6 Chapter 1
Determine Deposits and Late Fees
Requesting a deposit for new enrollees is a common practice among providers.
Here are several reasons to ask for a deposit:
A deposit can be used to hold a space in a child care program.•
A deposit can be used to cover administrative expenses.•
A deposit can be used as a down payment on the first week’s tuition or held as •
a security deposit until the family leaves your program. A held deposit may be
used to offset an outstanding balance from debt not collected.
In a perfect world, every family would turn in payments on time and pick
up their children on time. Unfortunately, families are sometimes late turning in
tuition or picking up their children. Although you are a family child care provider,
your other responsibility is your own family. You have worked very hard to provide
a quality care environment for each child, so please don’t feel guilty charging an
extra fee for late payments or for late pickups. Consider the fee compensation for
the inconvenience of caring for children beyond your hours of operation or for
adjusting your monthly expenses to accommodate late payments. If parents don’t
follow your payment schedule or drop-off and pickup rules, you put in extra time
and effort to handle the situation, and you should be paid for that time. Should you
charge a forty dollar fee for a late tuition payment? Should you charge two dollars
per minute for a late pickup? Consider the value of your time when deciding how
much to charge for a late payment or late pickup. See the next section for more
guidance on this matter.