Money is always a hard subject to talk about, and it can be especially challenging for caregivers. Often we feel we shouldn’t be focused on how much money we make when our job is focused on caring for and loving kids. That’s lopsided thinking. You can be both focused on your bottom line and be a warm, wonderful caregiver. So when it comes time to raise your rates or ask for a raise, what’s the best approach?
1. Articulate your value. This is a great time to remind parents of all the benefits you bring to their child and their family. Break down what quality care looks like with you, what daily environment you create, how you encourage learning, and the warm, loving connection you have with their child. Don’t forget all you do for the parents by providing an expert sounding board for issues they’re facing with their child, supporting and encouraging them in their role as parents, and if you’re a nanny, all the household support you provide making their lives easier and less stressful.
2. Have a specific number in mind. You know what’s happening in your market, what a competitive rate is and how much of an increase you need to feel financially secure. Don’t be shy about presenting a specific number and timeline for when the increase will begin. If you’re a family child care provider, the rate increase is a matter of policy, and it’s set by you. If you’re a nanny, there’s often some negotiation around what the final raise will be. Either way, the number should be one you feel comfortable with.
3. Outline your goals for their child. It’s helpful for parents to know where their child is developmentally and your plan for helping them learn and grow. Maybe their child is having a hard time with potty training or struggling with social-emotional skills. Those are things you can help with during your time with the child. Outlining the child’s current level and sharing the activities you’ll be doing to move them forward in a fun, supportive way once again reminds parents why they’ve chosen you as their caregiver.
Talking about money is hard. However, it’s an essential part of being an in-home caregiver. Remember, you provide an amazing service, and you deserve to be paid what you’re worth.