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Reasonable Rates?

How do you know when a home provider has reasonable rates? If you do a bit of homework, you’ll find that rates for home providers vary as much as rates charged at centers. There are local resources to determine licensing requirements, availability, and in some cases a range of standard rates in your area. When you contact your prospective provider, ask what the rates are. Remember, you must not determine suitability of a provider based on rates alone. Select a few in your price range, and maybe one or two at each end of the spectrum as a comparison.

During the interview, on-site of course, make a note of what the provider offers. Check the condition and amount of age appropriate toys, is there artwork or craft projects on display? Is the facility dedicated to children, or family living space? These are indicators of overhead the provider has and is a reflection of how much of your tuition goes toward facility expenses.

A provider that pours money back into the business probably has your child’s best interests at heart. A facility that provides little for the children to do, but has all of the latest gadgets may be more interested in making money than helping you child grow. Some people may be more interested in lowest cost providers, not realizing there are a vast range of level of care available.

Some parents become enraged when they seem to be providing ‘stuff’ for the provider. They pay their tuition, but are upset because the provider buys new carpeting, a new television, or even a new car. They don’t understand why rates are so high, “couldn’t costs be lower if I were not buying carpet?” they reason. These people need to realize that although their child’s care is important to the provider, the provider is in business to make money and buy ‘things’. No different than the reasons most people work for a living. Would it be right for your boss to be upset when you buy new carpeting, or a new car?

Do your homework, find resources for your area and see what you can expect to pay. Decide what you are willing to pay, and see what various facilities offer for your money. You may find better piece of mind by paying $5 a week more, and your child may be involved in a more engaging program.

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