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Old 11-11-2008, 05:35 PM
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Question Spot Holding - Downpayment?

My wife and I are looking for daycare early. It is now Nov., but my wife is not due until the beginning of January, and would not need to return to work until April, so we wouldn't need daycare until then. We have contacted 5 or 6 daycares near our home. Out of those, 1 never returned our call, 2 or 3 were either not accepting new children, or put us on a wait list (1 wait list was until 2010). So, we ended up with 2 prospects - 1 who couldn't get us in until June (a wait list, but only a couple of months), and 1 who wants to add 1 more "full time family" (which could be us). We really like this last one, she is the least expensive provider we found (her rate is $115/week), gave us 6 to 8 references, has about 10 years of experience, lives only about 5 miles away from our house, plus we would prefer to have the situation taken care of and not have to bother with waiting 2 extra months for the other provider who wouldn't be able to get us in until June.

So, to try and make a long story short...we like her, she likes us, BUT since she would need to hold a spot for us for so long (she's figuring 18 weeks) and sacrifice taking on a different "full time family" right away, which would allow her to start earning her full weekly rate right away, she's asking us to give her a down payment, in a lump sum, to hold the spot for our child for 18 weeks until we are ready to start. This down payment is not applied to her weekly rate at all once we do start daycare, and it is not refundable unless she pulls out. However, if we do start before the 18 weeks is up, she will refund us the number of weeks that we started early.

I guess "spot holding" is not a new thing. I read a couple of stories that I found on the internet...1 was about a provider holding a spot from Jan. to March and only charged 2 weeks her normal rate...another similar story refunded the downpayment at the time the service ended...even this provider that I am talking about has held a spot once before - it was for a much shorter period of time, but she charged them 50% her normal rate to hold the spot.

I have no problem with any of this, and I understand that she is sacrificing getting paid her full weekly rate now just to hold a spot for my wife and I for approximately 18 weeks. Basically, I would like to know what other people think about this... Is paying the downpayment in a lump sum OK, or a bad idea? How much would/should you pay to hold a spot for 18 weeks? Please send me your thoughts and advice on this subject...
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:18 PM
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Smile Spot-holding

I think it all depends on if it's worth it to you. If you like this provider, and she's willing to work with you, I personally would happily hand over the deposit just so I can be assured that when the time comes that I need a provider I'm not stuck either without one or with one I didn't like as much. I've never held a spot for anyone for as long as she is so I think she's being very generous considering how much of a financial loss it creates for her. If you think she's trustworthy (which you obviously do or you wouldn't be wanting her to care for your child) then sure, I would do it.
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