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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Reserving a Spot - Do You Charge???
CheekyChick 08:35 AM 06-03-2012
I have two current families that need an infant spot in January. That means I will be holding two infant spots from September through December without pay. I love these families, but am worried about the financial consequence of holding their spots and losing a ton of money in doing so.

What do you do? Do you charge something for holding a spot that long? Please give me your advice on what to do. Thanks!
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Blackcat31 08:46 AM 06-03-2012
Originally Posted by CheekyChick:
I have two current families that need an infant spot in January. That means I will be holding two infant spots from September through December without pay. I love these families, but am worried about the financial consequence of holding their spots and losing a ton of money in doing so.

What do you do? Do you charge something for holding a spot that long? Please give me your advice on what to do. Thanks!
I require parents to pay to hold the spot only IF the spot is currently available and open for someone to use....even if they don't need it until a later date.

If the space will not be available until the expecting family needs it, then I usually don't charge and it is a first come first served deal.

But if a current DCF is expecting and the spot is just sitting there, I don't really see why I should be out the money that space would bring in while they are pregnant...kwim?

I don't have a holding fee or a deposit amount or even offer a discounted fee for the space...basically, if the spot is available I would like the current rate for that space the minute it is open.

For me, this is my business and if ALL my spaces are not bringing in the money, I can't continue to operate so although I do feel badly, I can't change my policies.

In my area infant care is soooooo hard to find that people are willing to pay full price for a space just to secure it.

I have had inquiries about infant spaces from parents who found out the day before that they were expecting.
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Blackcat31 08:50 AM 06-03-2012
Originally Posted by CheekyChick:
I have two current families that need an infant spot in January. That means I will be holding two infant spots from September through December without pay. I love these families, but am worried about the financial consequence of holding their spots and losing a ton of money in doing so.

What do you do? Do you charge something for holding a spot that long? Please give me your advice on what to do. Thanks!
I answered above as how I personally do things.

If I were in your shoes, what I would do is tell them the space will be held UNLESS it becomes open and someone else is interested. In order to keep current families (which is ideal) you will let them know the minute someone else is interested in that space and then they would have to pay to hold it at that time. If the space is open and you can't fill it (even when advertising) then I wouldnt necessarily charge them.

I would NEVER turn away a prospective client to hold (without pay) a space for a family. Current or not.

Does that make sense? I guess basically what I am trying to say is NEVER let a space simply sit and not earn you money. If someone wants it, they should pay. YOU should never have to suffer financially for someone else's need.
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Michael 10:07 AM 06-03-2012
https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=holding+fee
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CheekyChick 12:02 PM 06-03-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I answered above as how I personally do things.

If I were in your shoes, what I would do is tell them the space will be held UNLESS it becomes open and someone else is interested. In order to keep current families (which is ideal) you will let them know the minute someone else is interested in that space and then they would have to pay to hold it at that time. If the space is open and you can't fill it (even when advertising) then I wouldnt necessarily charge them.

I would NEVER turn away a prospective client to hold (without pay) a space for a family. Current or not.

Does that make sense? I guess basically what I am trying to say is NEVER let a space simply sit and not earn you money. If someone wants it, they should pay. YOU should never have to suffer financially for someone else's need.
Thank you for your input... Those two spaces are full right now so I wouldn't dream of charging them. It's the time between September and December (when the spots will be open) that I'm concerned about. That is a long time hold to two spaces open.

I doubt I will be able to charge them full price, but I'm thinking about a partial payment or holding fee.

Thanks again for your help.
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CheekyChick 12:03 PM 06-03-2012
Thanks for the link, Michael.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 03:32 PM 06-03-2012
I require a security deposit and their spot is only held for them for 2 weeks.
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Blackcat31 05:05 PM 06-03-2012
Originally Posted by CheekyChick:
Thank you for your input... Those two spaces are full right now so I wouldn't dream of charging them. It's the time between September and December (when the spots will be open) that I'm concerned about. That is a long time hold to two spaces open.

I doubt I will be able to charge them full price, but I'm thinking about a partial payment or holding fee.

Thanks again for your help.
Is it hard to find an infant spot in your area? Are these full or part time spaces?

I know it feels weird and/or uncomfortable to ask a parent to pay a full rate for a space they aren't using, but let's pretend for a moment that this is a family that wants to take some time off and pull their 3 year old out of care for 3 months and then return. What would you do in that situation? Like teacher families who want to pull their kids for the summer? Do you still charge them?

If so, why is this situation any different? kwim? I guess the point I am trying to make is that I always feel like it is the provider who has to make the sacrifice (financially) to keep a family or help one out and yet really bottom line is it is not YOUR problem that they are having a baby and need space.

I guess I might consider doing a partial rate or a small discount off the regular full rate if and only if the family was really a 'golden family' and was 100% worth doing a bit of special for. Otherwise, I would look at it in a business sense and do what I needed to do to pay the bills and keep myself out of debt.
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DCMom 05:43 PM 06-03-2012
Originally Posted by CheekyChick:
Thank you for your input... Those two spaces are full right now so I wouldn't dream of charging them. It's the time between September and December (when the spots will be open) that I'm concerned about. That is a long time hold to two spaces open.

I doubt I will be able to charge them full price, but I'm thinking about a partial payment or holding fee.

Thanks again for your help.
Infant spots are platinum in our area; people literally look for them as soon as they find out they are expecting. I have one family that I interviewed last fall; baby is due in July; spot opens up the first week of September but mom is on maternity leave until end of October. She is paying 50% rate weekly for the spot from September (when the spot opens) thru October (when she goes back to work). This was HER suggestion.

My point is, if infant spots are difficult to find for parents I think they are willing to pay more for a holding fee. I wouldn't charge a fee if the spot wasn't actually open.
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CheekyChick 08:03 PM 06-03-2012
Originally Posted by DCMom:
Infant spots are platinum in our area; people literally look for them as soon as they find out they are expecting. I have one family that I interviewed last fall; baby is due in July; spot opens up the first week of September but mom is on maternity leave until end of October. She is paying 50% rate weekly for the spot from September (when the spot opens) thru October (when she goes back to work). This was HER suggestion.

My point is, if infant spots are difficult to find for parents I think they are willing to pay more for a holding fee. I wouldn't charge a fee if the spot wasn't actually open.
Great advice. Thank you.
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momma2girls 01:54 PM 06-04-2012
I have a one week per month, holding fee, if they are not currently using my daycare, for a sibling. This has worked out great on both ends more than once.
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