An Australian school has flagged charging parents $1 for every minute their child is dropped off early or picked up late.

The Perth school says students as young as five-years-old have been left at school as early as 7am in winter, prompting the divisive action.

Divine Mercy College, in Yangebup, reportedly issued the warning to parents in a school newsletter. According to 7News, the newsletter said:

“It has been made clear in the first few weeks of term that a small number of parents are choosing to consistently either drop their children off extremely early – long before the arrival of staff – and leave their children at school for extended periods after the final bell.”

The newsletter reportedly threatened to charge parents $1 for each minute their child was at school during unsupervised hours. The school’s principal, Adam Zydek, said in a statement that the warning is only aimed at a ‘small group of parents who repeatedly dropped off students at the front school gates well before school commences and staff are even on site to properly supervise them’.

“On occasion, these students have been as young as five and six years of age and are left as early as 7am in wintertime, when it is often cold, dark and wet,” he said. “We deem these actions as inappropriate and potentially dangerous. Conversely, on occasion young primary school students are left waiting for parents several hours after school has concluded, in most cases without a phone call or an email to the school to indicate that they will be late, the reason for the lateness, or when the children might be expected to be collected.”

‘We may consider reporting the matter to the Department of Child Protection’

Mr Zydek said that in the interest of the children’s safety, as a last resort the parents may have to be reported to the Department for Child Protection.

“DMC, unlike most schools, provides supervision 45 minutes after school and 55 minutes before school without charge, to provide safety and care to the students. Up until now, for 27 years, we have not charged a single dollar to any parent for the hours of additional supervision we have provided. It is well known that many childcare and education providers choose to charge parents an appropriate rate, where their children must be supervised outside of the usual hours.

“The measures mentioned in our recent newsletter are intended only to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, who otherwise would be neglected. Ideally, our hope was that the extremely small minority of parents- many of whom are choosing to use the school’s sense of responsibility for our students as an excuse to not make arrangements of their own- would take this as an opportunity to be more diligent in arriving on time.”

​What are your thoughts on charging parents who are late to pick up their kids from school? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • My daughter preschool has same rule…she finish 3.45 and then 1$for every minute


  • That’s disgusting. Why are people dropping off that early and not picking up. There is out of hours care available


  • Dropping your 5yr old off at school at 7am in the winter ??!! Definitely not ok !!


  • I think it a good idea the poor kids having to wait and wait for someone to come pick them up when everyone else is gone is not really expectable


  • That’s fair enough for one’s that are ridiculously out of acceptable bounds but what about someone being 10min late?


  • I think these parents need to put their kids in after school care.


  • I agree with their reasoning. Surely a phone call from the parent to explain why this has happened isn’t too much too ask. As stated it’s a small number of parents who are doing this on a regular basis that are the problem. These parents need to make other arrangements or pay $60 an hour for the privilege of being able to leave their children at the school earlier than anyone else.


  • I would like to think that the parents in question might get a please explain letter before the fees start to bite. If it is a one parent household, sometimes it is hard to only work within school hours and people who are not making much money would be disadvantaged as well. I believe there would have to be a very good reason why these children are being left so early or so late and doubt it’s just a whim of the parent.


  • That’s fair. School is not child minding or child care. Parents need to make other arrangements. If this is a one-off, that can be considered but if its repeat behaviour, it’s not on. Not to mention the poor child and how they’re feeling. I think that’s more the priority here.


  • Sometimes life happens. But supervison is very important nonetheless


  • Totally agree with this decision, a 5 year old can not supervise themselfs! That’s so wrong!


  • If it’s past the 45 minutes most schools stay behind then great idea to charge them. At the most you’d think parents would be late a few minutes wouldn’t want my children left for too long

    • Even the 45 minutes is a long time anything could happen. Teachers aren’t going to be watching them constantly depending how many kids are waiting or some teachers might juet not even wait around


  • Very heartbreaking to hear of children in this position, sounds very unsafe indeed and I wish these children safety and security. I hope they school takes action to actively keep them safe. I’m not sure is fines will deter the parents? If they are acting so recklessly maybe they wouldn’t pay.


  • Maybe a solution would be to offer out of school hours care, as even with the extended supervision that they currently offer – It’s not early or late enough for some working parents.


  • This is super controversial. On the one hand I like the idea, but on the other hand I know if it happened to our family. Eg. The mother of my step kids was charged for being late (which often is the case) the school bills only end up at our house anyways. We’d end up having to front the late fees. Bitter sweet.


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