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Old 01-14-2013, 07:32 AM
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PolkaTots PolkaTots is offline
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Default Didn't pay registration fees...and spot is already filled :/

I have had a few families in the past say they are enrolling, say how much they love my program, and tell me a start date...only to no call/no show and I find out later they enrolled with another provider and didn't have the decency to let me know. After this happened a few times, I started charging a non-refundable registration fee to determine how serious parents were about enrolling.

My contract specifically states: Reservation Fee: If you would like to reserve a spot for your child in advance, a reservation fee of $20 per week per child is required for each week after acceptance until your child begins care. For reservations greater than 3 months out, a fee equivalent to 2 weeks payments are due. This fee is due in full upon acceptance of the spot and is NON REFUNDABLE should you decide on alternate care. These fees are NOT applied to future payments.
A spot for your child is not reserved until fees are paid and the contract is signed. Interviews will continue to be conducted for any opening until a client secures enrollment.


My problem is that I interviewed a family early last month (to begin mid Jan), and they accepted the spot...but have not heard from them since (2 emails were sent with no response) I just figured they had found alternate care, and didn't worry too much about it. Well, after Christmas, I interviewed another family and they started last week. So...I just received an email from the first family saying they will be starting in 2 weeks...UGH! Now to compose an email back saying that the spot has been filled...

Why do some DCFs think the contract doesn't apply to them
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:48 AM
wdmmom wdmmom is offline
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Did you have this policy when you interviewed this family?

How long ago did you attempt to make contact before you finally heard something from them?

I'm really surprised you would fill the spot so quickly when it's just the middle of January. Granted, I don't think they are innocent, but I wouldn't have offered a spot until now.

If I were you, and so this doesn't occur again, collect a minimum of a 2 week non refundable deposit with ALL clients.(to be applied to their last 2 weeks of care). If it's 3 months til they want to start, collect 4 weeks.(to be applied to first two and last two weeks of care)
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:54 AM
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CrackerJacks CrackerJacks is offline
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I've learned not to wait for families anymore. If they let me know they are interested then I email or call and they don't get back to me within 72hrs (max) I just move right along.
I have a family that wanted a space in the beginning of this year. We agreed to touch base in the beginning of Jan to confirm days etc, I left an email and they haven't gotten back to me. I've since filled the space with someone else.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdmmom View Post
Did you have this policy when you interviewed this family?

How long ago did you attempt to make contact before you finally heard something from them?

I'm really surprised you would fill the spot so quickly when it's just the middle of January. Granted, I don't think they are innocent, but I wouldn't have offered a spot until now.

If I were you, and so this doesn't occur again, collect a minimum of a 2 week non refundable deposit with ALL clients.(to be applied to their last 2 weeks of care). If it's 3 months til they want to start, collect 4 weeks.(to be applied to first two and last two weeks of care)
Yes, this policy has been in my contract since Summer. I actually interviewed them December 5th, and they had a lot of other interviews, so I asked them if they could let me know by Saturday, as I was interviewing another family that weekend. On December 8th, they accepted the spot. I still had my interview that day, since it was before they accepted it, but that family needed hours I couldn't provide. After no response from them, regarding paperwork and a specific start date, I schedule an interview Dec. 26th and they began Jan. 7th. I have had 6 families in the past year "accept" a spot, but continue to interview providers. After the first 2, I changed my contract. Only 2 of the 6 have told me they were going to go elsewhere for care...so I don't bat an eyelash if I don't hear back from a parent who doesn't pay the registration fee. I do know this family was still interviewing providers after they accepted my spot (I am friends with one they interviewed) so that's why I was surprised to hear from them today.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:01 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Dear DCF

As per my handbook/contract, a space is not sercure until a registration fee has been paid. This was discussed during our interview several weeks ago.

As of January 1, 2013 no contact or fee was paid for your child, therefore the open space was immediately filled with the next interested family.

I apologize if this was not understood during the interview but coupled with the lack of communication from you since then, I assumed you were not interested in the space.

If you would like to be placed on a wait list and contacted as soon as a space becomes available, let me know.

Sincerely,

Provider


If you made it clear during the interview and they didnt pay a registration fee or contact you until now, I would send the above e-mail. It isn't your fault they didn't do as they were suppose to do to hold the space.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:03 AM
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I agree I wouldn't have waited either! I've done the same in the past and had someone else call looking for care and turned that person down thinking another family was going to start. When they didn't (and didn't give a deposit either) I tried to call the other family back and they already had someone else. My policy now is first "sign and place a deposit" gets the spot! Just this past week I was supposed to have an interview on Thurs & Fri they would have filled my last spots so I backed out of a Daycare Open House that was held at our local Library cause I figured why go if I don't have any openings and both families were no call no shows!!! I was PISSED!!!!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:25 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I wouldn't have waited either. They were told that the spot would not be held unless they gave you a start date and paid the deposit and they did neither so I wouldn't feel bad about it. BC's letter is a perfect example of what my response would be. The only thing that I would do different is not relying on email as the only form of communication. I would first call and speak to them by telephone and follow it up by an email. Not everyone checks their email regularly and some barely check it at all.

Once I figured I'd continue my search for another child I would have called again and sent another email explaining that I would continue to look for someone to fill the spot but neither are necessary. The family was aware of the requirements and they didn't meet them. Of course if you have another fam giving you problems or that is paying less this could be your chance to offer them a bump up to more hours or give them notice. If you don't want to do that and simply can't take this other family then just copy and paste BC's letter and send them an email .
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:35 AM
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I wouldn't wait either. I make it clear in interviews that it's first come first serve and I'm actively looking to fill my spots. If they don't want to risk losing the spot then they need to make a decision quickly and give me a signed contract and 1 week non refundable deposit (applied to final week of care). Until I have those in hand the spot is up for grabs.

They probably HAD made other arrangements and they fell through and now they're trying to come back to you without saying that.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:05 AM
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littlemissmuffet littlemissmuffet is offline
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Money talks. I don't hold a space for anyone without them paying a daily fee, up front, in cash. I charge $15/day to hold a space for a maximum of 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, I charge $30/day to hold the space.

I think BlackCat's letter is perfect.

And I wouldn't feel bad at all. I think it's really rude they took so long to contact you, and thought the space would still be available to them
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:59 AM
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cheerfuldom cheerfuldom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoMom View Post
I wouldn't wait either. I make it clear in interviews that it's first come first serve and I'm actively looking to fill my spots. If they don't want to risk losing the spot then they need to make a decision quickly and give me a signed contract and 1 week non refundable deposit (applied to final week of care). Until I have those in hand the spot is up for grabs.

They probably HAD made other arrangements and they fell through and now they're trying to come back to you without saying that.
I agree with the bolded! If they wanted the spot, why did they not reply to any of your emails or communicate in some way, even if they did misunderstand the fee?

I do first come first serve with no apology for doing it that way.
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