Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Deposit And Overnight Cancellation
Unregistered 01:04 PM 12-16-2010
Ok, So I just discovered this site, but am finding it quite useful! Awesome ideas on here.

I had a woman, INSISTING on dropping off a deposit before having an interview as she knew I had interviews lined up for my full time spots. She told me she was coming the next day on her lunch break to drop off a deposit. No show. So I was a little peeved needless to say.
During our phone conversation I had mentioned that I close a little earlier on tuesdays due to my daughters dance class. She and her husband showed up here just as I'm walking out the door, and I apologized and said I'm heading out, I don't have time, and she said "I know you're heading out to dance we just wanted to drop off the deposit before you left". I was thinking first of all that was RUDE to show up when you know my work day is over, and I'm heading out the door. But whatever, I took the cheque and wrote a receipt for deposit handed it to her and went and deposited the cheque after I dropped daughter off.
The very next morning, I get a call from her husband saying they've changed their mind! That they were "REACTIVE instead of PROACTIVE" was the words he used. I tried to explain to him that listen, you've already paid me, start date is jan 3rd, plenty of time to figure stuff out, book a few days with me anyway, and then decide.
I feel like it was ridiculous and almost felt guilty being the time of year keeping the money, even though I mean, I lost a few interviews due to the fact that I said I had a deposit placed, and they decided to skip the interviews.

SHEEEESH. just wanted to see what everyone else thinks about this. And whether there is any "courtesy" time frame in which I should consider in deposits.
Reply
AmandasFCC 01:38 PM 12-16-2010
I had a woman come for the interview, was interviewing for a space a ways out so we agreed that a month before, she'd call and confirm and THEN we'd do the deposit and paperwork.

She comes, fills out the papers and hands me a deposit. The next day (after she'd had 3+ months to think it all over) she calls and says "I think I want my sister to watch dd. Can I get my deposit back?"

Nope. I turned people away. You can choose to walk away but the deposit is to hold your space and protect me in cases like this. Forget it.

She did end up staying with me.
Reply
momma2girls 01:43 PM 12-16-2010
I did a really dumb thing once and never again!!! I held a spot for 10 months on a 2 week deposit only!!! One week, before she started coming here, she called and said that both my drop off and pick up times were not going to work at all with them!! Can you believe this? Then she had the nerve to ask me "will we be recieving the deposit back"? I said I don't thing so, do you know how many infants, I turned away??????
Reply
nannyde 01:49 PM 12-16-2010
I wouldn't have taken their money in the first place. I require three interviews before I offer a probationary slot to the clients.

I don't want to work for anyone who would pick a provider before spending time with her. It means they have no value or understanding of the job.
Reply
dEHmom 02:28 PM 12-16-2010
Ok I didn't realize I wasn't logged in when I posted this thread at first. But the original post was by me.

As much as I do agree with the last post by nanny, where you wouldn't accept it without having at least met the parents/children, etc. This was a completely different circumstance.
Basically we did the interview over several different phone calls. Due to the schedules and all that, she decided she'd come and we'd do a quick run thru of the house, having discussed everything over the phone, just saved time in terms of how long she'd be here before deciding if the deposit was necessary.

Normally I sit down with the parents, and do the interview, show them around, inside the house and outside, let them voice any questions/concerns. Then I normally tell them to go home and discuss together, if they have any other options to take a look at those as well, and then get back to me. I've had many parents leave and 15 minutes later call and say they want to place the deposit. But at least they left. To me, it saves that awkwardness (spelling?) of the moment when they are leaving and don't want to place the deposit (face it, not everyone will like the size of my house, it's not all that big, or whatever might be a turnoff for them).

This woman didn't seem like she was a mom desperate for care, but just insistent on placing the deposit. I have to admit a very very tiny red flag went up, but at the same time, I felt that if I was in her position, I would probably have been the same.
Both her and her husband came, seen the house, and she had no issues whipping out the cheque book and signing it over.

Oy, I don't know though, I mean, I didn't get the chance to interact with the kids, but they are away at grandparents house for a few days, and she arranged that at the end of the week she would bring them over for a bit, and we could engage at that time.
Reply
Abigail 03:15 PM 12-16-2010
If she didn't sign the contract you technically can't keep the money. It looks at though you had a start date of January 3 lined up so maybe they did sign. Was the check good? I also would not take a child or deposit without meeting the child. It's a business and not a free for all. If the child comes and ends up not being a good fit you will have to give the deposit back or at least pro-rate it for the days the came. Hope it doesn't happen again.
Reply
nannyde 03:57 PM 12-16-2010
Originally Posted by Baybee0585:
Ok I didn't realize I wasn't logged in when I posted this thread at first. But the original post was by me.

