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Parents and Guardians Forum>Daycare Not Opening Issue
paul.siu 02:15 AM 10-17-2014
Hi,

At the beginning of the year, we signed up for daycare that was opening a branch. At the time, I express reservation that there would be delays. They assure us that while anything can happen, it was pretty unlikely since the daycare was schedule to be open a month before we start our kids.

Fast forward to the present, it's over 3 months and the center is still not opened. The daycare blame DCFS, who supposedly is causing delays. Supposedly, DCFS have inspected them last week and didn't find any problems, but the center still not opened.

This is branch of an established daycare, shouldn't they have known about the delays. I got the impression that they were just signing people up and not warning them about the risk.

If DCFS inspected them, how long does it take for be ready for opening? The daycare director won't say. Each time they have set a possible opening date, they have been wrong.

I guess I am wondering if I should be looking for another daycare? Is the center being shifty and unethical?

Paul
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Play Care 04:00 AM 10-17-2014
I think you are right - I think they put the cart before the horse (signing up families before they were ready to open the new location) and I would look for a dc that is already open and established so that I could tour and see where my kids would be. Three months of "any day now!" is too long.

Good Luck!!
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Cat Herder 05:24 AM 10-17-2014
Are they not willing to give a refund?

It does seem wrong, to me, to take someones money before you have a start date and are legal to operate. Start up funds should have been secured by the owners, not from perspective clients. Well, in a perfect world, I suppose.

Delays at the local level do happen, but it is usually due to the applicant not reading the paperwork. missing steps and setting things back over and over until they (DCFS) simply back burners them.

Sorry this happened to you.
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NightOwl 05:28 AM 10-17-2014
Dcfs can be a serious pain if they're backed up. But if they are visiting and the center still isn't opening, then the center is not meeting all of the minimum standards required to open. No matter what the center staff says. The Dcfs person could come today, see that everything is in order, and the center could open tomorrow. That's it. But if everything isn't in order, the Dcfs person will tell them what corrections to make and schedule another visit. So technically, Dcfs isn't delaying them. They're delaying themselves by not meeting the standards.
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paul.siu 07:25 AM 10-17-2014
Well they only took the registration fee, which is supposedly non-refundable, but maybe they may do it in this situation. The director indicated that it is illegal to charge the parent the actual tuition until the center is opened, but registration fee is a different story.

According to them, this is due to a DCFS backlog. They claim that the rep they worked with left and was assigned a new DCFS rep, forcing them to start over. They said they keep scheduling meetings but DCFS isn't responsive and won't set a date for the inspection. A week before Columbus Day, I receive word that DCFS has inspected the facility and pass it with flying colors, but they have not given the OK to open. I know nothing about how daycare are certified, so I don't know if they are truthful or not.

I am rather torn. My wife is taken by the new facility. She like that everything is new. I am the cynical half of the relationship and think that's all window dressing to get people to sign. We did tour the other facility and notice that the kids were happy, well behaved and the teachers were attentive. The other daycare we visited had other problems like inattentive teachers, or terrible infant room. We have met the teacher and like them, but I have reservations about the administrations.

Can I call DCFS to verify their claims or will that cause a problem.

Paul
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NightOwl 07:31 AM 10-17-2014
No, you can call and it wouldn't cause a problem for anyone. It can all be kept anonymous. It will be a problem for the owners if you find out they've been lying though.
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Cat Herder 07:45 AM 10-17-2014
Instead of calling DCFS I would recommend calling licensing (CCR&R).

They could tell you the status, expected completion date and keep you updated to their compliance.

It is their job. Parent education in childcare services and assistance in finding care solutions.

DCFS is simply there to sign off a application for the owners, not be accountable to potential clients. I doubt they would be rude, but fully expect them to tell you to call CCR&R.

(Like calling 911 for directions. You won't be very popular, but they are required to be polite. )
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AmyKidsCo 08:25 AM 10-17-2014
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Instead of calling DCFS I would recommend calling licensing (CCR&R).

They could tell you the status, expected completion date and keep you updated to their compliance.

It is their job. Parent education in childcare services and assistance in finding care solutions.

DCFS is simply there to sign off a application for the owners, not be accountable to potential clients. I doubt they would be rude, but fully expect them to tell you to call CCR&R.

