Working parents, here’s some bad news for you: more childcare centres impose fine on parents late to fetch kids.
When we first saw the Straits Times article on this, we also very angry for you. Working parents already got so much on their plates, risk leaving office early and kanna discriminated at work, then still so harsh on them? Cos honestly, leaving office to reach the childcare centre by 7pm is no mean feat can?!
But then the article also said one reason why the childcare centres have late charge is because some parents just always come late – blame the train, blame their boss, blame their leg pain. So I guess too bad right? because of these bad eggs, everyone has to kanna.
On the other hand, actually, we gotta spare a thought for the childcare teachers also lah. The teachers also need to go back to their families mah- they also need to eat or prepare dinner for their own kids and take care of them etc. So don’t be thick skinned and just make the childcare teacher wait lah. In the end, the childcare centre implements a late charge, every parent loses right?
Looks like this is typical Singaporean behaviour lor- need money to shape their behaviour. To be fair to the childcare centres, the practice of late charges is practiced overseas too. Some examples we saw are childcare centre here in New York and here in Adelaide.
But is a late fee the best way to go? Maybe not, according to Freakonomics and an experiment done in Israel.
Day care centres in Haifa, Israel usually close at 4pm and depended on the goodwill of parents to pick up their child. And the parents do generally come on time to pick up their child from the day care centres because they know they are relying on the generosity of the teacher to stay back and have to apologise to the teacher for the inconvenience of waiting.
But when the centres started imposing a late charge, the parents started becoming late in picking up their child. Because now the parents can avoid the guilt of being late by paying a fine, so don’t care about being late lor.
So financial penalties may not work all the time— interesting right?
I guess, sometimes it is unavoidable for parents to be a bit late. It could be a super busy day at work, or the roads got traffic jam. So if the real problem is the parents who always late no matter what, maybe just have a fine system for them can or not?
And if you are the parents who is always very late, maybe you can consider having backup arrangements so that the teacher and other parents won’t be affected? So that next time if some parents are late becos of MRT breakdown or other legit reasons, then also maybe can have more leeway with the child care centre right?
At the end of the day hor. we also think you should think about their children’s feelings lor. Spend more than 12 hours at a childcare centre, and always last to go home, damn emo can?! So please lah, try harder to make it on time.