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  #1  
Old 04-27-2016, 07:29 AM
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Default Held Sibling Spot for 5 Months Free-Mom Cancelled

Good morning! So I've had dcb for a year now w/no complaints. Last Nov. Dcm informed me she was expecting in May. I've held her infant's spot since New Year's. She asked only 2 weeks ago how much baby would cost weekly...then asked for a better discount. I told her I would see if I could help. I gave her contract ppwk and asked that holding fee be paid by tom. (Baby is due Tues.) At drop off this am she informs me both kids wont be here effective June's end. Dcb will end then and baby won't start at all. They will be attending a very cheap, illegal home daycare. Wwyd? She is allowed a free week per year (supposed to be next week) and upon a 2 week written cancellation notice, a week deposit refunded. Upon any termination on my end however, no refunds. I don't want to be a jerk but would you term? I am beside myself w/ anger rt now.

Last edited by Michael; 04-27-2016 at 02:16 PM. Reason: corrected spelling
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2016, 07:33 AM
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Default Held sibling spot for 5 months Free-Mom cancelled

Good morning! So I've had dcb for a year now w/no complaints. Last Nov. Dcm informed me she was expecting in May. I've held her infant's spot since New Year's. She asked only 2 weeks ago how much baby would cost weekly...then asked for a better discount. I told her I would see if I could help. I gave her contract ppwk and asked that holding fee be paid by tom. (Baby is due Tues.) At drop off this am she informs me both kids wont be here effective June's end. Dcb will end then and baby won't start at all. They will be attending a very cheap, illegal home daycare. Wwyd? She is allowed a free week per year (supposed to be next week) and upon a 2 week written cancellation notice, a week deposit refunded. Upon any termination on my end however, no refunds. I don't want to be a jerk but would you term? I am beside myself w/ anger rt now.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:47 AM
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If I understand you correctly, the current DCB will be there until the end of June? The infant will not begin at all, despite some verbal agreement that he/she would? But no contract?

Personally, I do not give refunds. When parents pay a deposit, they have that applied to their final 2-weeks upon a proper 2-week termination notice. No 2-weeks, they lose that deposit. Also, free weeks/vacation are not usable for a termination notice (although it just sounds like they were using it in general next week). So, personally, I would keep the child while enforcing my policies. Unfortunately, part of our business is competitive, and parents will always do what is best for them in the end. All you can do is stick to your contract and fulfill your end of it. Also, if you held the spot without payment, it is very unfortunate, but I don't think there's much you can do without a contract.

So sorry that you're coping with this; it is one of the parts of this job that I hate as well, but all you can really do is use it as a learning experience for the future. Good luck!
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:49 AM
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Well you don't need me to say it, but your mistake was holding the spot for free. I have never had it come up where a parent needed a spot held, but I have read and heard many horror stories such as this. This is exactly why providers have started charging something (such as half the fee) for holding a spot. For now, as long as she is paying for her spot, I would continue care and take her payments while looking to fill your spots. If you find someone who wants her spot, you could always give a two week notice and go ahead and start a new family.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:50 AM
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Unless she is breaking the contract or policies you have, I don't know how much there is you can do.

I would def be making changes to the contract going forward. I charge for a spot held at a discounted rate for up to 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, it is the full rate. I also would take out any refunds. I would make people pay for the last 2 weeks regardless of their attendance and who terminated care.

I've had this happen before, held a spot for months free of charge and then when I wouldn't offer a sibling discount mom pulled. Mom took advantage, and that wasn't right, but it was also partly my own fault for not having policies to prevent this. Changed my contract VERY quickly after it happened!
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ChelseaB View Post
If I understand you correctly, the current DCB will be there until the end of June? The infant will not begin at all, despite some verbal agreement that he/she would? But no contract?

