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  #1  
Old 02-21-2011, 08:45 AM
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Default Daycare Family Trying To Re-Collect Money Owed To A Provider!

I got a delivery notice for xpresspost today about one of my former daycare families summoning me to small claims court.

Here's the story...

DM comes to me and informs me that she is going to change daycares due to the fact that she wants her daughter going outside more. I live in Canada and our winters are horrible...we have lots of days were the temp is -31C or more. I just don't take the kids outside much in the winter for temperature reasons and also because it can take upwards of three quarters of an hour to bundle and unbundle all of the children and we usually only last outside for about 5 minutes before someone is screaming to go back in. So I told the daycare mom that this was fine with me but asked her to make sure she paid for her proper notice to which she agreed to.

Where I live proper noticed when terming a space is one month. In my business I ask for a deposit when a daycare family starts with me. This deposit is then put towards their last two weeks of childcare with a 6 week written notice when terming a daycare space. I do it this way because I do not refund deposits in cash (service only) and I still need a full month's paid notice to ensure I can securely fill that space before the next month begins.

When this pecticular family began care with me my computer was on the fritz and I was unable to get them a copy of my contract. I verbally went through everything in the contract with them including what would be needed for notice when it came to terming. The family agreed to follow my policies.

So after the dm agreed to honor proper notice requirements she proceeded to show up at my home the day after and demand that I refund her deposit in cash. I immediately reminded her about my policies on notice and deposits and brought to her attention that this was all agreed upon. However, she said because she didn't have a signed contract she did not have to follow my policies and continued to demand her deposit be refunded in cash. This went on and on for nearly 15 minutes before I refused to provide care for her daughter that day. My reasoning was that she already had me completely frazzled and I did not need to deal with the stress of knowing I would have to deal with her again at the end of the day. I will also note that the dad was not working that day the only reason for my services was for him to run errands so there was no reason why he couldn't take care of his daughter. At no point did I say I would not provide services the following day or that I would not finish off the month with them. I just felt it best everyone cool down and collect themselves first.

The dad them proceeding to text and harass me all afternoon, he claimed he would be coming the next morning when I opened the daycare to collect the deposit. I asked him to not come on my property and harass me and that being I have other children in my care I would take legal action if I had to if he were harrassing me during daycare hours and would not leave. At this point he threatened to take me to small claims court for the deposit plus the rest of the month that was paid for.

I talked to my friends father who is a lawyer and he advised that I take with me three signed contracts from other families in my care (past and present) to show the court how I conduct my business and prove that other families in my care are all under the 6 week written notice when terming a daycare space. Therefore providing evidence that this would have been the same policy I would have gone over with this daycare family. He feels that there is very little chance that this family will win in court even without having signed a contract with me, however I am just so stressed out about having to go through the whole process. Any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:24 AM
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I'm not an expert in law or anything, but the way I understood it, if you didn't have a signed contract then nothing in the contract or handbook is legally binding.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:24 AM
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I know you don't want to hear this but I think you should refund them in full.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:33 AM
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I would think without a contract, you would have to refund the money.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:40 AM
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I have to agree with PP....you are not in a good spot to fight this.

Chalk it up to an expensive lesson.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:11 AM
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I agree with others, I would refund them everything that you haven't provided services for. The parents did not sign a contract, so there is nothing legally binding and I can't imagine a judge with side with you.

Also, if I am understanding this correctly you are requiring 6 weeks notice before a family terms? That seems way excessive. Maybe I read that wrong...
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:16 AM
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It's true you are in a position due to lack of contract. I would have made her sign it as soon as your computer was functioning or at least written up a notice by hand.

I would not refund the money though. On the other side of things, why would they give you money if they did not know and agree to this contract? They just felt like over paying you for 6 weeks? No I don't think so lol! They will need a good reason for giving you that amount of money if it was not for a deposit. As far as paying a month in advance. They should have known that they were changing daycares before they paid you so that is all on them I would think. As far for you not finishing off the time agreed upon it sounds like you had no choice for the safety of the other children.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kendallina View Post
I agree with others, I would refund them everything that you haven't provided services for. The parents did not sign a contract, so there is nothing legally binding and I can't imagine a judge with side with you.

