Childcare deposits – advice to parents

Parents considering paying a deposit to secure a place at a childcare centre or preschool should read the contract carefully.

NSW Fair Trading says grievances about education and childcare deposits have doubled from 2013 to 2014.

Paying a deposit could bind the parent to terms and conditions, including cancellation fees or forfeiting a deposit if the child does not gain a place or take up an offer.

It is recommended that parents request and read the terms and conditions as well as inspecting the facility before outlaying any deposit or signing an agreement.

NSW Fair Trading also advises parents to:

  • seek information about their child's place on a waiting list and consider the likelihood of being offered a place
  • check whether the fee is refundable after a set period if a suitable position does not become available
  • make sure any agreement on a waiting list fee is put in writing and a receipt is provided as proof of purchase.

More information is available from the NSW Fair Trading website or by calling 133220.

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