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Family Broke Contract and Now Wants Spot

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  • Family Broke Contract and Now Wants Spot

    I have a family that I signed on at the beginning of summer. The Mom is a teacher and they were supposed to begin in Nov. They contacted me in Aug and said things had changed financially and Mom will be staying at home. I was able to fill the spot immediately with a teacher who could start right away. This was a spot that I didn't have to fill, and was basically just for extra money. The Dad contacted me last night and left a message saying things changed again and Mom will be going back to work after all and wondering if we still had a spot. I've switched over to follow an academic calendar this year to allow myself time with my own kids when school is not in session. I've always felt that if a family breaks a contract and later changed their mind and wanted the spot that I wouldn't offer it to them. This is the first time I've had this happen though and so I am considering it. I'm not willing to start another infant though until early next year. They paid a nonrefundable two week deposit and I've raised the rates on new families since they interviewed. I keep a small group (under ratio) for my sanity. So if I offered them the spot for next year and they took it and they broke contract again I wouldn't really be out any money as this would be for extra money and not something I depend on financially. My question is would you make them pay another deposit or honor the one they paid even though they broke that contract? I'm also going to tell them the rates have gone up too. I was thinking of honoring the deposit they paid but add an extra week, and so it be a total of three weeks (going towards first week and the final two weeks of care, but nonrefundable if they break contract). They would also have to pay extra on the deposit they paid since the rate went up. I'm not sure how to word this in an email to them. I'm only considering giving them a second chance since the Mom is a teacher and I prefer signing on those who work for school districts. Any advice on how to put this in writing about the rate increase and paying an extra week deposit plus adding the additional amount to the two weeks deposit they already paid? Or would you go about this a different way? Thanks

  • #2
    I would make them pay a new deposit since you are technically starting all over again with them since they cancelled the first time. If you had cancelled I would think differently but since it was them who did, I would start as if they are a fresh new family.

    I would say:

    "Since the previous conversations between us, my rates and deposit amount has changed. The new rate is $____ and the new deposit required is $_______
    The deposit is due ________ . The previous deposit was forfeited when the agreement to start care on X day was cancelled. "


    • BeeNature
      BeeNature commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the advice Blackcat! You've made a good point. I've been too nice in the past and given families breaks, but I'm slowly getting better at treating this as a business. I'm thinking you are right about charging a new deposit, and thank you for the help in how to word it.

    • Alwaysgreener
      Alwaysgreener commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree with BC