We are not a babysitting service- pick up your damn kids!

I work at a tutoring center, but to some ignorant parents, it is a day care facility.

Well its not. In fact we strongly emphasize to new parents that they must come and pick their kids up when they are done, because we cannot be responsible for their kids. The work the kids do takes 1 hour to complete (sometimes 2 hours). It is okay for parents to drop their kids off and come back, but frankly it seems like many parents just don’t seem to get it.

This evening we closed at 7 PM. Even though we hand out our business hours schedule to everyone, people often tend to have rather ‘selective’ memories and I always have to make sure to remind parents when we close, lest they claim “But I thought you closed later!”. So if someone brings in their kid at 6:30, they’re welcome to stay to get as much work done as they can, but they have to stop at 7.

Today we had two seperate sets of parents who were nearly an hour late picking up their kids. One parent was screaming at the director, demanding that we stay open for her kids. Was she aware that we closed at 7 PM? She was well aware of that fact. She merely wanted us to make some rediculous exception just so she could get her own way.

Parents like this really piss me off. They know the rules, and yet they leave their children stranded at a center because of their own incompetence. Ultimately this is unfair to the child, many of which become very upset when hours and hours pass without their parent coming to pick them up.

I feel like it puts us in a really unfair situation, because while both the Director and I know full well we are not responsible for ‘babysitting’ kids, we cannot in our good concience leave a child unsupervised and thus will stay late just to make sure the child’s parents come and get them.

Have you considered billing for the overtime? I would charge them even more than what you charge for the tutoring itself, since you, the manager, and whomever else involved have to stay open late for presumably only one or two children. Having to shell out overtime pay to at least two people can be costly. Who better to shoulder these costs than the people forcing the company to have the extra expenses in the first place, right? In my experience, hitting people in the wallet is sometimes the only way to really make them care.

My second thought involved calling up an officer friend of yours. Not that he/she would even have to do anything other than show up and be present when the child is picked up. Well that and maybe give the parents a good long nasty stare down. You know, ol’ Officer Smith happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to stop by for a little chat. In practice, I don’t think this would be a good idea since it might scare the bejeezus out of the kid, but hey, it was fun to think about.

Good luck and keep us updated.

A-the fuck-men.

I’m a day camp counselor. Camp begins at 9:15 and ends at 3:30. I cannot exceed 40 hours a week, because I’m only a temporary employee. If I do exceed 40 hours, I can’t put it down on my time sheet, because I get in trouble. If I’m stuck babysitting children during non-camp hours, I can’t get my planning and organizing done, which means I do it off the clock, which means I don’t get paid, which means I get angry. AwSnappity smash! There are parents who drop off their kids at 9 (or even 8:50 sometimes) and then don’t come to pick them up until 3:45 or 4. My co-counselor and I don’t go to meet the children until about 9:10, thus solving the problem of the early-arrivers, but the late-departers pose a problem that we’ve yet to solve.

<sigh>…8 more days…

Calling a police officer is not a bad idea. Even if you don’t know one personally. Call the police department and tell them a parent has failed to pick up her child. Explain that you are closed and there will be no one to look after the child’s well being. Then the cop can come babysit the child in the parking lot and wait for mommy while you go home and do the things you need to do!
Then the officer can have a little chat with the parents. I think it will get the point across. Even if it doesn’t, who cares. You’ll never have to spend extra unpaid hours at work because someone can’t be responsible. Call the police department whenever it happens and be done with it. Close up and go home. Fuck these inconsiderate people.

That is a good idea and something I will suggest to my Director.

As it so happens, there is a starbucks nearby that police officers are particularly fond of (despite common stereotypes, I have never seen policemen frequenting donut shops. Rather, they frequent coffee places). My director is probably about 10x more aggrivated about this than I am, since she is there all day every day and has to deal with these parents directly.

Like some other working stiffs, I can’t clock in overtime over something like this. If I stay, its pretty much just ‘volunteer work’ because its not in my job description to stick around after hours to watch kids, thus I don’t get paid to do it. The reason I stay is for the child’s sake- the bottom line is the parent is screwing the child over the most.

The ones I hate the most are the parents that dump their kids off and vamoose 5 minutes before we close, coming back an hour later and acting shocked that we closed so early! :mad:

What you need is a SIGN! Put one on the door and on the front desk.

And just to hijack a little.
Back in the day, the donut shop was one of the very few places a person could get a cop of coffee 24 hours. So there would always be a few cop cars outside the donut shop. They were actually there for the coffee, but since it was a donut shop. . .

But… think of the children!

Somebody had to do that.

