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Old 07-21-2016, 07:30 PM
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Thriftylady Thriftylady is offline Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,887

Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Wow, this really gives me a good perspective. Thank you.

We are fortunate that we can afford the upfront fee and that both my husband and I have flexible schedules so none of the issues I raise really apply to us. I guess I just never thought that my child would have to audition for a spot in daycare or that our economic or professional situations would establish us as being able to "get in" to a school that feels somewhat exclusive. But maybe we won't get in...who knows?

Anyway, the reason we would consider leaving our current school for this new one really has to do with the language immersion and farm-to-table philosophy, rather than concrete problems with the care our DD is getting.

The turnover issues I mentioned were typical but concerning because both of the teachers in her room flaked (one quite and one was absent all of the time) right at about the time that she was getting comfortable with them. She has two great teachers now and no harm, no foul. But the communication issues remain a thorn in our side. That is a long story.

To make it short, the school doesn't have their tuition rates published and there was a miscommunication between us and the people in charge about what rate we would be paying. We thought it was one rate and wrote them a deposit check (which they cashed) for that amount a year in advance of our entry (I had a long maternity leave). The week before DD began, the director reiterated to me over the phone that we are getting the "grand opening rate" (the school is a new branch of a national chain) and confirmed that the deposit amount would be used toward our 1st month's tuition.

When the second month rolled around and we had to submit the ACH form, the administrative assistant tells me that she can't figure out what discount we are getting that would allow us to think that the tuition was that amount, it is actually $100+ more a month. What we realized is that we were multiplying the weekly rate by 48 (4 weeks in a month), rather than 52 (weeks in a year). Admittedly, this was stupid of us but we are first time parents without a lot of local parent friends and didn't know better. The problem is that no one at the school told us we were wrong, not when they cashed our deposit check, or when we were about to start at the school (and the director said "deposit amount" is the tuition you will paying) but only told us when we were already there. (Also, it became clear through these conversations that some people might be getting a discount but apparently, we aren't.)

We talked to the director about it and we felt that she handled it poorly. It was awkward for us to have to argue that we felt that we should pay that original rate since no one corrected us (and our entire daycare decision was based on budgeting for that amount) but then ended up feeling cheap that we weren't willing to pay the extra amount. So, we ended up just paying the higher number just to rid ourselves of the awkwardness. It is not breaking us but we remain frustrated about the situation because we probably would have opted for another school if we had know the tuition was that much (and would have had our pick of the litter because of how far in advance we committed).

Anyway, thanks for your perspectives!
Well I can tell you that families (parents AND children) "audition" for most daycare spots. Most of us here are home providers, although there are a few center workers. But when we do an interview, it isn't just you interviewing us. We are interviewing you. In fact I require a pre interview either on the phone or by email/messaging, and an interview. IF I accept you into my program, and you choose to join, you come to my home for a second "interview" where you pay the enrollment fee, get the enrollment papers and sign a contract. There are some parents I will not work with, and some children I will not offer a spot. And usually when I don't offer a spot due to a child, when you get down to brass tacks, it is usually a parental issue that is the root of the problem. For instance, I did one interview where mom and grandma brought boy who was two. He threw a tantrum over everything, and mom and grandma said "well we can't get him to do what we want". They left, without securing a spot and I wasn't sure I would offer one and the boy tried to leave with one of my toys. I waited for them to say something and they were going to let him walk out with it. I said something, and he had a fit and mom said "oh it is okay she will let you take it home". Um no, I won't I didn't offer a spot. In that case the issue was the behavior of the child, but it was a taught behavior.
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