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  #1  
Old 03-12-2021, 11:45 AM
dethnode
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Default Registration Fee

So my daycare, used only once a week, closed in October of 2020. When closing they said they had to undergo a new state registration and qualification process and that they would be opening back up in a couple of months. It has been now been 5 months, they have not reopened (upon asking their reply has always been "we just need approval for this or that, two more weeks"). I have learned that the name of the daycare is going to change, but same owner. Also, the hours are changing which do not fit with my work schedule. I have worked my schedule thus far to not enroll my child at a different facility but I can no longer do so. Am I entitled to a refund of the registration fee?
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2021, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dethnode View Post
So my daycare, used only once a week, closed in October of 2020. When closing they said they had to undergo a new state registration and qualification process and that they would be opening back up in a couple of months. It has been now been 5 months, they have not reopened (upon asking their reply has always been "we just need approval for this or that, two more weeks"). I have learned that the name of the daycare is going to change, but same owner. Also, the hours are changing which do not fit with my work schedule. I have worked my schedule thus far to not enroll my child at a different facility but I can no longer do so. Am I entitled to a refund of the registration fee?
A registration fee covers cost of paperwork etc enrolling a child.

Cost of filing paperwork does not usually vary just because attendance does.

If your child attended even one day, I would think you are not entitled to a refund of your registration fee.
Did you pay a deposit to hold your space during closure or just the registration fee upon enrollment?
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Old 03-12-2021, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
A registration fee covers cost of paperwork etc enrolling a child.

Cost of filing paperwork does not usually vary just because attendance does.

If your child attended even one day, I would think you are not entitled to a refund of your registration fee.
Did you pay a deposit to hold your space during closure or just the registration fee upon enrollment?
The registration fee was $150 (I would assume that the cost of paperwork is not $150) There were no additional fees associated with the closure simply a verbal promise that they were going to be opening back up "most likely in December of 2020" and that my kid would have his spot held and no additional fees would be charged
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Old 03-12-2021, 12:49 PM
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Why not reach out and ask what the plans are and if the hours truly are changing?

FWIW, my registration fee not only covers paperwork, it covers basic supplies each child needs from wipes, to back ups, to their cubby/folders, name plates, their own notebook, writing utensils, nap mats & sheets, plus my time to put it all together.

Many daycares around here changed operating hours as well because it now takes us quite a bit of extra time to do the extra cleaning that licensing wants and parents demand during this pandemic. Put on top of that, many families who now work from home, and it just makes more business sense to recoup those hours by closing earlier instead of extra man hours & wages.
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:08 PM
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Why not reach out and ask what the plans are and if the hours truly are changing?

FWIW, my registration fee not only covers paperwork, it covers basic supplies each child needs from wipes, to back ups, to their cubby/folders, name plates, their own notebook, writing utensils, nap mats & sheets, plus my time to put it all together.

Many daycares around here changed operating hours as well because it now takes us quite a bit of extra time to do the extra cleaning that licensing wants and parents demand during this pandemic. Put on top of that, many families who now work from home, and it just makes more business sense to recoup those hours by closing earlier instead of extra man hours & wages.
I have reached out, I reached out in December and they said hopefully January, then in January it was hopefully end of January, then it was "definitely February".... The hours are changing, I wasn't informed, until I saw that the name changed when I drove by the building, and looked at their facebook page.

I get that you have certain things that make business sense such as recouping the cost of the lost clients by closing early. However, when I enrolled my kid the hours were X and I chose that daycare because on the one day a week I needed to be able to pick him up at a certain time. Now, because without any agreement from me, they changed their hours, I will have to pay them AND someone else to pick him up and keep him because just like they have to make decisions based upon their business, I and my employer make decisions based on our financial interest.

We provided wipes when he needed them, the sleep mat is a cost of business, it doesn't stay with the child, we took him a sleep blanket each day he went (could leave it there through the week but it came home since he only went once a week), I mean the registration fee was purely to cover getting him into their system.

If this is not refundable in this situation, what would be different from me opening a daycare, charging a registration fee, running it for 3 days, then closing and keeping thousands of dollars in registration fees based upon 150 per kid and 10 kids per class, and 4 classes?
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2021, 01:34 PM
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Question: when did your child start attending this childcare?
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2021, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dethnode View Post
If this is not refundable in this situation, what would be different from me opening a daycare, charging a registration fee, running it for 3 days, then closing and keeping thousands of dollars in registration fees based upon 150 per kid and 10 kids per class, and 4 classes?
To address ^ this first, any company can do this to you. That's why we (consumers) do our due diligence when enrolling or hiring services. We get referrals, we look at the BBB, we look at the licensing history, the longevity in business, etc.

