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daycare 09:53 PM 02-03-2014
ok so I here's my issue. tell me what you would do...

I have a current DCF that referred their cousin. Cousin said that they want to enroll, but not until April. Ok great, I sent over the holding fee agreement. I was clear that the spots are filled based on best fit and spot is not theirs until the deposit fee was paid in full with the form signed and returned to me. It has been crickets. I hear nothing and no response to my emails. Red Flag for me. This family has been wanting in my daycare for months, but had to wait for their child to get older. WE did not meet until her child was of age to discuss anything and nothing was every promised to them.

I have already had to follow up with this family before by phone when they did not respond to any of my emails when I wanted to find out what they wanted to do about enrolling and when she said yes, I said ok great I am emailing you the necessary forms, please fill out, bring payment etc.

I am SOOOOO not the kind of person that will chase anyone and I am not going to call them again to remind them to return the deposit form and fee.

Well of course Friday I have an interview. BTW I only have one spot. The family that interviewed on Friday wants to enroll. They do seem like a great fit, anxious, nervous first time parents, but very nice and seem like good parents.

So now I feel like I am in a bit of a pickle. My current family has two kids here with me that referred their cousin. The cousin thinks that they are enrolling even though they have not returned my paperwork. The new family from Friday seems great.

The only thing I fear is that if I don't enroll the cousin will my current DCF pull out both of their kids from my DC. That would be a huge hit to my pocket book seeing that they are both full time.

Should I be nice and follow up again with the cousins or invite the other family to enroll and see if they return the paperwok first???

ugh I hate this part of the business.
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TwinKristi 10:34 PM 02-03-2014
Well I would be straight forward and say I've heard twice from you that you want the spot but have yet to receive your paperwork and payment. I have a family who wants to enroll and I need to have your paperwork and payment within 24hrs or I will have no choice but to accept this family who is eager to start. And if the cousins are upset... Well I guess I would have to explain the way childcare works with them. We don't get paid for kids who aren't here. If there's a spot to fill you need to fill it for your businesses well-being. If you "hold" this spot with no income it's a poor business decision. They've twice ignored the commitment part of your email and not gotten back to you. Maybe this would be a good time to mention it to the enrolled DCF who referred them that she hasn't replied to your emails or returned the papers twice now and you have another interested family if you're worried they'll leave. I would hope any current daycare family understands that this is a business and you have to make business choices. You don't chase 1 client who won't give you a firm commitment when another is chasing you down to commit! KWIM? It's hard! I'm glad you have 2 families wanting your last spot but this is quite a pickle. How close are you with the DCF? Do you feel it would be unprofessional to say something? I guess I would just want to cover my bases if I felt they would leave over it.
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Play Care 04:20 AM 02-04-2014
Originally Posted by :
Maybe this would be a good time to mention it to the enrolled DCF who referred them that she hasn't replied to your emails or returned the papers twice now and you have another interested family if you're worried they'll leave
I was going to suggest this. Normally I don't involve dcf in other's business, but in this case I would totally say to the DCP. "I have been trying to get in touch with your cousin for weeks, I have other families interested in the spot and if I don't hear from her, I'll have no choice but to give the spot to another family." Obviously said in a sympathetic/concerned way If you still don't hear from the cousin then proceed with the new family.
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coolconfidentme 06:02 AM 02-04-2014
Originally Posted by Play Care:
I was going to suggest this. Normally I don't involve dcf in other's business, but in this case I would totally say to the DCP. "I have been trying to get in touch with your cousin for weeks, I have other families interested in the spot and if I don't hear from her, I'll have no choice but to give the spot to another family." Obviously said in a sympathetic/concerned way If you still don't hear from the cousin then proceed with the new family.
I was thinking to say to something like, "It's too bad your cousin didn't want to come to my DC. She never replied so I interviewed for the spot & another family is interested." You are telling her, like you figured she didn't want it. It's on the cuz, not you.
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Play Care 07:52 AM 02-04-2014
Originally Posted by coolconfidentme:
I was thinking to say to something like, "It's too bad your cousin didn't want to come to my DC. She never replied so I interviewed for the spot & another family is interested." You are telling her, like you figured she didn't want it. It's on the cuz, not you.
Even better!
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Blackcat31 07:56 AM 02-04-2014
I'd send out a reminder e-mail stating that the spot WILL be filled as of xxx date unless payment and requested paperwork is in.

I would say nothing more. Nothing to the enrolled family as that would be a breach of confidentiality, (regardless of family being related) and would not call, text or anything else.

Just a FINAL e-mail stating deadline or space WILL be filled. period.

If they respond, they want the space. If they don't then you fill it with the other family.

I would NEVER ever count on or place the bulk of my finances on a family situation where two clients' attendance or enrollment was based on whether or not they all got to attend or not.

If you do end up enrolling this cousin family, then you are always going worry about one family pulling if you have issues with the other. kwim?
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WImom 11:58 AM 02-04-2014
I agree with the above.

Another thought I had was..When does the other family want to start? I'd be afraid the cousins family would put down a deposit so they have the spot and then not start since they have been wishy washy already. I'd hate for you to take them and then lost out on both families if the cousins family is a no show.
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TwinKristi 01:25 PM 02-04-2014
Originally Posted by WImom:
I agree with the above.

Another thought I had was..When does the other family want to start? I'd be afraid the cousins family would put down a deposit so they have the spot and then not start since they have been wishy washy already. I'd hate for you to take them and then lost out on both families if the cousins family is a no show.
I think she said they want to start in April which is probably why they haven't been gung-ho on turning their papers in thinking its awhile away so why pay all that money now if they can wait til March-April to do so. This new family wants to start soon I believe!

I normally wouldn't involve other clients in this conversation either which is why I asked how close she was with them and the fact that she's concerned the family may leave if their cousin ends up not coming and says something bad about her filling "their" spot.
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e.j. 06:28 PM 02-04-2014
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
If you do end up enrolling this cousin family, then you are always going worry about one family pulling if you have issues with the other. kwim?
I was thinking the same thing. If you're already afraid that the current family will be upset and pull their children out of your care, you will be worrying about upsetting either family for the entire time they're both enrolled in your day care. Personally, I wouldn't want that hanging over my head.

Many new parents don't "get" how day care works. All things being equal between the prospective families...if you think the cousin believes she already has the spot and is not responding because she doesn't need to until closer to April, I would contact her one more time to let her know you need to get that deposit and paperwork by XX date or risk losing the spot to the other family. If, on the other hand, you get the feeling that it will be like pulling teeth each time you have to ask her to sign and return any kind of paperwork or that they'll be difficult to work with, I'd just let her know that since you haven't heard from her, you assume she is no longer interested and will be filling the spot immediately with another family.
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