Personally, I do not give refunds. When parents pay a deposit, they have that applied to their final 2-weeks upon a proper 2-week termination notice. No 2-weeks, they lose that deposit. Also, free weeks/vacation are not usable for a termination notice (although it just sounds like they were using it in general next week). So, personally, I would keep the child while enforcing my policies. Unfortunately, part of our business is competitive, and parents will always do what is best for them in the end. All you can do is stick to your contract and fulfill your end of it. Also, if you held the spot without payment, it is very unfortunate, but I don't think there's much you can do without a contract.

So sorry that you're coping with this; it is one of the parts of this job that I hate as well, but all you can really do is use it as a learning experience for the future. Good luck!
Yes, no contract was signed for new baby but for dcb my contract states that he can apply his one wk deposit toward his last wk provided a two week written notice is given as long as I do not terminate it for any reason. Dcb will also be decreasing from 4x to 2x weekly after next wk. I just don't feel like it's worth the aggravation to continue. I'm already out months of $$ and don't want to waste a full time spot for a 2x per week while she is on leave either. Dcb was supposed to be here w/out sibling until July's end as it was
Now it's June. Will it be May in another week? Just want to term.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by WBee View Post
Yes, no contract was signed for new baby but for dcb my contract states that he can apply his one wk deposit toward his last wk provided a two week written notice is given as long as I do not terminate it for any reason. Dcb will also be decreasing from 4x to 2x weekly after next wk. I just don't feel like it's worth the aggravation to continue. I'm already out months of $$ and don't want to waste a full time spot for a 2x per week while she is on leave either. Dcb was supposed to be here w/out sibling until July's end as it was
Now it's June. Will it be May in another week? Just want to term
.
I totally feel you. I would probably give 2 week based on the change from full time to part time and the inconsistency.

I do not envy you! Such a crummy situation
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by WBee View Post
Yes, no contract was signed for new baby but for dcb my contract states that he can apply his one wk deposit toward his last wk provided a two week written notice is given as long as I do not terminate it for any reason. Dcb will also be decreasing from 4x to 2x weekly after next wk. I just don't feel like it's worth the aggravation to continue. I'm already out months of $$ and don't want to waste a full time spot for a 2x per week while she is on leave either. Dcb was supposed to be here w/out sibling until July's end as it was
Now it's June. Will it be May in another week? Just want to term.
My contract says I can term at will for any reason. Do you have a clause like this? If so go ahead and term. We don't HAVE to provide care for anyone as long as we follow the contract we write.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
My contract says I can term at will for any reason. Do you have a clause like this? If so go ahead and term. We don't HAVE to provide care for anyone as long as we follow the contract we write.
Yes, per contract I can terminate at any time. ☺
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:14 AM
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I'd try to replace ASAP. They can go to their cheaper daycare as soon as you get those spots filled. I know that it's hard to ask for it, but to hold a spot, you need to get full payment. They're USING the spot while you hold it, and they should pay for it. Now, you're out 5 months pay. It may seem "mean", but DCM screwed you over-you don't owe her anything.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:23 AM
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Thank you! ��
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:36 AM
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I don't have anything to add but . That really stinks!
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:36 AM
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I would start interviewing to fill both spots, if you find someone term. If you can afford to term now, if that's how you feel, then do it. I wouldn't refund a dime, unless in your contract it says you do. I don't because of the tax stuff involved.

She will be back. Trust me. But then you won't have those spots available

I wouldn't even get into anything with dcm. Look to replace and/or term quietly and move on. This situation stinks. I've been there. Held spot for 6 months for free, a week before starting they weren't going to start. They had just signed my contract so I enforced it stating that it was business and nothing personal and warned them about signing contracts and then not following through. Most people don't understand that your contract is legally enforceable. Anyhoo...

