2005-01-28

I Hate the Rate Increases

The only thing I hate more than paying so much for daycare, is a daycare that raises its rates twice a year. The cost of daycare is easily out pacing the rate of inflation. More unbelievably, it is out pacing the price increases of cable television, the previous leader in rate increases.

For infants the rates start high. This, they say, is because infants require more care and smaller classes. They assure you that as your child grows older and the class size go up you will be charged less.

Each time Hailey moves to the next classroom, we get about one month of reduced tuition and then BAM a tuition increase and we are back to paying the old rate again.

Last month daycare switched to a weekly tuition payment plan. We used to pay a constant rate for each month. Now, we pay an amount that depends on the number of Mondays in each month. I stated at the time of the change, that this change was made solely to facilitate a tuition increase. Now they can change tuition by 5 or 6 dollars a week and the parents won’t complain. Six dollars a week seems less than $24 or $30 a month.

We are into the second month of Hailey being in the new classroom and we see our first rate increase. We now pay six more dollars a week or $24-$30 more dollars a month depending on how many Mondays are in the month.

We are back to paying the same amount as the last classroom. This classroom has more kids and less supervision. I can’t say that I have been pleased with the level of attention provided to the students when I pick Hailey up in the afternoon, but that matter is for a different rant.

But wait, you get all this and more. This daycare also has additional fees. The registration fee of $75 is an annual recurring fee. Why? Your child only registers once right? Not here, only by paying and then repaying a registration fee is your child guaranteed a place. There is a summer activity fee of $40-50. This fee gets your child a daycare produced CD and a low quality daycare t-shirt that doesn’t fit. These items would be free “premiums” in any other business, given as a thank-you for being our customer.

The good times don’t stop there. We also get the privilege of finding alternative care for Hailey on President’s Day. You remember President’s Day don’t you? It’s the holiday that only government offices observe. We get to pay the Children’s Courtyard for the privilege of closing on that day. Splendid.

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