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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Family Wants a Portion of Their Non-refunadable Deposit Back
ranch_chick 03:57 PM 10-29-2010
Hey, everybody!

I have a bit of a problem with one of the parents who was going to send her kid to my daycare...

Basically, the family signed on with me and agreed to a non-refundable holding fee that's equal to one-weeks fees per month that I'm holding the space. They also put his name on a list at a French daycare who ended up having room for him so they cancelled their spot with me. Now she's saying, "well I'm giving you over a month's notice so I feel you should reimburse the December portion of the holding fee." I told her that the deposit is non-refundable and that's not really fair to me since I've turned away families and have lost a lot of money by holding that space. After that, she says she thinks I should give back the December portion if i fill the space. I don't feel thats fair since I have to go through all the work of filling that space again! Am I crazy or is she being a little unreasonable?

Thank you so much for your input.
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JenNJ 04:07 PM 10-29-2010
She knew the risks, you keep the cash.
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QualiTcare 04:15 PM 10-29-2010
obviously these parents paid for several months in advance.

but what if they weren't financially able to do that? when would payment have been due? once per month?

if it would've been due monthly - and they hadn't paid you in advance - you wouldn't get paid for december bc this is still October. you may not have even gotten paid for november yet at this point. so, basically they're going to be paying for 2 months to hold a spot (november and december) that they no longer need to be held. they've given you notice, and they only want december back - not november bc of the short notice for november i assume. if i were them, i'd feel like i was getting punished for paying in advance.

how much notice do you normally require if a child is enrolled and attending your daycare and the parent wants to terminate? if the answer is less than a month and X number of days - i say they should get it back.
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juliebug 04:24 PM 10-29-2010
humm i kinda see both sides of this. its a non-refundable deposit and she signed saying it was. but she is giving lots of notice for not needing you for dec i would probably give back the dec portion if i filled the spot!
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DBug 04:41 PM 10-29-2010
If they agreed to a "non-refundable deposit" then it's yours. Don't apologize, and don't feel bad. Just wish them all the best and part company. They knew what they were agreeing to, and you've probably already lost more than what they want back while holding the spot for them.
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boysx5 04:48 PM 10-29-2010
I had this happen to me last year and no way did I give the money back I lost three other families that wanted the spot and then took me a month to fill it so no way
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DCMomOf3 04:53 PM 10-29-2010
How long were you contracted to hold the spot? I agree, non-refundable is just that, NON-REFUNDABLE. It is now your choice to void the contract and give them any money back, but they are not really entitled to it. If they signed a contract agreeing to pay the fee, then it is yours.
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DCMomOf3 04:57 PM 10-29-2010
Originally Posted by ranch_chick:
she says she thinks I should give back the December portion if i fill the space.
I don't know how viable this really is but could you suggest that if SHE finds a replacement family for you that fits, then you'd refund any of the deposit that is left. Kind of like subletting an apartment before the lease is up.
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missnikki 05:50 PM 10-29-2010
Would she settle for half of December? Sort of a compromise?
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Live and Learn 06:25 PM 10-29-2010
DBUG is completely right......the key word here is "NONREFUNDABLE".....
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QualiTcare 06:57 PM 10-29-2010
Originally Posted by ranch_chick:
Hey, everybody!

I have a bit of a problem with one of the parents who was going to send her kid to my daycare...

Basically, the family signed on with me and agreed to a non-refundable holding fee that's equal to one-weeks fees per month that I'm holding the space. They also put his name on a list at a French daycare who ended up having room for him so they cancelled their spot with me. Now she's saying, "well I'm giving you over a month's notice so I feel you should reimburse the December portion of the holding fee." I told her that the deposit is non-refundable and that's not really fair to me since I've turned away families and have lost a lot of money by holding that space. After that, she says she thinks I should give back the December portion if i fill the space. I don't feel thats fair since I have to go through all the work of filling that space again! Am I crazy or is she being a little unreasonable?

Thank you so much for your input.
i noticed this part - non refundable per month that she's holding the space. she won't be holding the space for november or december - so why wouldn't they get the money back for that time that hasn't come yet? maybe i'm missing something, but if i'm looking at it correctly - i don't see why they aren't asking for november also?
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momofsix 08:02 PM 10-29-2010
I would probalby give them Dec. if I were able to fill the spot. Technically, yes you can keep the depopsit, but i agree that since they are giving you plenty notice, and would not have paid for Dec. if they were paying monthly that the right thing to do would be to refund it back. In my experience it never hurts to keep relationships in good standing-they could refer someone to you sometime in the future!
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QualiTcare 08:13 PM 10-29-2010
Originally Posted by momofsix:
I would probalby give them Dec. if I were able to fill the spot. Technically, yes you can keep the depopsit, but i agree that since they are giving you plenty notice, and would not have paid for Dec. if they were paying monthly that the right thing to do would be to refund it back. In my experience it never hurts to keep relationships in good standing-they could refer someone to you sometime in the future!

sooooo true!
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mac60 08:15 PM 10-29-2010
I am not sure I would refund it. They knew it was non refundable. That is the whole purpose of a holding fee, to assure us that the family in fact is going to be filling that spot. I have been taken one time too many, holding a spot for 4 months for free, then the parent found out the 3 yr old was scared of dogs (this was a doctors child that was living in India with grandma and was coming to the states, they didn't know she was scared of dogs and I have 2 small ones). So during those 4 months, I held the spot for free, turned away other clients, lost out on income, then lost the family due to no fault of my own.
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Lilbutterflie 06:28 AM 10-30-2010
I think I would refund the month of December... IF I was able to fill the spot by Dec 1.
In the future, you could edit the holding fee portion of your contract to say at the end "If at any time during the holding period you are to cancel services, The entire holding fee is NONREFUNDABLE." That way there are no questions and you are not obligated to offer any portions back.
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MarinaVanessa 09:41 AM 10-30-2010
Well, my policy is pretty clear about holding fees and holding the spot. My contract is very clear that this is a non-refundable holding fee is exactly that, non-refundable. I guess it all depends on how the policy is worded and such.

Of course I do see the point that the parents are making because they don't need the spot afterall since they got into the other daycare but then again I don't see why this wasn't discussed or covered when they paid the money. If I were giving a deposit to hold a spot and knew ahead of time that I could possibly get into another daycare you better believe that I would ask what would happen if I had deposit money leftover.

I've never been in the position where I was plan B when it came to holding a spot but I do see all points here. I like the points that some have made about how if either the OP or the other family fills the spot before Dec 1st then maybe the OP would be more open to refund Dec. part of the deposit. If not then I don't see why it should be refunded because like she said, she has turned down families to hold the spot for this family. If the spot doesn't get filled by Dec. 1st then I wouldn't feel any obligation at all to return that part of the deposit.
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ranch_chick 09:43 AM 10-30-2010
They were holding the space for three months for a total fee of $405. I think I need to revise the wording in that section of my contract to make it super clear. I feel like I agree with everyone! I think I am entitled to keep all the deposit but if I wanted to be nice, I should give December back. I just have a hard time giving any part of it back since I now have to do a whole bunch of work that I've already done. I kind feel that the bottom line is that they agreed to a non-refundable deposit. What's the point of taking a deposit if you have to give part of it back?! I'm almost certain I'll fill the space before December but I just felt it was tacky to ask for any part of it back.
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Lucy 06:50 PM 10-30-2010
I would refund the un-used portion.
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Tags:cancel, deposit, holding fee, refund
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