Also, if I am understanding this correctly you are requiring 6 weeks notice before a family terms? That seems way excessive. Maybe I read that wrong...
That is what I read, too... They paid for 6 weeks, but were turned away at the door on day one after notice.....
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:22 AM
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That is what I read, too... They paid for 6 weeks, but were turned away at the door on day one after notice.....
What I read is that they only paid the deposit (2 weeks), but that provider requires 4 weeks notice. Whether that's 2 weeks plus 4 or just 4, I'm not understanding.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:28 AM
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It's true you are in a position due to lack of contract. I would have made her sign it as soon as your computer was functioning or at least written up a notice by hand.

I would not refund the money though. On the other side of things, why would they give you money if they did not know and agree to this contract? They just felt like over paying you for 6 weeks? No I don't think so lol! They will need a good reason for giving you that amount of money if it was not for a deposit. As far as paying a month in advance. They should have known that they were changing daycares before they paid you so that is all on them I would think. As far for you not finishing off the time agreed upon it sounds like you had no choice for the safety of the other children.
When the mom showed up at my home demanding I refund her deposit in cash I did not refuse services to her for the rest of the month. I refused services to her for that day as she has me frazzled and I would have been stressed out all day knowing that I would have to deal with her again at the end of the day. I refused services for that day for my health and well being especially since I was caring for other people's children.

When the dad started texting me and harrassing me and threatening to show up on my property during daycare hours to harrass me for the deposit to be refunded in cash that is when I asked him not to come on my property and harrass me. I actually did not even say here that I would no longer provide services for the rest of the month. Only that he was not to show up on my property and harrass me.

It was the families choice and their actions that in term caused them to be out the month of daycare. Had they showed up the next day and apologized to me I would have finished off the month with them. At no point did I said I refused to finish off the month and absoulotely think that's it's completely unfair that a parent can go ahead and harass a provider to the point that she has to ask them to leave because of the stress they are causing and then turn around and ask for a refund of their money when it was their choice to act the way they did in the first place.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:31 AM
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I agree with others, I would refund them everything that you haven't provided services for. The parents did not sign a contract, so there is nothing legally binding and I can't imagine a judge with side with you.

Also, if I am understanding this correctly you are requiring 6 weeks notice before a family terms? That seems way excessive. Maybe I read that wrong...
I require one month of paid notice when terming a daycare space, the deposit is then refunded to the family in two additional weeks of free services as I do not refund deposits to hold spaces in cash. I'm sorry that you feel that is excessive but where I live this is a typical daycare notice so am only following what others in my area do.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:33 AM
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you need to refund them in full, then get a better handle on the business side of your daycare. I'm sorry if it sounds harsh but to watch a child without a contract, and then to refuse care because you had a tiff with the mom, is totally unprofessional.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:35 AM
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Have you talked to the family at all since?
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Where I live proper noticed when terming a space is one month. In my business I ask for a deposit when a daycare family starts with me. This deposit is then put towards their last two weeks of childcare with a 6 week written notice when terming a daycare space.

she said because she didn't have a signed contract she did not have to follow my policies and continued to demand her deposit be refunded in cash. This went on and on for nearly 15 minutes before I refused to provide care for her daughter that day. At no point did I say I would not provide services the following day or that I would not finish off the month with them. I just felt it best everyone cool down and collect themselves first.

At this point he threatened to take me to small claims court for the deposit plus the rest of the month that was paid for.
This is why I thought they were paid up 6 weeks and were turned away at the door.... It is such a hard read in paragragh form
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:48 AM
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This is why I thought they were paid up 6 weeks and were turned away at the door.... It is such a hard read in paragragh form
Thanks, Catherder - you are right, it is a hard read that way, and I completely missed that.

I have to agree with cillybean here. This provider needs to refund in full and step back and re-assess the business part of her business. Without the contract, you won't win in court, and then you'll have court costs to pay on top of the refund.

