Refund of child care 1st month school fee upon cancellation

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Refund of child care 1st month school fee upon cancellation

Postby kellybunny » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:05 pm

Hi,
Hopefully to get someone who has experience with the cancellation of child care registration before the school start. I recently registered my daughter to Agape child center @ serangoon. Due to some family emergency, we had to move to JB to stay with my husband’s parents. To our surprise, the child care centre refuse to refund the 1st month school fee but only refund us the deposit. We did ask about the cancellation policy during the enrollment and the director told us that so long we give sufficient notice like 2 to 3 months, we will get all the deposit plus 1st month school fee back. But all these turns out to be different story when we wanted to cancel the enrollment by giving 3 months’ notice.
Is this a common practice in Singapore child center that they will forfeit the 1st month school fee even if 3 months’ notice period are given?

kellybunny
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Re: Refund of child care 1st month school fee upon cancellat

Postby lonerunner » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:43 am

Hi

Check the school's handbook for guidelines and practices. If school doesnt cooperate you could seek assistance from EDCA (MCYS) or approach Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) for advises and explore options

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Re: Refund of child care 1st month school fee upon cancellat

Postby tswendy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:04 am

Forfeiting the full sum is unreasonable if you as a parent had presented a genuine and reasonable case.

I think we as parents should not be taken advantage of when it comes to our school fees/ deposit paid. Yes, the centres have guidelines and their practices, but withdrawal due to unforeseen circumstances should be considered carefully on a case-by-case basis. After all, some school fees together with deposit can be quite substantial.

ECDA do not intervene. We as parents are left on our own to defend ourselves when we can't get back our money. Even Small Claims tribunal is not effective, considering the procedures and documents involved. Honestly speaking, some child care centres have already charged exorbitant registration fees which are non-refundable. There is no reason to not consider refund of school fees, or at least a portion of it when a child withdraws before the end of the month.

We can come together to start a thread listing down the refund policy of centres , or even those which have unreasonably refused our refunds even with valid reasons, especially when your child has not attended school for more than half the total amount of school fees you have paid. This list can then at least be used as a reference for all parents to check and compare which child care centres are reasonable and which are just pirate ships we should avoid.

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Re: Refund of child care 1st month school fee upon cancellat

Postby tswendy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:12 am

I am currently waiting for my refund, which the school had agreed, but not received anything for more than 2 weeks since my dd's official last day of school.

She only attended 4 days at the childcare, and had to be withdrawn due to her poor health. I have paid up one month deposit + half a month school fees (amounting to the thousand), and not gotten a cent back. Will wait another week before I mention the school's name here.

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Re: Refund of child care 1st month school fee upon cancellat

Postby lonerunner » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:00 am

Not true that ECDA doesnt help. In fact if not for ECDA, I dont think I will be able to get back my deposit at all from the childcare.

For my case it is a simple case of withdrawal by giving 1 calender month notice period (I was going to transfer my child to another CC). I gave 5 full weeks notice actually. After filling up the withdrawal form, I asked if my deposit will be returned on my child's last day of school and if the subsidy grant will be terminated by the CC. The standard reply from administrator and manager of the cluster chain (the principal left donkey months ago and the CC was without one for months) will always be "I'll get back to you on this" but no one ever did. In fact they showed me blackface to discourage me from asking more questions!

I got worried. The handbook did not give a date for which the deposit will be returned (my fault. I did not vet thru this at the time of enrollment). And to my horror, ECDA stated on their Q&A page that parents are advised to settle issues regarding monetary refunds directly with the CC. And "The Ministry does not intervene in financial disputes between the parents and centre"!

I began following up with a formal email asking for a confirmation that I will be receiving the cheque on the last day. With an email chain history containing over 6 weeks of no actions/response to prove that this CC doesnt address my concerns, I then forwarded this email chain to ECDA with my child's details and childcare that I have problems with requesting for assistance.

To my surprise, the ECDA Officer in charge of the district which this childcare belongs to actually called up the management the next day and after a few rounds of following up(and blood vomiting experience), I finally received the long awaited cheaque in my post 4 weeks later! The CC finally log into CC Link to terminate the CC subsidy around the same period too

So the key thing is to provide evidence (written) to prove beyond doubt that parents have indeed done the necessary follow ups and that CC doesnt wish to address parent's concerns before approaching ECDA.

Hope this helps :)

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