When InBALANCE Yoga’s childcare became a money pit, Jen Schnabel realized something had to change.
Opening her studio in Orem, Utah, in 2016, the owner explained she has had childcare since starting. But the hours have changed over the months due to low attendance. Now, she offers childcare Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Overall, it’s been a trial and error process.
For example, Schnabel hoped to offer childcare as a membership perk. But in those first six months, she realized she was losing too much money. So she changed the offering to $15 a month for one child, $20 for two and $30 for three. Recently, it’s been decided that it will now cost $4 per class per child. “Really it comes down to either I have to do this, or I have to close the childcare,” explained Schnabel.
When it comes to price changes, Schnabel said communication is vital. For the most recent change, she plans to call each member individually. Plus, she will send out a personalized letter, addressing the change. Schnabel said if members aren’t afforded transparency on the issues — like she’s losing money and can’t afford the childcare worker — they often assume the worst or that she’s just trying to make money off of them.
They did take the surrounding community’s childcare offerings into consideration when deciding on price. Kate Brotherson, the studio’s sales and marketing manager, explained they are still the least expensive offering in the county. “We’ve done everything we can to just get to a place where we can break even so these moms can continue to come and have this space,” she said.
The studio itself has a high-end feel, and Schnabel let that translate over to the childcare offering. Parents are given a 10-minute drop off and pickup windows. The kids are looked after by a designated worker who’s made the program her own. Offering snacks and crafts, Schnabel didn’t want to just have another place to drop off kids. “Everything I did I really wanted it to be more of a premiere feel,” she explained.
Schnabel said ask probing questions when it comes to childcare workers. She wants to find out why they want to do it — do they love kids or are they just trying to get their foot in the door of the studio?
When looking at whether to offer childcare or not, Schnabel said look at the costs versus the benefits. Because at InBALANCE, it’s about meeting the members’ needs.
“We’ve done everything we can to just get to a place where we can break even so these moms can continue to come and have this space,” said Brotherson. “[It’s] such an amazing blessing for the women who can come and bring their children in the morning.