I do agree that you shouldn't have to put up with harassment from anyone, but the way I read it, it sounded like you were telling them they were no longer allowed to bring their child for care.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:02 AM
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For the record a verbal agreement is binding in Canada if you can prove it. Taking in copies of past and present signed contracts shows a presidence of how you run your business therefore making it alot easier to prove what was involved in the verbal agreement. It would not make sense to have your contracting clients sign to a 6 week notice in order to gain a refund of their deposit in services and then provide the family in question with a verbal agreement of a one month notice with a refund of their deposit in cash. This contridicts how you run your business so having these documents present will help alot.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:29 AM
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For the record a verbal agreement is binding in Canada if you can prove it. Taking in copies of past and present signed contracts shows a presidence of how you run your business therefore making it alot easier to prove what was involved in the verbal agreement. It would not make sense to have your contracting clients sign to a 6 week notice in order to gain a refund of their deposit in services and then provide the family in question with a verbal agreement of a one month notice with a refund of their deposit in cash. This contridicts how you run your business so having these documents present will help alot.
How long was this DC family with you?
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:34 AM
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How long was this DC family with you?
This family was with me for five months.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:40 AM
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Huh, Personally, I would probably take it as a lesson learned and make sure I had a contract in the future. I do think it will be interesting to see how it turns out tho! Good luck! Let us know how it plays out at small claims!
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:48 AM
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did this family pay you in cash or cheque. Because if it was in cash, I think both of you will have a hard time proving that money was exchanged. Now if it was cheque, all you have to do is find a cancelled cheque. How about reciepts do you have proof. See, to me, if they have no proof and you have no proof how can they say that you even watched them. Also, find the new daycare or even the old one, find out if they did this too others. i find it very ridiculous that they would term care because you didn't take them out. I'm from canada and I understand about not going outside, heck I'm lucky if kids come dressed.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:50 AM
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This family was with me for five months.
So if they were there for five months why didn't you get a copy of the contract to them?
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:51 AM
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This family was with me for five months.
So when you got your computer working why did you not have her sign a contract?

I am not trying to sound harsh, But I agree with other posters, get a contract and make sure everyone signs one. Alos have a few extra copies of everything, so if you have computer problems again you will have these already copied.

Sometime we think we can trust people with verbal agreements, but it will usually come back to nip you in the back side.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:52 AM
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did this family pay you in cash or cheque. Because if it was in cash, I think both of you will have a hard time proving that money was exchanged. Now if it was cheque, all you have to do is find a cancelled cheque. How about reciepts do you have proof. See, to me, if they have no proof and you have no proof how can they say that you even watched them. Also, find the new daycare or even the old one, find out if they did this too others. i find it very ridiculous that they would term care because you didn't take them out. I'm from canada and I understand about not going outside, heck I'm lucky if kids come dressed.
They paid in cash for the whole time their child was in my care. They have reciepts up to the end of December. I only do up my reciepts every 3 months so they do not have reciepts for the months of January and February.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:58 AM
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So when you got your computer working why did you not have her sign a contract?

I am not trying to sound harsh, But I agree with other posters, get a contract and make sure everyone signs one. Alos have a few extra copies of everything, so if you have computer problems again you will have these already copied.

Sometime we think we can trust people with verbal agreements, but it will usually come back to nip you in the back side.
I realize I should have gotten a contract to them asap. Due to alot of things going on in my life at the same time I put it off believing I could trust this family. (we found out the home that we were renting was being sold in November, had no more than one month to find a house within the area that we could purchase and move, then unpack, organize and get adjusted to the new home) I had never had a problem with them up until this point. It is more common here for daycares to run without contracts than for daycares to run with contracts so I guess I didn't see it as something I needed to rush at, I realize now though that I should have put it on the top of my list.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:31 PM
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Sorry, no contract = no binding agreement. Hate to tell you that. If your computer was not working when they first started, I understand why there was no paperwork signed, but if they were with you 5 months, you could have gotten them a contract in that amount of time.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:36 PM
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I realize I should have gotten a contract to them asap. Due to alot of things going on in my life at the same time I put it off believing I could trust this family. (we found out the home that we were renting was being sold in November, had no more than one month to find a house within the area that we could purchase and move, then unpack, organize and get adjusted to the new home) I had never had a problem with them up until this point. It is more common here for daycares to run without contracts than for daycares to run with contracts so I guess I didn't see it as something I needed to rush at, I realize now though that I should have put it on the top of my list.
I don't have parents sign contracts until they have been with me for a long time. Usually around the third to the sixth month I offer a contract. I am willing to have them leave without notice and would repay any in advance fees on the spot.

