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Logged out 04:49 PM 01-05-2013
have you considered doing a yearly 'registration fee'? The average yearly registration fee is any where between $15-$50 depending on your area- I suggest starting on the lower end and increase it every couple of years. Just let them know that yearly they are to pay $XX amount in the month of _______ (I suggest January or February (or in July/August before the school year) for everyone to make it easy or the month the family signed up) you can also suggest that when they are enrolled and already paid for the first registration fee that they can pay in small incraments here and there with their normal tuition for credit towards the registration fee. The term "registration fee" covers a wide variety of supplies and services.

Some FCCP's do that around here. I knew one provider in one of my ECE classes who didn't do that at first because she didn't understand why other providers do it and how to explain it to the parents but after that class she said when she switches from a daycare to being just a preschool she is going to inforce it. If you want to justify it to parents say that this small yearly fee helps you keep your regular rates low by helping pay for books, curriculum/school supplies, art materials, toys/play equipment, storage supplies, cleaning supplies, toilet paper/ tissues/ diapers/ wipes, snacks, sometimes even field trips/transportation (if you are willing to pay all the field trip fees or at least the transportation for the field trip); as well as cover administrative fees (AKA paperwork) such paper, computer ink, liscensing fees, special training (CPR/1st Aid, ECE/CD classes/ certification programs), keeping play and sleep materials/equipment up to safety codes, and after hour open houses/ interviews/ conferences/ graduations. This also gives you a chance to revise your contract yearly too and they can sign the new contract when they pay the annual fee. It helps if you get the registration fee upfront from all the families. so you can do one big shopping trip for supplies for the whole year (In this case I would do a registration fee every fall for the best back-to-school sales).

Another option would be to slightly increase the tuition/enrollment fee between $1-$5 a week or $5-$25 a month (depending on how you do your payment schedule but it is roughly the same either way) however I think parents would be more willing to pay just an extra $20 a year in stead of an extra $52-$260 a year. Thought that would be better for you, you will have to see what is not only best for you but what your clients would be more willing to due. Then again if it's been a while since you increased your rates and your not on the higher end maybe consider doing both! A yearly registration fee with a small enrollment fee increase- as long as your not pricing yourself out too much above the average rate which may make it difficult for you to find families who are willing to pay those prices.
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