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Old 05-01-2013, 06:02 PM
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Default Holding Fees For A Spot 7 Months Out.....?

Does anyone charge a holding fee and if so how much, if you do how do you word your holding fee contract??? Currently I don't have any under 2yrs spots open. But one of my infants turns 2yrs Dec 31st. I haven't been advertising for the spot, but I do have a few parents due around the time contact me and have 2 interviews set up over the next 2 weeks. They all know that it's first come first serve when it comes to my spots. I've never filled a spot 7 month out so I don't know if I should charge a holding fee or not. What do you all do in this situation?
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by daycaremom76 View Post
Does anyone charge a holding fee and if so how much, if you do how do you word your holding fee contract??? Currently I don't have any under 2yrs spots open. But one of my infants turns 2yrs Dec 31st. I haven't been advertising for the spot, but I do have a few parents due around the time contact me and have 2 interviews set up over the next 2 weeks. They all know that it's first come first serve when it comes to my spots. I've never filled a spot 7 month out so I don't know if I should charge a holding fee or not. What do you all do in this situation?
I personally wouldn't charge a holding fee until you would normally start advertising for the spot. I wouldn't feel comfortable taking their money right now when you don't even have a space available to them and you aren't actively seeking to fill it. Once you start advertising I would give them a "first refusal" on the spot.

I will hold a spot for up to 4 weeks at half rate for an available space with the first week of tuition due 1 week prior to starting care. I am in a similar situation where I am not opening until September and I already have my first client but I am not making her sign any paperwork or pay a deposit until I am ready to start advertising. I told her that when I start to advertise I will let her pay her first week before anyone else interested in her spot. I am not having my first clients pay a holding fee this time around as I am just opening- only the first week's tuition.

This is how my holding fee policy is written:

Holding Fee
I agree to hold an opening for a period of up to 4 weeks prior to your expected enrollment date. This fee cannot be applied to the cost of tuition after enrollment and it is non-refundable. Payment is due upon receipt of a signed contract. The first week’s tuition payment is due one week prior to starting care.


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Old 05-01-2013, 08:45 PM
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I wouldn't take any money to hold the spot. I ,personally, don't hold a spot for more than 2 weeks without full-payment (and take a 1 week deposit to hold the spot).

I would give them "right of first refusal" to the spot. So as soon as you have the opening, and someone willing to take it - you can give them the choice if they would like to take the spot (and begin paying full-time rates) or if they want to wait until closer to the date they need care.

This system has worked really well for me, because spot holding is such a STICKY situation for me.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:09 PM
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That's funny cause most providers say they don't charge a holding fee but in my search I came a cross an article from Tom Copeland about holding fees. He actually says we are only hurting ourselves if we don't charge a holding fee.
http://www.tomcopelandblog.com/holding-fees.html

Technically the spot will be available in Dec however per licensing I am only allowed 8 total kids so If one of these infants sign then I can't fill my 8th spot so from not til december I will be losing money each week for that spot because the infant signed. After reading Tom's post this is what I have come up with:

Holding Fee Contract

When I agree to hold an opening I give up the right to fill that position and to receive tuition from that position. For this reason a non-refundable “holding fee” is required to hold an opening when a child's start date is more than two weeks from enrollment date. Enrollment date is based on the date security deposit is given to guarantee child’s spot. This fee will be half of the regular weekly rate, and will be due each Friday prior to the week that the opening is to be held. If payment is not received by 5:30pm on Friday, the opening will no longer be held and any fees or payments that have been made will be forfeited. The “holding fee” is non-refundable even if the parent decides not to start child, however in the event that the provider is not able to provide care for the child a full refund of the “holding fee” paid will be given.

There are three situations when a holding fee will be accessed.

A. Current infant opening and parents want to hold that spot for a future date in excess of 2 weeks. In this case the holding fee would be ˝ the current infant weekly rate. Current weekly infant rate is $225 so the weekly “hold fee” would be $112.50.

B. Future infant opening that is being held by an infant that turns 2yrs on a specific date. In this case the holding fee would be ˝ the current toddler weekly rate. Current weekly toddler rate is $160 so the weekly “hold fee” would be $80.00.

C. Current toddler opening and parents want to hold that spot for a future date in excess of 2 weeks. In this case the holding fee would be ˝ the current toddler weekly rate. Current weekly toddler rate is $160 so the weekly “hold fee” would be $80.00.


I agree to pay a weekly holding fee of $_____.____ to guarantee my child; ______________________’s start date on ______/_______/_______. I understand that this amount is due each Friday by 5:30pm and that failure to make payments will result in forfeiting my child‘s spot.


Essentially they don't have to pay anything if they don't want to but they are taking a risk that the spot won't be available later on down the road. Infant spots around here are scarce so I don't want to cut myself short and hold a spot and lose out on not being able to fill it for 7 months.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:37 AM
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I have a family that interviewed with me two weeks ago and are moving forward with me. The mom works full time, and the dad works in theatre & has a schedule similar to a teacher-summers off. She isn't due til Sept & won't need me til maternity leave runs out, so she'll use me starting in January. A long way out. I told them I am not going to charge them a weekly half rate, but will charge a small nonrefundable retaining fee of $50 a month, just to guarantee the spot is reserved, as they sign the contract & pay their deposit. I am actively advertising, so if I can get a kid for just the summer, that's fine, but they are reserving a spot. They were totally fine with paying the fee, which is really nothing, more a good faith action.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:54 AM
AnneCordelia AnneCordelia is offline
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I charge holding fees. If I have a spot empty then either a parent pays the holding fee or I will fill it with someone else. For example, I have a family in care now who wants a spot for their new baby in October. I have one spot available and other than this spot, it is not likely another spot will open by then. So they are paying half rate for me to hold this spot. I could easily fill it now and they don't want that so it becomes a priority for them.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneCordelia View Post
I charge holding fees. If I have a spot empty then either a parent pays the holding fee or I will fill it with someone else. For example, I have a family in care now who wants a spot for their new baby in October. I have one spot available and other than this spot, it is not likely another spot will open by then. So they are paying half rate for me to hold this spot. I could easily fill it now and they don't want that so it becomes a priority for them.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneCordelia View Post
I charge holding fees. If I have a spot empty then either a parent pays the holding fee or I will fill it with someone else. For example, I have a family in care now who wants a spot for their new baby in October. I have one spot available and other than this spot, it is not likely another spot will open by then. So they are paying half rate for me to hold this spot. I could easily fill it now and they don't want that so it becomes a priority for them.
But that's exactly why I don't charge holding fees. If I can easily fill the spot with someone else, then I don't feel like I should lose the different between my full-time rate and the holding fee.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:53 AM
AnneCordelia AnneCordelia is offline
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Originally Posted by blandino View Post
But that's exactly why I don't charge holding fees. If I can easily fill the spot with someone else, then I don't feel like I should lose the different between my full-time rate and the holding fee.
I can see that. That works for your business model. For me it is worthwhile for me to take half fees for doing NO work for the next six months, to hold a spot for a family that has been with me two years and I know is good. My limit is one spot held at a time. I wont hold two spots for half fees. That is what works for me.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:31 PM
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I charge $15/day to hold a space, up to 1 month, due immediately - cash only. If a parent needs a space held longer, they are changed my usual monthly rate, also due immediately in cash. All holding fees are non-refundable and are not applied to future childcare costs.


I have had parents pay anything from $150 to $3000 in in holding fees.
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