If you have three other families on contract and you didn't do it with them, I think the judge may wonder why THEM? Why would you allow THEM to not have a contract when you made sure everyone else did?

I think you need to be humble and return their funds completely and not waste another minute on this. You have to make mistakes in business to learn and you have made a big one. It's going to cost you a few hundred dollars and it will insure you don't make the mistake again.

If you don't have the money to give back to them then offer to make payments until you pay off the debt.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:56 PM
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I don't have parents sign contracts until they have been with me for a long time. Usually around the third to the sixth month I offer a contract. I am willing to have them leave without notice and would repay any in advance fees on the spot.

If you have three other families on contract and you didn't do it with them, I think the judge may wonder why THEM? Why would you allow THEM to not have a contract when you made sure everyone else did?

I think you need to be humble and return their funds completely and not waste another minute on this. You have to make mistakes in business to learn and you have made a big one. It's going to cost you a few hundred dollars and it will insure you don't make the mistake again.

If you don't have the money to give back to them then offer to make payments until you pay off the debt.
1. What they are asking to be paid is $800 that is 3/4 of my mortgage payment...no I do not have the money upfront to pay them.

2. I did not refuse services to them for the month of February and they had already previously told me they were staying for the full month.

3. As a sucessful business owner I do intend to stand my grounds when it comes to my business. They were well aware of my policies and procedures when starting with me.

4. It's fine if you choose to let families walk at any point when only being with you for x number of months, but I do not. My income is what provides for my family and it is important I make sure that income is secure.

5. I realize that there was not a signed contract and I should have gotten them one as soon as I could have but I didn't, my mistake yes...means it's going to take more time and effort on my part to present my case before the judge but it does not mean that I do not have a case. If a LAWYER has already advised me on what to do and has told me that I have grounds to stand on and the chances of them winning in court are very small, I'm going to trust that LAWYER and go ahead and fight my case. I deserve respect if I let one family walk all over me it won't be long before another one does the same (contract or not it's irrelevant). If you look information on whether or not a verbal contract is legally binding or not I think you will be quite surprised with what you find.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:22 PM
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1. What they are asking to be paid is $800 that is 3/4 of my mortgage payment...no I do not have the money upfront to pay them.

2. I did not refuse services to them for the month of February and they had already previously told me they were staying for the full month.

3. As a sucessful business owner I do intend to stand my grounds when it comes to my business. They were well aware of my policies and procedures when starting with me.

4. It's fine if you choose to let families walk at any point when only being with you for x number of months, but I do not. My income is what provides for my family and it is important I make sure that income is secure.

5. I realize that there was not a signed contract and I should have gotten them one as soon as I could have but I didn't, my mistake yes...means it's going to take more time and effort on my part to present my case before the judge but it does not mean that I do not have a case. If a LAWYER has already advised me on what to do and has told me that I have grounds to stand on and the chances of them winning in court are very small, I'm going to trust that LAWYER and go ahead and fight my case. I deserve respect if I let one family walk all over me it won't be long before another one does the same (contract or not it's irrelevant). If you look information on whether or not a verbal contract is legally binding or not I think you will be quite surprised with what you find.
Well I guess I'm wondering why you are here. Are you here to tell us that we can secure deposits that are non refundable, not have one client sign termination notice agreements, have the other clients sign the notice agreement, and then expect the one client that didn't to give notice or loose their money if they give some verbal agreement?

I'm confused.

You are here to school us on verbal agreements in Canada?

I think it's odd that the one thing your attorney told you to show the judge is most likely going to be the one thing that shows the judge you didn't do your job... but I hope I'm wrong.

Good luck and follow your gut.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:24 PM
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maybe you could make payment arrangements with them to pay back the $800 since it's so much? the problem is that you want to hold them to a contract that they never had, you might have verbally told them something, but what if they tell the judge "oh but we were friends, that's why we didn't have a contract" or whatever...you are kind of in a sticky situation where you were paid cash, you have no proof, they have no proof...if they get an attorney and take you to court, and win (which they probably won't since there is no proof since they have no contract and paid in cash) they can still go after you for court costs, attorney fees, etc...you could still end up with a bill significantly higher than $800, even if the judge says that it's a wash and neither of you owe anything...I would just pay it and be done!
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:30 PM
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I realize I should have gotten a contract to them asap. Due to alot of things going on in my life at the same time I put it off believing I could trust this family. (we found out the home that we were renting was being sold in November, had no more than one month to find a house within the area that we could purchase and move, then unpack, organize and get adjusted to the new home) I had never had a problem with them up until this point. It is more common here for daycares to run without contracts than for daycares to run with contracts so I guess I didn't see it as something I needed to rush at, I realize now though that I should have put it on the top of my list.


