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  #1  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:08 PM
Kara
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Angry Daycare Took My Money and Won't Give Back Deposit

I recently talked to a in-home daycare and was interested in having the lady provide care for son of 3 months. I told her I wanted my boyfriend to meet her and he was out of town, would be back in on Wednesday and would be able to meet then, she push for a deposit and I was uncomfortable but gave to her with the agreement that she would not cash until Sam started her care.

My boyfriend was unable to make it to her house on the suggested day but called with no response, called again the next day with contact and had a short conversation that suggested that we would be unable to make it and for her to take others if interested due to him being busy. Then boyfriend told her to send back deposit in mail and she agreed with that. Then she stated in a email a day later that she would hold check til Sam (child) was there. Note next day we seen check had been cashed and called several times talking with mr and he stated she was out for classes then the next day she emailed and stated that she was sick and now we have several different reasons why no contact. Emailed again to get check back stated that we would possibly go to small claims court and still no response.

I would like to know why this can happen, this is my first time looking and dealing with a day care provider which almost makes me sicků.what can I do? My boyfriend has now taken over, due to me feeling just sick about my child even being there.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:10 PM
Texas Provider
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Lightbulb Take them to small claims court

Sorry to hear that. Like all businesses, daycare can likewise have bad apples. Being your first experience makes it even worse. You should send them a certified letter and it there is no response take them to small claims court. Afterwhich contact your state's licensing agency and file a complaint if they continue to not respond.

Last edited by Michael; 12-05-2009 at 03:13 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:42 PM
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Afterwhich contact your state's licensing agency and file a complaint if they continue to not respond.
I am sorry you have to deal with someone like that. Be assured that not all providers are like that. I do have to disagree with my colleague on the statement to contact licensing. I don't know about your state but my state (TX) will not investigate this type of claim. They may sympathise with you but as there were no violations of the center (ie. abuse, children in danger etc) they have no grounds.

As I said this is how TX works. I do agree though with TX Provider that yes you should send a certified letter which she must sign. If that doesn't work then take her to small claims court. Make sure you save ALL paperwork and make sure you are friendly.

Next time, do your homework. Depending on the center you choose, talk to other parents. See if your state offers online inspection reports (TX does). You can never be to careful when it concerns your baby

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2009, 04:24 AM
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Not knowing the situation, I do know some people require a deposit to hold the spot, and it is not refundable. Did you get paperwork from provider? Personally, I would not take a check for deposit that I could not cash. It appears to me that you gave the deposit to hold the spot. At that point, the provider probably quit interviewing and advertising, assuming that you were taking the spot, as you did give a deposit. If you called back and said to give the spot to someone else, that was your choice, but also, the spot the provider thought was filled, now isn't, and she has to go thru the advertising, interviewing process all over.

While I don't know how much you paid for the deposit or all the details, any deposit I would ever take would be non returnable. No exceptions. It sounds like you decided to canel the deal.

Can I ask, why you didn't make the decision on your own?
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2009, 10:12 AM
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I have a couple of concerns here.

first, did you sign a contract with her when you gave her the check? If you did, you are bound by that contract.

second, if you liked her enough to give her the deposit without your bf meeting her, why would you just give up when he couldn't make the appointment and tell the provider to find someone else?

It's hard to say if she should or should not be giving back the money without those details.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2009, 03:03 PM
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Most provider require a non-refundable deposit. This was probably the case. Therefore, if it was your decision to have her take another child for that spot she had every legal and ethical right to cash that check. I don't know of any deposits that are refundable.

It is a business... just like if you put a deposit on a car and then change your mind, you don't have a legal right to get that deposit back.

In the future, if you are not 100% sure you want your child to begin care there then I would not hand over a deposit.
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2009, 01:23 PM
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That is soooooo unfortunate!!!

First off, thank the LORD that you found out what kind of person you were dealing with. You dodged a bullet on that one and I'm thrilled your child won't have to deal with a person of zero character.

