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  1. #1
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    I need some advice wording an email

    I have a spot opening soon, and I have a waiting list with 9 or ten good families on it. I also have a spot opening in July, when my oldest daughter becomes school age (in the eyes of the provincial government). When I started doing interviews for the waiting list, I had accidentally let it slip into conversation about this extra spot, even though I don't know if I want to fill it in July or wait until September. So my first person on the waiting list is under the impression that she will be able to take this spot in July. I recently spoke with her and tried to suggest she should take this spot coming up at the end of March. It makes sense to me, because she actually goes back to work in June.
    Where I live, it is pretty hard to find daycare for 1 year olds, so paying for a spot for two months before you need it isn't crazy. It is actually quite normal.
    So here's my problem. I really can't decide what I should do with her. It would be easy for me to move onto the next family or two, because they are both teachers and I like both families a lot. And all my current families are teachers. The first family, that I don't know what I should do with, she isn't a teacher. So during spring break and christmas break, I would be running the daycare just for this one child. I think the only thing stopping me from moving to the next family is that I don't want to be a jerk and leave her stranded, because it can be so hard to find daycare sometimes. I'm thinking of writing her an email, something along the lines of "With the amount of families on my waiting list, it is no longer feasible to try to keep up with two different wait lists. Going forward, when a spot is available, I will contact families in the order of the waiting list. If you do not want the available spot, I will continue down the list. If you would like, I can keep your name on the list, but it will be bumped down to the end, to give other families a chance as well."
    What does everyone else think of this? Too harsh?

  2. #2
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    I have a waiting list as well but I find that it is often much shorter when I start to email people as they have found other daycare in the meantime. When I have a spot open, I look at my waiting list and see who needed care for around the current date and start from there. I look at the hours needed and age of child and decide who might be the best fit for my daycare. I also look to my current families as most often they know someone who is needing daycare anyways.

    Unless she knows you personally, I would just move on to the families that would be a better fit. I have found that families around here are not so willing to pay for a spot until they need it anyways.

    Having said that though, I don't think your email is harsh. I also let the parents know that the spot is available at xxx date and if they want it, they need to start payment than. I've only had 2 parents who have done this though. I find 1st time parents who don't realize how hard it is to find daycare will decide to pass on it and chance an opening being available when they want care to start. They are unfortunately mad at themselves later when I have filled the spot.
    Last edited by 5 Little Monkeys; 03-02-2014 at 09:18 PM.

  3. #3
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    For myself when I have a spot opening soon I email those on my waiting list. I let them know a spot will be opening on _____ date and to let me know if they are interested. I then let them know if that date doesn't work for them and they would like to remain on my waiting list they can let me know.

    I have had people in the past who sounded like a sure thing and when the time comes for the spot to be opening soon the situation had changed. Don't bank on any particular family. Let them all know and then interview them all, find out who wants it for sure and then you can pick from there.

  4. #4
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    Don't forget that this isn't just about you meeting their needs but also the family meeting your criteria and if part of you criteria is to add another teachers child then that's the first person to contact on your waiting list. It isn't personal so don't make it personal. It is business and you aren't being a jerk but business savvy by putting the best interests of your business first.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 Little Monkeys View Post
    Unless she knows you personally, I would just move on to the families that would be a better fit. I have found that families around here are not so willing to pay for a spot until they need it anyways.
    I don't know her personally outside of this situation, however she got my number from a friend of mine. So she's a friend of a friend. I guess that's another reason I don't want to sound too harsh

  6. #6
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    Thank you everyone for your input. It has given me new things to think about. I'll get up the courage to compose the email during nap time hopefully.

  7. #7
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    It's not harsh at all to choose a family that will fit into your daycare. Waiting lists are great but I do not go down the order. Each family has different criteria they need for dc and I like to find the one that also fits my criteria.

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  9. #8
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    I would just keep it simple and honest and let her know that you are accepting another family as they are teachers like your current families and you would like to be closed for the summer holidays etc. Lot's of daycare's offer teacher only childcare.

  10. #9
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    If I had all teachers and had teachers wanting my spot I would NOT take on a non-teacher family unless they were able to accept that you close for school holidays. It is just not a good business practice to open for one child when you can have the time off with your family.

    I don't think you owe them a reason. They are on a wait list but wait lists are just a wait list not a guarantee for a spot. Most families likely already found alternate care as they would be silly to sit around assuming you will take them.

    I would personally send out a mass email to all on the wait list letting them know the space is available on this date, restate your hours, fees and dates of closure. Ask those interested to respond noting their interest. From there, choose the family that best fits your daycare.

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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 Little Monkeys View Post
    I've only had 2 parents who have done this though. I find 1st time parents who don't realize how hard it is to find daycare will decide to pass on it and chance an opening being available when they want care to start. They are unfortunately mad at themselves later when I have filled the spot.
    I think this is going to be the case in this situation. I've given her until tomorrow evening to decide. And now I know not to get myself into this type of situation again. I need to be more careful with my wording. I actually am happy that she's going to pass on this spot, but at the same time I'm really happy that I gave her a chance.

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