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  #1  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:21 AM
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Default How Do Your Infant Rates Compare To Preschooler Rates?

Backstory that I'll probably make too long:
I've been advertising my fcch as a preschool/daycare combo ideal for ages 3-5, with 2yos considered on an individual basis. I received an inquiry today from a mom who said my ad was "amazing" and wanted more info, as she's looking at going back to work and will need part-time care for her daughter.

Her daughter is 8 months old.

I really want to focus on preschoolers, as that fits in well with homeschooling my own. However, in the two months I've been open, I've only been able to enroll one full time preschooler, and one just 2 days a week. I live in a small town. I get inquiries, but I'm either too far away or too expensive.

I'm not sure I even want to take on an infant. I'd have to rework my space and schedule. But I really need to enroll more kiddos to make this worthwhile.

As I ponder this, I need to think about possible tuition rates. How much more do you all charge for infant compared to preschooler? I'm not asking how much you charge, as I know there's a lot of regional differences. I'm just wondering how much higher, generally, are your infant rates. Like, do you charge about 10% more? 20%?

I called my area centers and poked around a lot online when setting my preschool rates. Instead of doing all of that all over again, I'm thinking there's probably a reasonable percentage I could use. Does that make sense?
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:24 AM
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Does keeping infants lower your ratio? If so take what you could make ($$ x maximun slots w/o infants) and divide it by the slots you have left (- slots lost to infant ratio).

EX. My normal ratio is 6. 6 x $120 wk = $720

My ratio drops to 4 with majority infants. So:

$720 / 4 = $180 week.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:27 AM
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Mine is about 11% more. I try to stay with what my states child care assistance program would charge. I don't want to go below that.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:30 AM
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Preschoolers have options. They can attend and pay for 3, 4 or 5 days options.

Infants/toddlers can attend as little or as much as they want but the rate is one flat weekly rate. About $20 more than the fulltime preschool rate.

Infant care is limited here and taking kids under age 2 lowers our ratios so the spaces are billed at a premium.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:30 AM
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I charge the same for infant and preschool. I too would rather not take infants.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:41 AM
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same for both
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Does keeping infants lower your ratio? If so take what you could make ($$ x maximun slots w/o infants) and divide it by the slots you have left (- slots lost to infant ratio).

EX. My normal ratio is 6. 6 x $120 wk = $720

My ratio drops to 4 with majority infants. So:

$720 / 4 = $180 week.
Ratios don't work that way here. Basically, I can have 5 preschoolers and 3 school agers. There is no technical limit on the number of preschoolers. That only comes into play if I go for the voluntary star rating system.

Legally I can have as many infants as I want, as long as I don't exceed 5 kids that are under school age. Not that I want to enroll 5 infants.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:44 AM
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I am charging 54% more for 0-12 months than I do for 12 months and up. I, too, don't like taking infants, so I decided to make it worth my while to do so. I haven't yet signed up an infant at this rate (I won't have an opening until next September), but I get at least a dozen calls a month for newborn care. I know there are nowhere near enough caregivers to take care of all of the newborns around here, so I guess if they really need care, they'll pay for it.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by AcornMama View Post
Ratios don't work that way here. Basically, I can have 5 preschoolers and 3 school agers. There is no technical limit on the number of preschoolers. That only comes into play if I go for the voluntary star rating system.

Legally I can have as many infants as I want, as long as I don't exceed 5 kids that are under school age. Not that I want to enroll 5 infants.
Forgive my ignorance, but then, why would you charge more for infants?
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:54 AM
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Forgive my ignorance, but then, why would you charge more for infants?
I can't speak for the original poster, but infants are a lot more work, and where I live, infant care is much more in demand. I also have to purchase formula for infants, do much more after-hours work (more disinfection, more carpet cleaning, more laundry-I supply blankets, burp cloths, bibs because I don't like getting dirty stuff from parents). With infants, I often have to have coverage when we go on field trips, as well (well, maybe I don't HAVE to, but I don't like taking babies along to the zoo and places where the other kids need closer supervision). The main reason I am raising rates for infants is simply because I CAN...why not make as much money as I am able to? God knows that this job already doesn't pay so great for what we put into it!
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:55 AM
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Forgive my ignorance, but then, why would you charge more for infants?
Ha, not your ignorance, but mine! In my case, it might not be necessary. I just know others charge more. Certainly some do because of ratios. Others probably do just because of the extra work of infants. I would think you'd be purchasing extra supplies on an ongoing basis as well.

