Before deciding to raise the price of home daycare, make certain that the rates are commensurate with what others in the area are charging. Care.com has an easy-to-use price calculator that provides the average hourly rate of caregivers where a person lives. Do not raise prices much higher than the average or the increase is apt to drive customers away.
If a rate increase is appropriate, start by quoting the higher price to new customers first and gauge their response. If newcomers accept the pricing readily, begin introducing the new pricing structure to existing clients a little at a time. Even if the increase seems reasonable, it is wise to go slowly and raise prices gradually instead of all at once. If customers balk, consider negotiating other benefits or perks in lieu of a price change. For example, suggest the same daily rate for decreased hours or a paid day off once every two weeks. In tough economic times, clients may be more inclined to accept a change in hours over a higher price.
Another way to get customers to accept a price increase is to clearly explain to them why it is needed. Remind them that the supplies provided for the children, such as toys, games and art supplies, sometimes need to be replaced, and that water, electricity and heat are provided for the children while they are in daycare. Another strategy is to outline the value of what is provided. If a person has worked for the family for a while, her relationship with the children is probably not something they want to lose. Be persistent and fair to arrive at a solution everyone can accept.