There are many reasons why a parent or guardian may want to stop the daycare arrangement they have made for their child. The most common reasons are:
• The child is not happy with the daycare provider
• The parent does not like the facilities provided by the caregiver
• The parent no longer requires the child to have outside daycare
• The parent found a cheaper and/or better alternative
• The type of care given is not in keeping with the parent’s values
In order to stop or change a daycare provider, the parent or guardian will need to send a daycare termination letter. The content of the letter will depend on the daycare center’s policies, any contract that the parent has signed, any applicable local laws and the reason for the change.
Review Daycare Contract
The first thing the parent or guardian should do is look at any daycare contract that was signed. A contract may be signed with a daycare center or even with an individual. The contract should clearly state the terms and conditions for termination.
Before writing a daycare termination letter, the parent should decide if they are willing to meet the terms and conditions. For example, if the contract states that the daycare center fees must be paid for the term of the contract even if the child is removed from the facility, this may cost a lot of money.
Overlook the Financial Loss
If the child is seriously unhappy, the parents may be willing to overlook the financial loss. However, if the child is happy, but the parents do not require outside daycare anymore, they may be willing to allow the child to finish the term of the contract.
A properly worded termination letter may help the parent successfully withdraw their child, even if the timing is not correct according to the contract. Many daycare centers are overbooked and have no problem letting one child go early because they know they will immediately fill the spot.
If the contract is with an individual, there may be a clause that states the amount of time advanced notice either party must give to terminate the contract. For example, if the time is one month advanced notice or two weeks, the termination letter must comply with those terms or the parent may be in breach of contract, and the daycare service provider could sue.
Give a Reason?
Unless the contract specifically requires a reason, it is not necessary to give a reason. However, if the service was very poor, unsafe or otherwise undesirable, it may be best to tell the provider.
If the care was good or satisfactory, it may be nice to tell the provider and thank him or her for the child’s happy experience. If the parent can no longer afford the service, it may be wise to say so because the provider may prefer to break the contract than keep a child whose parents cannot pay.
If the childcare provider breaks the terms of the contract, then the parent has the right to withdraw the child at any time. However, this must be proved and not simply the opinion of the parent. For example, if the parent takes the child to the caregiver’s home, according to the terms of the contract, and the caregiver is not at home at the appointed time or says to bring the child back after one hour, the caregiver is in breach of the contract.
Finally, some parents only want to withdraw their child from care services for a limited period of time. For example, if there is a new baby in the home, the parent may want their other child home during their maternity or paternity leave.
If this is the case, the daycare termination letter should clearly state the request. The caregiver is not obligated to save a place for a child who has left, unless the parents pay the monthly fees or the caregiver agrees to do so.
Below is a sample daycare termination letter. The intent should be stated clearly in the first sentence. The timing should also be given including the exact date of the termination of service. The letter should also ask the provider to acknowledge the termination. It is written in formal business-letter style and has no spelling or grammatical errors.
The letter may be sent by registered mail and the sender may request a return receipt, so he or she has proof the letter was received on a certain day. This may be important if there is a stipulated time that needs to be given before a termination of services.
By Andre Bradley