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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Reserving a Spot for Infant
Unregistered 01:27 PM 10-06-2010
What kind of fee do you charge for holding a spot for an unborn infant? I have a few mother's asking me and thus far it's been when I'm not able to take an infant but now I can and I'm not sure what I want to do. Thanks for any input.
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momma2girls 07:54 PM 10-06-2010
I used to do a 2 week holding, until one family came along wanted me to hold a spot for them for 10 months in total. I did it, and before they started to come, they found another cheaper daycare and told me a week before starting. So definately place more than a 2 week dep. down. After this, I placed a 1 week per month holding dep. then ones that want you to hold a spot for a very long time, won't do it- You have to make it worth your while. I must have turned down 30-40 infants in that 10 months!!!! I was so mad!!!!
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BentleysBands 04:47 AM 10-07-2010
i dont really have a holding fee...usually the only babies i take are the siblings who arent born yet, kwim? ex. i have a current dcb who's mom is 10wks preg. ...theres no holding fee, i will jsut take the baby next yr when ready. i'm full BUT thankfully one of my dckids will be starting school so then i will have a spot
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AfterSchoolMom 05:21 AM 10-07-2010
I like the idea of one week per month - it's enough to keep them serious. I'd also have them go ahead and sign a contract, so that if they do end up finding someone else, you can keep their deposit as well.
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DancingQueen 05:26 AM 10-07-2010
I just experienced this. I had a vacancy and a pregnant mom (who's dd is in my care) that needs care in april. I told them they had to pay for the full spot. Financially I can't afford to turn away another infant at full pay for a possible infant in april. they could pay my full rate or take the risk. They took the risk and I just filled the spot. I won't have a spot for their infant. It might mean they go elsewhere altogether - but it was a chance I had to take.
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MommyMuffin 08:06 AM 10-07-2010
I have been having people looking for infant care 5 months out. I am new and I do not charge a deposit yet....hopefully I will in the future. I have been charging $100 a month to hold the spot and the money is nonrefundable. So far people have been open to this and I just signed up an infant.
Ideally, when I get more experience and feel comfortable I would like to charge 1/2 my rate to hold the spot and 1 weeks deposit.
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Blackcat31 01:53 PM 10-07-2010
Infant space is in so much demand! I have always required parents to pay for a space in order to hold it. I charge the same rate I would as if the infant was actually attending care. They have to understand this is your job and the way you provide for your family. If they want a space, they pay for it. Simple as that. If you agree to hold a space with no payment, it seems that you are the only one who gets screwed over when they decide not to come. I guess the way I look at it is they are the one's who have an infant. They should be the ones who have to deal with finding a space and finding care they like. If they want a spot for their child, they will have to reserve the space by paying for it. I have yet to hear of a provider who can not fill an infant spot. I get at least one call a day looking for infant space.
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Unregistered 04:26 PM 10-07-2010
Thanks everyone. I'm still debating as to having them pay for the spot in full or 2/3 payment. I'm leaning to 2/3 because I don't have to get any supplies for the kid yet or feed it yet. I'm also thinking that if they have to pay in full they maybe be more inclined to wait and take the chance. If it were the baby of a current client I doubt I would even charge them to hold the spot because they are already loyal. I keep my clients to about half of the state maximum because more than that is just too much for me. So chances are if they wait without paying I'll probably still have that spot open.
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TomCopeland 08:20 PM 10-07-2010
If you are going to charge a holding fee (a good idea) I'd be clear in the language you use. Put in writing that the parent payment is a "non-refundable holding fee". Don't call it a deposit or parents will think they can get a refund. Don't apply it to care once care begins. It's payment for your promise not to fill the slot.

During a recession it can be difficult for some parents to pay the holding fee. You might want to offer this: "Parent, since you are reluctant to pay a holding fee, I'm not going to promise to hold a spot for you and I will look for other families to fill the slot. However, if I do find a family that wants to come before you wanted to start care, I'll give you a call and offer you the space at that time, if we can come to an agreement about the payment of any holding fee at that point." This may be worth offering if you think it will be difficult to fill your slot anyway.
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Unregistered 05:48 AM 10-08-2010
Thanks for your help.
Here is what I have for a holding fee contract:
Only full time positions may be held. The holding fee guarantees that I will keep a spot open for your start date. It does not guarantee that I will have your spot open before your start date. Holds do not start until paperwork has been signed by both parties, a start date has been agreed upon, and initial payment has been made. The two week trial period begins when the child begins care full time.
The holding fee is $80 per week to be paid weekly or monthly in advance.
For an infant (up to 12 months) hold, I require that the infant visit with a parent at least once a week for 3 hours during the 3 weeks prior to care starting to aid in the transition. The parent is not to leave during these visits.
If the family cancels the hold before any care is given, any paid holding fees will not be refunded. Any late payments will result in a late fee being added per polices. If payment is overdue by a week then the hold will be considered canceled by the family.
If the provider cancels the hold before any care is given, any and all holding fees will be returned after the checks have been cleared by provider's bank.
If the contract is canceled in the two week trial period, by the parents or the provider, no holding fees will be returned.
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MommyMuffin 08:13 AM 10-08-2010
Thanks Tom! I never thought of calling them at a later date if someone wanted the spot. Good idea.
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DanceMom 09:18 AM 10-08-2010
I actually had to fight one of my parents on this..they almost left because of it ( but I didnt care if they would have ) I charged $300.00 a month to hold the spot. We worked it out that I would give them 1/2 of that fee back each month when the child started here.

I wont hold a spot going fwd. It got way to messy for me that first and only time I did it.
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momma2girls 11:34 AM 10-08-2010
Originally Posted by DanceMom:
I actually had to fight one of my parents on this..they almost left because of it ( but I didnt care if they would have ) I charged $300.00 a month to hold the spot. We worked it out that I would give them 1/2 of that fee back each month when the child started here.

I wont hold a spot going fwd. It got way to messy for me that first and only time I did it.
Yes, it can get sticky!! I will never do what I did ever again!!!!
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