Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>What Would You Do?
Francine 04:00 AM 05-17-2010
I interviewed a Mom Thursday evening, gave her all of the paperwork, handbook etc. to take home and talk over with her husband and get back with me to let me know if they want the spot. It sounded at the time like a done deal, I probably should have had her sign everything right then and there but I didn't. They don't want to start until August but I didn't mention any sort of a holding fee etc. when I talked to her, stupid but I don't think it's too late. I haven't heard from her so am going to call her today.

Since then I have had another call, a teacher's baby who doesn't want to start until September. I did mention to this Mom about a holding fee or the need to bring the baby on a part time basis until she wants to start full time in September. She talked to her Friday at about 6 and they were heading downstate for the weekend and said she would call me to set up an interview. She wanted references and knows half of them so she was pretty excited. Here again, stupid me didn't mention to her that I had this other one pending a call.

So now today I have to call Mom number one to see if she wants the spot, if she does how do I bring up the holding fee now? ANd if she takes the spot what do I tell Mom #2 when she calls to set up the interview? I can only take one of these kids because they are both infants and I already have one signed up.

It has been years since I've had to do this and I feel like I have majorly screwed this up.
Reply
Pammie 04:47 AM 05-17-2010
I personally don't call parents after interviews to see if they want the spot. Unless you specifically told her, "I'll be holding the spot until I hear from you" then I would go ahead and interview parent #2.

If in the meantime, parent #1 does eventually call you back and wants the spot, you can simply tell her that since you hadn't heard from her, you had to assume that they were no longer interested, and already committed to interviewing family #2. And now YOU will see which family is the best fit for your daycare.

Always let the parents know that they are not the only ones making a decision about placement into your daycare. If they know that they have to impress you as well, good families will check your references and make their decision in a timely basis. In fact, over the years, ALL of my "golden" families have requested placement after the interview within 2 daysI figure that if I have to chase a parent down to see what their decision on placement is, then that's the same family I'm going to have to chase down for their payments, timely pick-ups, etc. and I'd rather not start them in the first place.

Good luck!
Reply
Daycare Mommy 05:16 AM 05-17-2010
I agree with Pammie. If they interviewed Thursday and it's now Monday I would assume they are no longer interested. Move on and keep interviewing others. Let the teacher know others are interviewing for the slot and hopefully you'll get her papers signed and a deposit soon. Good luck!
Reply
nannyde 05:21 AM 05-17-2010
I don't check back with parents after the interview. I let them come back to me. If I can fill the slot in the meantime then I do.

This is a tough time to get new clients. Most folks looking for day care where I live KNOW they have a HUGE choice of a wide range of providers. They often can take their time.

I don't know about your area but it's a buyers market here. The cost of day care is around the rates from 7-8 years ago because the market is flooded with recession providers offering long hours, low rates, and little if any contractual obligations.

In my area the long standing Centers are failing one after another. We've had Centers who have been here for 10 plus years closing their doors. They can't compete with providers in their area who are offering care for 30-40 percent of their fees.

Unless you are in a sellers market in your area you will find that the time it takes for parents to respond may increase from what you are used to. They have options like never before. You can take the route of contacting them post interview but it's a shaky start to the relationship. They will be able to smell any level of desperation and could start the arrangement with you with the upper hand. It's nearly impossible to get that back over time.

As far as a holding fee? Unless your area is really low on providers I would rethink that. A deposit for their first two weeks of care or something like that would most likely work... but a fee when they aren't bringing their kid could loose you the deal. I personally wouldn't do that.

Nan
Reply
Francine 05:30 AM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by nannyde:
As far as a holding fee? Unless your area is really low on providers I would rethink that. A deposit for their first two weeks of care or something like that would most likely work... but a fee when they aren't bringing their kid could loose you the deal. I personally wouldn't do that.

