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Daycare Rate Increase. Thoughts?

September 22nd, 2013 at 01:20 am

Friday evening when I picked up DS our daycare lady told me she is thinking/needing to raise our rate to $4.50/hour. I was totally unprepared when she said it and at first I was thinking that was a big increase (it is *just* $0.50/hour more). I reacted with a bit of shock and resistance. I told her I needed to make some calculations because I can pay a flat rate per month for aftercare at his preschool and that may end up costing less than using her all week.

At that point I'm sure I hurt her feelings a little. She got a little defensive in her body posture and said "do what you need to". *sigh*

Now, of course our son and his safety, comfort and care is a top priority. 50-cents more per hour doesn't seem like a lot. I don't want to be "so cheap" (you all know what I mean by that).

This rate increase would mean us paying on average $40/month more while DS is in preschool. $100/month more in the summer. That is significant.. Right?

I am having a hard time with her reason for increasing her rate which is - She is losing money because DS is in preschool now.
The increased cost would be tough enough to swallow, but I would be more agreeable if her reason was operating costs, or cost of living adjustment, or something along those lines. I mean, come on, when I work less I don't ask for a raise in my hourly pay to try to make up the difference. I feel like that is what she is saying. If she doesn't like losing income then she should take in another child. She only cares for one other little girl four days a week. And it's not as if she didn't know our DS would be coming less. I told her about preschool when he was two and a more serious discussion when all the paperwork was filled out six months ago.

Running the numbers last night it is an even cost if we pay her to watch DS two full days and three after-school days per week or if she watches him two full days per week and he stays at preschool the other three days.

On one hand I want to make a point and if she is going to charge more then I am going to use her less. On the other I don't want to hurt her feelings. She is sensitive and I don't want her to feel as though we don't value her care of our baby boy.

On Monday we will have to have a more thorough discussion since this topic was left hanging right before the weekend. Maybe she might re-think the increase given what I said about having him stay at preschool.

I have been thinking of offering to pay $40/month more while he is in school, but only if she agrees to keep the rate the same. That way in summer I'll be saving us the increase.

Any thoughts?

10 Responses to “Daycare Rate Increase. Thoughts?”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Has she had an increase at all since you have been using her? How long ago was that? Caring for a child is HARD work. I do understand it is more than a 10% increase, but boy I'd have a hard time working for only $4/hour, even $4.50/hour. I'm guessing that was really hard for her to bring up. I know it was unexpected, but I think I might actually pay it. You can consider/renegotiate summer when it gets closer.

  2. Kiki Says:

    If you have been using her for a year then a minor increase is to be expected.

    The cost of doing business has increased. Ten dollars a weeks does not seem high if she cares for your son well and he enjoys going. Ten dollars or $520 a year in higher costs does not seem like that much.

    Is she a licensed day care provider or a babysitter?

  3. Looking Forward Says:

    This is the same rate since DS started. Our daycare lady is retired and this "extra" income (not that she shouldn't get paid fairly). $4 - $5 per hour is the going rate for daycare. (Daycare rate for afterschool at DD's old elementary was $3.50/hr). Figure that you will take in several kids and you can easily make a very decent income.
    Yes, I agree that caring for kids is hard work. However, if anything DS is easier now that he can do a lot by himself and is potty trained.
    It might have been hard for her to bring up. I really don't like the reason for the increase. It really feels as if there wouldn't have been an increase except that she sees we have the money to put DS in preschool.
    We will pay what we need to to keep DS cared for.

    She is licensed for home daycare.

  4. jewels3 Says:

    What is best for your son? I think that's what you need to look at. How will he react to the new change if you adjust his schedule? If she's a good provider, your son feels safe and is well cared for, then that's definitely worth the extra fee. Would you work for $4.50 an hour? Daycare providers are significantly underpaid.

  5. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I would base a decision on the length of relationship you have with the daycare provider and the satisfaction you have in the care your son receives. You are the best judge of those factors- Those that provide daycare do so for a variety of reasons and do so knowing what their income will be- daycare IS tough, but so is working outside the home and there should be a balance that works for you and for her.

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    You just have to weight the benefits and costs. I think there is probably almost always a better deal out there, but you know, only you can make that decision. It is going to depend a lot on your child. Also, my experience in the past looking for very part-time care was that generally if you want to hold a spot you had to pay for more full-time care. Because otherwise they rather just have someone full-time. I get the sense this is where she is coming from, but you know, should have thought about that sooner. You don't change the rules mid-game. If she needs to change the rules, I don't think it is a bad idea to consider other options. If she was so much worth it and you felt she was worth more, you wouldn't have had such a strong gut reaction? Sure, having a safe place for your child is priceless, but on the flip side, we never really had any trouble finding awesome care for our kids at a reasonable price. There's just so many people out there who have a strong passion for working with children.

    You don't have to make any decisions today. If it were me, I'd maybe go with it for now, but be seeking out other options. If the preschool care is cheaper, it sounds like it also may be more convenient, and not a big change for your child.

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. I don't know anyone who runs a daycare for only $4/hour. They take several kids. Heck, the last daycare provider we used was the cheapest we ever came across, but had extreme business savvy - she made a lot of money from her business. She always had a waiting list a mile long, for one. So I don't think the comments about "Would you work for $4/hour" are very relevant. I generally never found a more expensive daycare situation that I liked. They would generally charge more because they had less business. Either that or was more show and less substance. The truly great ones always did enough volume to charge a lot less per child (& didn't have problems filling empty spots). So, there is kind of that element. Lord knows we want what is best for our children, but paying more money doesn't make it better. It's just never that simple.

  8. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Pretend that you do not even know what her reason for the increase is. (Most businesses do not tell you what leads to price increases.) Maybe that will take some of the emotional edge off of the situation. Will that help make your decision any easier?

  9. rob62521 Says:

    I realize when you look at the cost, it seems expensive, but, $4.50 an hour isn't very much when you think about the fact you trust this person and it has been a good experience.

  10. looking forward Says:

    Thank you everyone.
    Jewels - I would work at home for $4/hr/child. It's crossed my mind a few times.
    Ray - Our son is very safe with her, but it is not an engaging/enriching environment now at his age.
    MM - you hit the nail on the head.
    Joan & Rob - I'm going to do just that.. for now. Smile

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