Should I Pay for Daycare?


Is it within policy that you pay for daycare the week your child did not attend daycare?


Hi Jenn,

Thank you for visiting

Your question is regarding payment from a specific family in your daycare. Unfortunately, every provider that has been in the daycare business for any amount of time has had this same issue. It's an unfortunate part of the daycare business.

You stated that you feel like you know what you should do. So, I'm guessing you know that you should just cut all ties with this family. Easier said than done, right? You also said that you need the money and there are no other prospective families lining up at your door.

So, first, you need to decide if you're willing to put your time into taking care of this family with the possibility of not getting paid for your services in the end. So far, payment is late, but you do get your payment. But a family like this may end up quitting your daycare and leaving you high and dry. If you're willing to take that chance, then keep them in your daycare until a more reliable family comes around.

Next, protect yourself from this happening to you in the future. For example, do you charge a deposit when families enter your daycare. You could charge a one week deposit that is applied toward their last week of daycare. That would protect you when someone suddenly leaves your daycare.

You should collect your week's pay at the beginning of the week. With a family like you're dealing with, you'd have to stay real strict. They have to have payment to you on Monday morning or you don't accept the kids. If you feel like you have a soft heart (which most providers do), then you give them until Tuesday to get payment to you, but no later than that. This way, you are not providing care for children you do not end up getting paid for.

The last thing you need to do to protect yourself is to charge for bounced checks. For you to get a deduction from your pay because of a bank charge should not even be an issue. If a family bounces a check, they should be required to show up at your door with cash to cover the amount of the week's pay, plus your bounced check charge which should be what your bank charges you or more.

Jenn, good luck with all the decisions you have to make. I know how hard it is, but stay professional and do what's best for your business.


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Marcia Reagan is the creator of DaycareAnswers and lives in Central Minnesota with her husband and two children.  She's been an in-home daycare provider for over twenty years and loves to share her experience and passion for daycare with other providers.  

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