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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Daycare Provider Moved, Can I Get Deposit Back?
LilithSamael 10:10 AM 10-25-2019
We went with a licensed home-daycare provider. We paid her a deposit for our infant to start care next month. We did not fill out the paperwork yet but did give her the deposit already. After that she informed us they decided to sell their house and moved 8 miles out of town. I do not want to use a daycare provider out of town and if I had known she would be moving I would have never even considered her. Am I able to get my deposit back from her because she moved and breached the agreement? I am asking her today for it back and hopefully have no problems, but I was just wondering what to do if she says no. Do I have any recourse or am I out of luck?
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LilithSamael 10:11 AM 10-25-2019
I live in Minnesota by the way.
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Blackcat31 10:15 AM 10-25-2019
I am also in MN. I would think she would return the deposit without issue. I know I would.

If she won't return it, ask why not.
Unless it's written into the contract you signed that she was moving I think you are entitled to a refund.

Your only recourse if she doesn't is to pursue legal options such as small claims court and/or an attorney.
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LilithSamael 10:39 AM 10-25-2019
She never said anything about moving when we agreed to use her daycare and then gave her the deposit. I did hear back from her. This was her text message:

"Since you are choosing not to follow me to my New location as I did NOT know I was moving but the opportunity came available and it's better for my family, since you've been in contact with me and are choosing not to follow me, it's non refundable."

I think I am entitled to my refund because she breached the agreement and I shouldn't have to follow her to her daycare. It shouldn't matter that it was better for her family.
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Cat Herder 10:50 AM 10-25-2019
Did she hold a spot for 30 days prior to the move (losing that potential income)? Was the deposit used for that and not actual enrollment at the new place? Was she under the impression that you were ok with the move at any time?

Other than that, I also would not keep it. It is a bit odd. Is there more to the story?

I charge full tuition from the very first Monday a slot is available, so full tuition would have been due each week for the full month.
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LilithSamael 10:57 AM 10-25-2019
We decided on her daycare and gave her the deposit in July while I was still pregnant. My daughter was supposed to start going there at the end of November when my leave from work ends. The daycare provider moved in August/September. She told me that she was moving in September and I told her I didn't like having to drive so far to bring her and drop her off. She apologized and said she wasn't expecting it and it just came up. That was the end of the conversation. I wasn't sure what to do about it and after talking we decided we don't want to follow her, so I just notified her that I would like my deposit back because she moved locations and she is refusing.

I think its odd too. But honestly, I think she is having money issues and doesn't want to give it back because she can't afford it, just my opinion. Her husband lost his job sometime in the summer, so might be a factor in her not wanting to hand the money back.
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LilithSamael 11:14 AM 10-25-2019
Also, this daycare is out of her home with her sister and mother assisting if she needs them. She is licensed through the state as a home provider, this is not a center.
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LilithSamael 11:33 AM 10-25-2019
Update: I messaged her basically saying our agreement did not mention her moving, it was for a agreed upon location. That she broke the agreement by moving her location and we should not be obligated to follow her so I would like my deposit back within 7 days. I also told her if I don't receive it I will contact an attorney and the Department of Human Services and licensing board.

Within 10 minutes I got this message back, "I did not even think about the change of address breaking the contract and I do not want to cause any un needed issues for either of us. I will get your deposit in the mail as soon as I have the chance."

So hopefully I do actually get it. If not I plan to send her a certified letter requesting it and we'll go from there.
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Cat Herder 12:15 PM 10-25-2019
Most of us here are family providers who work from our homes. She may simply not have dealt with this particular issue and was not sure which way to go. In almost 25 years I have not been challenged with it, myself.

There is a fine line between being too flexible and being too by the book. Most deposits, in general, are not refundable. That is the typical purpose of them to begin with. It goes to supplies in advance.

It does not sound like she is trying to be deceitful, just struggling with which business practice to use. Non-refundable deposits or deposits with stipulations.
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MyAngels 06:12 PM 10-25-2019
In this case I would send a message back giving her a deadline to return your deposit. "As soon as I have the chance" can mean anything from tomorrow, to next year sometime. If you think she's having money issues and want to be kind, maybe make it within 30 days, which will give her an opportunity to pull the funds together.
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284878 10:46 AM 10-26-2019
Originally Posted by LilithSamael:
Update: I messaged her basically saying our agreement did not mention her moving, it was for a agreed upon location. That she broke the agreement by moving her location and we should not be obligated to follow her so I would like my deposit back within 7 days. I also told her if I don't receive it I will contact an attorney and the Department of Human Services and licensing board.

Within 10 minutes I got this message back, "I did not even think about the change of address breaking the contract and I do not want to cause any un needed issues for either of us. I will get your deposit in the mail as soon as I have the chance."

