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Start Dates And Retainers


Mollieben
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Just a quick question to other managers of day nurseries. We take a deposit (refundable on starting) to hold a space and the deposit is applicable to that start date only. We have a parent who wants to delay her start date until Jan (due to start Sept). Obviously we would not be able to fill her space in the mean time. Does anyone charge retainers for mid-year admissions? Mum not happy with our response...

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We charge a deposit but allow parents to change their minds on the start date. We havent been full for a couple of years so we can afford to do it but at any time we'd like to be able to go with the parents wishes.

Has she given a reason why she wants to delay the start? Does she feel the child isnt ready, or is she finding it difficult to part? Either way, you could invite her in for a couple of sessions to see how things go. :1b

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Her workplace has offered her extended maternity I believe. We are full and turning people away which is why the owner is reluctant to keep the space open. We have in the past been extremely flexible on start dates, changes in hours etc... but feel we are being stung too often by people changing their minds after keeping a space open for up to a year so would like to introduce some kind of safeguard against this without being too unreasonable! ;)

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Our admissions policy clearly states that we will keep a place if financially viable. If we cant offer the start date the parent wants, after initially agreeing to one, we give the deposit back.

Mom might not be happy but you have to think about your financial position and if keeping a place means you loose money you will need give the place to someone else.

I presume you've told her she can reapply on the understanding you cannot guarantee anything.

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We had a policy that we could not afford to keep a place for any children, and the next child on the waiting list would be offered a place.. the amount of revenue lost from someone wanting a place later in the year was too much.. we did say that if we had a place at the date they wanted we would try to accommodate them, but there was no guarantee..

 

We had to do this or we would have not had enough money to stay open.. we occasionally had families who wanted to return to their home country for weeks at a time and expected us to keep a place for them but without being paid for it.. so we had to change our policy so they either paid to guarantee a place on return, or took the chance and left, hoping we would have a place on their return.. this put it back to parental choice..

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Parents don't realise that you cannot sell the place to someone else. As I assume you are not talking about a couple of pounds you will have to give the place to someone else and let her take the chance that there is a place in Jan. I wouldn't charge are another deposit though.

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Thanks all, we don't want to be unreasonable but if we took into account everyone's personal circumstances we would never make any money!!;) We have given her the option of reapplying on the off-chance we have a space but it is unlikely we will have.

Inge - we have had that situation several times aswell with families going home for months at a time. I understand their side of the arguement, but we can't do one rule for them and one for everyone else.

I wish parents understood that we are not trying to 'rip them off', just trying to run a business....

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we state in the contract the we reseve the right to charge a retainer fee if the start date is changed, and i do not stipulate how much this retainer fee is because that gives me the wriggle room.

 

we offer virble a place to parent who then acept, a letter is then sent out with contract and first month fees and date that fees need to be pay this can be up to 6 months in advance of start date. the place is not garateed untill contract and first months fees are paid, tough but I am a bussiness

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