Tom Copeland Podcast: When Can You Talk to Other Providers About Your Rates?


What’s wrong with the following three scenarios?

One: At a child care training workshop or conference you ask an attendee, “What do you charge?”

Two: You call up another child care provider who knows you and ask, “Will you be raising your rates this fall?”

Three: You walk into a neighborhood child care center, identify yourself as a provider, and ask to see their rate schedule.

What’s wrong in all three scenarios is that you are breaking the law.

Yikes! What’s going on?

It’s illegal for competitors to discuss rates. Federal anti-trust laws are designed to encourage competition and discourage competitors from setting prices higher than they would otherwise.

To discuss rates with another child care provider is considered price fixing and is against the law. There doesn’t have to be an agreement to charge the same fee. It’s simply illegal to share information about your rates. Even sharing information that would keep your rates stable over the next year is illegal.

However, here’s one way to get around this.

This is the beginning of my latest podcast, “When Can You Talk to Other Providers About Your Rates?”

In this podcast I explain the proper ways you can collect rate information about your competitors. Here’s a transcript of this podcast.

This is the tenth in a series of podcasts I am doing on the business side of child care.

The podcasts are produced by Jeff Johnson of the Child Care Bar and Grill and are shared on the Explorations Early Learning Facebook page.

Here’s a link to all of my podcasts.

Tom Copeland –


Categories: Legal, Legal & Insurance

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1 reply

  1. This is too scary! I think it is ridiculous that you cannot share rates or ask about rates. But, typically I have people call me and pretend to be potential clients and ask about rates. I have never called another provider or center and asked their rates. The bigger problem in our area is providers who are not state certified who charge cheaper rates and take on 10-15 children. Makes it very difficult for us to get new clients and makes it difficult to make a living.

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