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  1. #1

    Interesting Daycare provider interaction

    So seeking some advice on a situation that happened to me while looking for care for my child. I had said on a Monday via email I would take a spot at a home daycare starting in two months but before I could drop off the written contract and deposit I found out that I would not be be able to make the hours of the daycare work with a new job I was starting. I let the provider know right away and apologized profusely as I felt very bad about the situation. In total seven days had elapsed when I informed them. The provider was very angry which I totally understand but she threatened to take me to small claims court. Is this normal? I thought of offering to pay a penalty but I know the spot will be filled very quickly so I didn't offer. We still need care but with better hours so I don't know if this is a one off situation or if I should get a nanny instead. Appreciate advice as I don't like being threatened.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    19 Times in 13 Posts
    I'm assuming you probably verbally agreed to drop off a deposit and take the spot, which is why she's upset- since it takes time and effort to fill our spots and if we turn other people down while waiting for a parent... well that's the frustrating part (trusting people will follow through with their word), because that's income and time lost.

    Personally, I would never "hold" a spot without a deposit or non-refundable fee. Until I have money in hand, the spot is available. A lesson learned the hard way for many of us.

    She could take you to court for an "expressed contract" or "implied contract". But, I doubt she would. It's hard to prove without written proof of communication.

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  4. #3
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    629 Times in 475 Posts
    She should not have held the spot for you without your contract and deposit. Yes she likely was upset as she potentially lost other families but it was not professional on her part to put that on you. If she would have kept interviewing for the spot she potentially could have filled it. Likely a mistake she won't make again. If you would have backed out after you paid then she would have at least got to keep your deposit. Good lesson for her and don't let it discourage you from using a home daycare.

  5. #4
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    807 Times in 564 Posts
    This is unfortunate for the provider but indicates to me that she is likely inexperienced. Any well seasoned provider knows that this is a risk and nothing is certain until a signed contract and deposit is paid. She should have known better and as a result while frustrated, and shouldn't have threatened you or got angry. Like I said, unfortunate situation but out of your hands. These things happen and IMO she should have acted more professional in response. You did nothing wrong and fortunately for you you didn't lose any money and this provider still has two months to fill the spot.

  6. #5
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    1,085 Times in 810 Posts
    Once a family says yes, they typically pay within the week so I haven't run into this but I can certainly see why the provider would be upset. Threatening you is not acceptable though. Her quick temper and inability to hide unprofessional feelings is a sign that she maybe isn't the right fit for your family anyways! I doubt she has a any intentions to take you to court. I'd offer another apology and tell het you don't appreciate threats and than just move on.

  7. #6
    I agree with your opinion. She did not hold a spot for a long time, she could contact other family that she refused (IF that was the situation!). Definitely the daycare provider she should be more professional.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    78 Times in 74 Posts
    Hi. I agree, a spot should only be blocked when contracts and deposit payment is received. Other ways, in my case even if a parent reassures that they will take it I keep that spot as "open" and keep advertising and fill it whit who ever comes signs and pays first and even so I still keep a waiting list, in case something doesn't work during the transitioning period. I always ask parents to be open and tell me their situation and I understand after all I'm also a parent, some want to secure the spot not pay yet but keep looking around and I encourage it they should be able to look an visit as many homedaycares and centres they can, and only get back to my when they have made a decision and move forward from that.

    Unfortunately, the caregiver did not act ethically, most of us are aware that a parent can not be held accountable in the event of; work hours changing, or loosing a job, or have to move out, or basically forced situations that you do not have control. Same as it could also happen to a caregiver. I haven heard parents taking a caregiver to the court for: closing in short period, or a caregiver changing her mind or rejecting a child without a clear explanation, etc. Or caregivers changing their hours in the middle of their contracts. Etc.

    If she had send you her contract you might find also there what is her policy for cancellations. Some have two weeks some have a month etc. But without any agreement or signed paper it would be a hard case to judge.

    I hope you have better luck finding the right spot for your child.
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 05-11-2017 at 05:53 AM.

  9. #8
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    486 Times in 369 Posts
    Most provider will not hold place without contract and deposit paid. That said, most provider have this rule because earlier experience of exactly this - a parent who say they want place, who delay for one reason or another bringing the money and contract, and who the provider feel obligated to honour their word of the space offered.
    It is hurtful when this happen and action like this is why provider's learn to insist on deposit and contract before holding space.
    It unlikely she can take to court as no contract - but this provider now has learned that this can happen.
    In my early day, I had similar with parent giving endless excuse why deposit not paid and then change their mind with no penalty on them, and full cost of their behaviour impacting me. We learn that those who delay in paying deposit are often wishy-washy and take it as red flag.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    182 Times in 161 Posts
    She has learned the lesson that a spot is not taken until the deposit is paid and the contract is signed and handed to the caregiver.
    You have also learned the lesson of having a list of questions before the visit such as what time does the daycare open and close plus holidays etc
    you can just move on and start calling around with the new questions for the daycares.
    I feel there is no need to call her again as she sounds unprofessional -she can't bring you to court as she has no signed agreement from you.

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