Does talking about rate increases with your client make you uncomfortable?
You’re not alone. Many child care providers feel awkward talking about rates and fee increases with their clients. However, just as many of your clients get annual reviews and increases in their job-related compensation, it isn’t unreasonable for you to need to adjust your rates if only to meet inflation.
If you prefer not to increase your rates across the board, maybe just one of your specialty services might be appropriate, such as infant care. Those clients who rely on you to care for their infant, understand the demands are greater with infants, and are more likely to understand paying more for it.
So what is a reasonable increase?
I always stress in my Taxes & Recordkeeping Seminars for the San Diego Chapter of the YMCA Child Resource Services, that child care providers cannot discuss their rates with other child care providers. It’s against the law. If you need guidance in determining what is a fair rate based on your regional market, consult with Child Resource Services in your area. In San Diego, you would contact Child Resource Services, YMCA of San Diego County.
You will want to consider how often you should raise your rates. Best practices says to not raise them more than once a year, but refrain from locking yourself into that by not putting any rate limiting information in a contract. Things change, and you want to stay as flexible as possible.