Sorry you're dealing with this.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:36 AM
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Did you know ahead of time that older child was going to part time? If not I would use that as a way out..If it was pre arranged then I would keep him as long as it suits you. I always took a months fee to hold infant slot.If parent did not start as agreed then at least I had that money..It is hard we try to work with parents and they often take whats best for them.Nothing wrong with that but it does make providers change there contracts to protect us and our families. Personally I would do two weeks and state that you will not take older child after that.Two days a week is often more trouble than its worth . Sorry you are dealing with this.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBee View Post
Yes, no contract was signed for new baby but for dcb my contract states that he can apply his one wk deposit toward his last wk provided a two week written notice is given as long as I do not terminate it for any reason. Dcb will also be decreasing from 4x to 2x weekly after next wk. I just don't feel like it's worth the aggravation to continue. I'm already out months of $$ and don't want to waste a full time spot for a 2x per week while she is on leave either. Dcb was supposed to be here w/out sibling until July's end as it was
Now it's June. Will it be May in another week? Just want to term.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJill View Post
I totally feel you. I would probably give 2 week based on the change from full time to part time and the inconsistency.

I do not envy you! Such a crummy situation
I agree with all of this, it is a crummy situation!! With this further explanation, I agree with terming -- being misleading AND they're only part Time? No way; no thanks! I'd give two weeks notice and wash my hands of any further drama. Update contract and find another family who is a better fit!
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
Well you don't need me to say it, but your mistake was holding the spot for free. I have never had it come up where a parent needed a spot held, but I have read and heard many horror stories such as this. This is exactly why providers have started charging something (such as half the fee) for holding a spot. For now, as long as she is paying for her spot, I would continue care and take her payments while looking to fill your spots. If you find someone who wants her spot, you could always give a two week notice and go ahead and start a new family.
The moral of the story is......holding spots turns into a bad thing
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:34 AM
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Yep, I learned the hard way on this one. I saved a spot for 4 mos for my sil's niece. She came the day before she was to start and picked up the paperwork. She called the next morning to say that her dh's friend's mom offered to watch him for free.

She just left there for a center when she found her 3 yo child alone in the front yard twice in one week.

All spots are first come first served. I will not save a space for anyone.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
I'd try to replace ASAP. They can go to their cheaper daycare as soon as you get those spots filled. I know that it's hard to ask for it, but to hold a spot, you need to get full payment. They're USING the spot while you hold it, and they should pay for it. Now, you're out 5 months pay. It may seem "mean", but DCM screwed you over-you don't owe her anything.
I would term as soon as I had replacements lined up.

"dcm, unfortunately I cannot keep Jr. until June. I was saving the FT spaces for two children. I will be enrolling a sibling set since baby will not be attending at all. Jr's last day will be X. I'm sure you understand!"

DO NOT SAVE SPACES! I won't save a space for a DAY without payment. Sounds harsh, but once you get burned once you don't want to be burned again.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:02 AM
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That sucks! I think they tell us they want that spot so that the option is there if their finances work out, but don't actually intend to commit (or bail) until the last moment. So rude. I'm sorry this happened to you.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBee View Post
Yes, no contract was signed for new baby but for dcb my contract states that he can apply his one wk deposit toward his last wk provided a two week written notice is given as long as I do not terminate it for any reason. Dcb will also be decreasing from 4x to 2x weekly after next wk. I just don't feel like it's worth the aggravation to continue. I'm already out months of $$ and don't want to waste a full time spot for a 2x per week while she is on leave either. Dcb was supposed to be here w/out sibling until July's end as it was
Now it's June. Will it be May in another week? Just want to term.
I haven't read past this post yet but I just have to say ... that is a terrible business practice. Do not terminate a family based on your feelings being hurt so that you can "stick it to them" by not allowing them to apply their credit to their final week.

If you would like to end the working relationship then give a two week notice and apply their credit to that notice period. Be the professional here.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rosieteddy View Post
Did you know ahead of time that older child was going to part time? If not I would use that as a way out..If it was pre arranged then I would keep him as long as it suits you. I always took a months fee to hold infant slot.If parent did not start as agreed then at least I had that money..It is hard we try to work with parents and they often take whats best for them.Nothing wrong with that but it does make providers change there contracts to protect us and our families. Personally I would do two weeks and state that you will not take older child after that.Two days a week is often more trouble than its worth . Sorry you are dealing with this.
Maybe with infants, but that isn't the case with toddlers and preschoolers. I have 11 children here who are each enrolled 2 days per week and they do just fine. This child could adjust quite easily to attending 2 days a week.

