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Parents fined up to £50 for picking kids up late

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British parents paid out £151m in fines in the past year for picking their children up late from school, nursery and childminding services, research reveals.

The average parent picked up their kids late three times in the last 12 months, shelling out a total of £25.10 in fines, according to a survey by Direct Line.

The analysis reveals a huge variation in charges for late pickups. Some providers start the clock for fines immediately and charge £1 a minute until the parent arrives, while others charge a flat fee of as much as £50.

One school would contact social services if a parent was 30 minutes late.

The survey of 2,000 people found that more than 259,000 parents paid out over £100 in fines in the last year and one in 20 were late to collect their children at least 26 times.

Parents face a postcode lottery when it comes to how much they pay for wraparound care. In some areas it is free, while for others it can cost up to £450 a month for after school term time clubs.

Jane Morgan, business manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, said: “With long working hours and people having to commute from their place of work, it can be difficult for parents to ensure they pick their children up on time, leaving parents to rely on the generosity of friends and family to avoid charges for late pickups. Despite their best intentions, this isn’t always possible, and people are being stung by huge and sometimes disproportionate fines for extended wraparound care.

“Given how many working families rely on this type of childcare, it is important that they consider how they would meet these costs and ensure their family is protected if their lifestyle had to change.”

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