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Help me write a letter about late daycare fees to parents
7 replies to this topic
Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:43 PM
I do family daycare and a LOT of parents aren't paying me. I am not good at asking for money but would like to put a notice out to all families about fees basically stating I love looking after their children but am also running a business and when I don't receive fees off several parents it makes it very hard for my family to pay our bills and hard for me to buy supplies for daycare. But I want it to sound professional. I have 14 yrs exp in daycare and a Diploma in Children's Services so am a Professional. Can anyone help me write this personally an to sound nice but professional.
Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:54 PM
Do you have a policy? Because that can be the easiest way to do it, and then you have something to point to when it gets tough. Ie something like, once you're two weeks behind, you can't drop the kids off at daycare again until you're up to date...
So then, you send a note home to all parents stating the policy, then wait maybe 1 week for all the laggards to cough up the cash, and then start refusing to take their kids. When they complain, you just look sad and say sorry, but you're sticking to the policy.
I wouldn't get into why you need the money, as you're supplying a service, and you should be paid appropriately for it.
As for the actual note, something like:
Thank you for your business this year. As it's the end of the year, I thought it timely to remind you of our policy regarding payment, which is:
As a number of families are currently behind on payments, I have no choice but to enforce this policy, starting XX November.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call on XXXX XXXX.
Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:55 PM
You need to disconnect, and if possible have someone else entirely handle these letters - that's the main problem with a small business like this, you get very emotionally attached and it feels like asking for money from family, which is awkward.
You need to hand this directly to the parent. And you need to give them a new notice every couple of days, adding up their totals, if they continue non-payment.
You also need to tell them that they cannot leave their children with you if they haven't paid. Do you have contracts with your clients? You need to double-check what they say regarding payment of fees, especially if you just use a generic form for your client contracts.
Do you send out monthly/weekly invoices, or do parents just pay you when they can, as in some pay daily or some pay monthly?
I hope this helps, I do all the accounting for my Dad, this letter might work -it's adapted from my Dad's asking for payment for mechanical services rendered.
Please be aware that your family's fees for (my Family Daycare) are currently (how many days/weeks/months) in arrears.
The total amount owing is ($amount), and has been due since (date).
The purpose of this letter is to make you aware that unless ($amount) is paid by (date) that your child/ren will no longer be able to attend daycare at my premises.
Please contact me on (number) in order to make arrangements for this payment.
Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:58 PM
Personally, I would just be polite and straight to the point. They all know you are running a business and obviously are pushing the boundries.
Just a reminder that fees must be paid *insert time frame here* ( eg 2 weeks in advance or 2 weeks in arears) If fees fall *insert time here* (eg more then 4 weeks in arears) then unfortunately you will forfit your childs place. Please can you ensure your account is up to date by *insert date* If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to make a time to discuss this with me.
Edited by liveworkplay, 18 November 2011 - 09:00 PM.
Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:03 PM
Can the area office not send out a letter to the Parents on your behalf??
Just an idea if you're not keen on dealing with it directly then if parents come to you claiming difficulties, you can discuss a suitable payment plan with them??
Personally, my intial letter of reminder would not be as blunt as those above but I agree with them nevertheless.
I would probably word it along the lines of
Thankyou for choosing me as your childcare provider. I love having the opportunity to care for and nurture your child. I am however, concerned as your childcare fees have gone into arrears by $$$$$. These fees need to be paid on a weekly/fortnightly basis and as such, need to be paid by........
If you are having difficulties, please talk to me about this and we can discuss a payment arrangement. In order for me to provide the service I do, I need the fees to be paid by all families when they are due.
Thankyou for your consideration in this matter. Do not hesitate to discuss this with me should you need to clarify any of the above.
Just a quick thought. Do you have a bank account set up whereby parents can organise a regular direct debit payment into your account. I did this with my FDC provider after she initially only had a system set up whereby I paid her each week. It was easier for me to do the direct debit as I didn't have to remember or organise to take the correct money with me each week.
Edited by fairymagic, 18 November 2011 - 09:05 PM.
Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:06 PM
My kids have just started going to a new before / after school care program.
On Mondays invoices are emailed out for the following week. At the end of the letter are the direct banking details etc and that payment is expected to be in her account by the friday ( so you need to transfer on the wed by the latest ).
Another option -
I have just recently closed a small business that was service not product based ( like your own ).
we actively encouraged credit card payments because -
1. we got instant payment.
2. it only cost $11 per month plus 15c per transaction. All this was done over the computer so that we did not need an eftpos machine ( although depending on the number of families you service this could be a great option)
3. we never passed on any charge as we enjoyed not having to chase up payments.
You are a business and you need to be paid. No options for late payment - if they expect their kids to be given food / have craft items then they need to pay on time.
PM me if you have any questions.
all the best
Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:09 PM
Wow thank you all so much The office can't send out the letter as although I am registered through them it is my own business. I have some great ideas now thanks to all of you just couldn't find the words to get the letter started
Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:12 PM
The first letter sounds great - professional and to the point without upsetting anyone. I would go with that.
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