However, if it's a financial hardship for you to have him drop down to 2 days per week then that would completely be an understandable reason to give two weeks notice for providing care. "I'm sorry, Susan. I'm unable to fill the 2 day/3 day spot surrounding the days you were wanting Johnny to attend so I am going to have to give my two week's notice. I appreciate your understanding."
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:27 AM
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I would term as soon as I had replacements lined up.

"dcm, unfortunately I cannot keep Jr. until June. I was saving the FT spaces for two children. I will be enrolling a sibling set since baby will not be attending at all. Jr's last day will be X. I'm sure you understand!"

DO NOT SAVE SPACES! I won't save a space for a DAY without payment. Sounds harsh, but once you get burned once you don't want to be burned again.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:28 AM
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I would term as soon as I had replacements lined up.

"dcm, unfortunately I cannot keep Jr. until June. I was saving the FT spaces for two children. I will be enrolling a sibling set since baby will not be attending at all. Jr's last day will be X. I'm sure you understand!"

DO NOT SAVE SPACES! I won't save a space for a DAY without payment. Sounds harsh, but once you get burned once you don't want to be burned again.


I only save a spot for 2 weeks upon turning in the enrollment form and security deposit fee (final tuition payment that is applied to the final two week's tuition payment should a written two week's notice be provided). Works well for me.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:34 AM
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I only save a spot for 2 weeks upon turning in the enrollment form and security deposit fee (final tuition payment that is applied to the final two week's tuition payment should a written two week's notice be provided). Works well for me.
I would for a short time if a parent had to give notice, etc. but I would absolutely require a 2 week deposit and reg fee upfront!
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:00 AM
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That sucks! I think they tell us they want that spot so that the option is there if their finances work out, but don't actually intend to commit (or bail) until the last moment. So rude. I'm sorry this happened to you.

Until something 'better' (free) comes along!
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:16 AM
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I wrote this post exactly four years ago. I wrote about what happened with both families in my book. I held two spots for two three year old siblings which were due within days of each other.

I asked the parents MULTIPLE times if they were going to keep the three year olds in care and bring me the babies. Both said yes EVERY time. I discussed with them if they could afford it and would I have the three year olds during the maternity leave MANY times.

They both waited until right before the babies were born and said they were pulling the three year olds and not bringing the babies.

I trusted them after working for them for three years.

I lost four slots in one week because they lied. Straight up lied.

Never again.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
I haven't read past this post yet but I just have to say ... that is a terrible business practice. Do not terminate a family based on your feelings being hurt so that you can "stick it to them" by not allowing them to apply their credit to their final week.

If you would like to end the working relationship then give a two week notice and apply their credit to that notice period. Be the professional here.
Feelings aside, in my experience, it takes time to fill the other half of a full time slot. Unless she is charging them full price, I would still term. OP has lost several months income by holding the spot and will lose more by not having that full time slot open. In her position, if I could afford to, I would term with a two week notice.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:12 PM
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This is one of the areas I haven't fully decided on yet, but when the time comes, I think what I will do is hold one or 2 spots for 1/2 rate as long as there is still 1 free spot. The last spot would be for the first person to take it.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:24 PM
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I am a business.

My goal is to make a profit.

I do not give away or discount my services.

I do not hold spots. (holding a space saves a family money while YOU lose money)

I currently have 2 DCM's that are pregnant.

BOTH will continue to pay for the older sibling at their regular rate regardless of their maternity leave plans or whether the older sibling will attend part time or full time or not at all.

Once the infant spot becomes available (one at the end of summer/one at the end of the year) they will both pay for the infant space IN FULL even though neither will actually use it until weeks/months later.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:24 PM
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
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I am a business.

My goal is to make a profit.

