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Old 10-26-2017, 04:07 PM
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Pandaluver21 Pandaluver21 is online now
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Default When To Hold A Spot

Ok, I currently have two openings. We do not take under two unless they are close.
We have an interview today for a little girl that will be almost two when she is hoping to start (In January)
We have another interview next Thursday for two kids, one is 3 and one is under two. They are hoping to start at the end of November.

By the end of november, two more spots will open up. So we can in theory, take all three of these kids because of their start dates.

My issue is, how do I go about "holding" the spots. Do I only charge a holding fee when I am down to one spot? (or two, for the multi kid family) Or do I charge it from the beginning? We have other families interested, and I believe we could fill our spots very quickly (especially the under two's)

Hopefully that made sense. Any help would be great! Especially if you happen to have a form to hold a spot!
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:38 PM
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No form to hold a spot I just have them fill out the contract just like when any other person who wants care and I agree to take them on. I also get first and last week from them.

As for if I would hold a spot it depends. On what age group and how fast do I think I could fill it. But if I know now that a kid is leaving I'll sometimes depending on what ages illbhave at that time fill the spot now. Currently I have a family that wants my opening next September when I have a kid leaving for Jr. Kindergarten.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:29 PM
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I only hold one spot at a time and only then if I feel really good about the people I'm holding it for. To "hold it" requires a signed contract and full deposit. I also won't hold longer than 3 months. Otherwise, all my spots are immediate fill spots.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:01 PM
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My policies state that I charge 100% to hold a spot, but parents don't start paying until that spot is available.

But to be fair I offer the option of not paying and hoping that another family isn't going to want the spot. If they choose not to pay and another family wants to enroll I let the first family decide if they want to pay to hold it or give the spot up.

In your situation, I'd give these options:
1. Enroll now and pay to hold the spots beginning whenever the spots are available.
2. Don't pay, and hope there's no other family with an earlier start date that wants to enroll.
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo View Post
My policies state that I charge 100% to hold a spot, but parents don't start paying until that spot is available.

But to be fair I offer the option of not paying and hoping that another family isn't going to want the spot. If they choose not to pay and another family wants to enroll I let the first family decide if they want to pay to hold it or give the spot up.

In your situation, I'd give these options:
1. Enroll now and pay to hold the spots beginning whenever the spots are available.
2. Don't pay, and hope there's no other family with an earlier start date that wants to enroll.
That's pretty much how I do it too. I don't have a specific form but I have it stated in my handbook that if they want a spot in the future and I have an opening before that, they may be required to pay the non-refundable full rate to keep the spot for themselves.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:47 PM
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Hi Panda

This is one of my favorite pitfall subjects in daycare! Holding spots is full of pitfalls. If you are willing to hold a spot for a family to start, then you must protect yourself in the event things fall apart.

First, you should not tell any family you will "hold a spot for them" unless you can absolutely provide it.

You should not hold a spot for more than X amount of time. The value of X is equal to how ever long you are willing to lose money by keeping a seat open for a family. Personally, I believe 30 days is the absolute longest time I would hold a seat considering some parents in my area are required to give 30 days notice to existing provider. But the amount of time to wait is up to each person.

When you do "hold a seat" you must have the new family sign a contract with the date when tuition will start.

The contract should state that the parents must provide notice equal to 30 days from the time the family was scheduled to start to terminate the agreement in the event they change their mind and pull out. So if you enter into an agreement on Oct 31st that a parent will start Dec 1, then the contract should state any notice of cancellation is effective from Dec 1 and as such they will owe you payment through to Dec 30 or 4 weeks tuition.

To provide additional protection, insist in such situations that the parent pay the first 30 days in advance at the contract signing so if they disappear, you have 30 days notice $ and then they can pay weekly or what ever schedule they choose and you accept after the first month.

Also include a provision in your agreement if they fail to start on the agreed to date, you reserve the right to assign the seat to another family and the $s received are forfeit.

Another option, follow the lead of the airlines and over book by continuing to offer the seat to other parents, even if you have a signed contract and payment.
Tell such parents that they are not first on the list to get the seat and that they will only get it should the first family fall through. Again, get it in writing. I use my waiting list forms for this. Get a modest payment to weed out the tire kickers so you only deal with people seriously interested in getting into your program.

Don't waste your time telling the family you enter into an agreement on holding the seat on what you do now

"But to be fair I offer the option of not paying and hoping that another family isn't going to want the spot. If they choose not to pay and another family wants to enroll I let the first family decide if they want to pay to hold it or give the spot up. "

This is just a waste of time and contradictory of the holding the seat plan. If they question why they must pay for 30 days in advance, tell them frankly and honestly that you are trusting to start when they say they plan to start and that you cannot keep the seat open for such a time without having their payment as a demonstration of their commitment to you and the start time.

Ask the others on this site how many times they have held a seat for a family on to have the family comeback and say, they are not ready to start and give a new start day a month later or longer or just disappear.

Hey, if they don't want to pay, then they probably would be the type to screw you over.

Holding seats stink, but this system which we use is the best one I have used to date under this less than ideal process.

Best Wishes and Good luck

Big Lou
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