As much as I do agree with the last post by nanny, where you wouldn't accept it without having at least met the parents/children, etc. This was a completely different circumstance.
Basically we did the interview over several different phone calls. Due to the schedules and all that, she decided she'd come and we'd do a quick run thru of the house, having discussed everything over the phone, just saved time in terms of how long she'd be here before deciding if the deposit was necessary.

Normally I sit down with the parents, and do the interview, show them around, inside the house and outside, let them voice any questions/concerns. Then I normally tell them to go home and discuss together, if they have any other options to take a look at those as well, and then get back to me. I've had many parents leave and 15 minutes later call and say they want to place the deposit. But at least they left. To me, it saves that awkwardness (spelling?) of the moment when they are leaving and don't want to place the deposit (face it, not everyone will like the size of my house, it's not all that big, or whatever might be a turnoff for them).

This woman didn't seem like she was a mom desperate for care, but just insistent on placing the deposit. I have to admit a very very tiny red flag went up, but at the same time, I felt that if I was in her position, I would probably have been the same.
Both her and her husband came, seen the house, and she had no issues whipping out the cheque book and signing it over.

Oy, I don't know though, I mean, I didn't get the chance to interact with the kids, but they are away at grandparents house for a few days, and she arranged that at the end of the week she would bring them over for a bit, and we could engage at that time.
Well you know it didn't end well so you have to look at the way it went down so you don't have the same thing happen again.

There's no short cuts to finding good day care parents. You can't do it over the phone. You can't do a thousand phone calls and have it equal to the one interview where you are face to face and get to see the kids and the kids/parents in action.

I don't allow people to sign up after the frist two interviews. I make sure they really have time to THINK about it. I make sure the interviews are days if not weeks apart. On the third interview THEN they can write me a check. I don't do a third interview unless I'm sure I want to give them a probationary slot.

If you want good day care parents you have to really work at the interview/screening process.
Reply
Crystal 04:41 PM 12-16-2010
While it may not have been the ideal way to go about enrollment, they placed a good faith deposit that they would be bringing their child beginning January 3rd. You should not feel guilty, you did what the orginal intention was and that was holding a space for their child with the awareness that the deposit would be non-refundable.
Reply
kidkair 04:42 PM 12-16-2010
Just be sure that their check clears before giving them money back. They may be trying to scam you and get money.
Reply
MN Mom 04:50 PM 12-16-2010
Originally Posted by kidkair:
Just be sure that their check clears before giving them money back. They may be trying to scam you and get money.
Good thinking! Definitely wait until it clears.
Reply
gbcc 05:57 PM 12-16-2010
I would keep the money. It was a deposit to hold the spot. They are choosing to terminate that agreement (even if it's just verbal). You were doing your part, cancelled interviews and held the spot. You may have now lost money because of the interviews you turned away. What if it now takes longer than January 3rd to fill that spot?
Reply
Daycare_Mama 07:29 PM 12-16-2010
100% agree! This sounds really fishy to me. To not bring the kids around for an interview first and not bring the kids with when they dropped off the check. That's strange to me. They totally could be writing bad checks to people, then calling the next day hoping the provider will give them some cash back, knowing the check they wrote is bad. Not saying that's what it is, but very well could be!

I say you don't owe them anything back, but if you do decide to give it back, definitely wait 2 weeks to make sure the check stays cleared.


Originally Posted by kidkair:
Just be sure that their check clears before giving them money back. They may be trying to scam you and get money.

Reply
Abigail 11:53 PM 12-16-2010
Originally Posted by kidkair:
Just be sure that their check clears before giving them money back. They may be trying to scam you and get money.
Good thinking! I never thought of this! Either way, you could always ask Tom Copeland. I'm still not sure if you signed a contract because verbal doesn't really hold up in court. Can you still call and ask a family you turned down if they're still interested?
Reply
boysx5 03:55 AM 12-17-2010
I had something like this last Dec. they came for an interview loved me signed the contract and gave me a deposit where it says right on the contract non-refunable. Well they were due to start in Feb. and it was for an infant spot where I can only have two under twos so I had turned away three other families saying no the spot was filled. WEll right before Christmas the dad calls to say mom lost her job and could they have their deposit back I said I'm sorry that your wife lost her job but I turned away three families and that is lost income for me so he said if you find someone to fill the spot can we have our money back and something told me the story was not right. Well they called my neighbor who does daycare and is also my friend and does networking for daycare for our county and told her that I wouldn't give them their money back since they decided they were going to stay at the center they were at. So I never called him back and it took me til March to fill the spot so I felt I lost a whole month of income from them so now. Yes I have learned to cash those checks right away go to their bank and get your money
Reply
dEHmom 06:39 AM 12-17-2010
Thanks everyone!
Yes I most definitely will be more wary.
Where I live I have never heard of a 2nd or 3rd interview. I understand the concept of screening and certainly can appreciate it!
Daycare centers, and even licensed dayhomes do not do this. However it would definitely be a consideration in the future.
I live in a small town that recently became a city, for the most part, everyone knows everyone. Or at least everyone knows someone that knows someone. If you get my drift.
Yes I have the contract, and I have a receipt with all the info on it, stating start date, child care for (both their children's names) date deposit received, etc.
I am definitely checking my bank account daily to make sure the money doesn't disappear.
I've also let the families know (the ones that decided to look elsewhere when I mentioned a deposit was placed), some are interested in coming for the interview, but a few have also already placed deposits.