I do not give away or discount my services.

I do not hold spots. (holding a space saves a family money while YOU lose money)

I currently have 2 DCM's that are pregnant.

BOTH will continue to pay for the older sibling at their regular rate regardless of their maternity leave plans or whether the older sibling will attend part time or full time or not at all.

Once the infant spot becomes available (one at the end of summer/one at the end of the year) they will both pay for the infant space IN FULL even though neither will actually use it until weeks/months later.


Can you imagine a parent asking a landlord to hold a HOUSE for them without charge for 5 months while they finished out their current lease? It's NO different. They don't make their living on empty houses, we don't make our living on empty slots. It's the SAME. We need to respect ourselves and our product enough to EXPECT the same.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:30 PM
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I am sorry that you are out of money due to this family. Personally this sounds like an opportunity to learn from and revise your policies.

If I read your post correctly you have policies to offer one week free and also to give back a one week deposit if given proper two weeks notice (which this mom has done). If you term now it seems like you would be doing so to avoid holding up your end of your own contract which is not professional IMHO. I do feel the mother will want to come crawling back once she realizes that cheaper does not mean better care but still seems like you want to term to avoid payment of the deposit.

Actively look to fill both spaces with full time families then you have a valid reason to term.

Policy Change Suggestions:

Deposits should be non-refundable.
A provider is never going to want to have to write a check to the parent at the end of the business relationship. Some providers apply it to the last 1-2 weeks of care others just charge a flat non-refundable enrollment fee.

No Holding Spaces
They know they are pregnant either they pay for the spot when you have it available or they need to be willing to wait for you to take their child when a spot opens up and they need to make other arrangements until you do. You are not responsible to lose money for their benefit.

One week free
Again you should not lose money for a clients benefit.... clients are welcome to take vacation but just like you have to pay your rent or the light bill when you are on vacation the overhead does not change if a client is gone for a week so I don't offer any weeks free.

NillaWafers has a good handbook that covers a lot of policies I highly suggest you take a look at it. (Maybe PM her and she can send you the link to her website / handbook)

Sorry this happened!!!
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:11 PM
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Can you imagine a parent asking a landlord to hold a HOUSE for them without charge for 5 months while they finished out their current lease? It's NO different. They don't make their living on empty houses, we don't make our living on empty slots. It's the SAME. We need to respect ourselves and our product enough to EXPECT the same.
Amen to this!!
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:06 PM
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I know I am coming in the middle of this thread so hopefully you have received some good advice that you can use. I have to say that I have been through this in the past too, but I learned and now WOULD NEVER hold a spot without a fee.

I would just add that after the dust has settled in this circumstance, take the time to go and tweak your policies, handbook or both to require some sort of (non-refundable) fee to hold a spot longer than 15, 30, 90 days (whatever works for you). And by the way in my opinion, that fee should be significant enough that someone would not just want to lose the $.

I am sure most seasoned providers have had similar battle scars and learned a lot from the experiences. You are not alone.

Hope that helped.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
Maybe with infants, but that isn't the case with toddlers and preschoolers. I have 11 children here who are each enrolled 2 days per week and they do just fine. This child could adjust quite easily to attending 2 days a week.

However, if it's a financial hardship for you to have him drop down to 2 days per week then that would completely be an understandable reason to give two weeks notice for providing care. "I'm sorry, Susan. I'm unable to fill the 2 day/3 day spot surrounding the days you were wanting Johnny to attend so I am going to have to give my two week's notice. I appreciate your understanding."
I am only licensed for 6 children here amd of the 6, two are my own so yes, this is a huge financial burden! Plus she is expecting her one free week next week however, she is in breach of contract as I do not permit any cancellation notices 2 weeks prior to any vacations for this very reason. I was in process of upgrading my license and hired someone to start in July for this baby as well so now....??? Spots need to be filled.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:08 AM
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I am only licensed for 6 children here amd of the 6, two are my own so yes, this is a huge financial burden! Plus she is expecting her one free week next week however, she is in breach of contract as I do not permit any cancellation notices 2 weeks prior to any vacations for this very reason. I was in process of upgrading my license and hired someone to start in July for this baby as well so now....??? Spots need to be filled.
I would revise your contract so this doesn't happen in the future. The contract I started out with had 2 weeks vacation unpaid for myself. I have a small group and my son takes up a spot. I could not go without that money. So I changed it. All of my families understood and agreed to the change. They all get paid vacation so they were in agreement that I should too. I know yours is a different situation but don't be afraid to change things up when it's not good for your personally.

