Sliding Fee Tuition Scale

The Value of a Sliding Fee Tuition Scale

A Sliding Fee Tuition Scale Allows Programs to:

1) Acknowledge the financial disparity that exists between families; and act on that information, taking a step toward more equitably addressing these financial differences among families by asking families to pay according to their means.

2) Safeguard access of care for families with low or modest incomes, as families with less or modest incomes self-select to pay lower or middle-rate monthly tuition rates.

3) Educate families about a more accurate cost of early childhood care.

4) Raise additional funds within budgets, as families with greater means self-select to pay a higher monthly tuition rate.

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Transitioning to a Sliding Fee Tuition Scale

1.) When HFP first moved to a sliding fee scale in the Fall of 2011, we did so at no-risk. We budgeted every family’s tuition at the lowest tuition rate.  That is, we anticipated that every family enrolled would self-select the lowest tuition rate tier, corresponding to the lowest annual income. Programs transitioning to a sliding fee tuition scale may opt to do the same so there is no-risk in making that transition and the program can learn a bit more about the financial composition of the families enrolled.

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Taking the Step Towards Equitable Wages

(Originally Published in HFP Newsletter — Spring 2010 by  Susie Skousen Goodell, HFP Parent and former early childhood director)

What is a quality early childhood program and how much does it really cost? Many different factors make for a good early childhood program.

Some indicators of quality are:

  • happy and thriving children,
  • families who are viewed as partners in care,
  • small group sizes,
  • low adult/child ratio,
  • educated and experienced teachers.

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Making Change: Raising Dollars that Make Sense

By Susan Eisman

Co-op preschool teachers and parents are in a unique position to make change to an unjust system. We live in a system that disregards the needs of young children and belittles parents and early childhood teachers by expecting us to do this crucial work of raising young children with little or no money. Over the past six years, I’ve worked closely with HFP families to improve the financial situation of our program and to improve the teacher’s contract. I’m pleased with the progress
 we have made and am hopeful that it may inspire other Portland co-ops to follow suit.

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