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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>2 Week Notice/Payment
KEG123 08:16 AM 01-31-2013
So a few weeks ago a family stated they were accepted into a preschool they'd been on a wait list for. They were putting in 2 weeks notice, but wouldn't be sending their son the 2 weeks. In the contract, I reminded her it states 2 weeks notice must be given and payment must be made regardless of how many days attended. We agreed they'd pay 1 full week and 3 days (which is more than nice of me!). Verbally, she agreed. She also confirmed it via e-mail and a written letter, (though I'm not sure where it is since I just moved and papers are kind of randomly everywhere). She sent the first check for the full week. It was late but I didn't mind. The second check is now 2 weeks late (for the 3 days) I wrote her an email on Monday and she has not responded. I am going to either send her a final e-mail, a letter, or both. Basically stating she needs to pay, otherwise I will take her to small claims and enforce the $10 per day late fee. (Which would now be at $140 plus the original $81 owed) So how would you word it? I realize $81 is not a lot of money, but for me not having ANY daycare kids for 2 weeks, every cent matters for us.

KEG123 10:46 AM 01-31-2013
Anyone?? I wanted to put something in the mail/email today but am unsure how to word it.
KEG123 10:48 AM 01-31-2013
And has anyone ever gone to small claims? I'm assuming I'd win because she signed the contract and also gave me verbal and written confirmation that she'd pay the remaining $81. Does it cost to file? If so, how much?
frugalmama4 10:56 AM 01-31-2013
I see no one has replied...I don't have much advice to offer...

Yes, it cost to file a with your local court house.
Yes, if she signed the contract...then she needs to pay.
Find the letter she wrote you and the email.
Judge won't care about the verbal agreement " can't prove that"

Hope this helps!

I understand $81.00 is not a lot of $$$...but the principal is what matters.
KEG123 12:21 PM 01-31-2013
Well, here is the e-mail I just wrote to them..

Hi guys. Just to let you know again that I have not yet received your check. As a reminder, you both signed a contract stating you read and agree to my policies. Of which, 2 weeks notice is required and must be paid regardless of days attended. We agreed that $81 was to be paid and it has now been 2 weeks and I have not yet seen that check. I really don't want to go to small claims over $81, because if I do, then I will also be adding on the late fee of $10 per day which is also listed in my policies. (I have also been kind to not enforce this fee for the last check you send in the mail that took 5-6 days to receive) I know $81 may not seem like a lot to you guys, but for me being out of work these last 2 weeks, just having moved, etc, every cent counts. Please don't force me to take further steps to get the money that is owed to me.

The areas in my contract that are applicable:

After the trial period, this contract may be terminated with 2 weeks written notice. Furthermore, payment for last 2 weeks care must be made regardless of days actually attended.

In the event you are unable to pay on Friday by 5:30pm, a $10 per day late fee will be charged and must be paid IN FULL by Monday prior to drop off time. If payment is not made by Monday prior to drop off time, care will not be given until paid in full plus all applicable late fees. If you have not made payment in two weeks, contract will be considered terminated and legal action will be taken. (Late fees will still accrue until the account is paid in full).
Unregistered 12:46 PM 01-31-2013
Yes there are filing fees, but if you win (which you will as long as they signed the contract) they will have to pay the filing fees as well as any court costs.
On the day of the hearing, there will be a mediation prior to court and if the parties come to an agreement then it can be settled without going to court and there will be no court fees involved.
The importance of having a contract is for events such as this. I used to hand my clients the contract to take home and sign, then return to me. I learned my lesson from that and now have them sign the contract before leaving my home once they determine they will be using my daycare, when I had to take a client to court who I'd given the contract to but they never returned it...claimed they never got one (BS). I was able to collect on the amount they owed me for actual time in care, but NOT on the amount for the 2 week notice they were supposed to pay because there was no contract signed.
Texasjeepgirl 01:11 PM 01-31-2013
I don't have allot of advice on how to proceed with this...
I've been there.. MANY MANY TIMES..
and.. although I know the 'right' thing to do was to file in small claims..
I haven't ever actually done it..
and.. I've lost ALLOT of $$$ ...
same story as yours...
Same policy in my handbook...parents give notice...and.. NEVER PAY the final 2 weeks..
10 years ago I implemented a new policy..
I collect the 2 week deposit from them..
They have the choice of EITHER paying in full at enrollment..
OR making payment arrangements to add an agreed amount each week to the regular tuition payment.. until they have met their deposit amount.
I keep the credit balance on their ledger page.. and it stays there.. until they give me proper 2 week notice...
I do not allow them to give notice on a Monday.. for that week and the following.. Notice must be given on a Friday.. for the following 2 weeks..
Notice must be made IN WRITING...
Then they do not owe.. they have the 2 week deposit credit on record...
It works GREAT....

MyAngels 05:03 PM 01-31-2013
Your e-mail sounds fine. If they do not respond you might follow up with a certified letter basically stating the same thing, and giving them a definite date by which they must pay in full, including late fees. If they don't pay you'll probably want to consider small claims court. When I used to do this for a living (I worked for any attorney who did small claims collections) we always included a copy of the small claims complaint filled out with their information so that they'd realize we meant business .

There is a filing fee (it's $100 where I'm at), then there is a service fee ($49 here). You might give your circuit clerk's office a call to ask them how common it is for the small claims judge to award fees and costs if it's not specifically addressed in the contract. Around here if you don't have specific language making them responsible for all costs of collection including attorneys fees, court costs and collection costs it's about 50/50 on whether a judge will award it or not.

Hopefully the e-mail and/or certified letter will motivate them to pay and you won't have to worry about it.

Good luck!
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