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kiddywink
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Do you put a time limit on how long you will hold a place for someone once they have paid a deposit?

 

We never have, however, I have a situation where a child was due to start in the Spring term and they then requested if they could put her place back to the start of the summer term, we said fine, but then at the start of the summer term they said that due to problems with the other nursery they couldn't start yet. I have no idea what the problem is and I went back and said that was fine, but did they have any idea when they may want the child to start, as if it wasn't until September we have several people on our waiting list who could take the place this term. I had no reply, so contacted them again and no reply again.

 

I feel that as I could fill the place at least 3 or 4 times with the people wanting those days I can't hold her place indefinitely as we operate close to the mark at our setting financially, but I don't like to withdraw a place. It is so frustrating when people don't keep you informed!

 

What are your procedures? Thanks.

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I would think it depends on how your policy or contract etc is worded. We do not use deposits. If a parent tells me they want their child to start on a certain date but then change their mind I will give that place to someone else who is waiting, especially if it's a different term. We cannot afford to leave it empty and also risk losing that second parent. If they want to secure the place, they have to pay. I do explain what will happen and give them a deadline to reply, so I give them first option on the place.

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Yes, as lsp says, they would just have to either take their chances that there will be a place after deferring it initially, or pay for you to hold the place. You will, after all, have applied your staffing ratios to accommodate that child, and staff still have to be paid. At the point of first deferral that should have been made clear. I think you now need to say that they have until the end of this week to take up the place, or it will be given to the child at the top of the waiting list. They will then have to reapply for a place in September if they still require one.

 

I'm assuming the amount you charged for the deposit was to prepare paperwork etc for the child, so that will have been 'spent' in readiness.

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We do often get people booking well ahead for places, so we take a deposit to cover admin and they are then also given a branded backpack and t-shirt when they start, we never used to charge anything, but we had so many people change their minds or just not turn up after our running up costs that we introduced the fee (we don't charge funded children), in the hope that they would think twice.

 

I will do as suggested and go back to them with a deadline or the place goes to someone else, it is a bit daft for us to keep holding the place for them, especially if they can't be bothered to communicate with us.

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I will do as suggested and go back to them with a deadline or the place goes to someone else, it is a bit daft for us to keep holding the place for them, especially if they can't be bothered to communicate with us.

I would by now be thinking they no longer want the place, but are too embarassed to tell you - I think you are wise to do what you suggest.

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