Nan
What I have always done is tell them that they can either bring their child one or two days per week or pay the holding fee, it's up to them. For teachers anyway I have always found that they would rather bring the child one day per week all summer so that they have one day to get errands etc. done.
Reply
momma2girls 05:49 AM 05-17-2010
I have had this happen before as well when I first started doing daycare. I held a spot without a dep. then the family decided that they were not going to need daycare at all. I know what they did they found some high school child to watch them during the summer. I had numerous calls in the meanttime over this one opening. I waited long enough, that these all found daycare as well!!! I will never do this again!!! I always ask for a dep. or the spot is not held for them at all! I have this written in my contract as well.
I would tell them both that you have one opening and you will need a dep. to hold that spot, along with the signed contract back.
I have also changed my dep. policy to one week per month-
This seems to work, and if they do not want to pay it, they can call me back a couple months before they need me to see if I have room, but they still have to pay the one week per month, it will just be alot less money upfront. Good luck!!
Reply
tymaboy 06:03 AM 05-17-2010
I dont call back. I fill the spot as soon as I can. I dont want to seem pushy by always calling but I also wont wait for the parents to remember to call me back. If they dont call back then that makes a good learning experience for them if I fill the spot before they decide to call back. I a mother wait 2 weeks before calling me back one time. I filled the spot in that 2 week time frame. She did not sound happy but I refuse to wait for parents to make up their mind if someone else comes by & know what they want right away.
Reply
My4SunshineGirlsNY 06:53 AM 05-17-2010
I agree with everyone else..I don't call back...I had a mom interview me for her 9 month old a couple of months ago, she didn't call back so one would think she wasn't interested and found someone else. She then called back and wanted my daycare A MONTH later! By then I already filled the spot. Sorry but first come first serve in this business. It has been slow at getting clients through the winter that I am not letting one slip away by waiting on someone else to answer a yes or no. Nor will I hunt them down to force them to make an answer, they either want my service or don't.

I would go ahead and interview family number 2 and if they hire you, the spot is theirs. Good luck!!
Reply
originalkat 07:03 AM 05-17-2010
At the interview I tell the family that I have had several other calls about the spot and if they want to hold their child's spot then I need a signed contract along with the 1st week's tuition ($125.00) Usually they still want to go home and talk about it, but it puts a fire under them to hurry up and get back to me because any of those other calls I have had could sign up and take the spot first.

In your situation, since you didnt already tell her that, I would give her a call and just say " Hello, this is________ from ________ daycare and we interviewd last week. I wanted to get back with you since I have several other families interested in the spot. If you would like to enroll in my program, I would just need a signed contract along with $_______ as a holding deposit.
If you leave the message on an answering machine, then you have said your peace and you need to just move on. If they call back great, if not...oh well. If you speak to her in person then maybe you can get a better feel for her interest level.

If the first family signs up, just call the other family and tell them that your current spot for the fall has been filled, but if she would still like to come by and check out your program she is welcome to and you could put her on a waiting list.

Dont worry, you didnt screw anything up...its all in the wording...you can "fix" this situation fairly easily and then learn from your mistake so that next time you wont have these same concerns. Good luck!
Reply
misol 08:21 AM 05-17-2010
I do the same as most - I don't call back. I let the parent know when they that I will continue to interview for the spot until I find the best fit. To secure the spot they need a signed contract and a two-week deposit.
Reply
jen 08:39 AM 05-17-2010
I don't call people back either. I assume that if they want the spot that they will let me know. When they do tell me they'd like the spot I have them pay for the first weeks care and fill out all of the paperwork.

In this case, I would probably be pretty keyed up for the teacher...early pick ups, lots of school holidays...I would for sure not be calling client prospect #1
Reply
HeatherB 09:35 AM 05-17-2010
First one to sign alll paperwork and call you get the spot! You will miss many oppotunity if you wait around for possible parents to call or sign on. Move on to the next parent!
Reply
Chickenhauler 09:56 AM 05-17-2010
Interviewing a daycare family is like interviewing an employee....if they don't call you back when you offer them the position, then move on to the next one.