I would require she pay. Have you discussed this with her? I would term as soon as you are able to financially. This is really bothering you and it isn't could to carry on a business relationship because your emotions are already involved. The money is what makes it personal.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:19 AM
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I would revise your contract so this doesn't happen in the future. The contract I started out with had 2 weeks vacation unpaid for myself. I have a small group and my son takes up a spot. I could not go without that money. So I changed it. All of my families understood and agreed to the change. They all get paid vacation so they were in agreement that I should too. I know yours is a different situation but don't be afraid to change things up when it's not good for your personally.

I would require she pay. Have you discussed this with her? I would term as soon as you are able to financially. This is really bothering you and it isn't could to carry on a business relationship because your emotions are already involved. The money is what makes it personal.


I am in a similar situation (small #s and some of my children count into my #s) so every spot counts. I would be looking to replace and terming asap. Full time trumps part time.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:49 AM
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I almost did this with a family but after a month told them I was no longer willing to hold the spot without $$. She was a college friend of mine so I extended some courtesy but then it sort of dawned on me why was this my courtesy to give! If she wants me as a provider that badly then she should be more than willing to pay me to hold that spot. My family lost out on a months worth of payments but she got to keep all of her money? If she had been willing to pay me she would have had a professional trusted friend to care for her infant but in the end money was more important to her. It should have been more important to me..you live and learn!

When you really think about it, it logically makes ZERO sense to hold spaces for free.

To the OP, I hope you fill those spots super fast and put this crazy lady behind you
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
I would revise your contract so this doesn't happen in the future. The contract I started out with had 2 weeks vacation unpaid for myself. I have a small group and my son takes up a spot. I could not go without that money. So I changed it. All of my families understood and agreed to the change. They all get paid vacation so they were in agreement that I should too. I know yours is a different situation but don't be afraid to change things up when it's not good for your personally.

I would require she pay. Have you discussed this with her? I would term as soon as you are able to financially. This is really bothering you and it isn't could to carry on a business relationship because your emotions are already involved. The money is what makes it personal.
I did get her to pay for her vacation time. She ever so thoughtfully handed me 1/2 a weeks fee upon dropoff yest. in which I explained to her that she needed to pay the entire week as they were only set to decrease to 2 days "after" her vacation. I will let her know how unfair this has been to my family and will term as soon as I can find replacements. I put an ad out today. It's just so hard to get summer starts. Typically Sept. is when newbies begin. :-( Thank you!
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:49 AM
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Sorry you were screwed but I think you should remain professional and uphold your end of the contract.

You have no contract for the baby at all so that is out of the equation. Lesson for future, never hold a spot without a non-refundable deposit!

For the dcb, did you already approve the drop to 2 days per week?? Do you have paperwork for that (I have what I call a "temporary change form" that parents complete when dropping to part time for maternity leave, summer schedules, etc.).
If you did not approve the 2 day a week schedule I would either term based on that or let them know that you need to replace him with a full time client and will only accomodate the schedule change until you fill the spot. If you have a deposit for that child apply it ONLY to his last week of care - their choice how many days they want to send him that week but do not let them drag the deposit out to cover multiple weeks (I had to add that to my contract once when a parent wanted to do that!).

Good luck but please try to remain professional through this even though you are hurt and feel taken advantage of. One thing we need to learn is that parents will ALWAYS do what is best for them and we have to take the emotion out of it.
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