Maybe in my case it wouldn't make sense to charge more. I'm just trying to think through things before I respond to this mom. I also just don't want to short change myself. I know centers charge more for infants. But then, they have the ratio and employee issues.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
I can't speak for the original poster, but infants are a lot more work, and where I live, infant care is much more in demand. I also have to purchase formula for infants, do much more after-hours work (more disinfection, more carpet cleaning, more laundry-I supply blankets, burp cloths, bibs because I don't like getting dirty stuff from parents). With infants, I often have to have coverage when we go on field trips, as well (well, maybe I don't HAVE to, but I don't like taking babies along to the zoo and places where the other kids need closer supervision). The main reason I am raising rates for infants is simply because I CAN...why not make as much money as I am able to? God knows that this job already doesn't pay so great for what we put into it!
Ha, looks like we were posting at the same time. You put what I suspected (more work, more expense) into better words than I did.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2013, 11:58 AM
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I charge the same for both. Instead of giving them an infant rate and then lowering it when they get older, the rate they have when they start is the rate they will have for as long as they are in my care. Every couple of years I raise that rate slightly.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AcornMama View Post
Ha, not your ignorance, but mine! In my case, it might not be necessary. I just know others charge more. Certainly some do because of ratios. Others probably do just because of the extra work of infants. I would think you'd be purchasing extra supplies on an ongoing basis as well.

Maybe in my case it wouldn't make sense to charge more. I'm just trying to think through things before I respond to this mom. I also just don't want to short change myself. I know centers charge more for infants. But then, they have the ratio and employee issues.
Oh, no judgement... Really, just curious how others think and manage money.

I set my rates across the boards to a set $$$ goal per month to begin with. I raise them as my needs change.

Personally I view the infants as my bread and butter since they tend to stay longer. I have never had a parent pull out a kid I had since birth, I usually have them 4 years. (free preschool district)

Plus: I get to teach them from the start so no fixing problem behaviors later For me it is much, much, much easier than taking a two year old who has already been through a few providers, IYKWIM
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Personally I view the infants as my bread and butter since they tend to stay longer. I have never had a parent pull out a kid I had since birth, I usually have them 4 years. (free preschool district)

Plus: I get to teach them from the start so no fixing problem behaviors later For me it is much, much, much easier than taking a two year old who has already been through a few providers, IYKWIM
Nice perspective.

I've wanted to focus on preschool, since I'm also busy homeschooling my own. It's seems easier to set the preschoolers to work with a project while I'm helping mine with spelling. Not sure how I'd do it with infants also. Though I did manage to homeschool with my own infants, so I know it's possible.

As much as I'd rather be full with preschoolers, the reality is that I need to fill some spots. Otherwise I'm setting aside a lot of time and energy that could go into my own kids for one full-time preschooler, and one that's only here 2 days a week. Financially, it's not a good return on my investment.
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2013, 12:19 PM
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Infants are a lot more work, especially if you only have 1 and other preschoolers and school agers. I charge more for infants than I do for preschool or school-agers because they're more work.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post

Personally I view the infants as my bread and butter since they tend to stay longer. I have never had a parent pull out a kid I had since birth, I usually have them 4 years. (free preschool district)

Plus: I get to teach them from the start so no fixing problem behaviors later For me it is much, much, much easier than taking a two year old who has already been through a few providers, IYKWIM
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  #18  
Old 11-08-2013, 12:26 PM
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The main reason I am raising rates for infants is simply because I CAN...why not make as much money as I am able to? God knows that this job already doesn't pay so great for what we put into it!
I hear you!! That makes sense... I am in a different bind.

Once you reach a certain combined taxable income you are no longer eligible to have a Roth IRA and you are put in a tax bracket that eats your ability to save for retirement any other way. I am straddling that line.....

Succeeding in Business??? Don't worry, there's a trap for that!!!
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:26 PM
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Infants are a lot more work, especially if you only have 1 and other preschoolers and school agers. I charge more for infants than I do for preschool or school-agers because they're more work.
That's what I was thinking. Of course, I charge more for preschoolers than our local centers, because I'm trying to offer specialty care. But that doesn't matter for parents who need to worry more about the bottom line. Since I'm already a little higher, and low on enrollment, just keeping my same price structure may be fine. I wouldn't be making more for infants than preschoolers, but I'd be making more than having open spaces.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AcornMama View Post
That's what I was thinking. Of course, I charge more for preschoolers than our local centers, because I'm trying to offer specialty care. But that doesn't matter for parents who need to worry more about the bottom line. Since I'm already a little higher, and low on enrollment, just keeping my same price structure may be fine. I wouldn't be making more for infants than preschoolers, but I'd be making more than having open spaces.
I know this is naughty but have you checked out what other locals are charging for infant care? Like does anyone on your local Craigslist have a link to their website with pricing or advertise their prices? I have found that I'm actually a bit under what other people are charging when I apply a FT discount. I won't be doing that with future infants though but when I started I offered a $10/day discount when they were 3+ days a week. Now that I've been licensed for awhile I think I will only offer a 10% discount for FT kids, 4 days or more.
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  #21  
Old 11-08-2013, 02:00 PM
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I charge the same rate regardless of age.

