First, it’s important to understand that your prices are going to change over time – and that’s okay.
We’ll guide you to start out with prices that are competitive for your area but also help you meet your financial goals.
After you start marketing, we might find that your prices are a bit too high (if enrollment is going very slowly) or they could be a bit too low (if your program starts filling up really quickly!)
We can help you adjust your prices based on parent interest. So, it’s important to understand that the initial prices you choose in the next few tasks are not set in stone.
(Also, keep in mind that most programs raise their rates 3-5% each year as they become more popular and their waitlist grows.)
Monthly vs. weekly payments
Wonderschool collects tuition payments from parents on a monthly schedule. Parents can pay with a credit card or ACH (bank account). We process the payment then deposit it in your bank account (minus our fee). Note that when a parent pays by credit card, a 2.85% processing fee will be applied.
Collecting payments monthly is a common practice among high-quality child care and preschool programs. This creates less administrative work for you (versus weekly or daily payments) and can help protect your financial stability.
Filling your program
We recommend offering 2, 3, or 5 days per week as options for enrollment. We’ve found that these options give good flexibility to parents but also work well to fill your program.
We often refer to a 5 days/week schedule as “full-time” and a 2 or 3 days/week schedule as “part-time.”
You may be limited to a certain number of children based on your state’s licensing regulations. It’s important to remember that these regulations limit you to a certain number of children at any given time.
For example, let’s say that your license limits you to 4 children. It’s unlikely that your program will fill up the same children every day:
Instead, you’ll likely have a mix of full-time and part-time students:
Notice how you technically have 6 different children enrolled total, but only 4 come to class on any given day. This is the correct way to interpret your license limit of 4 children.
Like we mentioned before, we recommend offering 2, 3, or 5 days/week options for enrollment.
It’s a common practice to charge more per hour for 2 or 3 days/week schedules. In other words, there is a premium set on these schedules.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say ABC Wonderschool charges $1,000 per month for full-time care (5 days/week).
You might think that ABC Wonderschool would charge $600 per month for a 3 days/week schedule. After all, 3 out of 5 days is 60% of the week, and 60% of $1,000 is $600.
Actually, it is more common for programs to charge 65-80% of their full-time price for a 3-day schedule.
This is a common practice because it incentivizes parents to enroll their children 5 days/week, because it is the best value for their money.
This is also a common practice because having more children in your program who only come 2 or 3 days/week will cause a bit more administrative work for you. Obviously, having the same kids every day of the week is more convenient, but you can actually earn more if some students are part-time!