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  1. #1
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    "Pet-free" daycare now getting a pet

    I'm posting for a friend as I am stumped what to suggest to her, and she doesn't have easy access to the internet.

    My friend's son has been going to a home-based daycare for about 6 months. Part of the reason why she chose the daycare is that it was advertised as being "pet-free". Her son has allergies, so it was important that he somewhere without pets. Well, the provider just informed her that they are getting a dog over Christmas. My friend has told her that her son will not be able to continue after Christmas if that's the case because of his allergies.

    The provider told her that she will still have to pay January fees, as she charges by the month and requires at least 1 month notice of termination (so that there's 1 month payment after notice is given). My friend doesn't know what to do! She's already financially strapped (thus not even having the internet at home), and can't afford to pay two daycare providers for January (assuming she finds someone by then). But she also feels that it's unfair because the provider advertised her home as being pet-free and is now getting a pet without letting the families know well in advance.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I would argue that the provider didn't give her a months notice about the change to the daycare so therefore she was unable to give one months notice. It depends what her contract says though. It sounds as if the provider is the one who broke the agreement by getting a pet when they specifically said "pet free."

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  4. #3
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    can your friend give the one months notice and stay on for the month of Jan giving her time to find a new daycare and also time to the provider to find a new client

  5. #4
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    Agree with TOkids. It sucks that the dcp didn't take possible allergies (or even dislikes/fear) of the dcf's before committing to get a pet but I think it should be her that takes the loss since she advertises as "pet free".

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaL View Post
    The provider told her that she will still have to pay January fees, as she charges by the month and requires at least 1 month notice of termination (so that there's 1 month payment after notice is given). My friend doesn't know what to do! She's already financially strapped (thus not even having the internet at home), and can't afford to pay two daycare providers for January (assuming she finds someone by then). But she also feels that it's unfair because the provider advertised her home as being pet-free and is now getting a pet without letting the families know well in advance.

    Any thoughts?
    Does she have any advertising or document which state "pet free"?

    Carer is in breach of contract. Parent went to carer for valid reason wanting pet free home. If carer change agreement, carer in breach of contract. This make whole contract null and void.

    I think it unlikely that her contract say this specifically but maybe your friend has something that does state this pet free home?

    If so, find new carer and tell current carer they withdrawing due to breach in contract and son's allergies and because contract no longer valid, they will not be paying any more than already paid. BUT need something to prove that the case, if carer take parent to court for non-payment. It would be useful if it documented somewhere.

    If it not, put in writting they withdrawing from care due to new pet clash with child's medical health and let her sue. If it their word against carer, as long as carer not going to lie about being pet free so far, they should win. But document always better as proof than word.

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  9. #6
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    I agree that your friend shouldn't have to pay the month's notice as the caregiver should have given a month's notice that a change like a pet was going to happen, in order to give her clients a chance to give notice if they didn't like the change - the same procedure that the caregiver should have followed if she was changing other major things - fees, hours, etc.

    Does it say in the contract that the daycare is "pet-free" or just the ad? If the actual contract says "pet-free" then the caregiver is breaking her contract. If just her ad says that, then your friend will have a harder time getting out of paying the notice period. Also, does the provider know that the child has allergies? Was this discussed during the interview? As in, was the condition that the daycare be and remain pet-free discussed and agreed upon prior to the child starting? These could help sway your friend's case if she does choose to fight the notice.

  10. #7
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    If you go court over this, it will be in Small Claim court where each person represent themself. It less formal and Judge able to apply discretion in deciding and not have to be hard letter of law. If you can prove she advertises as pet free place even if not actually in contract, that be good enough. Can also prove it a medical need by simple letter from doctor.

    This combined will show you had no option but move your child and if provider made this change without giving enough time for notice, that on her not you. No Judge will expect you pay for choice she made and put your son at risk.

    Find any document with her claim to be pet free. Find any correspondence between you and carer that discuss your child allergies. Find anything that support your statement that child cannot be around pet and that this was always pet free day care. Once you have it all, assess if you think that enough to prove your statement of why chose this home and why you need pull child. And then keep it in case she files claim. I bet she won't but if she does, you will have enough showing you had no option.

  11. #8
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    I think the catch is whether or not it was labelled in the contract as a pet free daycare.

    When I opened we were pet free. We still are. But it was not in my contract that we were or would remain pet free. Obviously if I knew a child was signing up had severe allergies I would try to make note of this and give lots of notice if we did decide to get a pet. But ultimately it wouldn't have been in the contract and I don't think there would really be any legal terms to act on.

    Any chance that sitting down and discussing it with the caregiver would be of help to settle this. Ultimately the caregivers business is in their home and they are doing what they feel is best for their family. I do think the caregiver should be considering the impacts on the child with allergies and be forgiving the weeks notice. But there is a good chance the contract wasn't written in a way that requires it so should the caregiver really just not care then they may not have a way out.

  12. #9
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    Because of allergy and prior advertisement of pet free, there is an implied condition of care. If she changes that, even if contract not specifically state will remain pet free, it is carer changing the contract and parent does not have to agree. Carer has to give notice of change, parent not have to give notice to leave if terms being changed. They can leave from date the change come into effect if they not agreeing to the change.

    If she takes to court, then it helpful to be able to prove that implied condition of care. An e-mail exchange, an old advertisement, anything which shows she was pet free and that was reason for choosing, is all that needed to support claim.

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  14. #10
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    Thanks everyone for your replies! My friend is a bit more encouraged to hear that she might not have to pay for another month, but is still very stressed about the whole thing. There is nothing written in the contract about being pet-free or that the provider has to give any notice about getting a pet. However, my friend does still have the original ad, where is says the daycare is pet-free. She also has an email exchange from before their interview where my friend told the provider that her son was allergic and confirming with that the home was pet-free, in which the provider replied that yes it was. But that's all she really has.

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