Addressing daycare tuition matters can be one of the most uncomfortable tasks for a provider. In this post, we give some easy ways to address a daycare tuition rate increase so you can sidestep those awkward moments.
Communication with parents is so important for daycare owners. That being said, some conversations can be a bit awkward to say the least.
For that reason, there are a few resources every daycare provider should have in their back pocket. Top of the list would be templates for a few “important” client letters with a daycare tuition rate increase letter probably being the first on the list.
Here I talk about one of the easiest ways to communicate a rate increase right in your childcare contract. That method actually sets up an annual tuition increase automatically so all you have to do is enforce it.
But what if you want to put a daycare tuition rate increase now?
Well, the next best way is to send out a daycare tuition rate increase letter. But I know you are probably wondering:
- How do you write the letter?
- What should be in it?
- When should I tell my parents?
That’s what this post is all about. And not only that, I’ve even got a FREE template to share with you so you don’t even have to draft the letter from scratch yourself.
When Should You Give A Tuition Increase Letter To Parents
According to Tom Copeland, here are some best practices when it comes to timing a tuition increase:
- Notify parents at least one-two month(s) in advance. It shouldn’t be a surprise.
- Don’t raise your rates in April (when tax bills are due) or December (when holiday expenses can be a burden).
- September is generally a good time to raise rates because this is often when children begin school and you may need to fill an opening
What To Include In A Tuition Increase Letter To Parents
Ok now that we know the best times to give parents a tuition increase letter, let’s talk about what should be in that letter.
First, Tom Copeland also recommends that you “Don’t try to over justify your rate increase.” The reason is no matter what you say not many parents will agree with your reasoning for increasing their daycare rate.
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So in your daycare tuition rate increase letter simply announce your new rates in writing. You can do this either by drafting a letter or memo to parents that indicates:
- What date the increase will take effect
- How much the tuition increase is
- And, if you want, a brief explanation for the increase – optional
That being said, there are a few things you could state for raising your daycare rates. Copeland says to consider the following explanations:
- “My costs have gone up (such as utilities, property tax, food).”
- “It is a cost-of-living raise.”
- “I have another year of experience in providing care, and I’ve applied this knowledge to help your child learn more.”
- “I have introduced a new benefit into my program (such as a computer, extra field trips, new curriculum).”
- “I will be providing better care for your child this coming year because ____________ (fill in your explanation).”
But again, remember, most parents will probably not agree with any increase in the amount they pay.
Tuition Increase Letter Template
Over the years, I have found that is so much easier if I use a template for a daycare tuition rate increase. Here’s the letter I’ve used for years.
How To Send A Daycare Tuition Rate Increase Letter
Ok so now that we know the best time to send a daycare tuition rate increase letter and what it should say, let me give you a few suggestions for how to deliver it to your clients.
There are actually several ways for you to send the letter. Here are just a few:
- Mass email
- Post near sign-in sheet
- Hand it to them
To be honest, in the past I have used all three of these when I am implementing a daycare tuition rate increase. That way I was sure the parents received it and hopefully, they read it (wink, wink).
Best Tips For Daycare Tuition Rate Increase Letter
Finally, here are a few tips for your daycare tuition rate increase letter:
- Know that you can raise your daycare rates anytime you want
- If you indicate rates in your contract, (according to Tom Copeland) it is best not to include an end date on your contract – that way parents don’t misunderstand that you will not increase their rate during that time
- It might be easier to either include an automatic annual increase amount in your contact or decide on when you will be increasing your rates and schedule an email to announce it