How to Set Your Dayhome Rates


Whether you are just starting your dayhome or you’re a seasoned pro, the question of what rate should I charge or am I charging too much or too little comes up over and over again. 

While there is no magical way to figure out what your rates should be since so many variables are involved, the process can be made easier through lived experience and some good ol’ trial and error.

And lucky for you, we’re willing to share what we’ve learned over the years when it comes to setting dayhome rates! Check out our latest blog post below for some things to consider when calculating your rates. 

Most providers have a full-time, part-time and daily rate figured out for their dayhomes. These rates are based on a number of variables that are ever changing. Therefore even if your rates are already set they will need to be reevaluated once in a while. 

Work through the sections below to get started on calculating your rates. 

Child care in your area.

Research what types of child care are available in your area and what their rates are. From daycares and schools to nannies and babysitters as well as other dayhomes. 

Finding out what the going rates for all types of child care in your area will give you the range that your rate will need to fit within. To figure out where you fall in that range answer the questions below.

Things to consider when deciding your base rate.

  1. How long have you been open?
  2. What is your education level?
  3. What is your level of child care experience?
  4. Do you offer transportation?
  5. Is food included? (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)
  6. Where are you located?
  7. How high is the demand for child care in your area?

Evaluate yourself based on the quality of programming you have to offer, the depth of services you’ll provide, and the amount of education you have, especially if child care related. The more you can offer, the higher on the rate scale you can place yourself.

The only way to test your new rate is to start using it! 

Additional things to consider.

Early drop off/ late pick up  

Extended hours

Weekend care

Sliding scale based on age

Referral discount

Sibling discount

Rate increases.

Will your rates increase each year? Or will they be reviewed annually with the potential for an increase? Regardless this should be explained in your parent handbook so that parents know what to expect. Include when they will find out if rates will be increasing as well as the date the increase will go into effect.

Want more structure and be able to figure them out for any scenario?

Figuring out what to charge for my dayhome rates was always a constant struggle for me. Having a day rate, part time and full time rate just felt confusing and was really hard to wrap my brain around. Scenarios would come up like what if they only come 2 days a week versus 3 days a week?  To me it didn’t make sense to charge the same amount. Or what if only 1-2 hours of care was needed? Dividing my day rate into an hourly rate seemed like too little but then what was fair to both myself and the parents?

That’s why we’ve created a helpful planning guide that has an entire section devoted to determining your dayhome rates! In our brand new Dayhome Planning Workbook we’ll go through an easy system to figure out almost any pricing scenario you can think of. And there is even a handy calculator to figure out your rate scale for you and a quiz to determine where on the scale you fit! It also includes some different ways to figure out rate increases and how to implement them.

Lessen the confusion and be confident and consistent in the rates you give your dayhome parents.




Whether you are thinking about starting a new dayhome business or you’re ready for a total refresh of your existing dayhome – The Embolden PDC Planning Guide is the perfect resource to help guide you.

Starting with some personal reflections to help you determine if a dayhome business is right for you and then moving onto a visualization exercise to help you put your dayhome dreams to paper, this workbook will provide you with a wealth of purposeful guidance to help you walk this process out confidently.  

We’ll guide you through the process of: 
Researching the dayhome landscape in your area
Drafting a mission statement and child care philosophy to keep you focused 
Narrowing down your dayhome offerings and what makes you unique and desirable
Determining your rates using our handy dandy quiz & rate calculator
Estimating your expenses & potential dayhome income 

Looking for more information?

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Join our Facebook group "The Hangout" to chat with fellow dayhome providers as well as parents using dayhomes. 


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