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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Holding a Spot
HL0605 09:04 AM 08-22-2017

I have a newish neighbor who is pregnant and due next month. She would not need care until December. I interviewed with her and her husband in June and let her know that it would be unlikely I would have a spot for her full time need. I have a part time spot available now, and would like to fill it immediately, but it's a weird spot (4 days/week from 8-2:30pm) and it may take me a while to find someone for such a unique schedule. She asked me again about possible availability, and I told her about the part time spot, thinking that it would probably not work for her, but she said it would, surprisingly. The problem is, they don't care til December. Would you
A) Fill the spot with them and wait?
B) Tell her that I can't hold the spot until December, but if I do find someone who is interested I can give them the first right of refusal and allow them to start paying from when it would be filled (not sure if they would go for this)?
C) Offer the spot with a holding fee of 50% until they need it? Again, not sure if they are willing to pay before start.

The other consideration is that while they seem nice, I'm not sure how smart it is to have a business relationship with such a close neighbor.

mommyneedsadayoff 09:13 AM 08-22-2017
I would do C if I wanted to take their child on. Let them know that it is great that it would fit their schedule, however, you cannot hold the spot without payment, so they can either pay XX amount to hold it from now until Dec, or you will continue to try to fill the spot. They either pay now or take the risk that someone better comes along who is not the next door neighbor and you go with them instead. I have heard a lot of providers warn about doing business with close neighbors, but my experience was not bad. At my old daycare, my house was on the same street as all my dc families. They were all great clients though, so it never got awkward, but I can see how that could be an issue if things go south.
HL0605 09:49 AM 08-24-2017
What would you consider a fair holding fee? I let her know that I would still be advertising to fill the immediate spot and she said she would be willing to pay a holding fee. 75%? I feel a little bad for charging for something they aren't using, but I guess they are paying for the security of knowing they'll have a spot.
Blackcat31 10:03 AM 08-24-2017
My thoughts are that I want parents to ALWAYS view me as a business first and foremost. The relationship that naturally occurs during the course of providing services is simply a perk or nicety but doesn't change that I am a business.

As a business my goal is to earn a profit.

In order to earn a profit I must have all my allotted spaces filled/paid for. Therefore I do not hold spaces.

If they would like to have the space they need to pay for it in full. My rates are based on enrollment not attendance or time used so holding a space for someone not wanting to use it immediately would go directly against that business principle.

I have no issues providing care for friends, family and/or neighbors provided they are able to understand and abide by the idea that I am a business first.

The family, friend or neighbor aspect happens outside of business hours when I am not providing services for them.
Ariana 02:32 PM 08-25-2017
I just recently had someone contact me and are coming for an interview next week. She needs care for December. I am going to tell her in the interview that I do not hold spots without compensation and that I usually charge 100% but because its only a few months I will discount it to 50%. This way she thinks she is getting a deal and I still get paid

Another person is looking for care in April and I flat out told her I do not hold spots without full payment. The chances of me filling the spot before April are pretty high so I am not even going to consider it.
Jupadia 06:24 PM 08-25-2017
I think it depends on your chances of filling the spot. For me I recently held 2 spots for 3 months. But the 2 spots where for 2+ one of which became a spot for an under 2 by the seconed month. In my area 2+ spots are harder to fill while I get lots of calls for under 2. So I chose to hold the spot without pay because then I could fill both at once. I did get a two week deposit from parent for both children that was non refundable.
If it was only the under 2 space I would have charged full price for holding.
Tags:holding a space, holding a spot
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