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  • Need Help

    This is all playing out now…

    I posted in the Venting Thread that I accepted a family to fill my last spot in May. I let the woman know that I was going accept her child. She responds asking if the contract needed to be signed. I told her yes and it was due with the payment on the child’s start date.

    She then asks if the contract is based on week to week or monthly followed by a “I’m just nervous, I hope you understand.” I tell her no, my contract states a two week notice must be given if she intends to leave and payment is due for the two weeks.

    I’ve never come across someone like this. What the heck?

    I am getting the feeling that this is going to be a huge mistake.
    Last edited by GirlMomma; 3 weeks ago.

  • #2
    It might be a red flag or it could be that she takes signing a contract seriously and is afraid of locking herself into an agreement she thinks she might regret later, especially if this is her first daycare experience. If it were me, I'd ask her if there is something in the contract that concerns her. Maybe she's just worried about one or some of your policies and is afraid she can't hold up her end of the bargain? Best to know now.

    Comment


    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      She never responded to the last thing I said above. I don’t believe this is her first daycare experience, she has an older child. That’s why I am so confused by her questions with the contract.

      DH said that she may have thought there wouldn’t be one with a home daycare.

    • e.j.
      e.j. commented
      Editing a comment
      Your husband could be right.

      If it were me and I didn't care if she signed on or not, I'd just let things play out and see what happens on May 1. Either she'll show up or she won't. If I still wanted her to enroll, I'd try reaching out to her again saying something like, "I've been thinking about the message you sent me on Friday (or whenever it was). It seems as though you're feeling hesitant to sign the contract. If that's the case and you have any specific questions or concerns I can address that would help you to feel more comfortable, please let me know."

      If she still doesn't respond, it may be that you've made a mistake in offering her the spot or there could be other reasons she hasn't responded. It could be because it's the weekend and she didn't want to bother you during your off hours or because you answered her question and she didn't feel the need to reply - although a reply saying "thank you; I understand" would have been nice. ;-) I don't know. lol Trying to think positively; I know filling that last spot with the right family can be hard. Hopefully things will work out well despite this glitch. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you e.j.! I’ll send her a text probably tomorrow or Wednesday. How you worded it would be perfect. I want to know if she’s not planning on signing up.

  • #3
    Do you get the two weeks’ notice money up front?

    Comment


    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      No, but I think I should now

    • PB&J
      PB&J commented
      Editing a comment
      I would prob end up blurting “Well now you’re making ME nervous. Is there any reason you don’t want to enter into a contract?”
      But yes, if you had the money up front then at least you won’t be left high and dry.
      How was applicant number two??😂

    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ve had the worst luck with applicants. She was the best one out of four. 😂

  • #4
    If she has been burned by a contract before her behavior is to be expected. I won't lock into one either other than a loan. I live in an at-will state and operate an at-will program. I don't support tenures, either. They promote poor performance and apathy, IMHO.

    If you need the two-week deposit to cover their last two weeks of care, then get that upfront as a one-time security deposit.

    I don't have any deposits or enrollment fees as it is an outdated business plan that creates unnecessary enforcement requirements, high conflict, and drama, IMHO. I can terminate at will and they can give up their slot at will. Payment for the week is due in advance on Mondays, with no refunds given. No pay, no stay. If they leave on a Wednesday I make two days extra pay. I keep a solid waiting list and fill the slot the following week. Easy, peasy, no drama.

    Comment


    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      CH how do you do your waitlist? I had a very long one but most have found other care, they’re not a good fit, they need someone that accepts state vouchers or the child is too young.

      Do you interview before you put them on a waitlist? Do they wait for you to have a spot open before going back to work or do they pull their child from another program to place the child into yours?

      I’m a new daycare (opened in 2020) and there is a woman in my with a three year wait list. Families will pull their kids from a program to get them in with her because she has such a good reputation.

    • Cat Herder
      Cat Herder commented
      Editing a comment
      I add them to the list for free and send them all of my policies in advance. I then call from the top of the list whenever I have an opening. Sometimes it takes 4 calls, sometimes only one. Many are still TTC but take the slot as soon as it opens. Sometimes they end up giving it back up after a year or so of trying without success. Others do pull from centers when a slot comes available here.

  • #5
    Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
    Do you interview before you put them on a waitlist? Do they wait for you to have a spot open before going back to work or do they pull their child from another program to place the child into yours?

    I’m a new daycare (opened in 2020) and there is a woman in my with a three year wait list. Families will pull their kids from a program to get them in with her because she has such a good reputation.
    I have a lengthy wait list. I just started two new kiddos yesterday that are new 3 yr olds that have been on my waitlist since they were infants.

    I used to interview and then place on waitlist but in recent years I have just asked alot of questions via email and then decided whether or not they were worth putting on my waitlist.

    I make email contact with every single family on my waitlist the first week of the month and let them know if I have any upcoming openings etc and also ask if they want to remain on the list or be taken off, if they've found other care or if their hours/work etc have changed. If they reply they want to remain on the list; it's rinse and repeat the next month.

    I tell everyone they can be on the list but in truth only those that made the cut after my email questions get contacted monthly. The rest of them don't usually hear back from me and end up moving on or sometimes contact me again and I just let them know that I don't have any openings that will meet their needs.

    It's not a get on the list and move up to the top type of list but a compilation of names of families that want to enroll. Depending on the age of the child and the days/times needed the wait can be as long as 3 yrs or as short as a month. Just depends.

    I have a FAQ section on my waitlist page on my website that explains it really good. I'll private message you the link so you can read it and see what I mean.

    Comment


    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! I think I’m going to start doing something similar. I like how you send out an email each month.

  • #6
    "CH how do you do your waitlist?"