My interviews are usually an hour long, as i explained it above, but I generally like to have some time with the child with the parents, and away from the parents. Make sure they are comfortable with me, and that I like them. Face it, the interview isn't just for the parents to assess you. You have to have a good feeling about the parents and the kids as well. You may love the kids, but not the parents. Vice versa.

Well I've learned my lesson. I've changed my contract to state cash only! As I have worried about this in the past. Normally the norm here is 2 weeks deposit, but 4 weeks notice for withdrawal. I had a mom decide to change jobs into a different town. She gave me notice the day she handed her 2 weeks to her employer! I reminded her of the 4 week notice. I agreed if I was able to fill the spots then she would not have to pay for the last 2 weeks, but if I didn't fill them, it was a loss of income for me. Especially because I had planned holidays around her holidays! and was gone to BC for 2 weeks. How do you fill a spot less than a month before your trip!?!?! She gave me 2 postdated cheques, and the only thing I could do was pray she didn't cancel them! Thank goodness she didn't, but the fear was there.

Now I just much rather the cash and not have to worry about getting to the bank. Plus then waiting to make sure it clears.
Reply
dEHmom 06:44 AM 12-17-2010
wow that just erks me. i can't stand liars! its no different if you put a deposit on a house, and then decide otherwise, OR even if you realize you can't get the financing for it! you are still out your deposit because the deposit says "i am 100% agreeing to take this".
it really bothers me how people have such major issues with daycare providers. especially when it comes to the cost. I understand it is expensive. but if you break down your charge/day by the amount of hours the child is in your care, it's a few measly dollars an hour. for heaven's sake, you pay your plumber more! from my experience, people care more about the cost of childcare than the quality of child care. blows my mind. I don't trust anyone to care for my children, so I am staying home until all of them are in school. And then I'll probably take on 4 full timers anyway!
Reply
Blackcat31 07:01 AM 12-17-2010
Originally Posted by nannyde:
There's no short cuts to finding good day care parents. You can't do it over the phone. You can't do a thousand phone calls and have it equal to the one interview where you are face to face and get to see the kids and the kids/parents in action.

I don't allow people to sign up after the frist two interviews. I make sure they really have time to THINK about it. I make sure the interviews are days if not weeks apart. On the third interview THEN they can write me a check. I don't do a third interview unless I'm sure I want to give them a probationary slot.

If you want good day care parents you have to really work at the interview/screening process.
Ya know after doing daycare for so many years, I'd always consider myself lucky when I got a good family. But when you really think about it, it isn't always the care we provide or our rates or what we have to offer that dictates if we get good families or not it really is the screening process. No matter how we change or adapt our programs to fit the communities needs, or how tough we get with the rules and enforcing them, it really all comes down to the screening process. There are bad and good and so-so families everywhere. It's how WE weed them out and sort through them that really makes a difference in the type of families we get. Nannyde has the right idea, that proper screening makes ALL the difference. I have had a few families that said all the right things and agreed to all the policies, but still I had a weird feeling....and every time the weird feeling turned out to be right. I didnt have problems with paying or not showing up or even sending their kids sick; in fact I didnt have any issues that even related to childcare policies...the issues I had were something I didnt even think about and needless to say I ended up FINALLY terming them and spending the next few weeks wondering why I didnt listen to my instincts in the first place.
I know that I for one, am going to focus more on the interviewing process and screening families in the New Year and hopefully reaping the rewards of what child care should be like for providers.
Reply
jen 07:38 AM 12-17-2010
Originally Posted by Abigail:
If she didn't sign the contract you technically can't keep the money. .
I don't think thats true. If the client were to take them to court to get the deposit refunded it would be their word against the providers.
Reply
dEHmom 11:50 AM 12-20-2010
Well.....

