What to do when parents are late to pick up their child?

  • Sarah

    January 12, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    explain to the guardian that while 20 minutes may not seem like a long time, there is an emotional effect to her child being the last one picked up. It also means staff having to stay longer than the signed agreement from enrollment.

  • Sam

    January 13, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    I would ask first what challenges are happening to her parents that is making it so they are picked up 20 minutes late each time. I then would empathetically explain how this makes it hard for our staff to get home on time and how it may affect Lily.

  • sophie

    January 14, 2023 at 12:25 am

    Start off with an understanding manner , ask if there’s a valid reason as to why this parent is consistently late and if there’s anything you can do to help . Then explain the severity of 20 minutes past time does to the center . Staff needs to go home , hours being mixed up , and stress on the child and staff that they can’t do their closing duties because they need to still care for the child .

  • Sophia

    January 16, 2023 at 1:50 am

    The school needs to have a discussion with the parent about the expectations for who is responsible for the child during that 20 minutes. If the teacher is scheduled to leave, they cannot do so without legally neglecting the child. Therefore it is imperative that the school talk to the parent about being on time.

  • Emma

    January 16, 2023 at 11:57 pm

    When a parent is late to pick-up their child, I first keep the child calm. I remind them that they are in a safe environment and that I am not leaving them. I then provide an activity for the child, while I then try to contact the parent or another authorized pick up adult. When the parent arrives, I explain to them that the school has closed 20 minutes ago, and remind them of our school’s late pick-up policy. If the parent were to get defensive, I would calmly remind them that the policy is the same for everyone, and that it is to ensure that the child is not at school for a longer period of time than Washington licensing allows. After the parent and child leave, I would document this instance and inform my director of it so that we can address the situation if it should arise again.

  • AJ

    January 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Open up the topic with her and see if she would be ok having a short meeting at some point soon about it. Be open minded as you don’t know why she is late recently and offer support as needed. If there is no strong reason then remind her of the hours of care and figure out a way she can make it on time or see if she can get help from someone else to pick up her child and make sure the right paperwork is filled out.

  • Madison

    January 22, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    I believe if the parent is arriving late multipole times and haven’t communicated then you should feel comfortable going to the parent and asking to have a sit down conversation with them to get to a resolution sooner. you could ask things such as ” we have noticed you have been late at pick up is there something going on that stalls you getting here? Is there anything we can do to make it easier on you?” and make sure to communicate clearly that it effect the child, and the employees who have to stay to make sure the child is picked up while also being friendly and understanding.

  • Marlana

    January 25, 2023 at 1:45 am

    Sometimes things happen, however, if it continues to be an on-going issue then there may need to be time set aside for a meeting to discuss the matter and go over the company’s policies.

  • Kaylea

    January 26, 2023 at 7:53 am

    I would remind the parent when pick up time is and how a child may feel forgotten about after seeing all of the other children getting picked up before them, schedules can get a bit hectic and maybe the parent mixed up the times. I would also suggest having a backup plan for pick up if possible. My care center offers an afternoon program, and I would suggest that on days she thinks she may be running late that she should sign her child up for said program.

  • Francisca

    January 27, 2023 at 12:05 am

    Explaining to the parents the importance of being on time may be hard, it can be acceptable certain days but continusouly could be a problem only reason being its because of the daycares certain hour restrictions. Explaining to the parents to be on time and what can be the cons if it is a continuos act on their behalf it can be problematic in the future.

  • Krista

    January 29, 2023 at 3:38 am

    Ask questions first. Are there obstacles in the parent’s day that are preventing on-time pick-up? Can some collaboration between childcare, parent and their work be made to coordinate the parent’s day around the time frames needed for childcare/work? Gently remind the parent that the stress on the child is what is the ultimate correction to be met and that the extra time is most difficult on them.

  • Jasmin

    January 30, 2023 at 6:13 am

    20 minutes may not seem long enough to an adult but to a child it is. Just as we as care providers are there on time to care for the children we would want the same from parents to be responsible.

  • Shawnee

    January 30, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    As a Provider I would expalin that the day care has set hours such as other business and that it is not fair to the child or the provider being late. Every now and then I understand things may come up and a quick text message to inform about the matter of being late. But this seems to be a more frequent matter and can not keep happening.

  • Emerald

    January 31, 2023 at 12:04 am

    In this instance, I would first refer to the policies regarding pick-up that all the parents had to read and agree to before enrolling their child and make note of what the parent may be in violation of. Then I would privately and respectfully discuss this issue with said parent. I would refer them back to the agreed upon policies. Next, I would positively ask if there was something I could do to help in regards to setting up an alternate pick-up schedule or an alternative pick-up person(s) during the times she is unable to be on-time for child pick-up. I would also state that I understand that there are always things that happen outside of our control such as traffic, road closures, etc. and would encourage them to call ahead as soon as possible to notify us of a late arrival so we may find an alternative pick-up person available (given to us by parental consent).

    • Jamie

      January 31, 2023 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you.

  • glaiza

    January 31, 2023 at 11:16 pm


    Communicate with the parent by scheduling a meeting with the parent to discuss their repeated lateness and explain the concerns it raises regarding the well-being and safety of the child. Set clear expectations and outline the policy on lateness and the consequences for repeated instances. Clearly explain the expectations and the importance of being punctual in order to ensure the safety and well-being of all children in your care. Document the instances of lateness by keeping a record of each time the parent picks up their child late, including the date and time, in order to build a case for future reference. And lastly follow through. If the lateness continues, it may be necessary to enforce the consequences that were outlined during the meeting with the parent.


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