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Karen Bradley

I'm a little different, I use what I call the "one rate" plan. The rate you start at is the rate you stay at till the child leaves at age 5. So, if they start at, say, $200 per week, they stay at that rate. If the child is able to use the toilet independently when they start, the rate would be slightly lower.

Jena K

I assume that alternatively if I'm lowering my rates to draw in new business, that I don't have to lower my rates for my currently enrolled families then?

Tom Copeland

You are correct. Although, I don't recommend permanently lowering your rates to attract new clients. Give several months of a discount instead.

Tom Copeland

Karen - Many providers follow what you do. This means you aren't getting a raise for many years. I hope you are raising rates for the new children.

Susie May

We tell the parents what the new rate will be in January and raise them in September of each year. We raise our rates 3-6% based on local comparisons.


I agree with raising my fees for the quality care that I provide. After all I want parents to choose my care because of the quality I offer, not because I'm the cheapest care they can find. By doing this, I also gain the benefit of having quality parents in my program.

If you raise your fee by $5.00 per week each year, that's only $1.00 a day or .10 cents per hour for a 50 hour work week. For parents to receive quality care, they could give up a coke a day (cost of the drink $1.00) or a meal at a fast food restaurant once a week. I honestly believe that parents feel their child is worth the cost.

Personally, I feel it's only fair to raise my fee to everyone in my program at the same time, each Sept.

If a provider is not raising her fees (her income) she's not being fair to her own family. After all, if she's losing income every year because her expenses keeps going up and she doesn't raise her rates. Then most providers will cut back on their own family's activities or school clothes for her own children. Even worst, they quit because they can no longer afford to stay in business. We lose too many quality providers every year.


I have gone with the method that Karen mentioned, too and it works so well for me. I feel that I offer one of the highest quality programs in my area and so I charge a higher rate than some other providers when a family first starts, with the benefit to them that their rate won't be increased. Also, if a family changes their childcare slot (such as going from part time to full time) or has a new baby, they will pay the current rate for that new slot. Before I went to this method, I had been doing childcare in my own home for 5 years and had only raised rates once, so I don't feel that I am losing out on anything by doing it this way, and I don't have to stress about that awkward conversation anymore.

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