to go on. Your parent handbook is where your payment policy (and all your policies) should be housed. A simple way of being one step ahead is to have everyone pay a week (or month) in advance. Set a payment day, say Thursday, and your policy will state that all fees for the following week are due by close of business on Thursday.
You will also have a maximum number of late payments allowed each parent before you take action. Be firm and consistent with your dealings – remember you deserve your livelihood too. Insist that all current outstanding fees be paid up and present those offending parents with the new policy explaining the necessity of enforcing same in the future. Once you take positive action and are consistent and businesslike in your approach they will respond accordingly.
Make it easy for parents to pay. Suggest direct debits, have preprinted envelopes with name, date and amount stamped on same and have a safe, locked box in the hall where parents can deposit their payment without having to see you.
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