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"No show fee" at OOSH

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#1 Mose

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:00 PM

Just wondering what thoughts are on this?

Our out of hours provider at school has just implemented a $4 no show fee per session. In addition to still being charged for attendance.

On one hand, I get it, the cost of out of hours care is so small it is easy to say I just won't worry about it for a particular day and plough on without cancelling, potentially meaning they get more staff in than they needed (but I pay full fee anyway so they are not really losing on this) or denying a place to someone who needs it more (unlikely - our service has had one day fully booked out in the four years we have been using it).

Anyway, I texted this morning to say DS was unwell and wouldn't be attending. In fact he is fine, and bouncing around, and I would have loved to send him, but less than 24 hours since last loose bowel movement so no go. Got a response back saying thanks for letting us know, there will be a $4 no show fee for each session.

So in addition to the normal cost, it was an additional $8 incurred for following the school's infectious diseases exclusion policy. I feel like this fee is going against the grain of good disease spread prevention control, and would be one more reason for a parent who was wavering to decide to send a sick child to school anyway.

What do others think?

#2 esme weatherwax

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:05 PM

I don't understand how they can justify that one!

#3 SeaPrincess

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:05 PM

To me, a no show means you just didn’t turn up, not that you were absent with notice. I also agree that charging you is a disincentive for parents to keep their children out of the service.

I would recommend that they only charge it if people are not notifying them.

#4 JBH

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:06 PM

If a service has a wait list, I understand a no show fee if you don’t let them know in time to offer the place to someone with a casual spot request (I have a day a week on which I rely on a casual day because I can’t get a regular spot - they let me know by lunch time). Seems unreasonable if you let them know in the morning.

I wonder if there is something to do with their funding that they only get paid for actual attendees?

Otherwise, entirely unreasonable.

#5 Mose

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:07 PM

View PostMands09, on 22 May 2019 - 08:04 PM, said:

If they are already charging for the session then why on earth charge an extra $4? I’d be telling them that given the additional $8 for no show for the day parents are just going to start sending their sick kids in and see what their response is.

I know!! But then it becomes the school's problem as well, because they get the sick kid in between before and after care.

I have notified the school's first aid team that I think this could be a problem, and getting up the strength to complain to the care provider.

#6 blimkybill

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:19 PM

A no show fee should mean a fee if you don't notify of an absence. You should not be asked to pay it if you give notice! It's very unfair not to mention counter productive. How can they justify it. I would complain, whether to the school or whoever management is.

#7 RynandStompy

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:22 PM

No show fee AND charging for the session is excessive.

I think a no show fee instead of the session fee would be fairer, but only for not letting them know. If someone did advise, then fee waived.

I'm lucky our OOSH does neither. My sympathy that yours are idiots who will end up with more sick kids in their sessions/school.

#8 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:23 PM

That’s bonkers.  We have a fee for not giving notice, as there is a casual wait-list and it drives them crazy trying to find kids who haven’t turned up.

#9 Prancer is coming

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:50 PM

We have a no show fee for when your kid just does not turn up.  I get this, as it a lot of work for staff to track down where the kid is.  We had a kid that went home rather than go to after school care (got days mixed up) and when the parent could not be contacted the police became involved, due to the centre’s duty of care.  So lots of work!

We also have a casual fee for those not attending a regular weekday session every week.

Don’t like the idea of paying extra for a sick kid.  Our centre actually reduces our bill by 25% if our kid does not attend as see this figure as the cost saved by he child not being there (eg food, craft supplies).  I think I would be raising it with the centre.

#10 JomoMum

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:55 PM

I could understand the no show fee if they had to, for example, make phone calls/spend admin time determining the whereabouts of said child.

But that is ridiculous if they’ve been made aware and simply had to answer a phone call and mark them as absent.

#11 CallMeFeral

Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:06 PM


#12 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:32 PM

we don’t even have to notify for a no show in the morning...if you didn’t show you didn’t show....they assume we all slept in or something ...we need to notify if they are not showing  up for afternoon OOSH - they will 4ace around and look for them and call ...but no additional fee.

#13 cakeys_mummy

Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:29 PM

Ours charges $10 for a no-show or late booking - after 7am for beforecare and 1:30pm for aftercare. They’re pretty flexible about cancelling without fee for sick kids though.

#14 WaitForMe

Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:55 PM

Agree with PP, if there is a waitlist then its justified. There may be parents whose employment is being impacted by the lack of spots, and then parents who more often than not don't send their kids.

A small fine may be just enough to make some parents consider whether they can cancel or even need to book in the first place.

BSC at our school frequently has kids not show up - I think there are many that aspire to get the kids in early and get to work on time but rarely manage it :laugh:

If theres lots of free spots though, you can ignore everything I've said :)

#15 lizzzard

Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:09 PM

If this is a new thing I'm going to guess it's a mixup - possibly the person who sent you the text reply has misunderstood the new policy!

Edited by lizzzard, 22 May 2019 - 11:12 PM.

#16 EsmeLennox

Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:29 PM

That’s not reasonable.

It’s not a ‘no show’ if they are notified.