I can understand the mother wanting to take the time to read the contract over without you looking over their shoulder and talk it over with the husband, but that takes a couple hours.

First come, first serve.
Reply
laundryduchess@yahoo.com 11:33 AM 05-17-2010
yep.... Ive had to turn them away at the door before,.. family A interview goes fine,... they say well we will get back with you by friday noonish,... they dont,.. I interviewed others that week and had one family B who brought me papers friday afternoon with deposit and fees. Monday morning family A showed up with child in tow,... I had to say Im sorry but I have already filled the position with another family,.. You didnt get back to me when you said you would. And I have contracted with another family.
Reply
Daycare Mommy 11:44 AM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by laundryduchess@yahoo.com:
yep.... Ive had to turn them away at the door before,.. family A interview goes fine,... they say well we will get back with you by friday noonish,... they dont,.. I interviewed others that week and had one family B who brought me papers friday afternoon with deposit and fees. Monday morning family A showed up with child in tow,... I had to say Im sorry but I have already filled the position with another family,.. You didnt get back to me when you said you would. And I have contracted with another family.
Oh wow! Talk about a mistake for a parent to learn from there! Yikes!
Reply
Francine 03:24 PM 05-17-2010
Well right now this won't be an issue, I received an email from Mom #1 stating that as much as she appreciated me taking the time to interview her, to show her around my home etc. They are not going to use my daycare because they don't agree with my vaccination policy, all my policy says is that the parents are to keep it up to date.

Now I do understand this, not all people want to vaccinate their kids. The thing that I do have an issue with is when I give a person my handbook, especially somebody that I think would be a good if I always tell then that the book is not carved in stone and if there is anything at all that they don't agree with please by all means talk to me about it.

She really sounded like she wanted the spot so I don't know if this is just an excuse or if it's legit. Hopefully the other Mom will call, she was out of town all weekend and wanted to call my references so I'm not going to start stress yet. Thanks for all of your advice!
Reply
misol 04:15 PM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by Miss Joy:
Well right now this won't be an issue, I received an email from Mom #1 stating that as much as she appreciated me taking the time to interview her, to show her around my home etc. They are not going to use my daycare because they don't agree with my vaccination policy, all my policy says is that the parents are to keep it up to date.

Now I do understand this, not all people want to vaccinate their kids. The thing that I do have an issue with is when I give a person my handbook, especially somebody that I think would be a good if I always tell then that the book is not carved in stone and if there is anything at all that they don't agree with please by all means talk to me about it.

She really sounded like she wanted the spot so I don't know if this is just an excuse or if it's legit. Hopefully the other Mom will call, she was out of town all weekend and wanted to call my references so I'm not going to start stress yet. Thanks for all of your advice!
Most providers have some sort of vaccination policy - especially since most states require it. There are ways for her to "opt out" in most states. A normal parent should be leary of a provider with NO vaccination policy whatsoever. I think she was just letting you down easy. If she is against vaccinating her children then she A) should have asked this question in the interview and B) should have been willing to discuss it further.

I hope Mom #2 works out for you.
Reply
originalkat 04:28 PM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by misol:
Most providers have some sort of vaccination policy - especially since most states require it. There are ways for her to "opt out" in most states. A normal parent should be leary of a provider with NO vaccination policy whatsoever. I think she was just letting you down easy. If she is against vaccinating her children then she A) should have asked this question in the interview and B) should have been willing to discuss it further.

I hope Mom #2 works out for you.
***I agree***
Reply
Former Teacher 06:01 PM 05-17-2010
At my former center..we NEVER gave out ANY paperwork (except a price list) unless there was a deposit placed. Should the parent want to start at a later date then we would offer to give the parent the paperwork and either A. they had to fill it out then and there or B they had to wait until the child actually started (we had way to many parents say they lost their paperwork!)