Lastly, I would send a certified (typed) letter stating you want your refund by x date and if you don't receive it by that date, than you will proceed with small claims court.

I hope it works out!!! =)
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  #8  
Old 04-14-2010, 02:59 PM
Eagan Dad
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Default same boat

gbcc...I appreciate you questions, and in my case I receieved no receipt and no contract was signed. Do I have any recourse?
The funky details is that i currently had one child there under contact, but this deposit was on a TBD baby due 6/19/10. We terminated our current child in care with 2 week notice and when that was complete she advised that it was non-refundable deposit on number 2.

I understand that there is lost potential money and time. is there a middle point where we could meet?
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2010, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Eagan Dad View Post
gbcc...I appreciate you questions, and in my case I receieved no receipt and no contract was signed. Do I have any recourse?
The funky details is that i currently had one child there under contact, but this deposit was on a TBD baby due 6/19/10. We terminated our current child in care with 2 week notice and when that was complete she advised that it was non-refundable deposit on number 2.

I understand that there is lost potential money and time. is there a middle point where we could meet?
I would say no. The provider held the spot and likely turned away others. You are losing a 2 week deposit, she is losing income on the spot indefinitely. Without a reciept or contract I would think that you would have very little legal standing.
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  #10  
Old 04-25-2010, 11:54 AM
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Default No contract

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I would say no. The provider held the spot and likely turned away others. You are losing a 2 week deposit, she is losing income on the spot indefinitely. Without a reciept or contract I would think that you would have very little legal standing.
Without a contract, I would think you have a better chance at winning at small claims court. You bet I would send her a certified letter telling her she has 30 days to return the deposit or you will file.
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  #11  
Old 04-25-2010, 09:13 PM
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Without a contract, I would think you have a better chance at winning at small claims court. You bet I would send her a certified letter telling her she has 30 days to return the deposit or you will file.
Good luck with that!

Just out of curiosity, why would you think that without a contract or a reciept that one would stand a chance of winning??? How would you even begin to prove that the money you paid was even a deposit?

I doubt that many providers would feel threatened by a certified letter or idle threat.
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2010, 08:06 PM
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Good luck with that!

Just out of curiosity, why would you think that without a contract or a reciept that one would stand a chance of winning??? How would you even begin to prove that the money you paid was even a deposit?

I doubt that many providers would feel threatened by a certified letter or idle threat.
I would assume (perhaps wrongly so) that this parent gave a check as a deposit and wrote on the check that was a deposit. I'm not saying that she will win, but I sure would try. If there was a contract that said non-refundable deposit, then you are outta luck.

I would also add that any decent child care provider who just wanted to cut ties with a family (assuming this was a problem that resulted in the older child being pulled out) would want to refund the deposit and be done with that family.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2010, 07:30 AM
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Well, it would be interesting...personally, I doubt that the client would get the deposit back. It might be different if the provider made the choice to exclude the family, but in this case it appears that the client changed their mind and pulled the child.

Why do you think a "decent" provider would return it just to be done with it. If I accept your deposit and stop advertising for that spot, then a parent decides not to use that spot, I have lost potential revenue. Now, according to you, a provider should take an additional loss by refunding the deposit.

If you place a deposit on an apartment, decide after a couple of weeks that you want to move someplace else, would you expect the landlord to return your deposit in that instance too?
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2010, 03:31 PM
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I find the post a little conflicting. You stated you gave her the deposit for a spot but then say you told the provider to go ahead and interview other candidates because, for some reason, you had second thoughts.

It is standard practice to obtain a deposit from any family who claims to want the spot. And, most providers will cash the deposit immediately. It is their insurance policy that the spot is actually taken because that same provider has stopped interviewing and likely turned other interested families away.

