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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Child Care Rates Are All Over The Place!
Abigail 01:36 PM 03-20-2011
Child care rates in our city are all over the place! LOL. I know I get a list of "average" "low" and "high" rates for licensed family providers in my area from the child care resource and referral, but I'm shocked when I get to centers and see how much higher the rates are than family. Yes, I know they have more overhead expenses, but they still hire employees giving no benefits and start at minimum wage. This is in general of course.

So, to be fresh and original, I want a way to create a rate for infants-schoolage. Does anyone really estimate what they want to earn a year and divide to figure a rate? That seems unrealistic because we'd all choose to be at the high end of the pay scale if we could. I'm now considering charging more for infants (even though that gives the "pay cut" once they become a toddler), but why not make that little extra if you can while still providing quality care?

How did you figure out the dollar amounts? I am not looking for specific numbers. I'm wanting to know how you set your rates and how many dollars more or what percentage more you decided to set your rates at for different hours and/or different ages. Sorry if I confused anyone, lol.
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nannyde 03:17 PM 03-20-2011
I don't think there's a good formula for this. Here the lower priced child cares are about half of the Center rates.

You can advertise at a medium rate and see what kind of traffic that brings. If you don't get many bites then lower it down and try that. You gotta start somewhere so dip your toes in and see what's out there.

My biggest piece of advice is to only do open hours (meaning they can come any hours you are open) if you are doing a fixed maximum of ten hour days. If you have open to close hours that are eleven or twelve hours a day you will find that many or even all of the clients use your services for the entire time or at the least.... the late in the afternoon to evening time. If you close at six you will likely have kids there until you close.

I do a max of nine hours and increase the rate as the departure time gets later. That works really well for me. My average kid is here around 8.5 hours per day. They have a ton of face time with their parents every day which translates into great kids and great parents.

Having any one kid in your home for more than nine hours is HARD even if it's a really great kid. Kids can only take so much of being away from their parents. It starts to wear on everyone when it gets past nine hours. JMHO
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Blackcat31 07:16 PM 03-20-2011
Most providers in my area charge top dollar for infants with rates decreasing as child becomes older so it does pay to take the kids while they are younger. I charge $40 per day for infants, $33 for toddlers and $28 for preschoolers. The rates change higher/lower depending on how many days a week they attend and how many hours their day is. I think it works because the spaces you are most limited with are the spaces we can make the most money from.
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MissAnn 05:10 AM 03-21-2011
This is really good advice! I am open 10.5 hrs and might increase it next year. I have mainy teacher's kids and they start coming in at 6:45 and some don't pick up till I close at 4:30. That is too long of a day.....plus they openly admit they went to Walmart....which I don't really mind except for the amount of time their kids are here.
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daysofelijah 06:10 AM 03-21-2011
I set my rates at the average rate for my city on the child care business survey that comes out each year. I used to be on the lower side, but raised it to average a few years ago. Centers of course charge twice as much for infants than home daycares do. I don't know how people afford it.

My rates go down a little as the child gets older. Infants are $35/day, toddlers $33/day, 2 yo $31, 3 yo & potty trained $30/day, school age $25.

I keep my daily rates a bit higher than my full time rates. My full time rates are the same as the daily rate for four days. I find many people tried to save by only bringing their kid four days and working longer days to get one day off, so I made four the same as five.
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Abigail 02:01 PM 03-23-2011
I am thinking about charging more for children under two as I'm limited to only three in the age group. Then no other discounts after they turn two because I would go off what the average rate is, which comes out yearly here as well with our referral agency.

I'm not sure how much more per week is acceptable, whether it be dollar amount or percentage. Here is an example for my area from last year...

Low-end is $100/week
Average is $125/week
High-end is $160/week

that is a $25 gap from the minimum and average and a $35 gap for the average to maximum rates in home daycares for infants. How do I decide what is the best rate for infants in my home going based off these numbers?
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Symphony 02:49 PM 03-23-2011
Where I live there are three of us who have home care and one center. Full-time, the center charges much more than we do. The problem is though, that the center charges just for the time the child is there, so parents can drop kid off, come back in an hour, and pay JUST for that hour. Not so with our home daycares. So then we end up getting the rap for being too expensive. The other thing is the center will take drop-ins anytime so long as you have previously paid a $25 fee. So, the drop-in clients the home daycares used to get are virtually gone.

I have a lower as they grow fee schedule too.
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happykidschildcare 03:27 PM 03-23-2011
infant 6 wks -2 yrs $35 day
2 & up $30 day
kindergarden still $30 day
I only have 1 1st grader and shes $20 ( sibling discounted )
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