So hopefully I do actually get it. If not I plan to send her a certified letter requesting it and we'll go from there.
Text back and ask her to let you know when the check is in the mail so you can keep an eye out for it. Or you could offer an electronic method, like PayPal or venmo to get the refund to you.
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Unregistered 06:38 PM 10-28-2019
Originally Posted by LilithSamael:
Update: I messaged her basically saying our agreement did not mention her moving, it was for a agreed upon location. That she broke the agreement by moving her location and we should not be obligated to follow her so I would like my deposit back within 7 days. I also told her if I don't receive it I will contact an attorney and the Department of Human Services and licensing board.

Within 10 minutes I got this message back, "I did not even think about the change of address breaking the contract and I do not want to cause any un needed issues for either of us. I will get your deposit in the mail as soon as I have the chance."

So hopefully I do actually get it. If not I plan to send her a certified letter requesting it and we'll go from there.
This is not a promising answer as she likely plans to drag this out as long as possible
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Leigh 09:25 AM 10-31-2019
Originally Posted by LilithSamael:
Update: I messaged her basically saying our agreement did not mention her moving, it was for a agreed upon location. That she broke the agreement by moving her location and we should not be obligated to follow her so I would like my deposit back within 7 days. I also told her if I don't receive it I will contact an attorney and the Department of Human Services and licensing board.

Within 10 minutes I got this message back, "I did not even think about the change of address breaking the contract and I do not want to cause any un needed issues for either of us. I will get your deposit in the mail as soon as I have the chance."

So hopefully I do actually get it. If not I plan to send her a certified letter requesting it and we'll go from there.
First, DHS and licensing have NOTHING to do with this. Reporting to them won't help your case. She has not violated any licensing rules.

Second, it is EIGHT miles, not eighty. I doubt that you could win in court over this, as driving an extra 8 miles will not likely be seen as a huge hardship for you.

Next, this provider has let you use her infant space since July without paying for it, taking only a deposit (which is likely to be used for the LAST month of care or in lieu of notice). I think it would be incredibly rotten to fight over your deposit after her foolishly holding this spot without pay deprived her of 4 months of income so far.

I would consider why I chose this provider in the first place, and I would probably drive the 8 miles (which is really nothing) and continue according to plan.

Now, as a provider, I wouldn't have let myself get into the position this provider is now in, anyway. I wouldn't have let you use 4 months of my space for free by holding it and
effectively preventing me from selling it to someone else while waiting to see if you still were going to bring your child to me. HOWEVER, I also would have informed you the moment that I made the decision to move and offered you the deposit back if you decided not to drive the extra few minutes to my new home. Remember, though, that a deposit is NOT for services rendered. It is to hold your space and/or to be held as insurance against you leaving without notice (which you are basically doing). Ethically, I think that you owe the provider the deposit. As a provider, I would have refunded the deposit because of moving, but I ALSO would have had you pay for using my space for that long. The deposit refund would have been only to allow you to leave without notice if driving a few extra minutes was unappealing to you.

Apologies if I seem like I am ripping into you-I have a hard time conveying feelings in written form, and often seem rude online. This is not my intention. I just am offering you a different point of view for your situation.
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Snowmom 09:40 AM 10-31-2019
Originally Posted by Leigh:
First, DHS and licensing have NOTHING to do with this. Reporting to them won't help your case. She has not violated any licensing rules.

Second, it is EIGHT miles, not eighty. I doubt that you could win in court over this, as driving an extra 8 miles will not likely be seen as a huge hardship for you.

Next, this provider has let you use her infant space since July without paying for it, taking only a deposit (which is likely to be used for the LAST month of care or in lieu of notice). I think it would be incredibly rotten to fight over your deposit after her foolishly holding this spot without pay deprived her of 4 months of income so far.

I would consider why I chose this provider in the first place, and I would probably drive the 8 miles (which is really nothing) and continue according to plan.

Now, as a provider, I wouldn't have let myself get into the position this provider is now in, anyway. I wouldn't have let you use 4 months of my space for free by holding it and
effectively preventing me from selling it to someone else while waiting to see if you still were going to bring your child to me. HOWEVER, I also would have informed you the moment that I made the decision to move and offered you the deposit back if you decided not to drive the extra few minutes to my new home. Remember, though, that a deposit is NOT for services rendered. It is to hold your space and/or to be held as insurance against you leaving without notice (which you are basically doing). Ethically, I think that you owe the provider the deposit. As a provider, I would have refunded the deposit because of moving, but I ALSO would have had you pay for using my space for that long. The deposit refund would have been only to allow you to leave without notice if driving a few extra minutes was unappealing to you.

