I Really Don't Mean To Complain But...

Lenox, Georgia
January 19, 2013 9:40am CST
Okay, I am super happy about getting back into childcare, I really am... But some people take advantage of my kindness and I REALLY don't like that! Pick up time is 10am usually, this lady asked if she could be here before 11am. I said sure that's fine. So, she tells me I will be there right after breakfast and way before 11am. Well, it is 10:40am it takes her 30 minutes to get here from her house and she just text me and said she will be leaving her house in a little while! I am happy for the business, I really am but I don't like being taken advantage of! I already see I am going to have to get tough again with people to make sure I get paid and they get here ON TIME!
9 people like this
29 responses
• Canada
19 Jan 13
I know quite a few people who have done home-based childcare and they seem to have these same kinds of problems too. I agree with you that people will definitely take advantage if they think they can. One neighbor of my mom's was taking in a few children and she had this one family... oy Her pick-up time was "no later than 6PM," since she was a daytime sitter. This couple would routinely pull up to her house between 7 and 8PM. She had two children of her own to bathe and get to bed and all... and she found out that the couple would go for a quiet dinner at a restaurant after work and THEN go pick up their son. Finally, she told them that she would be charging them an extra $5 per 15 minutes that they were late. They were timely after that. I really think the best thing you can do for yourself is to have an actual contract with your clients. If you outline what you charge and include the information on fees for late pick-ups, people can't say they didn't know. I realize it can be hard to get some to cough up the money... but at least you'd have signed documentation to back yourself up if you need it.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Jan 13
Excellent idea thinkingoutloud! I especially like that extra 5 bucks for every 15 minutes they're late....that'll teach em'!
2 people like this
• Canada
19 Jan 13
Thanks, Kashmeresmycat! Yup it's surprising how fast people react when you hit them in the wallet Not only that but, if LovingMyBabies wants to make extra income by arranging in advance to keep a child "overtime," she can state how much that will cost - no surprises on either side. So, getting everything outlined might benefit her in several ways.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
That's funny because that is exactly what I charge! $5 for every 15 minutes, if it's an hour than it goes to $10 per hour for every hour they are late! Yeah there are a LOT of problems with doing this but I love taking care of the kids. That is the main reason I do it. =) Yes people will take advantage whenever they can get away with it! It is so wrong and unfair for providers! I had people do that to me too. Except she was a single mom, she would go see her friends before picking the kids up and hang out with them for an hour! I caught her because one of her friends called while she was at my house and I heard their convo. Her price went up drastically!!
2 people like this
@911Ricki (13602)
• Canada
19 Jan 13
I remmeber you saying it was overnight - does she work nights? I know for me that use to be my unwinding time. So I would be a lot slower moving, but I would personally perfer to pick the child up when I was done work, not wait. I would give it this one time, and if she does it again then bring it up or charge her more for the kid being there longer.
2 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
No she was going out with her husband. I would not care if she did work nights, if she needed later than that she should tell me. I don't like being told a time and someone being late! That is not right... Oh yeah, I am letting it go since it is the first time I am watching him but if it happens again I will say something because this will NOT turn into a habit...
2 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
What if I made plans to do something and then I could not because SHE was late? How is that fair to me, you know?
1 person likes this
@911Ricki (13602)
• Canada
19 Jan 13
Oh I was going to defend her if she was working nights, but going out with her husband - she need the whole night ... wonder what she was doing . I just think that's rude, sounds like she doesn't want the kid around, and just thiking of herself. I agree, you could have plans or appointment, then what bring the kid with you which is unfair. I think some need to review their parenting skills. I remember the family I babysat years ago when I was about 15. She would go shopping and ask me to babysit. I would come over, and her parents would be there (like they couldn't do it), once the father was outside making a deck, and they asked me to babysit. I saw this lady a few years ago, and all she cared about was herself. These poor kids, the oldest son moved in with his father, the other two are living with her, but do what they want. She comes home from work, and sits around, while she makes the kids do it.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (121067)
• Boise, Idaho
21 Jan 13
I think you really have to set up some strong boundaries and rules in something like this. I wouldn't watch their kids but for a certain amount of time before I get paid or I wouldn't be doing it. If they are late I'd charge them extra. You do have to be pretty tough. Give them an inch and they will sure take a mile and a half!! Hope they are good to you.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
22 Jan 13
Yeah from now on I will be setting a stricter limit on the parents. I was trying to be nice because I was just getting back into the business but I can see I was wrong and pretty dumb for that one. Now I have learned my lesson, there is no being nice in business of any kind.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (121067)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Jan 13
I make it known that your new policy is that if they are late they are charged more. They have three options- get there on time, pay more, or go somewhere else where people will put up with this disrespectful behaviour.