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Originally Posted by dethnode View Post
I have reached out, I reached out in December and they said hopefully January, then in January it was hopefully end of January, then it was "definitely February".... The hours are changing, I wasn't informed, until I saw that the name changed when I drove by the building, and looked at their facebook page.
I get that you asked them about opening, but have you asked them specifically about the hours and if the fee was refundable?
They may be grandfathering in some clients, you just don't know until it's asked/communicated.
Approach them with a professional attitude and inquire about the registration fee and hours.

For instance, I'd find out a specific person (you get further this way, making ONE person accountable) to email (paper trail) and say: "Hello Joan. I noticed you have a really nice new facelift and facebook page that went up. You previously mentioned that your re-opening had been pushed back. Any news on a concrete date yet? One thing that concerned me after reading your new facebook page, is that the hours listed were different than what my contract says is available and what Joey attended before the pandemic closure. Will you be grandfathering in those families that had those later hours? How will the registration fee be applied if it won't? I'd love to touch base with you about some options if possible."

If you still don't get anywhere, then make your approach a little firmer and give options on what you are looking for.
For instance, "Hi again Joan. I need to touch base again about enrollment. We need a solid plan in place for Joey. If the original contract can't be honored, I understand that. In that instance, I am asking for a refund in the amount of $."

Now, if your contract states that fees are non-refundable, you may not be entitled to a refund. If your length of services is over a certain threshold, you may not be successful in court to receive it either. But it never hurts to ask.

One thing that does come to mind is if this company declared bankruptcy. If they did and another company bought it out, there might be some legalities with your registration fee there too.
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2021, 10:31 AM
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Yes, I have specifically asked about the hours. The manager/director (not owner) has told me that yes the hours are changing, and that if I need someone to watch my child after their new closing time, they have a staff member who will be staying late to keep children but that it would be between me and that staff member to come up with what it would cost. Yes any company can require registration fees. I assume (dangerous, I know) that the company did not go bankrupt, the owner is still the same person, the manager is still the same person, it appears to just be a name change. Upon closure, they told me that they were going to hold spots for all of their clients and that any client would not have to pay a new registration fee when they reopened. We have been a customer of the daycare for approximately 1 and a half years. I last messaged the manager 4 days ago to ask "is there still no set date to reopen?" and this time I have gotten no response... I sent a separate message to the new facebook page, and asked if they knew when they would open 4 days ago as well, no response. My next message will be to the BBB and an attorney...
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2021, 11:07 AM
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So did they charge you second registration fee, or do you believe your original registration fee should be refunded?
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2021, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered - not OP View Post
So did they charge you second registration fee, or do you believe your original registration fee should be refunded?
I believe my original registration fee should be refunded... I registered, for a service they opted to quit providing that service...

I paid a registration fee for my older child as well, when she aged out and went into kindergarten I obviously did not ask or expect a refund of her registration fee, that was because I opted to no longer use the services. But I don't feel like I should pay a registration fee and then boom, no daycare any more.

When you pay a "connection fee" for a utility, you expect to be able to use that utility as long as your account is in good standing. If they decide to no longer service your area, you expect that connection fee to be refunded. If you decide to no longer use said utility then your connection fee was forfeited by you.
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2021, 12:23 PM
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What, exactly, does the contract say? Did you sign it?
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2021, 12:52 PM
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What, exactly, does the contract say? Did you sign it?
I signed something upon registration, I have no idea what it said, it may have said non refundable, but if they breach contract, then the nonrefundable part is still refundable. I view the closing and prolonged closure, lack of providing the service when other daycares are now open, the change of the hours at time of contract signing, all to be breach of contract, would it not?
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2021, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I signed something upon registration, I have no idea what it said, it may have said non refundable, but if they breach contract, then the nonrefundable part is still refundable. I view the closing and prolonged closure, lack of providing the service when other daycares are now open, the change of the hours at time of contract signing, all to be breach of contract, would it not?
In small claims court they will only be interested in the signed legal contract.

Ask for a copy of your signed contract ASAP, it may help you in your case.

If they are the only ones with documentation, there is not much chance of winning your case. Let us know what it says and we may be able to help you from there.

In the future, always keep a copy of what you sign. They should have given you a copy at the time of signing (IMO), some make you ask, though.
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2021, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I believe my original registration fee should be refunded... I registered, for a service they opted to quit providing that service...

I paid a registration fee for my older child as well, when she aged out and went into kindergarten I obviously did not ask or expect a refund of her registration fee, that was because I opted to no longer use the services. But I don't feel like I should pay a registration fee and then boom, no daycare any more.

