The 3 Ways to Establish Tuition Rates for Your Childcare Center


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It’s an age old question, what should parents be charged for childcare tuition? Other variables in the equation include, part-time vs. full-time care and half days vs. whole days and weekly vs. hourly care.

It sounds confusing just thinking about it.

But there are some very simple answers and it’s my job to lead down the road of salvation. So let’s begin with the 3 ways to establish a tuition rate for your childcare center.

1. Do your homework and research: Find out exactly what everyone else is charging. You have several ways of doing this, you can be honest and introduce yourself and your center and mention that you are doing an evaluation of tuition rates in your area or you can do it anonymously. Pretend to be a parent looking for childcare and ask for the rates. It’s entirely up to you as to how you want to do your research, but I’ll tell you that it is so very important to find out what other daycare owners are doing in your community.

2. Evaluate all the information you have gathered, ask yourself this question:

  • Which centers have a waiting lists and/or a good reputation

  • What activities or curriculum do they promote? Some daycare centers have swimming lessons, teach computer class, etc.

  • Are teachers certified or degreed?

    3. Your Results will give you an idea as to what your market demands. What I mean by this is what other centers are charging. My knowledge and experience tells me that people are not so interested in the tuition rate, but more so on the environment and quality of care. Many parents choose a center based on if they feel comfortable and trust that provider.

    Based on your research you should have a good idea as to charging tuition, but realize one thing. Don’t try to undercut others in your childcare industry. Parents believe that they will get what they pay for. Having a cheap tuition rate will not bring you more enrollment.

    What will bring you enrollment is a healthy amount of “word of mouth”. Parents talking about you positively and telling their friends and family what a wonderful experience their having at your daycare center.

    © 2006 CG Groth

    The “Daycare Queen”, Christine G. Groth, is the creator of “The Guide to Instant Daycare Profits”. To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign-up for her FREE “How to Start a Daycare” tips and articles, visit

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