I'm pretty sure my fee has been a bit more than the other midwives in the area for a while now (or, actually, I know that my fee is currently $200 above what the other midwives' fees were four years ago). When I did all home visits, I had to charge more because of the cost of gas, so I charged more without any qualms. Now I have a birth center, which comes with it's own set of expenses. I've been in the birth center for 18 months now and kept my fee the same as it has been since early 2008 in spite of the increased overhead b/c the extra income from more clients and the lower cost of travel offset the cost of maintaining a building.
Now I'm at the point where I'm busy enough that I am paying a fortune for child care (okay, having two babies in 17 months might have increased the cost of my child care too ). I'm paying for 60 hours a week of child care for two children, whether I use it or not, just b/c I *might* have a birth and I'm paying for after school care for two children two days a week. One of those days is b/c of a class (sort of unrelated to midwifery, but not entirely) and the other is because of my prenatal night. DH is working 50-60 hour weeks right now and so I can't rely much on him to provide care before 5:30pm, unless I have a birth and then he can *usually* pick up the big kids from school at 3pm. But for the regular schedule, he's not available before 5:30 most days. The bottom fell out of my emercency child care support system when a good friend recently moved and there's not much family help to be had.
So I'm thinking of raising my fee...not because of overhead or travel expenses but because of the cost of keeping my kids cared for while I'm gone (or keeping someone on call to keep my kids while I might be gone). I'm looking at a 14% increase, which if three clients a month pay, will cover the cost of childcare.
I guess I'm looking for some feedback. Is it unreasonable to raise my fee to help cover the cost of childcare?