Well, the new year is almost here. Are you thinking this might be a great time to increase childcare tuition? Well, hold your horses. Before you do, do you know the WHEN, WHY and the HOW MUCH? Here are some important guidelines for implementing a successful child care rate increase. I’ve even included some letter Templates too! So if you need to increase your childcare rates this year, keep reading.
How to Increase Childcare Tuition
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WHEN & HOW
When is the best time to increase childcare tuition?
Although it might seem like January 1st would be the ideal time to make a rate hike, unfortunately, it is widely considered a very bad time. Most families experience a holiday hangover from gift spending and expenses. So if that was your plan, try waiting a bit before you increase childcare tuition.
Don’t raise your rates in April (when tax bills are due). – Tom Copeland
One of the best times of year is around the beginning of the traditional school year, Aug-Sept time frame. Many providers have new enrollments around this time and it’s long before the holiday season.
How do I tell parents I am going to increase childcare tuition?
Whenever you decide you are going to increase your rates, it is best to plan for it. Providing your clients with a 30-day notice is considered a best practice. So for a planned September 1st increase date, notice should be given on or about August 1st.
Mail a (physical) letter to clients indicating that an increase in childcare tuition is coming. Include the date the increase will be in effect, why you are increasing your rates and the new rate (see below).
Keep it Simple!
Send out an email to supplement the letter to ensure your clients receive the information. Don’t stress it! The email can simply be a duplicate of the mailed letter.
Need a Template for your letter?
Here are a few templates for a tuition rate increase:
In the letter to parents include why you are increasing your rates. Most people understand the standard cost of living raise. You could also indicate that the increase will help support improvements you plan to make at your childcare. Improvements could include new or replacement furnishings, supplies, hiring additional staff or giving a raise to your assistant. Do this in a general manner. Try not to over-explain or to be apologetic about the increase.
Your rates should reflect the quality of care you offer. – Tom Copeland
So I know you want the numbers right? You want to know how much you could or should increase your rates. Well, here it is.
Staying within the 2-5% range is considered palatable and less likely to send your clients heading for the hills (or another provider).
If you are saying “Wow, that is way less than I wanted.” Consider planning for another increase in 12-18 months. Believe me, it will be here before you know it.
We should all be able to communicate our value to clients.
One last consideration to make is where your new rates will position you with your competition. That is not to say that you don’t deserve it.
So if the increase will put you at the top of your marketplace just be aware of that fact. It may mean that you will need to show future clients why you are worth your rate. We should all be able to communicate our value to clients. Here are some potential points of value to make clients aware of:
Points of Value
- Lower Ratios
- Education or Special Training
- Years in business
- Additional staff
- Additional Services (extended hours or days, flexible pick-up, etc.)
Your best way of communicating about your rates is to talk about the value of your service rather than the price. – Tom Copeland
Are you thinking about increasing your rates in the near future? How long has it been since you looked at your rates? Let’s talk about it. Leave me a comment below. I would love to hear if this article has been helpful.
The Easiest Way to Raise Your Rates by Tom Copeland