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How To Collect Tuition and Child Care Payments

by Cathy Abraham

For many of us who have "come up through the ranks" and started out as classroom Teachers, this is sometimes the most difficult (or most unpleasant) aspect of the position of Director. The very qualities that made us good Teachers, sometimes impair our ability to do our job in this area. I won’t even tell you how much money one parent left owing a private center I ran because I loved her child deeply, and I knew her other options would be most certainly be detrimental to him. Did I do her (or him) a favor – ultimately, no. In the end, she ended up leaving anyway, but not on good terms, and the few times I have seen her and Kameron in public she has acted as if she didn’t see me. The center was her support system in a lot of ways, and because her balance got to the point that it was completely overwhelming – which was my fault – she lost the relationships and people who were the only support and stability she and her child had. And what could my little, cute Kameron have thought when he saw me and wanted to come up and hug me, and his mother bustled him away, either out of fear of being confronted or embarrassment? I was part of the problem in this case – sometimes you think you are giving people a break or helping them, and you’re really not.

The following are some tips &/or suggestions that may hopefully assist you in this area:

No, collecting money from parents is not fun, but it is a part of your job. Think of it in terms of all of the equipment you could buy or the raises you could give with what has walked out your door!! I once had someone I respect a great deal tell me that I had to "grow up, be a big girl, and just do it." She was absolutely right, and I felt much better about myself and my job, and less like a victim when I did.