    I enroll newborns, first, then defer to waitlist for all other open slots. I can only have two newborns - 12 months at a time, so this does not lower their odds of getting in too much. I prefer newborns as they do better here when they are raised up on my menus and schedules. It also firms up my long-term earning base. This policy is for my ROTH IRA security. I have no other retirement savings options.

    I add them to the list for free and send them all of my policies in advance. I then call from the top of the list whenever I have an opening. Sometimes it takes 4 calls, sometimes only one. If they decline, they are moved to the bottom or removed based on the child's age.

    Many are still TTC but take the slot as soon as it opens. Sometimes they end up giving it back up after a year or so of trying without success. Others do pull from centers when a slot comes available here. I also send some to centers when their individual development requires bigger playground equipment and greater supervision (more than a staff of 1), aka the extreme sports athletes and risk-takers. I can only afford so much liability insurance ya know. I am awesome with book worms, tinkers, artists, writers and nature lovers.

    I pull from the top (after newborn availability, 2 slots) because my community is mostly two income brackets, wealthy and lower (tourism area). My rates and services are the same for both and based on my income needs, not market price. As such I am lower than the newer places since I already own everything. Lower overhead. Because of tax bracketing and my DH income, if I charge much more I will be losing money. Weird rules to keep us in our place, IDK?

    I don't want to exclude lower-income families by allowing the wealthy ones to hold all of the slots indefinitely for future use. I also don't want to punish people for their success and hard work. Putting them on the list, in order of request (and a 5 recent slot boost for previous clients' grandkids) seems to be fairer in my view.

    It should be noted that the slots that are paid for without attendance also cost me my tax write off's, so are not a real income benefit to me. It just sounds good.
    Last edited by Cat Herder; 3 weeks ago.

    Comment


    • GirlMomma
      GirlMomma commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! I am brainstorming new ideas.

    • Cat Herder
      Cat Herder commented
      Editing a comment
      It has all been a work in progress. It will never be static. lol!

  • #7
    DCM responded three days later. She said they’re looking forward to the child starting - she is just a worrier. I plan to ask DCM on the first day what her concerns are.

    My daycare is full again

    Comment


    • #8
      Congrats on being full! That has to feel good!!

      I just wanted to chime in on the deposit thing. While I do require a notice in my contract and collect an ENROLLMENT fee (equal to two weeks of care +$50 that can be used for their last two weeks of care with proper notice). I find it a necessary to safeguard many of my policies, rather than a securement of their final two weeks of care.

      If a client is disrespectful and I want to term immediately, I have a right to do so (in my contract). While my contract states that I do not HAVE to return that fee for the disrespect/breaking policy/constant lateness (or whatever), I usually DO refund it "as a courtesy" and I 100% tell them that it's a courtesy on my part as their contract outlines it's non-refundable.
      This helps to deflect any bad feelings, or retaliation actions for the types of parents that need to feel: "ha.. I won."

      It also safeguards my paid vacation. If a client turns in their notice to (very obviously) avoid paying for my vacation, they will then be very let down to learn they did not read their contract, since it will be forfeited to cover my paid vacation if they give notice within a certain time period before my posted vacation. I started doing this because I had a client (or two) giving notice every single Christmas to avoid paying for the break. At the time, I relied on that income heavily and felt it was so disrespectful on their part... and I have had to enforce it every single year since implementing it 5 years ago too.

      So that fee has many other uses other than just the last two weeks here.

      Comment


      • GirlMomma
        GirlMomma commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you - I like the enrollment fee idea.

    • #9
      Okay… this continues

      My contract has a medical treatment section basically stating I can apply Neosporin and a Band-aid to the child’s scraped knee. In the event it is a severe emergency and a parent or emergency contact can’t be reached, I require the child’s physician info and preferred hospital as well as a release to call emergency services. Pretty standard daycare documents, right?

      This woman asked me if she had to fill out that portion because she and her emergency contacts would always be available.

      Do I cut this off? Her questions are just so off the wall. My contract was approved by my attorney.

      Comment


      • GirlMomma
        GirlMomma commented
        Editing a comment
        e.j. I can term at anytime. This woman’s reputation level isn’t the best - but I try not to judge a person off of hearsay. That’s why I’m in this situation 😂

      • BaileeB
        BaileeB commented
        Editing a comment
        That is such an odd question. For licensing in my state I was told my enrollment form HAS to have an emergency medical release signed by the parent or the child cannot be enrolled. I have to have permission to contact 911 in an emergency - I can’t just start calling DCP if a child is bleeding out or unconscious.. lol that makes no sense why she would be so worried about that?

      • GirlMomma
        GirlMomma commented
        Editing a comment
        BaileeB DH and I think she was simply ignorant to daycare and legal jargon. Once I dumbed it down for her, she understood.

    • #10
      lol I hope it works out for you. At least you're going in to with your eyes wide open. I don't like judging others based on hearsay, either, but that does tend to bite me on the butt sometimes! lol

      Comment


      • #11
        I should’ve trusted my gut. They’re not starting Monday.

        With all of the odd questions, I think this is just a blessing in disguise.

        Comment


        • GirlMomma
          GirlMomma commented
          Editing a comment
          @PB&J I’m cracking up 😂😂😂

          e.j. She said a family member will be taking care of the child.

          After going through all the odd questions, I don’t think she’s ever sent her children to daycare and simply wasn’t comfortable with the idea of daycare at all. If she did start, I think she’d be a helicopter parent x 1000 and wouldn’t be happy with anything I did. Some of her questions seemed like they came from a “crunchy” parenting guide to daycare book or something.

        • e.j.
          e.j. commented
          Editing a comment
          lol God help the family member who took on the job! lol

        • GirlMomma
          GirlMomma commented
          Editing a comment
          e.j. No kidding!
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