View Full Version : Late Parent Pick-up

02-28-2007, 08:05 PM
Do you ever have parents pick up their children late? What do you do to solve this problem?
I know that private preschools can charge late fees, but what can we do in public (spec.ed) preschools? Any ideas?

02-28-2007, 08:57 PM
That's a tough one, I honestly don't know, but I guess my question is why couldn't public schools institute a fee policy for late pickup? There are fee policies for lost books and such, why not this? As long as the policy is in place, you can bill the parents and failure to pay the penalities can result in the child's suspension from school or in-school detention or maybe a three strikes type of system (unless the parents are totally heartless, I can't imagine they'd let their child suffer for their inability to get to school on time). If there is no consequence, you will have parents who will make a habit of picking their child up late without consideration to the school - free daycare to some, maybe.

Our private school has a daycare in the school and children that are not picked up in a timely manner will be put there and the parents charged the daycare fee, even if the child is not registered for daycare.

I don't know what our public school policy is on this, I'll have to look, great question.

03-03-2007, 05:20 AM
We are not allowed to charge a late fee. It really cuts into my paperwork time and my lunch (I teach 1/2 day classes), waiting outside with a child (sometimes in the snow or rain) , then coming back in & looking up parent or emergency phone numbers, & calling parents....

03-20-2007, 06:50 PM
Is it always the same parent(s)? If so you may want to alert the administration of the problem and then meet with the parent to discuss why they cannot get to school on time. You may need to explain why their being late is hard on not only you (because you have a schedule to adhere to) but also it is not fair the child. If it is a problem that several parents are having you may need to send home communication outlining when they are expected to recieve their children and a note about how you have a set schedule during the day and you only have so much time to prepare before your next class begins. I wonder if your administration would consider having a three strikes you're out policy since they can't charge a fee...if a parent is consistently picking-up late they need to find another school or program?

I use to have this problem when I taught preschool at a private school, but we fined for lateness. I had this one mother who would show up right at 5:30 when the preschool closed for the day. She would take her sweet time and insist that her child use the potty before they left (even though we had made sure he used the potty before she arrived). It was a battle and we would never get out of there on time. Finally our director spoke with her about it.

I hope you can find a solution. I feel sorry for the children whose parents can't get their act together!

03-21-2007, 12:20 PM
No, it's different parents...of course, there are repeat offenders!

We are a public school special ed program, so we are not permitted to charge for anything, especially not lateness of parents. We also cannot turn anyone away who qualifies for our classes. The children sometimes are very upset when their parents don't show up on time.

03-21-2007, 07:07 PM
Something there actually WAS an empirical study on.

A preschool was always having trouble with late parents, so they paid to find out why. The people doing the study suggested they first charge a small fee for coming late. So the charged like $2 a minute or something. Well, thats $120/hour, but to people with enough cash thats cheap babysitting.

So they increased it to something like $25/minute. Now its no longer cheap babysitting.

Did it reduce the number of people who were late to pick up? Of course, the people without money stopped fast. But to those who are always late, or are always flush, it still meant nothing. They still came late.

And now someone has to bill it and collect it and everything else. Fine if you have a bunch of college kids working for their professor doing a study, but not once they leave.

Summers I run a Day Camp. I told them I wanted to charge $25 for every part of a quarter hour a parent was late. They suggested we just tell the parents they could come late if they paid more so we could hire someone to babysit their kids.

I finally settled it by setting camps departure for about 7:30 a.m. and return around 5:00 p.m. -- we now match the commuting times. We were able to increase fees 100% and no one complained.

Longer hours suck, but you might see the answer.

03-22-2007, 12:34 PM
Yes this is a difficult thing. One thing that one preschool did in my town was to keep track of the hours the children stayed. Being left at the preschool for too many hours a day ended up being reported to the Child welfare office as child neglect. These parents who were constantly late were made known of what was going to be reported if things did not change. Needless to say, those parents were rarely late again.

03-23-2007, 08:36 AM
Wow, these are some interesting suggestions. I especially like threat of reporting to child welfare office! The parents always seem to have very creative excuses. I wonder how Gov't Social Services would respond to their excuses!

11-10-2007, 09:35 PM
My students leave at 12:20 at 12:30 I help another teacher with her group. I write a letter home each week informing parents of any upcoming events. I was having problems with students being late so I wrote a short paragraph.

I thanked all of the parents of students who come on time. I went on to say that it is a wonderful reflection of their respect for our educational system. I also informed them that I was having a problem with a few students who were not being picked up on time. I stated that I felt the need to inform them that due to other obligations I could not take care of their children. I reminded them that I am not a babysitter and after dismissal I was not responsible for their child.

I also stated that if the problem continued that I had to inform my principal and that he would call the Department of Children and Family Services.

This seems to worked for a few days.

11-11-2007, 08:35 AM
I'm not really into the idea of calling CPS. It seems like an abuse of the system. This is a program for children in real need. Yes, the threat worksi n most cases, but what about the times that is just doesn't? Are you really going to ruin the relationship with the parent? More importantly, are really going to add another investigation to the overwhelmed system? I wouldn't feel comfortable doing this. It feels like crying wolf. If you seriously believe the child is being neglected, that is another story.

If your school has an after-care program, I'd definetly take the child to that. If not, I'd go with starting one. Tell the parents that if a child is left behind for so many minutes, the after-care program starts. Because after-care isn't part of the services the school offers, they will be charged for it.

11-11-2007, 09:12 AM
We had a policy, where we would keep the child for 30 minutes after school with a fee of $30 dollars. Then, if the parents still weren't at the school, we phoned the police. The police would take the child back to the station and call the parents to have them come to the station. I'll tell you, I never again had a parent come more than 30 minutes late. But this was when the after school program ended. Definitely if you can push the after school program, do it.

11-11-2007, 10:00 AM
Keep documentation and charge extra for their lateness. This in only fair to all.

11-11-2007, 10:13 AM
I think that the policy of waiting 30 minutes and then calling the poilce is fair. It isn't adding to CPS's workload, and the parent will still get the message.

11-11-2007, 02:40 PM
Plus the police document it and then can call CPS if needed when it becomes a habit or is very late. I had a mom not pick up her kid from the police station until the next morning. She just completely forgot about him and thought he must be at someone else's house....

11-12-2007, 10:29 AM
Oh, that poor child! Some of them would find the police station interesting, but only for the first hour or so. It stops being an adventure at that point.

I can't imagine forgetting a child? Can you imagine the panic when you remember? That is definetly one thing you have to double check!

11-12-2007, 10:46 AM
The parent I am referring to owns a store. She does not want to pay someone to babysit her child. So she figures its okay to leave the child at school until she closes her store and can pick her up. By the time she makes it back home it is 4:30.

Our school does not have a daycare system. I did suggest parents paying a fee.

11-12-2007, 05:29 PM
What time does school let out? Is it like 5 minutes or more like 30 minutes? Talk to your administrators. Hopefully, they will have a plan.

11-21-2007, 10:52 AM
We keep them for 30 minutes, then call District Police.

11-26-2007, 01:02 PM
We charge 5$ after they are late 5 minutes, then it is 1$ a minute after that untill they are picked up. After 30 minutes we call Child protective services.

12-09-2007, 12:26 PM
You should distribute updated policy to the parents
It should be written clearly in the policy