This is an article I came across just the other day from another provider who is a director of a daycare center for 30+ years. I really love her content and will be featuring different articles in my blog over the coming months. She goes by “The Spunky Childcare Provider” and requests to be anonymous. My republishing of her article is with permission. Enjoy the article she wrote!
Dear Child Care Parent, Please Pay Your Provider 😳😱
I was really hoping 2018 was going to be the year providers wouldn’t be chasing their money. Apparently the first pay day of the year has come and many a provider is asking advice on how to get paid.
Now I can spend hours messaging stressed out providers on tips about getting their money. Let’s not lay blame on the provider. Let’s address the problem head on.
Parents pay your provider. It’s really that simple. When you see your check the first thing coming out should be your providers pay for child care. Then budget the rest.
Every provider learns quick how to budget their money. We have bills to pay. On top of that we have to feed your kids. We have to purchase supplies. Let me tell you paper towels, wipes, toilet paper and cleaning products aren’t cheap. Then we have preschool items and toys. We have insurance and other child care related items. These supplies don’t wait just because a parent doesn’t pay us.
Providers need paid. They need paid on time. They need it without a complaint. Please spare your provider the “if I didn’t pay you my kids would have nice clothes.” It really brings your provider down when you feel we are a burden.
Please don’t make comments about our smart phones, our vehicles we drive, a day off we schedule or anything else we do. This is our job. We work long hours. We sacrifice our time, our emotions and our homes to provide a service for your children so you can go to work and know they are well taken care of.
You see we earned it. We budgeted. We saved and planned our purchases. We need our vehicles to purchase the enormous amounts of supplies and groceries for your kids. That phone you see us with that is our personal assistant. We document, we take notes, we plan our lessons, we text you and we print from them. We can’t do that from a cheap flip phone.
I’ve had the discussion with many a provider on how on pay day either the child doesn’t attend or they have the random relative pick up minus the payment. Then there is the cancelling plans due to a promised payment. Maybe the parent is embarrassed to confront the provider over lack of funds. Then there’s the parent getting all mad over mounting late fees.
I’m just not sure what to think. We providers go over the payment during the interview. We go over the late fees in the contract that you sign. It’s still an issue? I encourage providers to get their money in advance with a no pay no stay policy. I also encourage cash only these days.
When you enroll your child you knew the tuition and you know the late fees. Let’s not forget withdrawal notices and tuition. I’m just not understanding why the game playing on paying tuition.
You see if I can’t afford something I want, I do two things. One I say “I’m sorry it’s not in my budget.” Two if I really want it I’ll work that budget around. It might take me awhile to get financially where I can do it but I’ll make it happen.
That’s all any provider wants. We want honesty, respect and communication. I’d be
much more embarrassed to have to let someone know I can’t afford the service I’m using than to just pass on the service in the beginning.
How do you afford child care? Go over your budget first thing. I’d strongly suggest signing up with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Most people have 3 areas they can greatly cut back and be able to afford child care. 1) eating out 2) satellite/cable 3) not planning their shopping trips. Trust me, it can be done. I did it quickly by couponing, shopping sale items, saying no to invitations, by cutting satellite, and not eating out saved a great deal of money. Also communication with your creditors. Many will be happy to move those due dates around.
Get your priorities in order. When it came to my children if I had a provider I trusted I made it work. My children came first. So please don’t make your provider stress over whether they are going to get paid. Don’t make them have to make the choice to terminate over payment. Respect them, pay them and appreciate the dedication they have for your children.