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SimpleMom 04:37 PM 07-07-2011
I just responded to Dancing Queens post regarding rates and such. I have a min. of $115.00/wk and more if it's more than 40 hrs. I have, in the last 30 minutes, had two families tell me that it's too much and they want to pay less--in one case less. I really can't afford to do that and keep my numbers at a 5-6 under school age, but in some ways I can't afford not to. I am now unsure as to what on earth to do and feeling a little discouraged. It really wouldn't be fair to take less than 115 as I have families that do use less than 40 hrs and still pay that. It just would't feel right to take more for a wkly rate for them than for the families requesting less.

Also, it's hard to get FT as it is. My rate is the discount. I'm just not sure what to ask for anymore. Do I just run a program less than the quality I want to provide? Nope. So, I'm just rattling and frazzled. If I take less and still look for ft, do I tell them that? My experience is that they won't even attend if I say that.
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JenNJ 04:49 PM 07-07-2011
So don't tell them. Accept them into care if you need the money. Continue to advertise for a FULL TIME slot. When you land a new client, either boot the old client or offer them the option of full time pay. Its not personal, its business.
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Crazy8 05:03 PM 07-07-2011
how do your rates compare to others in the area?? are you much higher?

As I mentioned in a previous thread, I have 3 set weekly rates - for 3, 4 or 5 days a week. The daily breakdown gets higher the less days per week they are contracted for but they do not pay daily - its still a weekly rate. If someone wants 2 days it is at the daily rate of the 3 day - which for me is $45/day. BUT I don't take a 2 day a week child unless it happens to fit in with the other part timers. I don't mess with hours at all or a set dollar amount minimum (although I guess $90 would be my min. since that would be 2 full days - but I never word it that way).

I wouldn't change my rates just because someone told me they were too high unless they really are too high, kwim? Call around to see. I keep my rates the same for all families with the exception of those who I've kept "grandfathered" at older rates (I have had one family for 9 years, only raised their rate once!). While its not a habit I'd get into I think you have every right to evaluate your rates on a per client basis if necessary. I'm assuming you have something about rate changes in your contract??

It really isn't hard to have a few set rates - but I think it gets confusing when you start talking about minimums and discounting for an hour here and there.
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Michael 05:14 PM 07-07-2011
Originally Posted by LittleDiamonds:
how do your rates compare to others in the area?? are you much higher?

You might want to search our TAGS. There are many threads about differing rates. I posted a few tags on the bottom left of this thread.
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Crazy8 08:14 PM 07-07-2011
Originally Posted by Michael:
You might want to search our TAGS. There are many threads about differing rates. I posted a few tags on the bottom left of this thread.
thanks, but that was more a rhetorical question since she said her client is telling her that she charges too much - I was just asking her to ask herself if her rates were too high.
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Country Kids 08:43 PM 07-07-2011
How long have these clients been in your care? If they have been with you awhile why are they all of a sudden saying your rates are to high? Have they been checking around and saw that for your area you can get a lesser rate at another child care?

For our area that is middle to high for childcare. Everyone here charges monthly and it is anywhere from 400-450 for full time childcare. I charge hourly and $2.50/$2.75 and usually end up making more than this on my full time children but everyone tells me my rates are to low. How can this be when I'm making more than most childcare providers in my area! I'm always full and have had children wait 4+ years to come here.
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MarinaVanessa 08:48 AM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by JenNJ:
So don't tell them. Accept them into care if you need the money. Continue to advertise for a FULL TIME slot. When you land a new client, either boot the old client or offer them the option of full time pay. Its not personal, its business.
Exactly. They came to you and want you to drop your rates for them, and I'm assuming soon, because they want to pay less and it's putting you in a bad spot. They are not thinking about you, they are thinking about themselves and how they can keep more money in their pockets. So if you can't afford to lose them charge them less and then start interviewing for replacements.

Personally if I had clients do this to me I would see it as blatant disrespect. Obviously the quality of the child care that you provide is not an issue, only the price tag that goes with it, otherwise they wouldn't be wanting to stay. If this were to happen to me and I had two parents band together and plot against me I would be appalled. If they have the guts to do this then I would not feel bad about finding someone to take their place.

You can interview for a new client and when you find one offer the current clients a choice to go back to paying your regular rate or find care elsewhere but to be honest with you, I wouldn't. I would find a replacement and tell them that they can start in 2 weeks then I'd turn around and give the current clients their termination notice. Actually because in my contract I have a termination policy that reads that I can terminate at will I would hand them their childrens belongings at pick-up the day before the other families start date. No one is going to tell me how to run my business, I make the rules in my house, I provide a service and I decide how much my time and energy is worth. I let clients get to me and dictate what I would and would not do for how much before and it was burning me out. It took the joy out what I love doing, out of the profession that I chose, and turned it into a job that I began to resent.

