Would you take a deposit?
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  1. #1
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    Default Would you take a deposit?

    I currently have all my under 5's spaces allocated however in September that will all change as my DD goes to school and my other main two are also likely to leave. Fortunately I have had quite a lot of interest from a number of parties, my question is would you charge them a fee to hold the space for them as what I don't want to do is allocate them a space and then find that they have changed their mind come September and I have lost my opportunity to fill the space from someone else.

    I have never been in this situation before so am trying to get my head around it, I also thought that I if I was going to charge it would be say £50 which I would offset against the first months bill.

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Thanks,

    Sam x

  2. #2
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    Yes I would take a deposit. I have just agreed to hold a space for someone for quite a long time and I'm unsure of how much deposit to charge. I'm interested in what people say they take as deposits for long holding periods. Sorry I'm not answering your question!

  3. #3
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    I'm taking a deposit of one weeks pay for mindees starting in two weeks time. If it was for a space in Sep would charge 4 weeks refundable deposit - so long as mindee starts.Who knows how many inquiries you may get between now and then and if you turn them all down and then original parents let you down then u have to start all over again! If parents are serious about reserving the space they will pay it.
    Hope this helps ! Xx

  4. #4
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    Personally, there's too many variables that can happen over a 6 month period, I'd wait until nearer the time when you have confirmation of who's staying and who's leaving.

    Set up a waiting list/pencil them in and say that you will contact them again in June when current parents will have confirmed their future plans (because you'll have organised finding out during May ) and if they are still interested/you have spaces, do contracts/take a 4 week deposit then.
    That way, if they've found alternative care/changed their mind/moved out of the area etc, you still have plenty of time to target your advertising/work your way through the waiting list.

  5. #5
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    I've found there are a lot of parents who want to secure a September childcare place as early as possible for their peace of mind. If it works out, all the better: you want the sort of clients who are sensible and organised. So far, so wonderful.....

    OTOH, a lot can change between now and September and, moreover, I'm finding some parents are very selfish and unscrupulous about their search.

    In each of the last 2 years, I've signed up children early for September, only to find they pulled out at the last minute. Last summer was the worst, with 3 children signed up and none of them coming here by the 3rd week of September. Not only did I lose £££s, but the worst thing was the thought of the many genuine enquirers I'd turned away cos I'd committed all my places on certain days to parents who weren't at all committed to me, IYWSWIM.

    There's evidence in my area of some parents signing contracts with 2 or more CMs, in order to be sure of a place, then giving notice when they've had a settling visit or 2, or even well into Sepember. It's like they feel they have the right to have a CM 'on approval'. Even loss of deposit hasn't deterred them.

    I'd say you definitely need a sizeable deposit if you sign anyone early. I can't say how much, other than that it needs to be no more than they can afford, but must be more than they can afford to lose, IYSWIM. Inevitably, this may put some off, but I fear that's the nature of the business.

    Btw, when I take a deposit, I agree to refund it against the second (not first) month's fees. That means they have to still be with me by the 2nd month. Otherwise, they could turn up on the first day, then give immediate notice under the settling-in terms and I'd have to return the deposit and only get paid for 1 day's work.

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  7. #6
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    I find it extremely hard and I'm in the same boat as you.

    I've recently signed up a family of 3 whose Mum went on maternity leave in July. I looked after her two children and she was hoping to come back to me with new baby and so she's signed contract and given £150 deposit. I told her I couldn't keep 3 places open so she would need to sign and pay deposit. But really that doesn't really give me anymore security, she could pull out at anytime.

    She could still drop out due to circumstances changing and I'm not 100% happy with the decision I made but I'll have to take it as it comes. She will lose her deposit but if she is to drop out a week before they are due back then I'll be more than £150 out of pocket from turning other people away.

    I also have a mindee who comes 2 days a week, her Mum had a baby in November and wants sibling to come here too. She's not signed anything yet as she's not 100% sure on what hours she will be doing. But I've kept the place open(something I said I wouldn't do because I was stung by this in the past)

    So all I have is crossed fingers at the moment
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

  8. #7
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    I've always taken a 4 week deposit. I won't hold a space without it. It quickly weeds out the parents that are not serious. I've just had a mum sign contracts yesterday for a full time space in July and she has paid me close to £1000. If she changes her mind I will get to keep the money

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mummyMia View Post
    I've always taken a 4 week deposit. I won't hold a space without it. It quickly weeds out the parents that are not serious. I've just had a mum sign contracts yesterday for a full time space in July and she has paid me close to £1000. If she changes her mind I will get to keep the money
    I do exactly the same, this I have found secures a commitment and doesn't leave you high and dry. Talk is cheap.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    I've found there are a lot of parents who want to secure a September childcare place as early as possible for their peace of mind. If it works out, all the better: you want the sort of clients who are sensible and organised. So far, so wonderful.....

    OTOH, a lot can change between now and September and, moreover, I'm finding some parents are very selfish and unscrupulous about their search.

    In each of the last 2 years, I've signed up children early for September, only to find they pulled out at the last minute. Last summer was the worst, with 3 children signed up and none of them coming here by the 3rd week of September. Not only did I lose £££s, but the worst thing was the thought of the many genuine enquirers I'd turned away cos I'd committed all my places on certain days to parents who weren't at all committed to me, IYWSWIM.

    There's evidence in my area of some parents signing contracts with 2 or more CMs, in order to be sure of a place, then giving notice when they've had a settling visit or 2, or even well into Sepember. It's like they feel they have the right to have a CM 'on approval'. Even loss of deposit hasn't deterred them.

    I'd say you definitely need a sizeable deposit if you sign anyone early. I can't say how much, other than that it needs to be no more than they can afford, but must be more than they can afford to lose, IYSWIM. Inevitably, this may put some off, but I fear that's the nature of the business.

    Btw, when I take a deposit, I agree to refund it against the second (not first) month's fees. That means they have to still be with me by the 2nd month. Otherwise, they could turn up on the first day, then give immediate notice under the settling-in terms and I'd have to return the deposit and only get paid for 1 day's work.

    i've heard it all now! how cheeky are some parents! but i like the idea about taking the deposit of second months fees and am going to implement this! great idea thanks

  12. #10
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    I take 1 weeks nonrefundable "registration fee" rather than a deposit.

 

 

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