I also charge the same for a K as I do a pre-k. I hate the interruption of picking a child up at noon, so the parents pay for it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:18 PM
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Everyone here lowers rates as the kids age, we can have up to 8 kids but only 4 of them can be under 15 m.
I have a rate for 0 - 1 yrs, it drops by about 5% from 1 - 3 yrs and then another 5% after that.
Honestly, if you aren't that interested in infants that would be another reason to have higher rates for infants.
Although, I agree that in your situation I would greatly consider taking that infant. At some point, that infant will also be a preschooler
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
I hear you!! That makes sense... I am in a different bind.

Once you reach a certain combined taxable income you are no longer eligible to have a Roth IRA and you are put in a tax bracket that eats your ability to save for retirement any other way. I am straddling that line.....

Succeeding in Business??? Don't worry, there's a trap for that!!!
I never thought of it that way. We contribute double to my husband's 401k now that I am employed at home. I thought of an IRA, but it's just too easy to skip deposits when I think I need the money for something else. My husband and I will retire at around the same time, so we put everything into his 401k now instead of opening a new retirement account for me.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:53 PM
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I know this is naughty but have you checked out what other locals are charging for infant care? Like does anyone on your local Craigslist have a link to their website with pricing or advertise their prices?
I have, but it's just all over the place, $90/week to $200/week.

I think I'm about $5 per week over my local center for preschool aged kids, but I limit that rate to 8hours/day. My weekly rate goes up for longer days. At that point, I'm priced higher than the center, because they're open all day at the same rate. But I'm just not going to kill myself on 11 or 12 hour days without it being really worth it.

This possible infant situation would only be part time, 4 hours/day for 4 days/week. So, I'm trying to figure out how to translate my current preschool pricing structure to make it worth it, but not unreasonable.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:53 PM
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My rates decrease $5 from infants to toddlers to preschool.
$35/day for infants
$30/day for toddlers
$25/day for preschool
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:56 PM
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Although, I agree that in your situation I would greatly consider taking that infant. At some point, that infant will also be a preschooler
Yeah, I really want a house full of happy preschoolers coming to my little school. But I don't want to ignore reality and potential income in pursuit of my ideal.

But I also don't want to pull my hair out trying to figure out how to work an infant into my plan. Of course, this one would be part time, so it might be a good way to give it a try.

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback and helping me to think out loud through this.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:56 PM
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Everyone here lowers rates as the kids age, we can have up to 8 kids but only 4 of them can be under 15 m.
I have a rate for 0 - 1 yrs, it drops by about 5% from 1 - 3 yrs and then another 5% after that.
Honestly, if you aren't that interested in infants that would be another reason to have higher rates for infants. Although, I agree that in your situation I would greatly consider taking that infant. At some point, that infant will also be a preschooler
Well I wouldn't necessarily agree with the bolded... There are people who don't accept infants (in CA that's under 2) because of the extra time it takes, even if they paid more. Time is money. One provider I know basically says on her webpage it allows her to have more quality time with the kids instead of diapering and bottle feeding. If everyone is able to walk, talk, go potty and play independently that everyone gets more time in the day for fun & learning. Unless you hire an assistant to do strictly baby care while you do a preschool program, which also costs more money, I'm not sure how else you could 100% focus on the curriculum with infants and their own schedule which then makes it more of just a daycare rather than a preschool. Infants don't really "belong" in preschool. So if you want to focus more on preschool, taking an infant isn't really the best idea to me regardless of price. Incorporating learning and play, absolutely, but I think some parents wouldn't really look at it like a "preschool" if there were young babies there. It's like specializing. I could actually see charging more for infants and limiting yourself to have a higher quality of care which is what I try to do. I don't usually have all 8 kids in my ratio, partly because I have 3 of my own kids in the mix, but also because I would rather have fewer infants and charge a little more for the quality care than have more big kids at a lesser rate. Ideally I would have 3 infants, 2 toddlers and 1 school aged, 1 toddler and 1 SA being my own children. I have 1 DCB who's continuing next year, I would rather just fill the 3 infant spots and be done. I also have 3 other boys over 10 who aren't in ratio after Jan-Feb. Unfortunately it seems like the slow season in our field of work. There are many providers out there right now trying to fill spots, at least 5 licensed daycares on Craigslist this week alone and I know of at least 2-3 others.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:03 PM
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This possible infant situation would only be part time, 4 hours/day for 4 days/week. So, I'm trying to figure out how to translate my current preschool pricing structure to make it worth it, but not unreasonable.
Do you know what 4 hours it will be yet? I'm guessing AM's? Otherwise PM's would be kinda easy, just do AM preschool and "aftercare." Would you be able to have a preschool program in the afternoon and a daycare program in the AM? Do you have kids that come JUST for preschool or all of them there all day anyway? Like you said, see what you can work out with what you're already doing. Worst case scenario you give it the trial period to see if this is working for everyone.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:04 PM
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Unless you hire an assistant to do strictly baby care while you do a preschool program, which also costs more money, I'm not sure how else you could 100% focus on the curriculum with infants and their own schedule which then makes it more of just a daycare rather than a preschool. Infants don't really "belong" in preschool.
This is true. My 18yo daughter is here with me (homeschooled high school senior) so I can switch between kids/groups when I need to, and have an extra set of eyes and hands around.
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So if you want to focus more on preschool, taking an infant isn't really the best idea to me regardless of price. Incorporating learning and play, absolutely, but I think some parents wouldn't really look at it like a "preschool" if there were young babies there.
I completely agree. But while I'm trying to build up a "preschool," my only full-timer is here for daycare, preschool is just a nice bonus. My part-timer is largely here for the preschool aspect. But that's all of I've got. Maybe I just need to be patient. On the other hand, I really to need to increase my income or this just isn't worth it.

