Yep! You read that right. It’s easy and it works every time. So if you have ever had parents that skipped out on you, this post will help you fix that. PERMANENTLY. Here is the easy way to get two-week childcare notice every time.
Last week I was in one of my childcare Facebook groups and a provider was talking about how she had to file a small claims suit against a client for not giving her withdrawal notice & nonpayment. The provider even stated that the client had threatened to call licensing if she took her to court.
I KNOW RITE!
And the parent did just that! She called licensing on the provider which thankfully didn’t sound like it went anywhere. So in turn, the provider did what she said and sued the client for nonpayment.
That made me wonder, just how many providers have either dealt with an issue like this or want to know just how to avoid parents skipping out without notice.
Get Two-Week Childcare Notice Every Time
The truth is, once upon a time I had this issue at my childcare.
I can remember one time in particular when a parent went on vacation and never returned. I am still waiting for them to come back. Funny, NOT Funny.
Can you say rude!
All kidding aside, this can be a real problem for a provider. This is our business and livelihood. Not getting the notice that a client is leaving doesn’t even give us the opportunity to plan or try to fill that spot.
As I said, I have had to deal with this issue once or twice myself. But one day I put in place a policy that alleviated me ever having to deal with disappearing parents again.
How I Get Two-Week Notice Every Time
So I know you are probably wondering how I can make such a statement like that. I mean is anything fail-proof?
Well, not always. But in this case it is fail-proof. GUARANTEED!
Swap Notice for Deposit
Here’s what I did. I switched up the game and started requiring an enrollment deposit upon enrollment. So any new clients would now be required to not only pay for the first week of care but also leave a deposit equal to two-weeks tuition as well. This was in addition to any other fees like enrollment and insurance fees, etc.
The deposit would either be applied to the last two weeks of care or get forfeited if they did not provide adequate (two-week) notice whenever they withdrew from my program.
So if they go all Infinity War on me, the money is already there. Essentially they would be walking away from their own money.
As you can imagine, no one skips out now!
UPDATE: I had to share this. A provider in one of my Facebook groups had this to say “I did this and put the deposits in a high-interest yielding account. I make money off it sitting there.” IS THAT GENIUS OR WHAT?!
Now I know you are probably wondering, “Yeah, but did any of your clients’ pushback?”
Nope! Not one.
And here’s why – I made it a policy. Which means the new enrollment deposit was written into the contract, handbook and even noted on my rates flyer. I even created a payment procedure form that goes into detail about the deposit. The enrollment deposit is also mentioned during the tour.
Not only that, the new clients coming in had no idea that this was a “new” policy. It was just the way it was.
In real life, people are quite accustomed to the “first and last” phrase associated with rental agreements. Which is why my enrollment deposit didn’t sound too foreign to them.
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How to Enforce an Enrollment Deposit
There is one thing you should know before you implement an enrollment deposit policy – you will need to enforce it.
What do I mean?
Well just like your contract, other policies, and procedures, you will need to hold fast to this policy. Don’t be talked into not getting the deposit.
Yes, for some families this might be a steep initial expense when they enroll. But you can still get the enrollment deposit. What I have done is if my client indicates a hardship with the deposit, I offer to split it up in payments over a 30-day period.
Why 30 days?
I wouldn’t go too long with installment payments on the deposit. 30 days should be enough for them to get it to you.
What about your current clients?
So glad you asked. Yes, you can get the enrollment deposit from them as well. Just issue a notice of a change in policy. In other words “the rules have been changed”.
You might want to be creative in how current clients will need to submit their enrollment deposit, but try not to be too lenient. Again try to have it submitted with a short amount of time.
Skip the lawsuit
Now you know how to set up an enrollment deposit policy and get your two-week notice just about every time.
So if you have clients who “forget” to give notice, now you can skip the lawsuit. Just get your notice upfront in the form of an enrollment deposit.
This is such a wonderful tool to use!!
Adrienne told me about this many years ago and I’m so thankful! It helps me to look for another client and it helps them to be more invested in my daycare. All providers should insist on a two week deposit. In addition, if they choose to leave they forfeit the deposit. Put no refunds ( even partial ) in your contract.
Thanks Deanne! This really is the easiest and in my mind the best way to ensure providers get withdrawal notice.