1 person likes this
@sulynsi (2836)
• Canada
19 Jan 13
If you are in business, you have to start viewing yourself that way. Valuing your time as a business person. That is one of the toughest things to learn. You need to have a written agreement with all your potential clients that after a certain hour, you start charging an overtime fee. Daycare centres do it, so its not un heard of. Start with your very next client or you will be treated that way for the rest of your career. You must value your time first, and place a value on it, before others value do the same, LMB
• Lenox, Georgia
20 Jan 13
Yes thats one think I'm not good at that I really need to work on. I have to get it through my head that this is a business and my time is important too! I will have contracts, I have had them in the past as well. They worked out well for the people that read them... And I do have a fee for people that are late, with me just getting back into the business though I did not want to tick anyone off. I know I'm too soft sometimes. I need to work on that.
1 person likes this
@sulynsi (2836)
• Canada
20 Jan 13
valuing your self and your time is one of the hardest things to do in business-especially when we first start out ultimately though, if a person is ticked off because you present them, up front, with a reasonable business agreement take my advice, and run the other way!!! You don't need that kind of client. They will be more trouble than they are worth!!! There is lots of work out there for a good, reliable sitter. Believe it. They need you more than you need them. My former client was so disappointed when I had to move on. She had a good thing and she knew it! And she treated me very fairly....the best ones will Give me one good client for five bad ones!!!!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (105498)
• United States
19 Jan 13
People figure they are paying you and you should be glad for the business. Not true, you still have a life. You just started with this lady, so let her know she has used her one free pass. Now, in the future, charge an extra five dollars or so for every fifteen minutes past the agreed pick up time. Or set a regular fee that is higher for her if she plans to wait until eleven fifteen each time she picks him up.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
Yeah, I still have my own family and I would have been really annoyed if I had plans to go somewhere but couldn't because of her being late! It is called respect and many people need to learn what that word means... And I don't charge a lot at all either. Yeah that is what I charge and I told her the next time it happens the fee will be applied...I don't care if I lose her business over it because I don't need to be taken advantage of like that...
2 people like this
@celticeagle (121067)
• Boise, Idaho
21 Jan 13
I'd charge her more if she is late picking them up. ANd not watch her kids if she does it too much. Or not for awhile anyway.
@AmbiePam (50449)
• United States
21 Jan 13
Do you charge a penalty if they are late? That might work if she continues to do that. Of course the daycare that takes care of my mom is different that childcare, but the basic message is the same. And they charge 15 dollars PER extra minute someone is late.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
26 Jan 13
Yes I charge $5 per 15 minutes late usually. But since I was just getting back into it I was trying to be nice about things. She reminded me though why I cannot be nice in business... It just doesn't work out well being too nice...
21 Jan 13
No I completely agree with you. I hate people that are late, and I also hate people that take advantage. I get where you are coming from, you feel like you can’t complain, because yes whilst you are helping someone by looking after their kids, you are also getting paid for it, so essentially she is your employer and you feel wrong to criticise her. but at the same time, she is using a service that relies on time so therefore her time keeping should be a lot better! If she was using a childcare facility like a nursery or a crèche she wouldn’t be late then I bet!
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
26 Jan 13
I do too. Especially when it comes to business. They should really know better! Yeah, I am watching her kids and getting paid for it but she should not have taken advantage like that... Then she told me she would give me a little extra for it being so last minute and for her being late, but she never gave me more! That upset me a little too, I would not have cared about extra money if she never said that... Yeah if her son went to a daycare center they would have charged a LOT more!
