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.
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com