When you pay a "connection fee" for a utility, you expect to be able to use that utility as long as your account is in good standing. If they decide to no longer service your area, you expect that connection fee to be refunded. If you decide to no longer use said utility then your connection fee was forfeited by you.
Youíve gotten some great advice here. Reading through it looks like you were with this center for 1.5 years. You paid registration fees for both children when they first started at the center. Both children used the centers services. Then Covid hit and they closed, they havenít set a concrete reopening date and they changed their hours so the center may no longer be an option for your family. I think that is correct? The registration fee is used to register your child at the center. Once you used the center the first time (it doesnít matter how long you were able to use it) you were no longer entitled to a refund of the registration fee. If you paid a deposit for the last 2 weeks of care you might be entitled to a refund of that amount, you may even be entitled to any amounts you paid to hold your childís spot at the center when they were closed due to Covid. Generally a registration fee covers paperwork, supplies, time spent on a family before enrollment and getting the site ready for the child. Itís also a way to make sure someone who says they are interested in enrolling is actually interested and to recoup some of the losses if they dont actually enroll. They donít have to show how they spent it. I could charge $1000 registration fee if I wanted and it wouldnít have to go to any specific thing, itís just what I could charge to deter anyone without $1000 from enrolling. However, like the previous poster said, you may want to look in the contract for their definition of the registration fee and any wording saying non-refundable.
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Old 03-15-2021, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by nanglgrl View Post
Youíve gotten some great advice here. Reading through it looks like you were with this center for 1.5 years. You paid registration fees for both children when they first started at the center. Both children used the centers services. Then Covid hit and they closed, they havenít set a concrete reopening date and they changed their hours so the center may no longer be an option for your family. I think that is correct? The registration fee is used to register your child at the center. Once you used the center the first time (it doesnít matter how long you were able to use it) you were no longer entitled to a refund of the registration fee.
**Bingo!**
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2021, 07:20 AM
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So again, there is no legal remedy to prevent a daycare from charging $150 registration fee, exactly what this new daycare is doing since they are reopening under a new name, and then closing in 3 days and keeping 100 kids registration fees? I feel that the change of time, is a breach of contract, and under a breach of contract, all deposits and upfront costs to begin the service should be refunded.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:23 AM
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So again, there is no legal remedy to prevent a daycare from charging $150 registration fee, exactly what this new daycare is doing since they are reopening under a new name, and then closing in 3 days and keeping 100 kids registration fees? I feel that the change of time, is a breach of contract, and under a breach of contract, all deposits and upfront costs to begin the service should be refunded.
Maybe try a joint suit to gain leverage?

Breach of contract is hard to prove without the actual contract, though.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:44 AM
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So again, there is no legal remedy to prevent a daycare from charging $150 registration fee, exactly what this new daycare is doing since they are reopening under a new name, and then closing in 3 days and keeping 100 kids registration fees?
Legally there is nothing saying you can't do this.
I am assuming most people wouldn't as building a good reputation in the child care business would require a more consistent business plan but overall, in regards to the above there probably is no legal reason or restraint preventing you from doing that.

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I feel that the change of time, is a breach of contract, and under a breach of contract, all deposits and upfront costs to begin the service should be refunded.
How you feel and what the actual law is are two totally different things.

What Constitutes a Breach of Contract?

A contract case usually comes before a judge because one or both parties claim that the contract was breached. A breach of contract is a failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise that forms all or part of the contract. This includes failure to perform in a manner that meets the standards of the industry or the requirements of any express warranty or implied warranty, including the implied warranty of merchantability.

In my honest opinion, COVID excuses much of the legalities right now and many businesses are having to limit hours or revamp all together to meet the changing environment.

I also think that "holding" your space without a holding fee could be considered a fair compromise for not refunding the registration fee.







My biggest question however is how many TOTAL days did your child attend care for that one day per week?
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:05 AM
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Legally there is nothing saying you can't do this.
I am assuming most people wouldn't as building a good reputation in the child care business would require a more consistent business plan but overall, in regards to the above there probably is no legal reason or restraint preventing you from doing that.



How you feel and what the actual law is are two totally different things.

What Constitutes a Breach of Contract?

A contract case usually comes before a judge because one or both parties claim that the contract was breached. A breach of contract is a failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise that forms all or part of the contract. This includes failure to perform in a manner that meets the standards of the industry or the requirements of any express warranty or implied warranty, including the implied warranty of merchantability.

In my honest opinion, COVID excuses much of the legalities right now and many businesses are having to limit hours or revamp all together to meet the changing environment.

I also think that "holding" your space without a holding fee could be considered a fair compromise for not refunding the registration fee.







My biggest question however is how many TOTAL days did your child attend care for that one day per week?

He attended 1 day a week for approximately 1 and a half years, so rough guesstimation would put it at 78 total days...