Did you sign anything when you gave the deposit? A deposit form, a contract?
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2010, 03:32 PM
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Why do you think a "decent" provider would return it just to be done with it. ?
I agree. I would most definately be considered a "decent provider" as I am always full and come highly recommended and I can assure you I would NOT return a deposit cheque. Returning a deposit cheque defeats the entire purpose of taking a deposit.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2010, 11:04 AM
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Default Licensed Center Owner

I own and operate a small licensed daycare center in Va. and I am appalled at some of these responses. I have worked in almost all states and all centers that I have been associated with charge a non-refundable deposit to hold a spot. The reason for the deposit is to prevent the spot form being vacant for too long. We actually run a waiting list and when we call a parent to inform them of an opening they rush in to pay their deposit. We also ask for a two week notice to allow us time to fill a spot that will become available. This is common policy everywhere. I do not agree with the provider not communicating with the parent but if she has a handbook (most in-home and centers do) stating their policies and requirements then there is no legal grounds for a lawsuit. Do a little research next time and be sure before you put any money down. Good luck in your search for care.
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  #17  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:22 PM
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Default Deposit

I run serveral businesses, including child care centers, and I could never fathom taking someone else's money for service not provided. That being said if I have spot "A" opening in March and a family wants that spot in December; then yes there is a non-refundable to hold that spot. If there is no spot avialable and I have a waiting list I don't require a non-refundable fee until a spot comes open.

This is a good business practice. Who cares about the money, because in reality if they are reserving a spot or there is a waiting list you are not hurting to fill your spots.

For handling the waiting list, takes one of my managers in each center about a hour a week to deal with it. So I lose $25 a week. Never notice it. We monitor the ages of the children and have monthly meetings where I am briefed on how many children are moving up to a new age category. Also, on how big the waiting list is and if there is room for me to expand in that are to accomdate or do I need to open another one in the same area.

I have 3 centers within 1.5 miles of each other, and a short waiting list at each. So why do I need a deposit to put someone's name on the waiting list?? I don't.

"Have Spot, Pay for the Spot"
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  #18  
Old 01-06-2012, 09:31 PM
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If you gave her a deposit to hold a spot, and later decided not to use the spot, the deposit is likey non refundable.

That said, there are quite a few details missing here. When I take a deposit for anything, including services, there is a clearly worded contract accompanying the transaction. You got nothing in writing? Sounds like a bullet dodged.
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  #19  
Old 01-21-2012, 09:38 PM
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I would say no. The provider held the spot and likely turned away others. You are losing a 2 week deposit, she is losing income on the spot indefinitely. Without a reciept or contract I would think that you would have very little legal standing.
I would say that the provider in this case did not hold a spot. She agreed to hold a check and not cash. She could have easily kept interviewing and filled a spot and returned the check. Since the bf hadn't visited the site yet, there was no implied agreement that this mom would even begin taking the child to daycare. As a former provider, I would never have kept a deposit until I met both parties and had a signed contract. This doesn't sound like the case with the OP and so the provider had no right to keep the payment. Don't forget this woman says that the provider actually AGREED to NOT cash payment and to send back, which means she knew that these people were not going to use them for child care. This is a clear case of "bitches being shady" you know what I mean?

OP: Do NOT ever leave a deposit unless you sign something and are sure you want your child to attend a particular child care provider. If you aren't sure, and the provider tells you she can't hold your spot, don't let that be a way to "force" you to give a deposit. Every sales person always tells you that. Think of the car salesman who tells you that they have a buyer looking at your car. They might, they might not, but they will SAY it either way to psychologically make you think that you might not get the care you want unless you get it RIGHT NOW! Child care is the same way. Ask for 24 hours, most providers are pretty reasonable and will give you a night to think about it. If not, she's not the person for you.
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  #20  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:49 PM
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Always ask for copies of papers you sign, if you gave a deposit I would have asked for a receipt or a grantee in written that i would get it back if your son was not going to be under her care. Do you know if you sign something talking about a non refundable deposit?
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  #21  
Old 05-30-2012, 11:04 AM
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this thread is 3 years old
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