How to Set Your Rates

Basic Guidelines

The shorter amount of time you work, the more you should charge for your time.

Charge by the week or month, not by the hour.

Charge even if the child is absent.

Charge for care at least a week in advance.

Charge for the last two weeks up-front.

Fees for infants should be a lot more than for older children.

Raise your rates regularly.

Charge for all of your services: late fees, late payment fee, holding fee, etc.


What Should You Base Your Rates On?

How much do you want to earn?

What is the going rate in your area?

How much can customers afford to pay?

Parents often do not realize how much of their child care fees go towards a provider’s business expenses. Providers may want to show their expenses using a simple pie chart as shown below. This example shows a provider keeping only 42% of her fees as a profit.

Providers can explain a rate increase by stating that their business expenses have risen in the past year 

Pie chart numbers are taken from The Economics of Family Child Care Study by Kathy Modigliani, et al.

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