Anyway back to the OP. Before you got closure from Mom 1..I would have called ONLY because you failed to mention about the holding fee etc. Otherwise like everyone said first come first served. In the call I would have said, you have until such and such time and if I don't hear from you then I will refer to other parent.

Now however HAD you told her about the holding fee etc then yes I would have gone with Mom 2 without a call because you snooze you lose
Reply
misol 07:36 PM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by Former Teacher:
At my former center..we NEVER gave out ANY paperwork (except a price list) unless there was a deposit placed. Should the parent want to start at a later date then we would offer to give the parent the paperwork and either A. they had to fill it out then and there or B they had to wait until the child actually started (we had way to many parents say they lost their paperwork!)

Anyway back to the OP. Before you got closure from Mom 1..I would have called ONLY because you failed to mention about the holding fee etc. Otherwise like everyone said first come first served. In the call I would have said, you have until such and such time and if I don't hear from you then I will refer to other parent.

Now however HAD you told her about the holding fee etc then yes I would have gone with Mom 2 without a call because you snooze you lose
Former Teacher, that's interesting. Was there some other way that the parents were able to review the policies BEFORE making a decision to enroll? Like maybe online or something? I would never put down a deposit unless I had a chance to read through all the details and fine print beforehand.
Reply
Former Teacher 07:56 PM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by misol:
Former Teacher, that's interesting. Was there some other way that the parents were able to review the policies BEFORE making a decision to enroll? Like maybe online or something? I would never put down a deposit unless I had a chance to read through all the details and fine print beforehand.
Misol..we would discuss with the parents all our policies in person..mainly the sickness policy and the holiday schedule as that's what parents tend to want to know. As I would do the walk thru I would answer as many questions as I could. After 17 years you kinda get a feel of what the parents need and want to know

Our policy about handing out the handbook etc without the deposit was to protect us in 2 ways. 1. Being that we didn't want someone else to "copyright" our wording etc. 2. Because of money. It costs money to print up ALL those papers only to wind up in the trash.
Reply
QualiTcare 08:02 PM 05-17-2010
money talks - whoever signs first gets the spot.

don't worry about it.
Reply
Chickenhauler 08:58 PM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by Former Teacher:
At my former center..we NEVER gave out ANY paperwork (except a price list) unless there was a deposit placed. Should the parent want to start at a later date then we would offer to give the parent the paperwork and either A. they had to fill it out then and there or B they had to wait until the child actually started (we had way to many parents say they lost their paperwork!)

Anyway back to the OP. Before you got closure from Mom 1..I would have called ONLY because you failed to mention about the holding fee etc. Otherwise like everyone said first come first served. In the call I would have said, you have until such and such time and if I don't hear from you then I will refer to other parent.

Now however HAD you told her about the holding fee etc then yes I would have gone with Mom 2 without a call because you snooze you lose
Originally Posted by Former Teacher:
Misol..we would discuss with the parents all our policies in person..mainly the sickness policy and the holiday schedule as that's what parents tend to want to know. As I would do the walk thru I would answer as many questions as I could. After 17 years you kinda get a feel of what the parents need and want to know

Our policy about handing out the handbook etc without the deposit was to protect us in 2 ways. 1. Being that we didn't want someone else to "copyright" our wording etc. 2. Because of money. It costs money to print up ALL those papers only to wind up in the trash.
Having done contractual business for most of my adult life, I'd turn around and walk away (and have done so many times) from anyone who says "You can't have a copy unless you sign it, I'll just tell you what it says and you sign it here".

I'm not committing to anything, or putting down any money until I have had a chance to read, understand, and review multiple times, ANY contract where it's financially and legally binding.


To me, this sets off more alarms than a prison break.