Apologies if I seem like I am ripping into you-I have a hard time conveying feelings in written form, and often seem rude online. This is not my intention. I just am offering you a different point of view for your situation.
I agree on every point.
Part of me says though: the location is as much a part of the services as the provider themselves- so yes, I would have refunded as well. BUT, 8 miles? 8 miles?
Also being in MN, it is extremely hard for me to understand this objection over 8 miles because infant care here is impossible to find. There is a year wait or longer in most of the surrounding areas (cities). Maybe it's different rurally? But if it was rurally, 8 miles should be a pretty standard commute expectation.
I'm thinking there is more to the story.
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Josiegirl 12:50 PM 10-31-2019
Originally Posted by Snowmom:
I agree on every point.
Part of me says though: the location is as much a part of the services as the provider themselves- so yes, I would have refunded as well. BUT, 8 miles? 8 miles?
Also being in MN, it is extremely hard for me to understand this objection over 8 miles because infant care here is impossible to find. There is a year wait or longer in most of the surrounding areas (cities). Maybe it's different rurally? But if it was rurally, 8 miles should be a pretty standard commute expectation.
I'm thinking there is more to the story.
Same feelings here. Eight miles really isn't that big of a deal, especially for good infant care.
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coloradoprovider 01:24 PM 10-31-2019
By me, 8 miles could add another hour to a commute! It all depends on the area. The provider should refund the money. Most parents (partially) choose a provider that's within a reasonable geographic area. When the provider decided to move, it likely negatively impacted the parent. If I had kept a spot open for a long period of time, I would refund if I materially changed the nature of my services by my own choice.
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Snowmom 01:31 PM 10-31-2019
Originally Posted by coloradoprovider:
By me, 8 miles could add another hour to a commute! It all depends on the area. The provider should refund the money. Most parents (partially) choose a provider that's within a reasonable geographic area. When the provider decided to move, it likely negatively impacted the parent. If I had kept a spot open for a long period of time, I would refund if I materially changed the nature of my services by my own choice.
I mentioned I'm also MN (just as the OP).
8 miles would add maybe 15-30 minutes in the cities during rush hour. Our city area has multiple highway systems that are all easily accessible and really not that bad at all. There's no way it would add an hour to their commute. No way.
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Blackcat31 02:15 PM 10-31-2019
Im in rural MN. I drive less than 8 miles to my daycare.
Both morning and evening commute is heavy traffic and more than slightly annoying as I am not one that enjoys being in the middle of traffic traveling at a snails pace so I can completely understand how 8 miles might make a difference.

I've also got several clients in care myself that specifically contacted me based on my location.
Like another poster said, location is sometimes a key factor in finding a child care.

Another factor may be that the OP might have already planned to drive 10 miles to this daycare in the first place and is now being asked to drive 8 MORE miles... know what I mean? The amount of miles the provider lived in proximity to the daycare in the first place wasn't mentioned.


This thread is awfully similar to one posted here not too long ago by a provider that suspected a family that hadn't started yet may not want to follow to the new location and the provider wasn't planning on saying anything about returning the deposit until the family asked about it. I don't think it's the exact same situation but there was a bit more to the story than just a simply unexpected move and not knowing if the family would/wouldn't be okay with it.

I don't know... I think the OP has a right to ask for their money back. I think that while we, as providers might see a different perspective it really doesn't matter as the OP is the one that has to drive the 8 miles to AND from the child care twice a day. That's 32 miles MORE than they were planning on driving in the first place.
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Jupadia 07:18 PM 10-31-2019
I know if I moved it would greatly affect my parents. Most just live blocks away, and are able to jump right on one of the major highways within a five min drive from me. I could easily see parents finding diffrent care for a 8 mile drive.
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MomBoss 08:05 AM 11-01-2019
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Im in rural MN. I drive less than 8 miles to my daycare.
Both morning and evening commute is heavy traffic and more than slightly annoying as I am not one that enjoys being in the middle of traffic traveling at a snails pace so I can completely understand how 8 miles might make a difference.

I've also got several clients in care myself that specifically contacted me based on my location.
Like another poster said, location is sometimes a key factor in finding a child care.

Another factor may be that the OP might have already planned to drive 10 miles to this daycare in the first place and is now being asked to drive 8 MORE miles... know what I mean? The amount of miles the provider lived in proximity to the daycare in the first place wasn't mentioned.


This thread is awfully similar to one posted here not too long ago by a provider that suspected a family that hadn't started yet may not want to follow to the new location and the provider wasn't planning on saying anything about returning the deposit until the family asked about it. I don't think it's the exact same situation but there was a bit more to the story than just a simply unexpected move and not knowing if the family would/wouldn't be okay with it.

I don't know... I think the OP has a right to ask for their money back. I think that while we, as providers might see a different perspective it really doesn't matter as the OP is the one that has to drive the 8 miles to AND from the child care twice a day. That's 32 miles MORE than they were planning on driving in the first place.
That was my post lol and a couple weeks later they asked if they could have the spot again because they ďdidnt like the new provider as much as they liked meĒ. Well you asked for your deposit back so i filled your spot. Too bad so sad lol.
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Tin Blues 11:37 AM 11-01-2019
Itís not just the commute. Thatís an extra 4000 miles a year in mileage for their vehicle.
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Tags:business management, deposit, deposit policy, enrollment fees, nonrefundable, professionalism, tuition not based on attendance
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