There is a formula to deciding how much to charge for your local preschool tuition. It’s not rocket science, but there is a science behind it! This post shows you how to “do the math” to make sure your rates are competitive.
There Is Not A “Standard Rate”
When you ask the question “How much should I charge for my local preschool?”, it is important to understand that there is no standard rate for preschools. Rates vary widely depending on what part of the country you are in, and how large or small your city or town is. That is why it is vital that you do some research before setting your preschool tuition rate.
You Must Compare Apples To Apples
Researching preschool tuition rates is easy, it just requires a few phone calls and asking the right questions. One extremely important thing to remember is when you are making these phone calls, only get prices for programs that are STRICTLY preschool.
You must compare your potential preschool rates only to other preschool rates. You do not want to set your preschool tuition rates based on daycare prices. If you get any facilities that are only daycare facilities disregard those rates before you work through the formula.
You will need prices from at least 2-3 STRICTLY preschools in your area. If you are having trouble finding preschools here are two ideas of where to look:
- Churches with preschool programs
- Daycare centers that offer a preschool program inside of their regular daycare program
3 Questions To Ask When Researching Your Competition
To properly compare these preschool prices, you need to ask these three questions:
- How much is the tuition for your preschool program?
- How many class days does that include?
- How many hours does that include?
If the facility has multiple classes, (for example a M-W-F class, a T-Th class, and a M – F class), get the answers for all the classes.
The Formula To Use To Determine Your Preschool Rates
Now that you have all that data, for all those classes, at all those preschools, what do you do with it? This first chart shows how to apply the formula to two separate preschools.
|Preschool A||Preschool B|
|# of Program Days each week||3 days/week||2 days/week|
|# of Hourseach day||3 hours/day||3 hours/day|
|Total Weekly Hours||3 X 3 = 9||2 X 3 = 6|
|Total Monthly Hours (based on 4 weeks in a month)||9 X 4 = 36||6 X 4 = 24|
|Total Monthly Rate/Total Monthly Hours||$180/36 =||$150/24 =|
When you determine the tuition rates for your preschool you may shy away from the highest rate, because then parents will expect your preschool to be the best one ever. If you try to discount your rates, your preschool may be perceived as cheap and parents may choose a different program. But if you set your rates the same as your competition, parents may struggle with deciding which program to choose.
Our suggestion is to set your price slightly higher than the highest rate. The reason you would do this is because you will be offering a premier preschool experience complete with a high-quality education, assessments of your student’s skills, free field trips and community events, and so much more. Your preschool program will be the best in your area. So, your hourly rate should be $6.50.
It is this hourly rate that you will use to calculate your best monthly tuition rate. This chart illustrates how to determine the monthly rate for a M-W-F, 2 ½ hour class at $6.50/hour.
|# of Program Days each week||3|
|# of Hours each day||2.5|
|Total Weekly Hours||3 X 2.5 = 7.50|
|Total Weekly Hours X 4 weeks/month||7.50 X 30 =|
|Total Monthly Hours X Hourly Rate 0f $6.50||$195.00|
Using this simple formula, you can easily and knowledgeably calculate how much to charge for your local preschool tuition.
Comparing Features and Benefits of Your Competition
Once you know the range you can charge, you need to compare their preschool program to your own preschool program. To compare the preschool programs, look at what each program offers:
- Do they JUST offer preschool classes?
- Do they offer field trips?
- Are the field trips cool?
- Do the students have to pay for the field trips?
- Do the school t-shirts cost extra money?
- Do the parents provide the school supplies for their children?
- Is there an actual graduation ceremony?
Answer these questions for each preschool program in your area, and add anything else they are providing to the list, then ask yourself: Can I provide all these things and more?
Add Value to Become the Premier Preschool Around
You are going to become the best preschool in town! You are also going to charge the highest price for preschool in your area. You will be #MoreThanJustPreschool. You do this by overdelivering, by setting the bar high, and then you back it up with actual value. When you are trying to attract people to pay that premium tuition, you have to have a premium program. You do that by adding value for free!
One of the most valuable things you can add to your preschool is a community. So many people nowadays are without a family or close group of friends. They are living their day to day lives without a support system, without anyone to talk with, and without the community they so desperately crave. In your marketing, refer to your preschool as family—the [Insert name of your preschool] family!
Make your preschool an experience. Give your families things like free family field trips and big family events that will give your preschool families the opportunity to meet each other, spend time together, and form friendships. In addition to the free family fields trips, big events, and community you can also add value with these ideas:
- $50 Referral Credit to anyone who refers a family who signs up with your preschool
- Free t-shirt for each student each year
- Free school supplies for every student
- Extra classes, once a month or once a week, teach a Spanish class, a sign language class, an art class, a yoga class, etc.
- An actual graduation ceremony, complete with caps and gowns, a diploma, and a portfolio of the student’s work throughout the year
When parents see all that your preschool offers, they will think, “Of course I want the best for my child!” And that is how you determine how much to charge for your preschool classes!