I sure hope by "here" you don't mean Canada. I am in Canada and I have been running a home daycare for many years, a sibling of mine runs a home daycare and has for years, friends of mine run home daycares... we all use contracts... so do the many (there are 10 I know of, within walking distance from my home) home daycares in my neighborhood. I have NEVER heard of an established home daycare NOT using a contract.
As for charging monthly fees as opposed to daily/weekly/bi-weekly, and requiring a one month notice for terming care - yes, that is the norm for Canadian daycares.

Personally, I wouldn't go to court without paperwork relating directly to the case - judges hate that!

Lesson learned. Best of luck!
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:33 PM
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maybe you could make payment arrangements with them to pay back the $800 since it's so much? the problem is that you want to hold them to a contract that they never had, you might have verbally told them something, but what if they tell the judge "oh but we were friends, that's why we didn't have a contract" or whatever...you are kind of in a sticky situation where you were paid cash, you have no proof, they have no proof...if they get an attorney and take you to court, and win (which they probably won't since there is no proof since they have no contract and paid in cash) they can still go after you for court costs, attorney fees, etc...you could still end up with a bill significantly higher than $800, even if the judge says that it's a wash and neither of you owe anything...I would just pay it and be done!
The OP said that the parents have receipts up until the end of December. The parents have proof, the OP doesn't have anything but contracts signed by OTHER parents... I too would arrange a payment plan and chalk it up to an expensive lesson.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:44 PM
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oooooo dear...Yeah I hope it works out
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:51 PM
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It seems, after reading through the thread, that the OP doesn't really want to hear opinions of other providers unless they are in agreement with his/her position.

I say gather whatever documents you think will prove your case, show up in court, and let the judge determine what's what. Do be prepared, however, for whatever that decision may be, whether you win or lose.

FWIW I can see the parent's side here, too, as I would have taken your refusal to provide care for that single day to mean that you would not provide care, period.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:01 PM
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As long as you don't have to close your daycare to attend court, I would say fight it in court. Since there is NO contract at all, it's just their word against yours. So you have a 50% chance of winning, right? If you have to close for the day though, it's not worth inconveniencing other parents because of the mistake you made of not having them sign a contract.

One question for you though. When you told the mom that you would not watch her child for that day, did you specifically say just for today? Unless you said something to the effect that "You are welcome to bring her back tomorrow" or "I will see you tomorrow" then the mom was reasonable in assuming that you were terminating care for good.

6 weeks does sound like a long time but if that is the standard in your area then hopefully that will work in your favor in court.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:06 PM
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If you have no contract - they have no contract.

If you can't prove what the agreement was - they can't prove what the agreement was.

If they paid you in cash, they have no suit to make. You should go with your records and own up to what they paid, but THEY are the ones who have to prove they paid you anything.

Do not delete those text messages! Take the phone with you. Don't block them from your cell phone so that as they escalate, you'll have proof of their harrassment.

You had every right to ask a parent to go and cool off. If you really didn't tell them not to come back, then they could have come back the next day. DO NOT tell the judge that "if they would have apologized..." because that will be a big negative on you.

Take along to court a listing of what temp is was for the couple weeks before they left. And the licensing regs on going outside to show that you did not violate the regs. They just choose to not like your policy.

Take proof that you had to move with short time notice and take a receipt for fixing your computer.

Take the other parent's contracts to show your normal way of doing business.

Stay calm and factual with the judge.

I'd strongly encourage you to let this go to court. I think a judge would hear their harrassment, understand your dilemna with no computer, etc.

I disagree with the others, I wouldn't give up the money without a court order.

Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:09 PM
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I can see both sides here. If they are willing to take you to court, obviously they are not going to be able to deny that you had any type of business arrangement with them. If you think they seriously will go the court route, I would try to offer a settlement for maybe 1/2 of the amount. Even though you said that you sent them home for only the one day, I can see where that could ber taken as terming care. How would they be kicked out one day and welcomed back the next? That would be awkward all the way around IMHO.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:37 PM
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There's a lot of good lessons in this story.

