In the last Dollars and Sense post, I mentioned the long list of things I learned from my child’s Kids Day Out provider. If you are interested in how others handle things like snow days and such things, then you’ll definitely be interested in reading: And You Thought MY Makeup Policy was Severe!

A Piano Policy Tip from Day Care – $5 a Day!

I mentioned that looking at how other professions handle business issues professionally can assist us in finding reason and the courage to operate our piano studio in a similarly professional way. So today, I want to share with you some wording that comes from a local day-care provider. This provider has a most beautiful website, and an excellent policy complete with a solid agreement to terms. She is most professional in all she does!

Late Payments

Policy tip from day care 1I love how she words the handling of late payments:

Late payments – Of course I understand if a parent accidentally forgets a paycheck; however because this is my job and income,  please understand that a $5.00 late fee will be added for each day my payment is late.  Personal check or cash will be accepted for payment, but if a check is returned for any reason and I incur any bank charges from the return of your check, those charges will be added to the following week’s daycare fee. Non-payment or consistent late payments is cause for termination immediately without 2 weeks notice.

Lessons Learned From Great Wording

Here are the lessons I take from her excellent wording:

  1. She speaks to the customer personally. The policy document is not sterile and uncaring, so readers continue to feel loved and cared for even when she has a firm policy. 
  2. She acknowledges the fear that parents have (that of forgetting their paycheck and incurring a late fee). This helps parents realize that she is an understanding human who knows what real life is really like!
  3. She reminds her clients that this is her job. I don’t always know why it’s necessary, but parents have to be reminded that teaching piano is your profession and they need to remember that instead of thinking of you as the dear, kind-hearted individual who is teaching (or in her case, caring for) their children.
  4. She is firm, direct, and specific about what will happen if no payment occurs. She will give them no more than 2 weeks to get her a check.
  5. She is not afraid to ask for $5 a day! I’ll bet she only has to implement this one time before a family remembers forever!

Now, even if you think this is more firm or expensive than you’d like to be, one look at her website would make you answer this question, “Am I still interested in her providing care for my children?” with a resounding “Absolutely!” You know why? Because the appearance of her website is professional: clean, beautiful, organized, etc. She demonstrates in pictures and wording that she cares for children over and above what you would expect in a daycare.

[I haven’t shared her site because of location privacy.]

Another thing to remember is that her prices are not low (I’ve been talking with her about this), so she only attracts families that are serious about good care. She also informed me that she rarely has to use this policy about the late payments because she is extremely careful who she allows to be in her daycare. I’m sure she spends time interviewing and getting to know the families before accepting them.



image by 401(K) 2013