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pixsydust 05:24 AM 09-02-2011
Do any of you charge a deposit, registration or any other kind of fee? I've never requested a deposit before, but I'm thinking about starting. I'm just not sure how to go about that. How much do you charge and how do you allocate the money (i.e. use the money for the first week of care, last week of care, just a non-refundable deposit for enrolling)?
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childcarebytori 06:44 AM 09-02-2011
I charge a non-refundable deposit for all newcoming families. I charge 1/3 of the weekly tuition each week until they start with me.

I tell them during our interview that the deposit helps me buy a new pack'n'nplay/mat, sheets, cups, water bottle for outdoor play, ink cost to cover all the labeling I do when a new child starts (pack'n'play/mat, sheet, cubby, diaper cubby, ect.). I charge more for infant spots, 1/2 weekly tuition each week. That's because I purchase a new crib, mattress, bottle brushes & soap, diaper cubby and personalized pacifiers because I was so tired of searching around for each different pacifier and trying to guess which one belongs to which baby. So frustrating!

I've never had a family complain.
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pixsydust 07:14 AM 09-02-2011
Do you have anything in your contract about a deposit or don't you need to put that in there?
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MarinaVanessa 11:59 AM 09-02-2011
I charge a deposit equivalent to 2-weeks of care that I use as payment for their final two-weeks of care should they leave. This gets rid of the headache of worrying about someone leaving DC and not giving me a 2 week notice or paying for that time.
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AnneCordelia 12:06 PM 09-02-2011
My deposit is equal to the amount of one week's care per child. This deposit is to be used towards the last two weeks of care, as I have a two week termination policy. In the instance that an immediate termination takes place for safety or breach of contract then the deposit is non-refundable.
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dEHmom 12:30 PM 09-02-2011
I do a 2 week deposit non refundable which is then applied to the final 2 weeks of care. I require 4 weeks notice for them to leave, so they pay me 2 weeks and i use the deposit for the last 2 weeks.

I have been tempted to start charging a enrollment fee as well but around here that's not normal, so i don't want to bother. It would be to cover the initial costs of sheets, cups, plates, etc.
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pixsydust 12:32 PM 09-02-2011
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
I charge a deposit equivalent to 2-weeks of care that I use as payment for their final two-weeks of care should they leave. This gets rid of the headache of worrying about someone leaving DC and not giving me a 2 week notice or paying for that time.
So, do you charge the deposit as well as the first two weeks of care right up front? That seems like a lot of money right off the bat.
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Unregistered 01:16 PM 09-02-2011
I do charge a registration fee equal to two weeks of care that will be applied to the last two weeks of care. After holding spaces for pregnant moms who after the baby was born decided not to go back to work I realized I had to hold them accountable if they wanted the space. It seems to be pretty common around my area. Remember you are running a business and have to learn to stick up for what is best for you. So don't feel bad about it. I have never had a family have an issue with it but if you do just explain that this is your policy.
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PitterPatter 03:07 PM 09-02-2011
I don't charge registration fee because it makes the clients go to the next provider on the list so they can save a buck. I was actually told this when I tried to charge a fee!
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momma2girls 04:18 PM 09-02-2011
I do not do a registration fee, but I do have a deposit. I charge one week per month, that they want me to hold a spot for their child. I used to 2 weeks and that is it, for how ever long they needed. I was burnt once, and that was all it took!!
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Crazy8 04:22 PM 09-02-2011
Originally Posted by AnneCordelia:
My deposit is equal to the amount of one week's care per child. This deposit is to be used towards the last two weeks of care, as I have a two week termination policy. In the instance that an immediate termination takes place for safety or breach of contract then the deposit is non-refundable.
you saved me the trouble of typing that out, LOL! I do the exact same thing.

Also, If I'm holding the spot for more than just a few weeks I will add a non-refundable holding fee to that deposit. The amount depends on how long I'm holding it.
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pixsydust 05:52 PM 09-02-2011
Originally Posted by PitterPatter:
I don't charge registration fee because it makes the clients go to the next provider on the list so they can save a buck. I was actually told this when I tried to charge a fee!
That's the problem I ran into also. I called some of the other providers around me and they don't charge any registration or deposit fees. I won't charge one because I don't want possible clients to go to another provider to save money.
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Abigail 09:34 PM 09-02-2011
I think it's easier to not charge a deposit, but we are always told to do so to protect ourselves. I didn't want to at first because I know so many people who can not afford two weeks pay. After awhile I told myself to grow a backbone and figure out a way for it to work. I'm going to charge a two week deposit and give them the option of paying it all up front or paying a certain dollar amount and the rest over to many weeks. It's only refundable if they decide to leave during the two week trial period. After that they have to give a two weeks notice and it's already paid. As long as you don't raise your rates and make them pay the difference when they leave, you don't have to pay interest.

I don't have any registration fee at the moment because I'm so new and about to open my own daycare in two months. I want to be a little more established and see how my business works before adding extra fees.
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DBug 05:41 AM 09-03-2011
For those of you who use a deposit to buy pnp's, sheets, dishes, bottles, etc -- what do you do with all of those things when the child leaves? Do you send them home with them or do you use them for the next child?

I don't charge a deposit, and I've gone back and forth on sending home things like pillows (for the toddlers and up, I don't use them for the babies), because they're harder to clean. But because I don't charge a deposit, then I have to replace those things out-of-pocket. With dishes, sippy cups and sheets, I've just kept reusing them for subsequent kids. Do you guys buy new ones for each new child?
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