They did not close due to covid, I have the letter, they closed so they could relicense to accept state voucher moneys, but that required they close and go through some inspections. Also, force majeure (covid) does not allow for the changing of a contract (changing the time) it allows for the cancellation of a contract without punishment, but both parties must be made as whole as possible. If you pay a contractor to build a house for you and he is to finish by x date and a tornado rips the house from the ground half way through, he can refund you what you have paid thus far, or he can finish the house in a new agreed upon time frame, he can not keep your money and decide the new time frame on his own.
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:17 AM
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Did you pay this registration fee when he started care 1.5 years ago?
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:34 AM
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I do not see any court returning a registration fee after attending 78 weeks even if only one day per.

The lawyers retainer would cost more than your claim.
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  #22  
Old 03-16-2021, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
He attended 1 day a week for approximately 1 and a half years, so rough guesstimation would put it at 78 total days...
Since you did use care for a reasonable amount of time your child was in essence ENROLLED so more than likely you are not entitled to a refund of a registration fee.

Had you paid the fee, attended a week or two and then they closed, I can see why this would be an issue but you are requesting a refund of a $150 dollars AFTER a year and a half because a business decided to re-vamp.
I don't think pursuing this in court would even be worth it and I'd probably call it good.

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They did not close due to covid, I have the letter, they closed so they could relicense to accept state voucher moneys, but that required they close and go through some inspections. Also, force majeure (covid) does not allow for the changing of a contract (changing the time) it allows for the cancellation of a contract without punishment, but both parties must be made as whole as possible.
Again, this depends on what the wording of the contract says specifically. The bolded below may/may not have something to do with their changes and even if it doesn't YOU will need to be able to prove it doesn't. (and will need the contract to do so)

A global pandemic such as COVID-19 (or its downstream effects and consequences) will likely qualify as a force majeure event if the provision specifically includes references to a “pandemic,” “epidemic” and/or “disease.”

If the pertinent force majeure provision does not contain such specific disease references, other more generic “catch-all” provisions pertaining to “disasters,” “acts of God,” “national emergencies,” “government regulations” or “acts beyond the control of the parties” may be asserted to allege that COVID-19 and its downstream effects or consequences are indeed force majeure events.

They could easily say the state registration and/or changing of owners IS due to COVID.

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If you pay a contractor to build a house for you and he is to finish by x date and a tornado rips the house from the ground half way through, he can refund you what you have paid thus far, or he can finish the house in a new agreed upon time frame, he can not keep your money and decide the new time frame on his own.
This is not true. My husband is a contractor. Why would a contractor have to refund money for work he already performed?

Again I understand your line of thinking but honestly the child care DID enroll your child. Your child attended a fairly lengthy amount of time. I just don't think you are entitled to a refund of your registration fee. A deposit (maybe) but not a registration fee.

But it really doesn't matter what any of us think, it depends entirely on what your contract says.
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Old 03-16-2021, 11:46 AM
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I have to ask, was this daycare not worth an extra $2 a day to care and nurture your child over the past 18 months?
IIWM, I'd drop the matter and find another place, let it go.
Sounds like you're stressing over the principle of the matter and it just doesn't sound like it's worth it. JMO
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Old 03-16-2021, 12:54 PM
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Sounds like you're stressing over the principle of the matter and it just doesn't sound like it's worth it. JMO
I'm kind of feeling that too.

Here I was, assuming the enrollment fee was $500-$1000.

After a year and a half of fulfilled services, I wouldn't expect any money back. $150 over the period of 18 months... they could likely produce many receipts in court to prove their costs associated with one enrollment (you) have far exceeded $150. Not that they even have to furnish proof if they have a solid contract outlining procedure & refund protocol.

I'm not even understanding how you can keep comparing your daycare services of a year and a half to swindlers who could "charge a registration fee, then close in 3 days and keep it"... your experience was not a fly by night operation since you were there long term.

Again, it doesn't hurt to ASK.
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Old 03-20-2021, 05:51 AM
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He attended 1 day a week for approximately 1 and a half years, so rough guesstimation would put it at 78 total days...

They did not close due to covid, I have the letter, they closed so they could relicense to accept state voucher moneys, but that required they close and go through some inspections. Also, force majeure (covid) does not allow for the changing of a contract (changing the time) it allows for the cancellation of a contract without punishment, but both parties must be made as whole as possible. If you pay a contractor to build a house for you and he is to finish by x date and a tornado rips the house from the ground half way through, he can refund you what you have paid thus far, or he can finish the house in a new agreed upon time frame, he can not keep your money and decide the new time frame on his own.
Your kidding right??

If a tornado damage your house that is being built, YOUR construction/homeowners insurance would cover the damage not the contractor or his insurance.

The contractor deserves to get paid for the work he has done.
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