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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>DC Family Leave Of Absence/Maternity Leave/Holding Spots
MARSTELAC 04:04 AM 02-17-2011
I posted this elsewhere but had no response so I am moving it here. I hope someone can give me some feedback. I am really in a pinch...

Hello oh wise providers! I need your help as I might have a problem. I have too many families expecting. I will hold spots for infants at no cost, first come, first served. Problem: Accepted first parent request to hold spot. I am 99.9% sure she will be back with her infant (I already care for the first child). I know their attendance schedule already.

Parent #2: I told that family I would most likely need a variance but sure it isn't going to be a worry. Initially this family told me they are due early summer and then I would get baby after their maternity leave. Now they are being iffy about if I will keep their other child in my care and not sure how long the leave is going to be. I have told them that I need an answer about the details. Still don't have that answer.

Parent #3: Another current family is now expecting and wants me to care for their new little one. I know their schedule as well as to start dates, etc. I cannot take family #3 at all (even with variance) just because family #2 is not committing to anything.

Can I send a letter to parent #2 telling them I must have a detailed plan from them by a certain date or care will not be available? They have been with me a long time and I am just getting a vibe that they are not going to come back after next baby and I will have lost family #3 in the meantime.

I also have a waiting list. Infant and other care is in high demand here. I hate putting all of these other families off knowing they can make a commitment.

My fault: my leave policy is too vague. I obviously need a new policy. I don't mind holding a spot if family is good about letting me know what their intentions are but I don't want to let other good clients (and potential clients) go..............

Any input?
juliebug 04:29 AM 02-17-2011
personaly, i would tell family 2 i need a deposit and a date by a certan date. if no deposit and date i would give it to family 3 concedring they are already in care.

My parents that are already in care get fist dibs always! i just know them already
daysofelijah 04:41 AM 02-17-2011
I think you need to let family #2 know that there is someone else that wants the spot if they can't commit to it. Give them two weeks to decide and have them sign a contract with a deposit. If they don't want to do that I would see if family #3 is willing to sign a contract with a deposit and go with that.

You don't want to hold a spot for 6+ months and then end up with no one. Infant spots are hard to come by in most areas. They should understand your need for a firm answer.
MARSTELAC 04:42 AM 02-17-2011
Sorry, I wasn't clear. All three families have kids in my care. Family #2 is just being iffy about whether or not they will keep their kids here. My contract says I will hold spots for newbies for no charge if you keep current kids in my care. Sorry....I think I have shot myself in the foot...
e.j. 04:45 AM 02-17-2011
Originally Posted by juliebug:
personaly, i would tell family 2 i need a deposit and a date by a certan date. if no deposit and date i would give it to family 3...
I agree. I would just explain to family 2 that you have another family who is interested in the spot and you need an answer asap so you know whether you'll have a spot to offer them. Give them a deadline. Otherwise, they'll leave you hanging while they take their time making up their mind. By then, you might have lost family 3. Asking for a non-refundable fee to hold the spot is a good idea, too. You don't want them telling you they'll keep the spot and then change their mind at the last minute without at least having something to compensate you for the spot.
e.j. 04:52 AM 02-17-2011
Originally Posted by MARSTELAC:
My contract says I will hold spots for newbies for no charge if you keep current kids in my care.
I just read this after I posted a repsonse but does this necessarily mean you can't ask for a depost? You can tell the family that you'll refund the deposit or apply it to tuition once the new baby is in your care. Essentially, this still makes it "no charge" to hold the spot but also ensures you get some compensation for holding the spot if they don't hold up their end of the bargain by keeping the current kids in your care. Right?
Blackcat31 07:42 AM 02-17-2011
I have made hard fast rules/policies in the past and had some thing come up that blew my perfect rule outta the water so I have learned that there is nothing wrong with telling a family that a situation has come up that makes it so that you will need_____________ (fill in the blank with whatever hold/deposit plan you have come up with) and the old policy no longer stands.

Life happens and there is nothing wrong with telling any or all your parents that you just cannot accommodate them and will now have a new policy.

Sound like with a waiting list you don't have to worried about anyone leaving and you losing the income so do what YOU need to do, NOT what all the parents want you to do.

Personally, for family #2: You snooze; you lose. JMHO.
MommyMuffin 08:47 AM 02-17-2011
It sounds like you and family #2 have just sort of talked about it. Therefore if family # 3 would like to sign a contract and commit (even tho you dont ask for deposit), have them sign.

Then when family # 2 asks or mentions the baby and daycare say that you have filled your spots and will let them know if that changes.

Why should family # 2 get dibs?
SandeeAR 09:04 AM 02-17-2011
I will no longer hold ANY spot without a deposit. I held a spot as I was opening for 7 months waiting on the little one. B/c I had the older sibling. I knew the sibling would move to preschool/center care at 3 or 4.

Parent was also working fulltime and I knew this would go to part time after baby. But part time with both was same pay as full time with oldest. So I did it. Now just a few months after getting the baby, they are moving the oldest to the center a year before I thought they were. I know have to fill a spot in 6 weeks.

I passed up two kids in these past few months, b/c I thought I was full for the next year.

Since all 3 families have kids in your care, I would send a note out to all three at once. State that you have 2 spots available and the first 2 that pay a non refundable deposit for the spots will get them.
Tags:holding spots, leave of absence, maternity leave
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