Thanks for the feedback. I really do appreciate it!
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:10 PM
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I used to run a preschool only program ages 2 and up. but as things changed with the new Pre-K and more preschools opening around me, I found it next to impossible to ever fill up. I had a lot of clients with younger siblings that would keep one with me and younger at a different care because they were not old enough to join my program.

well over time, I realized that if I didn't change my ages, then I wouldn't have any kids.

So I ended up going from a small DC to large and hiring some workers. I now take ages 16 months to 5 years of age.

I was full for a long while until I just lost a few parents that could not follow my illness policy.

I keep the preschool kids and teach preschool and my asst has her classroom for the 2 and under kids. I do teach them all together at one point in the day and then we branch off into different rooms so that the preschoolers can do things that the younger ones can't.

my rule is that at the time of enrollment kids have to be able to walk, self feed and follow simple directions. If they can, then they are in.

In the past I tried to have mixed ages that included under 2 while teaching preschool by myself and it did not work out. I was too stressed out trying to do it all and decided it was time for a change.

and now to answer your question, I charge 25$more a week for under 2.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:14 PM
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Do you know what 4 hours it will be yet? I'm guessing AM's? Otherwise PM's would be kinda easy, just do AM preschool and "aftercare." Would you be able to have a preschool program in the afternoon and a daycare program in the AM? Do you have kids that come JUST for preschool or all of them there all day anyway? Like you said, see what you can work out with what you're already doing. Worst case scenario you give it the trial period to see if this is working for everyone.
DCM actually asked me what hours would be best for me, as her new schedule isn't set in stone. Right now AM might be better, because the baby still takes a long morning nap, but I know that won't last forever.

My full timer is here until 4:30. My part-timer, who largely comes for the preschool/socialization aspect (and to give Nana a break) is here 8:30-3:30. We do our "preschool" activities (stories, art, projects) in the morning, but honestly, spend more of our time outside. So between preschool projects during infants morning nap, and then everyone outside together, it might be workable.

Of course, I could stress over all of these details, and mom could still choose another provider. Guess I shouldn't get too worried yet. Just don't want to take up her time and mine trying to make something work that just won't.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:17 PM
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This is true. My 18yo daughter is here with me (homeschooled high school senior) so I can switch between kids/groups when I need to, and have an extra set of eyes and hands around.

I completely agree. But while I'm trying to build up a "preschool," my only full-timer is here for daycare, preschool is just a nice bonus. My part-timer is largely here for the preschool aspect. But that's all of I've got. Maybe I just need to be patient. On the other hand, I really to need to increase my income or this just isn't worth it.

Thanks for the feedback. I really do appreciate it!

I totally understand on the want vs need. Ideally I would have 3 & 3 like I was saying but I can't even get 1 at ANY age right now let alone 3 infants. It's just a crappy time of year. Right now, if my phone started ringing and everyone had older kids I would have to revise my original plans and see what was actually going to WORK! It's great that you have your DD there to be a helper! That's perfect. Maybe you can see about nap time and if you can overlap a nap and your daughter helping with just the baby during the preschool part of your day?
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:57 PM
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After years of only having children 1 year and older I decided to take an infant. The last few years I've had considerably less calls for 1 and up and all of my 3 year olds will soon be leaving me in a year or two.
I regularly charge $125 for preschoolers with hours from 7:30-3:30 but decided to take only 1 under a year at a time for the same hours and charge $175. I filled the spot in less than 24 hours.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:30 PM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is offline
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I charge the same for all ages. As far as buying supplies for infants I only supply wipes, they bring everything else. I start supplying food when they can eat home made baby food.
I've had preschoolers who were more work than a dozen infants!
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