Do what's best for you but I sure hope that you don't feel bad if you decide to replace them. They didn't feel bad gaining up on you. They want to pay less, you want to get paid more than what they are willing to pay. It's business.
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CheekyChick 10:43 AM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by Country Kids:
How long have these clients been in your care? If they have been with you awhile why are they all of a sudden saying your rates are to high? Have they been checking around and saw that for your area you can get a lesser rate at another child care?

For our area that is middle to high for childcare. Everyone here charges monthly and it is anywhere from 400-450 for full time childcare. I charge hourly and $2.50/$2.75 and usually end up making more than this on my full time children but everyone tells me my rates are to low. How can this be when I'm making more than most childcare providers in my area! I'm always full and have had children wait 4+ years to come here.
I live in the Willamette Valley and the rates in my area are:

Infants: $500.00 (SHM) to $1,100.00 (centers).
Preschool (full day): $500.00 (SHM) to $900.00 (centers).

I am a certified (in home) provider and charge: $700.00 for infants and $600.00 for preschool age.

I think your rates seem really, really low.
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Country Kids 11:14 AM 07-08-2011
How funny I'm just south of you!!!!

Infants-400-450 for in home care
700 for the center

Preschool-350-450 for in home care
Not sure for centers but not much more

Preschool only-1/2 days=All the way around in home or center
$75-$150

School age ranges drastically-One place does it for $50 for the year because they get grants and funding.

I personally don't take infants but do well for our area with what I charge. I actually have had parents say I charge more than the average for our area if you break theirs down to hourly!

I do check craigslist for your area and can't believe the price differences. Even the state pays more for that area than we get.
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SimpleMom 12:43 PM 07-08-2011
I'm average for rates here. Some do charge for PT (3,4,5 days, etc.) I used to and no longer want to do that. There is a family that hasn't been here--just didn't discuss the rate until recently. They have planned on starting. Anyway, the other is a family that is hoping to stay and can't afford ft with the state budget cuts as of late.

Both very respectful families. I may just do the lesser amount and keep looking. My hubby said not to worry and just keep looking. It may take awhile, but if a family is trying to barter my contract at the start, that may mean trouble later. I'm in agreement. I don't want any hard feelings and it's sooo hard for me to have a backbone on this one, but I have to. If I change things now, it's not good cuz then I have to change it for everyone and I'll end up with 12 kids and the same pay as I make with 6 along with waaay too much stress.

Thanks for the responses! I am feeling much better now. I was just so discouraged last night
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Crystal 01:42 PM 07-08-2011
My rates are non-negotiable for new or prospective clients. If they are not willing to pay my rate, they can find cheaper, lower quality care elsewhere.

For current, long-time clients I have, in the past, offered a discounted rate when they are having financial difficulties.

What I would do if I were you, for the families that you say are very respectful, is offer them a discounted rate. I'd write a new contract and include in it that it would be revisited in 6 months and depending on circumstances at that time you have the option of raising the rate back to your regular rate.

The parents need to realize, just as their income has dropped and affected them, yours would drop and in turn affect you if you lower their rate....so I would offer a SMALL discount and then revisit later.
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Gurdy 02:25 PM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by JenNJ:
So don't tell them. Accept them into care if you need the money. Continue to advertise for a FULL TIME slot. When you land a new client, either boot the old client or offer them the option of full time pay. Its not personal, its business.
I totally agree with this! If the clients are asking for PT hours. If they want FT hours they need to pay FT rate.
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CheekyChick 03:07 PM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by Country Kids:
How funny I'm just south of you!!!!

Infants-400-450 for in home care
700 for the center

Preschool-350-450 for in home care
Not sure for centers but not much more

Preschool only-1/2 days=All the way around in home or center
$75-$150

School age ranges drastically-One place does it for $50 for the year because they get grants and funding.

I personally don't take infants but do well for our area with what I charge. I actually have had parents say I charge more than the average for our area if you break theirs down to hourly!

I do check craigslist for your area and can't believe the price differences. Even the state pays more for that area than we get.
It's odd how there is such a huge difference in rates within the same state.
I know infant care (in my area) is incredibly high - sometimes over $1,000.00 per month in centers. Ouch!!!
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Tags:discount, enforcing policies - consistency, policy exceptions, provider - burnout risk, rate - fair and reasonable, rates, rates - hourly to daily
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