@Dominique25 (9475)
• United States
21 Jan 13
I'm glad to hear that you are into childcare again.How many kids do you have coming to your house? That is great. You will have to get tough with some of the parents because people will definitely take advantage. If they are going to be late you should let them know that they will be charged. My husband is always telling me I should open up a daycare or type of preschool in our home but that is one of the main reasons I do not want too. I'm very nice and I know people would try to do that a lot.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
22 Jan 13
Thank you! Right now I am only doing date nights and overnight care. Once I start doing Full Time I will only have 1 or 2 children, since I have 3 of my own. Some people definitely take advantage when you we let them. Unfortunately, I was too nice because I am just getting back into it but I won't let it happen again.
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (35507)
• United States
21 Jan 13
It is a shame so many times there are people out there that will take advantage like this, and never stop and think about others. I would be making sure there are ground rules set so people do not continue to do this to you. Do you do a background check etc first? Maybe you need a legal contract with what you expect, time expected, day they pay you, etc to prevent some of these issues in the future.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
22 Jan 13
Yeah it is terrible how people do this... I was just getting back into the business so I was trying to be nice but she made me remember that I cannot be nice in this business. Maybe it's good she did that so I could remember and not let anyone else get away with it!
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
20 Jan 13
That's one of the few things that make it difficult for people like us to run a business. Sometimes we are just too kind and trusting that some people just take advantage. Like in my career, I've had to learn to be firm and tough to get ahead. It's a bit uncomfortable, but it's just a few things that we have to do. I hope that people that you deal with also understand this. That although you're dealing in childcare, you're also running a business.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
20 Jan 13
I know, I am too nice so it is hard to run a business. I always say I could never be a boss either because I would NEVER be able to fire anyone. I would feel too bad and not be able to do it. Lol. I would make a horrible boss! I am going to have to get tougher like I used to be when I used to do childcare. I just thought I would be nice this time because I am just getting back into the business but she proved me wrong. I should have been tough from the start.
1 person likes this
@Cutie18f (9563)
• Philippines
20 Jan 13
I think you should charge extra for those who are not able to observe pick up time. That can be very stressful for you.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
20 Jan 13
It can be very stressful and I would have been more upset if I had plans and had to cancel because she was late!
1 person likes this
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
19 Jan 13
It doesn't matter if you are in childcare or having a shelter for example which I have. People did exactly the same to me. So after years I told them that if they are not there in time they will find the door closed. In your case it's harder since you have to deal with children. So do not tell them it's fine if it's later. Tell them to be in time and you have a private life! Rules you should sett at the start if you do that (in my case years) later it's way harder. So tell her if she arrivés that you won't accept this. It's business not helping out a friend in need.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
20 Jan 13
Yeah I need to get tougher so people know I'm serious and I will not tolerate their disrespect. I have to work on that I know... I wish all the time that I could be much tougher.
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
19 Jan 13
That is one thing about business making sure you get paid. I would say since it is a first offense you should tell her if it happens again then you will charge $10 extra or something like that in late fees. Now, she might get mad about it, but it is better than being taken advantage of. I'd also keep an eye on her. She sounds like the type of woman to constantly offer excuses if she can't get her child on time. I am not sure because I don't know her, but it sounds like that.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
Yes making sure to get paid is a big deal! My client this morning told me she would give me a little extra and never did. I am not happy about that. It was last minute so she had nothing for him, and she was late picking him up so she told me on the phone that she would pay extra. Turns out she changed her mind apparently which really ticks me off! Yeah she is that type of person. Just knowing her this little bit of time I can tell she will tell every excuse in the book and she will take advantage when she can!
1 person likes this
@ZoeJoy (1395)
• United States
19 Jan 13
Yep, I figured that would happen. Been in day care long enough to know that there are some parents who will take advantage of day care providers. They just think that you will cater to their schedule and not be considerate of you. Sooo, you do need a written contract, you do need a license, you do need to make sure you are infant CPR and First Aid certified, you do need to go through day care training, etc. in order to show that you are professional. And you do mean business. The more serious that you treat your own day care business, and yes, it is a business, because you expect to get paid, the more serious the parents will respect you. But, if you are just getting back into it, you are going to have to go through some of the beginning 'crap' that most businesses (and doesn't matter what home business it is) have to go through in order to get yourself seriously established. It's a balancing act - you still have to be kind and polite, in order to gain a good reputation but also firm, in order to establish a good reputation. Kindness is important but so is professionalism and firmness. Have a written contract that you and your parents sign. Make a copy and give them the copy. Sad but true that people will take advantage of others, if others let them.