I'm furious right now! Just checked and the parents cancelled the cheque for the deposit 3 days after! I wish I knew before hand that I could've taken it to their bank, or even mine and gotten it certified! GRRRRRRRR
Reply
kidkair 01:44 PM 12-20-2010
Live and learn. Take a deep breath. Let it go. And don't make the same mistake twice.
Reply
KEG123 04:21 PM 12-20-2010
That sucks. Live and learn I guess.
Reply
Preschool/daycare teacher 06:38 PM 12-20-2010
Originally Posted by Baybee0585:
Well.....

I'm furious right now! Just checked and the parents cancelled the cheque for the deposit 3 days after! I wish I knew before hand that I could've taken it to their bank, or even mine and gotten it certified! GRRRRRRRR
How does a person cancel a check after it's already been deposited into your account?! If that's possible what keeps everyone from doing that after they write a check for something? Or did I misunderstand? I thought you said you deposited their check after your daughter's dance lesson (the same night they paid you). Then talked to them on the phone and they asked for it back, but you said no. Are you saying they were able to cancel their check after you'd already deposited it and told them no refunds? That sounds like a messed up banking system to me!
Next time I'd definitely make them sign a paper saying they were paying a non-refundable deposit to hold their child's spot. Even if they haven't signed a contract yet (since in that case they wouldn't have had time to read it all before signing), I'd at least have them sign their name and date with a statement that they understand it's non-refundable to hold their spot.
Reply
MyAngels 09:04 PM 12-20-2010
Originally Posted by Preschool/daycare teacher:
How does a person cancel a check after it's already been deposited into your account?! If that's possible what keeps everyone from doing that after they write a check for something?
They called their own bank and put a "stop payment" on the check. It's not difficult to do, but there usually is a fee that's equivalent to an NSF fee. There's really nothing to stop everyone from doing it, although stop payments are usually reserved for cases of lost or stolen checks or fraud, not routine checks that you write yourself.
Reply
dEHmom 05:22 AM 12-21-2010
Because I deposited it, without certifying it (cost me money to do so), or going out of my way to take it to their bank directly to secure the funds, they were still able to stop payment on it because it hadn't cleared their bank yet. I don't have holds on my account, never have, so if I deposit a cheque I can pull the money immediately.

I talked to a few lawyers around here, explained the situation EXACTLY and they advised me that without a contract signed, a deposit is a deposit and majority of them are NON-Refundable. The reason a deposit gets placed is to guarantee that service is yours. Goes both ways. She insisted on meeting on the Tuesday because they weren't available the Wednesday morning, and she wanted to secure those 2 spots for her boys before anyone else placed a deposit. She understood too that the deposit was non refundable and would be put towards her childs care.

Anyways, I was informed that if contacting them by phone to request payment was not successful, to write them the demand for payment with a set amount of time to pay it.

In my demand I was as thorough as possible with information regarding her sons names, cheque written date, deposit date, stop payment dates, phone call dates, as well as when childcare would commence dates. This way here, should it actually be an issue in court, I can say "how else would I know the kids names, etc etc etc". Just because I didn't have the contract signed by them doesn't mean anything. They had a verbal agreement with me, they knew they pushed ahead in line and cost me potential clients by doing so.

I am giving them 3 days to call me back before I mail out my letter to them. Registered, so that will be an addition charge to them. The letter explains that should this matter need to be settled in court, not only will they owe 200 for the original cheque, they will owe NSF fees, loss of income due to clients turned away AND for time spent in court, plus the court fee, etc.

My husband says I should pursue it into the court room should it head that way, however I think if they don't respond to the letter with a payment, I'll just learn from my mistake. I don't think I will bother taking the time to go to court for 200 dollars. Just a tick off. My own fault, but I assumed because they insisted on coming before anyone else just to make sure their spot was guaranteed it meant they were serious about the daycare.
I can say though, in a sense, that I'm very glad things turned out this way. Probably saved myself trouble down the line.
Reply
dEHmom 06:15 AM 12-21-2010
Does anyone know how to find out the address of someone who has an unlisted phone number?
The address I got from those people isn't valid any longer. They've moved since, so it's their old address.
Reply
dEHmom 06:19 AM 12-21-2010
never mind I guess it's the right address, just wrong postal code. Easy Fix!
Reply
Preschool/daycare teacher 07:34 PM 01-03-2011
Just curious if you have heard anything back from them yet? I still cannot get over how a bank can allow someone to cancel their check for a small fee, that they've already written to someone. I understand for lost or stolen checks, but the banks need to have some kind of procedure so that that is the only way a person can cancel their check. That's stealing, plain and simple, if you ask me. They received the spot held for them since they paid the deposit. But taking that money back without your go ahead just sounds like they stole from you. And was dishonest, in the least.
Hope the letter scared them to their senses so that they'll pay you back...
Reply
Tags:bounced check, canceled check, deposits
Reply Up