Mom Says Daughters Daycare Gave Her Mandatory Fundraiser to Sell $250 Worth of Product or Pay $150

If you have a child enrolled in a daycare or school, chances are, you and/or your kiddo have been asked by staff to help with fundraisers. Typically, participation is voluntary and prizes might be given as an incentive.

That’s why we’re so shocked by one Reddit mom’s claim. In the Parenting subreddit, the OP, who goes by the name coladp, revealed that her daughters’ daycare implemented a mandatory fundraiser—forcing parents to choose between paying $150 out of pocket or selling $250 worth of Taffy apples. Oh and by the way? That’s per kid and it seems the OP has more than one child enrolled!

The OP learned the hard way that those fundraising goals were mandatory. She spent two weeks selling $100 worth of apples, and submitted a money order for that amount on the day it was due at school.

“When I picked them up yesterday, the lady said, ‘Well, you only gave us $100 sold. You have to either sell $150 more, or give us another $50 (in addition to the $100) and you don’t get any apples. Your choice.’ And they said they won’t place the order for the apples unless it’s $250 from us. Uhm… what????” she wrote.

Understandably, the mom, who had “never heard of a mandatory fundraiser before,” was “pissed off” about the situation, especially considering that she pays $1,500 a month for her daughters to attend the daycare. “We did the best we could in what we sold… They have about 60 kids that go here that pay the same exact tuition as us. There’s no way they need the money this bad.”

To make matters worse, the OP said that the staff harassed her husband when he picked up their daughters. And in the comments section the OP also revealed that the school staff told her that if she refused to abide by their terms, they would charge her card on file.

Feeling frustrated, she asked the internet, “Am I wrong??? I don’t know what to do at this point. I don’t want them treating our girls different, and I don’t want to pay because it’s THE PRINCIPLE!! Like I’m so upset I have a headache lol. I’m this close to reporting them.”

The comments section showed that the Reddit community was just as shocked as the OP. “Why would people who have kids in daycare have time to sell candy freaking apples at all? I am flabbergasted by every part of this… ” wrote user Lopedawg.

Redditor PM_MAJESTIC_PICS crunched some numbers to understand the daycare’s fundraising requirements, and came to the conclusion that it made no sense at all. “I’m gathering that the school probably takes 60 percent of sales from the apples, which would explain why $250 sales = $150 straight cash. If this is the case, your sales will bring in $60, and then another $90 “donation” would bring you up to total. Not that I agree with any of this—but even their math makes no sense. This is the most ridiculous situation!! And you’re supposed to go back and tell everyone, ‘Just kidding, you don’t get any apples even though you ordered some, here’s your money back’ like WHAT. … Is the school this incompetent otherwise? For somewhere that charges $1500/month it seems like they have no idea what they’re doing.”

Several chimed in to offer advice, particularly on if the daycare could charge her card on file. User tlh550, who claims to be a lawyer and gets asked to be on many non-profit boards, including childcare, wrote, “Simply put, you cannot foist an addition or amendment to a contract on parents. The fundraising expectations have to be clearly set out in the agreement/contract between the organization and the family. The use to which the funds are to be put also have to be made known to the members/ parents. Often a one-time cash payment in lieu of fundraising was provided as an option for busy parents. Is it a private or for profit daycare? Ask to see copy of bylaws and meeting minutes. Clearly, assuming all in your favor, you can properly refuse to fundraise. Before you do that, from a practical perspective, I’d take the temperature of the other parents, and just make sure you’re not missing something.” The lawyer also expressed some doubts about the daycare having their act together based on their behavior toward her. “Realistically, I’d be a little concerned about the quality of care my kid was receiving if I was engaged in a fundraising war with the owner/staff.”

In the comments section, the mom said she’ll be rereading her contract with the daycare, and will update the post to let everyone know what happens.