#17 laridae

Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:43 PM

No, it's not justified if there is a wait list. You are paying for a session whether you turn up or not. Being notified and able to book in a casual as well is a bonus! They get paid twice, plus usually a casual fee as well.
Ours has a fee if you don't notify them, because they have to figure out where the kid is (and I accidentally forgot to let them know DD1 was sick once and they called me and I didn't get charged luckily).
Being charged extra when you let them know that a kid isn't coming is ridiculous. Have they misunderstood the policy?

#18 WaitForMe

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:31 AM

I think everyone is focusing too much on the sick kid situation, which is probably a very small number of no shows/last minute cancels.

Agree they shouldn't charge if the child was not present at school that day (assuming they have access to such records), I suspect it is aimed at those that simply take up a spot and don't use it.

On the "you are paying for a session", well that depends on the rate of subsidy.

#19 theboys2

Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:27 AM

we dont have a no show fee, but if we dont use the already booked session we just pay for it anyways.

I would be pretty annoyed at paying for it and also have to pay extra to not use it.

My OSHC does not offer a discount or no fee if we tell them in advance if we are not going to use it so for a "im going on holiday" situation i would be annoyed at being charged an extra $4 each day im on holiday as well!

#20 Mose

Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:33 AM

View PostWaitForMe, on 23 May 2019 - 06:31 AM, said:

I think everyone is focusing too much on the sick kid situation, which is probably a very small number of no shows/last minute cancels.

Agree they shouldn't charge if the child was not present at school that day (assuming they have access to such records), I suspect it is aimed at those that simply take up a spot and don't use it.

On the "you are paying for a session", well that depends on the rate of subsidy.

Yeah, although I am a bit miffed about the general "no show" fee, given they have plenty of capacity and we pay anyway, I can understand it.

But I can't understand how or why it should apply to sick kids that have notified as soon as practicable.  And I think it adds to the reasons why a parent who is deciding between well enough for school and staying home might choose school.  Given he was off with gastro caused by parents sending kids who had been vomiting to school because they thought grade 3 NAPLAN was too important to miss...I feel like anything that incentivise people to ignore sensible infection control needs stomping on!!

Perhaps I am too sensitive - it is Thursday and DS is about to go to school for the first time all week, and DD is unlikely to get to daycare at all. We are just cobbling it together between my flexible work arrangements, carers leave, and my awesome MIL.  Sending him to school yesterday would have been so much easier for everyone!!

I will await the statement to check my facts fully before I complain, but as there is no mechanism to notify of illness, and all the signs say the fees will be applied automatically based on a check of the sign ins against the bookings, I am pretty certain I will be charged.

#21 laridae

Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:40 AM

View PostWaitForMe, on 23 May 2019 - 06:31 AM, said:

I think everyone is focusing too much on the sick kid situation, which is probably a very small number of no shows/last minute cancels.

Agree they shouldn't charge if the child was not present at school that day (assuming they have access to such records), I suspect it is aimed at those that simply take up a spot and don't use it.

On the "you are paying for a session", well that depends on the rate of subsidy.

Why would if be a small percentage? And even if it's not for being sick, why does that matter. Some parents may not need care on a particular day yet still need a regular booking for the days that they will need it - or risk not being about to get a spot. Fair enough if you just don't turn up then a fee may be justified,  but if you let them know and they have an opportunity to rebook the spot then an extra fee is just plain unfair.

You do realise that the subsidy is only paid on the first 42 absences anyway, after that they would be paying full fees. And the subsidy if they get it will be paid whether the care charge an extra fee or not. So yes, you are paying for a session.

#22 Future-self

Posted 23 May 2019 - 09:13 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 22 May 2019 - 11:09 PM, said:

If this is a new thing I'm going to guess it's a mixup - possibly the person who sent you the text reply has misunderstood the new policy!

Yes, I would be re-contacting them operating under this impression too. A parent calling is not a "no-show". No calling often means the carers are looking for children who they think may be missing so a "no show" fee is trying to draw attention to that.
AS for the charging the fees anyway even if you call - it's pretty standard I think if there isn't 24/48 hours notice so the spot can be offered to someone else? Our OHSC is 48 hours notice. It is what it is. Sure it's annoying when you have a sick child and are paying for a service that you're not using but I want the service to stay operational and to be the low-ish price that it is now so I accept it.

#23 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 23 May 2019 - 09:47 AM

oh yeh i meant to add in my post if we don’t show for either session (morning or afternoon) we pay for it. we can cancel on around 48 hours - and they can then open it up to casual bookings - which is quite good actually if play dates have been prearranged and they will go home at 3 with another family.

i would say at least one morning every week we are a no show in the morning - running late, appointments etc. we just pay....i like having it there when we need it. and they don’t require notification for no show in the mornings - they have expressly asked for us not to email or phone for no shows in the morning.

#24 Mose

Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:50 AM

We have always had the 48 hours notice or you pay rule - slapping an extra $4 session on top of that seems pretty unreasonable to me.

I budget for paying for OOSH each week, used or not, and I am ok with that - there are plenty of families, especially if multiple children are involved for whom an extra $8 per kid per day is a significant budget hit.

#25 nom_de_plume

Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:08 PM

We are charged the regular fee if we do not cancel with 7 days notice. For 2 or more consecutive days absence with a medical certificate they reduce the fees by 50% for each day missed.

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