(Like calling 911 for directions. You won't be very popular, but they are required to be polite. )
I diagree. In WI DCF/licensing is very helpful and wants us to call them with questions. Here I'd call DCF because our CCRR isn't involved with centers becoming licensed/opening. But I'm sure it's different in every state.
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Cat Herder 08:37 AM 10-17-2014
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
I diagree. In WI DCF/licensing is very helpful and wants us to call them with questions. Here I'd call DCF because our CCRR isn't involved with centers becoming licensed/opening. But I'm sure it's different in every state.
Wow. Thanks. I did not know that.

Here, DCFS is for abuse reporting and initial approval. CCR&R does everything else...
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paul.siu 02:01 PM 10-17-2014
I called DCFS hotline for day care, but the person said this is just a hotline. They will have someone call me back.

Thank you everyone for their help so far.

Paul
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paul.siu 02:13 PM 10-17-2014
I call CCR&R for my county. I am put immediately on voice mail which said the voice mail is full so I cannot leave a message. I do not have a good feeling that CCR&R is going to be able to help.

Paul
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Blackcat31 02:16 PM 10-17-2014
Originally Posted by paul.siu:
I call CCR&R for my county. I am put immediately on voice mail which said the voice mail is full so I cannot leave a message. I do not have a good feeling that CCR&R is going to be able to help.

Paul
Is there possibly a contact number for the corporate offices of the daycare center since you mentioned it is a chain?

Honestly, I would try to find another daycare center...if this one is causing you this much stress before they even open, I can't imagine what happens next.
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paul.siu 04:05 PM 10-17-2014
I am going to try the corporate office next week. I suspect that they'll just send me to the director of the branch being opened.

I am looking for new daycare center, but all of the nearby places that are any good are full. This is why we picked a daycare at the beginning of the year so that we have plenty of time to add them in. Of course we were not expecting this particular set of difficulties.

Paul
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Unregistered 12:52 AM 10-23-2014
I didn't get a chance to call corporate, but got a message from them apologizing for the delay but that it's DCFS's fault.

We continue searches for daycare in neighboring towns and believe we may have found an opening. We may have daycare soon.

Now, I am wondering if there is a chance I can get my registration fee back from the old daycare. Granted that it's supposed to be non-refundable, but that was assuming that daycare center would open in a timely manner. Is it legal to even charge someone registration fee if the center doesn't open.

Paul
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DaveA 05:37 AM 10-23-2014
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I didn't get a chance to call corporate, but got a message from them apologizing for the delay but that it's DCFS's fault.

We continue searches for daycare in neighboring towns and believe we may have found an opening. We may have daycare soon.

Now, I am wondering if there is a chance I can get my registration fee back from the old daycare. Granted that it's supposed to be non-refundable, but that was assuming that daycare center would open in a timely manner. Is it legal to even charge someone registration fee if the center doesn't open.

Paul
It can't hurt to try. If it's a chain they probably had lawyers look over it to cover their butts, but I'm not sure if that covers programs that haven't opened yet. If it gets to the level of district/ regional manager, someone might realize that this could be a PR headache not worth the $ from the registration fee.
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paul.siu 08:34 PM 10-23-2014
OK,

I wrote them a short email to what appears to be some sort of regional manager (whoever it is, she is above the location's director) indicating that we will not be enrolling our kids there and request they refund our registration fee. I mentioned that while the fee is supposed to be non-refundable, they have failed to open the center in a reasonable timeframe and this is not a normal situation. I suggested that this would allow us to part ways amicably and that if the current daycare doesn't work out, we would consider them again if the daycare center is opened.

Paul
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paul.siu 10:58 AM 10-24-2014
The daycare indicated they will refund my registration fee, which is nice of them.

There was another email that indicate DCFS agent is assembling her report but has not submitted the paperwork to the main office which means probably at least another 2 weeks. The agent supposedly inspected the facility 2 weeks ago.

I think their mistake is that they didn't tell the parents there was problems earlier on. Most daycare require the parent to give 30 days notice. All of those parent who took their kids out of daycare got royally screwed when they found out that there was a problem a week before the date.

In our case, we just have to go somewhere else. We have no alternate caregivers. Our employers won't be sympathetic for another month. Another month means we won't have to worry about daycare because we won't have a job.

Paul
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Tags:ccrr, professionalism
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