The question is: why?
I posed this question on my Facebook page and received a lot of feedback that was split pretty evenly between providers who lowered their rates as children got older and those who charged the same rate regardless of age.
Why do providers charge less as the children grow older?
* “Babies are harder to care for.”
* “Because everyone else in my area does it. I’d love to change to a set weekly rate, but I don’t think parents would stick around if I did.”
* “Infants require a lot of equipment and more direct attention and are a higher risk.”
* “I can only care for two infants and infants are in high demand.”
Why do providers charge the same rates regardless of age?
* “I have done this for years but have no idea as to why!”
* ” Every age has their challenges.”
* “I feel that a two or three year old is still taking up a spot just like a six month old, so why charge older children less?”
* “Babies do require extra care, but as a child gets older she needs more constant interaction. Older children eat more food and tend to break toys more frequently.”
There is no right or wrong way to charge for your services. Probably the most important factor driving higher rates for infants is that infant spaces are harder to find and therefore parents will pay more for infant care.
Regardless of how child care provider charge for their services they tend not to raise their rates much from year to year. This is a shame, considering how hard you work and how much additional knowledge and skills you acquire over the years.
How do you set your rates and why do you do what you do?
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: healthybabysite.info
For more information on creating a contract, see my book Family Child Care Contracts and Policies.
For more information on how to set your rates, see my book Family Child Care Marketing Guide.