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
Yes I have had contracts in the past and most of the time they work out well unless you have a parent that decides not to read the contract they signed! I have had that happen before too. Lol. I cannot get licensed here because I do not own my own home. Once I do, then I can be licensed. I am CPR/First Aid certified, have been for 8 years. I have over 13 years experience in childcare as well. I do treat it like any other business but I am also nice and people pick up on that rather quickly. That is my down fall... When my sister and I did this together it was good because she was the firm one with money and not being taken advantage of. But she cannot do it anymore because she has a full time job now. It was helpful with her around though... The parents knew she meant business!
1 person likes this
@MaylaJay (350)
19 Jan 13
I hate when you're doing something good and people take advantage. It's frustrating, especially when there are other people who are more deserving or everyone else is being a=calm about it. I just don't like when people take advantage.
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
Yeah I don't like being taken advantage of at all. I think it is very disresepctful to say the least!
• China
19 Jan 13
Yes true,failure to be punctual is a sign of disrespect towards others.If she cannot get there on time,she should keep you informed in advance.I understand how you feel but please simmer down.I hope it is the last thing you meet with such situation.And everything works out for you. Anyway,congratulations!Your job sounds great!
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
It is absolutely disrespectful and it annoys me. If I had plans to go somewhere I would have had to cancel because of her not being here at the agreed time! Not fair to me at all... I hope things get better with the next person I babysit for!
@Angelpink (4022)
• Philippines
19 Jan 13
What a beautiful business you got ! Congratulations for it ! I guess you are enjoying your business , more power to you then ! This business requires a lot , lot of patience. Patient to those little angels handed by parents to you and also to the parents who can't be there in agreed time. Instead of being too lenient for these parents , why not give additional fee to those extension hours because tendency is , if you won't charge might be the parents will abuse the given time and favor .
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
I am enjoying my business, always have liked childcare. Patience is definitely what this job requires. I have plenty of patience with the little ones but the parents should know better and they should be respectful of my time as well... That is when I become annoyed.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 13
Let's hope this is the last time she does that. No, I wouldn't like that either. You also have your own family and your own plans for the day and I would nip this in the bud immediately. Is she paying you today?
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
I hope so. She told me she would give me extra because it was so last minute and she was late to pick him up, then she gave me the regular amount when she came. So I am a little bit annoyed about that right now. I would not have cared if she did not say she would give me a little extra but she did... She did pay me, thank God for that much!
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 13
Not starting off on the right track I see. Let's see what happens next time if she calls you back. I gave you a link in the other discussion but I see it doesn't work..another
1 person likes this
• Lenox, Georgia
19 Jan 13
Not at all starting off good. I don't think I will watch her son anymore. I love doing it yes, but obviously I need the money as well... And I don't like how much she took advantage to be honest.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
20 Jan 13
hi LMB! Warn her politely that you are an accommodative person by nature but she should not take advantage of it. Next time if she repeats it, reconsider her contract with you.
• Lenox, Georgia
20 Jan 13
That is a very good way to put it! Thank you. =)
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
24 Jan 13
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
20 Jan 13
In a previous discussion I told you about a group of mom's that I absolutely loved. This was my first experience with the day care thing and I wanted to keep it positive. Then I got out of it and went back to work at the office for several years and then when my younger girls came along, I got back into it. I had so much trouble with this sort of thing. I had one mom try to pay me in food stamps and another that didn't pay at all most of the time. I had them show up late and one mother one time actually forgot to pick her son up. I did have plans and ended up driving to her home and sure enough...she was there. If I were to ever get back into the business again, I would be way way tougher.
• Lenox, Georgia
20 Jan 13
Yeah some parents really are hard to be nice to. They take advantage, don't want to pay and lie about things! It is horrible. I have done childcare out of my home for about 10 years now, with a couple breaks in between. I love it but at the same time I cannot stand the parents sometimes! I have had one couple that I really like to babysit for, they were always on time and they always paid me the right amount sometimes even extra! They were great. I had one single mom that I really liked as well. She was the same, always on time and always paid what she was supposed to. As for the others, wow. If it's not one thing its another! Lol. It usually works where I love the kids, I really am not crazy about the parents, or I love the parents but I am not so crazy about the way the child behaves... I love this business, I love working with kids but it can be VERY tough too!