If you are going to take 800 dollars up front for care you need to make sure you have in writing that you get to keep that money OR you keep the money in reserve until you have earned it and then spend it.

The other lesson is how to handle that one fifteen minutes when you have a parent in your doorway asking something of you that you can't or don't want to do. You have to have your policies and your signed contract standing beside you in that doorway.

Having a high conflict arrival is going to put you to the test. It's THAT moment... the moment when you are giving them a money NO... it's always best to try to difuse the situation and put the "talk" off to another time when you don't have kids in the house. In this situation I would have most likely just told her I would need time to figure it out and tell her to think about it for a bit today. Once I returned the child to her in the evening I would have tried to ask for a time when we could all talk.

This parent, who did not confront the provider the day before, felt powerful the next day because she KNEW she didn't have a written agreement. She most likely found care that told her she must start immediately or very soon if she wants the spot. At that point she's not going to take NO for an answer because she KNOWS she didn't sign anything. Her only weakness is the fact that she doesn't have possession of the money.

When a provider tells a parent that she can't care for the child... even if it is one day... over money conflict or policy conflict the parent will likely never bring the child another day. The parent has what she was after... a REAL reason that could be taken back to the safety of her child.. to pull the kid. She did what most any parent would do after that high conflict. She left.

If you give the parent ANYTHING that can be taken back to the safety or happiness of their child they will use that as their reason to not honor their agreement. In that high time of conflict the message has to be... "I see we disagree on this... let's talk about it later... but I'll give little Missy a WONDERFUL day at day care... on baby.. and we will talk about it tonight... okay...

That will buy you some time to get your plan together and see where you stand. It's your only chance to try to work out some arrangement to make it work. If the parent refuses a money "no" then you will end up going to court. In the end you do NOT want to muddy the water with any "safety of my child" in the money matter.

I'm sure in a month or two we will hear that the provider was victorious.
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  #38  
Old 02-21-2011, 04:02 PM
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Just a little more information...

There was no talking on the side of the DM in this situation. She walked in with an upset look on her face and immediately said she wanted the deposit refunded in cash and when I reminded her of what we agreed upon in the initial interview regarding deposits she immediately started yelling. She was yelling to the point that my neighbor next door heard her and asked me about it later that day. I did not raise my voice at any point but there was no reasoning with this mom and there was certaintly no "let's talk about it later." It was 100% clear that she wanted it dealt with at the exact point in time. The only way that I could end things that day was to tell her I would not be providing services for her daughter THAT DAY and walk away. Once I walked away she left.

I do not think a judge would think I was the one who would have been putting HER child in harms way that day when it HER that was yelling at me (infront of her child and the other daycare children in my care).

I believe I made the best decision for everyone involved that day. For the other children that I had in my care who certaintly do not need to be witnessing something like that...for her own child that she was yelling infront of and for my own mental health.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:38 PM
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Not much to add except to ditto lots of the pps...you made a lot of mistakes this time around and will hopefully learn from them and change your way of doing things in the future.

I will say though that if I ever start taking a deposit of any kind--refundable or not and especially if its purpose is to cover the last weeks of care--I would put it aside in a special savings account and not touch it until those last weeks of care. Doing otherwise just seems to set one up for trouble. Besides...isn't the point of the deposit to guarantee income during those last weeks, or if the family decides to leave without notice? So...shouldn't you save it until you need it?
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistere View Post
Just a little more information...

There was no talking on the side of the DM in this situation. She walked in with an upset look on her face and immediately said she wanted the deposit refunded in cash and when I reminded her of what we agreed upon in the initial interview regarding deposits she immediately started yelling. She was yelling to the point that my neighbor next door heard her and asked me about it later that day. I did not raise my voice at any point but there was no reasoning with this mom and there was certaintly no "let's talk about it later." It was 100% clear that she wanted it dealt with at the exact point in time. The only way that I could end things that day was to tell her I would not be providing services for her daughter THAT DAY and walk away. Once I walked away she left.

