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Old 06-28-2011, 10:13 AM
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Angry I don't charge enough! WWYD?

I've been reading posts in the forum for quite some time and they have all been really helpful. I do need some advice though, so here goes...

I've been running an in-home daycare for over 10 years now. When I first started I would charge $10/day per child.

Since I have raised my rates, but not too much. Everyone here has a different rate and compared to other in-home daycares in my area, what I charge is dirt cheap.

I only charge $90/week for infants, I currently watch 1 infant hours are 7am-5:15pm

I have 3 other families with 2 or more children.

Family #1- ages 9, 7, & 4. I charge $150/week during school and $175/week during summer. Their hours vary but it is usually M-F 11:30am-6pm.

Family #2- ages 4 &1. I charge $160/week M-F 8:30-5:45pm.

Family #3- ages 8 & 6. I charge $125/week M-F 7:30am-4:45pm.

I have contracts that have been sent out, but never signed and never returned. I have always been too nice, but my contracts state my hours are 7am-5:30pm. As you can see I have a couple of parents that completely disregard my hours, and dad of Family #1 at times will not pick up until 6:30pm with no phone call or apology and NO late fees. I should also say that Family #1 lives across the street so I do not want to cause any problems but I do feel that I should say something or charge them for the late fees but I just don't know what to do!

so my question is this, How can I increase my rates to average those around me? The other in-home daycares charge $150/week for infants and $100/week per child with no sibling discount and $75/week before and after school care per child.

If I were to match these rates I would almost double what some of the parents are paying. I also have one mom who made her own rates and will use drop off care 2 days per week for her 7 & 5 year old for 6-7 hours and pays me $20 altogether for the day. I feel like I am being ripped off and it is the major cause of my burnout.

What should I do and how do I go about it? Thanks in advance!!
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:36 AM
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Country Kids Country Kids is offline
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Write up new contracts! Hand them out a week or so before the starting date (a beginning of a new month is the best time for me) and let them know that if you do not receive the contract back signed and dated that you will void all care till you receive it back. Also let them know that if you do not receive them back you will start looking for children to replace their spots. Reinforce late pick up times with late fees and let them know if you have the child any later than 15 min. past your closing time and parents haven't called there will be a call placed to the parents for child abdonment. You have to take this seriously and then the parents will take you seriously. Good luck and please remember we are all here for you!!!!!
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:50 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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I only charge $90/week for infants, I currently watch 1 infant hours are 7am-5:15pm....The other in-home daycares charge $150/week for infants and $100/week per child with no sibling discount and $75/week before and after school care per child.

Split the difference.. $125.00 per week for a full-time slot. Rate is not attendance based, the full-time rate is due whether child attends, or not, to maintain enrollment.


I have 3 other families with 2 or more children.

This is a risky business decision for a small group provider. Too many eggs in one basket, IMHO.

Family #1- ages 9, 7, & 4. I charge $150/week during school and $175/week during summer. Their hours vary but it is usually M-F 11:30am-6pm.

Correct rate should be $275.00 during school. $25 per day for school closures, space available. $375.00 per week during summer. Why do you feel you are worth less?

Family #2- ages 4 &1. I charge $160/week M-F 8:30-5:45pm.

The correct rate would be $250.00. Again, selling yourself short.

Family #3- ages 8 & 6. I charge $125/week M-F 7:30am-4:45pm.

Correct rate should be $250.00, again. You are keeping one for free.

I have contracts that have been sent out, but never signed and never returned.

Good, then replace them. You owe them NOTHING.

I have always been too nice, but my contracts state my hours are 7am-5:30pm. As you can see I have a couple of parents that completely disregard my hours, and dad of Family #1 at times will not pick up until 6:30pm with no phone call or apology and NO late fees. I should also say that Family #1 lives across the street so I do not want to cause any problems but I do feel that I should say something or charge them for the late fees but I just don't know what to do!

Enforce your policies consistently. If you can't do that with neighbors, don't enroll neighbors.

so my question is this, How can I increase my rates to average those around me? .

Clean house and start over OR replace them one by one OR give out new contracts and let them choose to leave or play by the rules.

If I were to match these rates I would almost double what some of the parents are paying.

Which is why you should not feel any guilt. They know they have been getting by with it and making you feel inferior.

I also have one mom who made her own rates and will use drop off care 2 days per week for her 7 & 5 year old for 6-7 hours and pays me $20 altogether for the day. I feel like I am being ripped off and it is the major cause of my burnout.

You should resent all of this, but also know you created it. This is one of the top reasons for provider burnout. Set a fair rate, enforce your policies, get respectful clients and begin to enjoy your job again.

What should I do and how do I go about it? Thanks in advance!!

You can either replace them one by one since you have no valid contracts with anyone. OR you could hand out a new contract and have a mass exodus. Either way depends on YOU standing up for yourself and enforcing your policies.

If you can't do that you don't need to be in business for yourself. You are not being a fair employer to you. I am telling you this to help and hope it rolls around in your head for years to come. Daycare is not a charity.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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wow. I can't believe you are doing this to yourself. You have opened yourself up to the parents taking advantage of you, its self inflicted at this point. If you are ready to get a backbone, then get one and be prepared for all the families to leave and you to start your daycare anew. No way are they going to accept a huge rate increase plus abiding by all the rules when they never had to do that before. Its up to you if you are ready for the backlash or not. There is no way to do this sort of thing "nicely". They are not going to like it no matter what way it is presented.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:47 AM
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You are all absolutely right! I have set myself up and my husband tells me this all the time. I just put out a new ad with my new rates, and if I gain even 3 children at the new rates I will be making just as much as I am now. I used to enjoy my job, but feeling used has taken its toll on me and I know I have allowed it for too long! I appreciate your input and I have enormous respect for all of you who have stuck with your rules! I have always felt that because I could never afford to work and pay childcare that I was doing my clients a favor by charging less. Instead I have caused serious damage to myself
I appreciate you're help tremendously!
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