Maybe I'm just paranoid, but it's kept me from getting ripped off more than once (nothing personal to you former teacher).
Reply
misol 09:26 PM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by Chickenhauler:
Having done contractual business for most of my adult life, I'd turn around and walk away (and have done so many times) from anyone who says "You can't have a copy unless you sign it, I'll just tell you what it says and you sign it here".

I'm not committing to anything, or putting down any money until I have had a chance to read, understand, and review multiple times, ANY contract where it's financially and legally binding.


To me, this sets off more alarms than a prison break.


Maybe I'm just paranoid, but it's kept me from getting ripped off more than once (nothing personal to you former teacher).
My thoughts exactly!

Former Teacher is right though - it gets very expensive printing off all those pages. My parent packet has approx. 30 pages. That's why I recently put everything on my website. They can go there at theor leisure and read my policies and print off the contract and forms themselves!
Reply
Chickenhauler 09:42 PM 05-17-2010
Originally Posted by misol:
My thoughts exactly!

Former Teacher is right though - it gets very expensive printing off all those pages. My parent packet has approx. 30 pages. That's why I recently put everything on my website. They can go there at theor leisure and read my policies and print off the contract and forms themselves!
That sounds fair....or if they don't have internet availability, make them cough up $5 when you give them a copy if they want to take it home and review it at their leisure and tell them it will be credited towards their first weeks bill if they sign it and bring the child to your daycare center.
Reply
QualiTcare 10:28 PM 05-17-2010
i think most people are able to view things online these days - so they could print the policies at home if they wanted. so, yeah, that seems fair.

i would just find it very shady if i asked for a copy and i wasn't given one or directed to a website at the least.

it's a cost of doing business, really, and would be nice to just be given a copy. but the alternative of being able to go online would be ok.
Reply
Unregistered 09:02 AM 05-18-2010
I also go over my policy book at the interview and tell the parents that if they want to take it home they can pay me $5 that will be credited to their first bill or wait to get the packet after they enrolled, I've actually let someone take the packet when they didnt have any cash on them asking if they choose not to use me to bring it back and they came by and paid me $5 even though they didnt go with me, yes i was shocked but it was nice.. Kiddie Care
Reply
Former Teacher 03:36 PM 05-18-2010
I TOTALLY understand where everyone is coming from and actually agree with everyone. However let me try to explain more if I can

We were/are a licensed child care center (55 kiddos). Our policies weren't even really "policies" like you have in the home daycare setting. Meaning that our policies were mainly all TX Minimum policies. In an odd way, TX rules not ours so to speak. Which of course anyone can check out online.

As for the paperwork, as I would hand the parent the paperwork and explain each part and have the parent read it. Registration/deposit costs mainly hold the spot for the child. If a parent decides to pay for a spot and then reads the paperwork and decides no, then of course I personally would refund. Provided that it was in a reasonable amount of time. However in my experience parents don't read what they sign

I hope I explained myself better...I don't think I did but I hope!
Reply
mismatchedsocks 08:04 AM 05-19-2010
I offer to email the policies to parents, but if they interview I do hand out to each parent, the policies. The other paperwork I give them once they want to start.

I am the oddball though, I like to touch base after an interview. Usually its by email just saying thank you for interview, please let me know if you have any more questions. I have always received an email back saying yes can we start on X date, or if they decided they are not coming here they let me know that too. Its nice to know either way.
Reply
misol 08:14 AM 05-19-2010
Originally Posted by lilrugrats:
I offer to email the policies to parents, but if they interview I do hand out to each parent, the policies. The other paperwork I give them once they want to start.

I am the oddball though, I like to touch base after an interview. Usually its by email just saying thank you for interview, please let me know if you have any more questions. I have always received an email back saying yes can we start on X date, or if they decided they are not coming here they let me know that too. Its nice to know either way.
Oh, I have done that before. I will send an email immediately following the interview saying that it was a pleasure to meet them and if they have any questions to contact me. What I have not done is contact the parent after a few days to see whether they are interested in the spot.
Reply
Tags:interview, spot
Reply Up