I do not think a judge would think I was the one who would have been putting HER child in harms way that day when it HER that was yelling at me (infront of her child and the other daycare children in my care).

I believe I made the best decision for everyone involved that day. For the other children that I had in my care who certaintly do not need to be witnessing something like that...for her own child that she was yelling infront of and for my own mental health.
So you are saying she asked you to give her 800 dollars cash that morning? How would she even think you had that much cash in your house?

Why didn't you offer her a contract? I still don't understand how you could have her in your home for five months and not abide by what you said when you verbally agreed. Didn't you verbally agree to offer her a contract? Why her? Why do you have everyone else on contract but her?
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  #41  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:14 PM
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verbal agreements are only binding if both parties ADMIT to what the agreement was.

that's why it's so important to get signatures.

you are going to tell your story to the judge and when the judge lets them speak, they are going to say, "no, that was not the agreement. we don't have a signed contract bc we would never agree to that."

you then have to PROVE that the agreement you had with them was the same as the agreement you had with the other families. i've seen contracts that hundreds if not thousands of people have agreed to and signed that i wouldn't want my dog to put their paw print on - so just because other people signed a contract means NOTHING to this individual case and family.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:30 PM
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verbal contract is just as valid as a written one in Canada and America .
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:35 AM
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Take it a a lesson learned. I'm in Canada, too. It's going to cost you more to fight it.

From now on:

Care does not start without both you and the parents having a signed contract. If you want to offer a 3 month term where either of you can call it quits without reason as nannyde does, then write that into your contract.

Parents get receipts EVERY month. That is for your protection as well as theirs.

Keep a hard copy of everything - technology cannot be trusted.
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  #44  
Old 02-22-2011, 07:20 AM
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I'm wondering if there is more going on with that family. I think its a cop out to suddenly change providers because the kids don't go outside. Heck we are inside today because its so cold (michigan ladies we have the same weather) I even had parents today ask me not to take the walk to the library. (you know its cold when your glasses are stuck to your face)
I would pay half back and thats it. But also, why didn't the parent ask for a contract or something written, its also the parents responsibility too. I also think, that asking for that much money upfront is just insane. I would reword some things in your contract.
But I watch alot of courts, and basically its going to come to down to a)you need to prove it and b)she said you said deal.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:54 AM
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I'm wondering if there is more going on with that family. I think its a cop out to suddenly change providers because the kids don't go outside. Heck we are inside today because its so cold (michigan ladies we have the same weather) I even had parents today ask me not to take the walk to the library. (you know its cold when your glasses are stuck to your face)
I would pay half back and thats it. But also, why didn't the parent ask for a contract or something written, its also the parents responsibility too. I also think, that asking for that much money upfront is just insane. I would reword some things in your contract.
But I watch alot of courts, and basically its going to come to down to a)you need to prove it and b)she said you said deal.
When they come up with something that can EASILY be fixed on their clock (like outdoor time... just have them outside for a few mintues when you get home and have at it... get up earlier in the morning and get em out before you go off to work) then you know it's almost ALWAYS about money.

I'll betcha they found a cheaper and easier day care that told them to get to enrolling now or they aren't going to have a cheapo slot for them. They want the upfront money from first provider to give upfront money for cheapo provider.

They had the opportunity to behave badly because they knew they could. They don't have the money now but they will. Knowing the provider wouldn't give it back didn't get them to pass up on cheapo provider. In the end they'll get both.

That's my guess.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:08 AM
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If you pay out one red cent to end this, write "deposit refund in full" on the memo line of your check. NO CASH!
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:30 AM
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It's true you are in a position due to lack of contract. I would have made her sign it as soon as your computer was functioning or at least written up a notice by hand.

I would not refund the money though. On the other side of things, why would they give you money if they did not know and agree to this contract? They just felt like over paying you for 6 weeks? No I don't think so lol! They will need a good reason for giving you that amount of money if it was not for a deposit. As far as paying a month in advance. They should have known that they were changing daycares before they paid you so that is all on them I would think. As far for you not finishing off the time agreed upon it sounds like you had no choice for the safety of the other children.
I absolutely agree 100% I probably wouldn't refund the money, and take a risk with what the attorney said. It's worth a shot. Absolutely chalk it up to a lesson learned, sorry it happened. I always try to see the good in people and sometimes we get burned.
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