Clever Daycare was supposed to open last September but didn’t, and when some parents demanded their deposits back, they didn’t get them.

Amy Dettling was relying on starting her son at Clever Daycare after being on a waitlist and paying a registration fee.

“We had to go on several different waiting lists, I think I was on five or six, and they all had a registration fee attached to those, so it was quite expensive for us to just get on all of those waiting lists, and most places were saying it was a two to three year waitlist before you could even get in.”

But as last September drew close, Dettling called the centre and was told the building still wasn’t ready for occupancy and wouldn’t be for months.

“Mount Royal called me and they had a spot open at their daycare, so I put my son in there, and then when I called back to get my money refunded, they refused,” she said. “Your child had to be enrolled in their program for two months before any refunds would be made, and well, that was impossible.”

The owner of Clever Daycare, Isaiah Mac Jerry, told CTV over the phone that he kept the deposits because the parents didn't give adequate cancellation notice under the contract.

“If someone asking for refund money, they need to give us two months notice and we are going to follow our agreement,” he said.

Dettling ended up taking Clever to court and won, but still couldn’t get her refund.

“There is no reason for them to keep $1,000, they didn’t provide any services to me, if my child had actually been enrolled in the program and I didn’t give proper notice, something like that, you walk away from those things, but they never provided anything to me for that $1,000, and that’s a lot of money for me.”

Kailee Erdman also signed up at Clever to start in January, but the centre still is not open in June, and Erdman also could not get her money back.

After CTV contacted Clever Daycare, it paid Erdman's judgment in full. Dettling had already received full payment through her own efforts.

The daycare owners now say the new projected opening date for the centre is September of this year.