More childcare centres to impose fine for late parents

As of 23 Feb 2018, roughly 1 in 10 of the 1,400 childcare centres in Singapore imposes a late-pickup fine policy.

Staff at some childcare centres say the late charges were introduced to deal with parents who were repeatedly late. The Ministry of Social and Family Development does not regulate how the centres determine additional charges for late pickups, as these are commercial arrangements between the centres and parents. ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

The fines can be about $10 for every 5 minutes when a parent is late. Some of the parents had paid more than $100 in fine when they were late on pickup for more than 1½ hours.

Staff at some centres commented that some parents are repeatedly late on picking up their children, they had to do something to mitigate the problem.

A spokesman for a centre in Ang Mo Kio said: “We have to be fair to the teachers, who may have plans after work, such as having dinner with their families.”

The measure was introduced by the centre last year to curb the problem of how come parents take advantage of the teachers who would still stay around after the official closing time.

“We understand that unexpected delays do happen, but parents still have to make an effort,” added the supervisor, understanding that some parents have claimed train faults and traffic delays as reasons for being late.

Usually there will always be verbal warning given out before the penalties are enforced, while others offer quotas combining the duration of their late pickups.

After imposing penalties, the centres found that situation have improved over the years. Late pickups now only usually happen once to thrice a month, and do not exceed 30 minutes.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development does not regulate how the centres determine additional charges for late pickups. The arrangements are made only between the centres and parents.

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