I have heard of daycares charging $1 (or $2, or $5) per minute after the designated pick-up time. Parents know in advance that they must pay this, when they drop the child off. I imagine they’re expected to pay in cash, since they might bounce a check, too. Or they can’t get their kid. And meanwhile the minutes keep adding up…

Bolding Mine

You cannot be serious. I know if your car gets impounded you can’t pick it up until you pay all the charges, but surely to Og a daycare centre cannot withold a child from it’s parents due to unpaid charges? This just cannotbe.

No it cannot be, that guy must have heard something wrong. My parents ran a day-care and we had a type of overage charge, if people were late to pick up their kids you can bet they ran up quite a bill. But we were stiffed by one couple for over several thousand dollars, had to bring them to court over it. The child has nothing to do with the parents lack of payment.

Sorry your time is being so disrespected. I can relate. I spent many years coaching and this parent behavior was too common. Every year I would have at least two or three athletes whose parents were habitually late. I always had a parent meeting before try-outs. Even though I told parents that if they failed to pick up their kids on time, they would be removed from the team, I never did that. It seemed like I was punishing the team and the kid. I once had a kid that was a special-needs child. Her parents were more than two hours late. It was midnight. We are a very large school district so we have our own police force. I called them and explained the situation. Believe it or not, this had happened with other kids before. Once it got that late, I would load them into my vehicle and take them home. However, I did not have confidence in this kid’s ability to get me to her home. The district police basically washed their hands of the situation. They told me to call CPS. I was literally on the phone with them when the mother showed. The sick thing is that by this time, you are just happy to see them. I call it the puppy-syndrome. Again sorry about your situation. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of parents that will use you in this way. We were obviously not set up to charge parents for being late but I think that would be effective. Parents will find a way to be on time if they know it will cost them something. Good luck.

Hide the kids. Then with this look on your face ( :eek: ) say:

You’re here for Billy and Cindy? But their uncle Arthur, with the hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses, and moustache, came by to pick them up a half hour ago!

That’s what you have to do. I used to work in a day-care center, and we charged $1 a minute for every minute they were late beyond closing. Whichever employee stayed late with the kids who hadn’t been picked up got to pocket that money, as it was to be paid in cash.
No one was ever late more than once.

We had a sign stating the policy at the front desk, and it was also part of the day-care contract that they signed, so they couldn’t say they didn’t know the policy.

Aaron’s daycare charges an exhorbitant amount if I’m late picking him up (although if there are special circumstances, they’ll waive that fee). However, according to the contract we signed, repeated offenses will result in intervention by Children and Youth Services.


You can’t solve this problem- only the camp can, by having early drop off and late pick up hours. Because unlike a tutoring center or a team , children are commonly sent to day camp precisely so that they won’t be home alone when school is out and a parent is working. I personally don’t understand how camps which run only from 9-4 stay in business, as I have never known a family with a SAHP to send their children to day camp. The camps I sent my kids to had program hours from 9-4 with dropoff hours from 7-9 and pick up from 4-6. ( fewer counselors were needed for the drop off and pick up hours as there weren’t any organized activities so the counselors weren’t working 11 hour days) After that, there was a late pickup fee which was due on the spot.

We would waive it, too, depending on the circumstances. If a parent came flying through the door at 6:02, a first-time offense, apologizing, worried that they were late, we’d just say, “Don’t worry about it” but there were some habitual offenders.

We had one parent with two kids in our center who was 15-20 minutes late a couple of times every week (and we were charging her $1 a minute for each kid), and she just didn’t care. She’d saunter in, throw the late fee down on the counter and casually collect her kids. Sometimes she’d ask to use the phone, and make plans with her friends for later that evening. (This was before cell phones)
The director finally had to talk to her about it. It wasn’t just the money - it was the fact that her kids were left there after all the other Mommys and Daddys had come to get theirkids. Her kids hated being the last ones picked up.

Thank you – that was brilliant! :smiley:

Someone I knew was on a regular basis in the same situation as yours (it was a public daycare center). When there were parents who recurrently came late, they would just drop the kids at the nearby police station. Possibly not pleasant for the children (though I assume that police officers certainly are able to take care very gently of little kids) but it proved to be very efficient at amending parent’s behavior.

Where I work we run a day program for adults with severe disabilities and pesons with alzheimer’s and other dementias. Believe it or not, this is also a problem (or was) for adult day services. We had a few folks who were consistently anywhere from a half-hour to a hour late picking up family members every day. Everyday that is until they received letters from Adult Protective Services counselors making it known that APS was aware of this and that unless arrangements were made for on-time pickup of family members APS would begin an investigation into abuse of the person.

Know what? Folks started showing up on time! :smiley:

Years ago I worked in a early childcare centre. They had a fine system. One minute late=One dollar.

They wern’t late twice.