2023 Update on how we build fairness and equity into our fee structure

Thanks for visiting this page to learn more about how we set our fee structure for families we work with. Our goal is for our fees to be fair, equitable, consistent and accessible; this post helps to explain how we try our best to achieve that. 

As you are likely aware, LDS is a nonprofit charity with a mission to provide high-quality, individualized, comprehensive learning supports to children, youth and adults to help them build the skills and confidence they need to succeed. We take that mission seriously, so we are always looking at ways to ensure our services are inclusive and accessible for everyone, including financially.

That commitment to accessibility is why we offer all our services on a sliding scale that considers net household income. The ‘full fee’ amount we charge is still a subsidized rate that does not fully cover our costs as an organization and is well below the market rate for any roughly equivalent services. We work hard to fundraise through hundreds of grants, sponsors and donations yearly to ensure our fees are accessible. At the same time, we need to ensure we bring in enough revenue via donations, grants and fees that we can afford to pay our team of experienced, caring, specialized and dedicated instructors and support staff that deliver our programs and services. 

So, even when we offer a family a low sliding scale fee, we at LDS are working to subsidize the balance of that fee – potentially including by requesting you work with us to obtain third-party funding via CKNW Kids Fund, Variety Children’s Charity, or other ‘third party funders’ as those are also critical components of our budget.

If you have been with us for a few years now, you’ll know that not much has changed with our fees. In light of the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, inflation, and our need to retain professionals that provide specialized services, in 2022, we adjusted our fees and household income scale to provide some more meaningful thresholds.

In 2023-24, we are again adjusting our fees and household income scale.

  • We’ve had to slightly increase our rates to meet the higher costs of doing business and ensure we are paying living, fair wages to our team members.
  • We’ve kept our increases small to ensure the most vulnerable families do not receive a fee increase.
  • We have added another threshold to our household income scale to recognize the escalating living costs in BC.
  • We’ve moved to a set monthly payment model that allows consistent family budgeting throughout the year, with some added benefits and overall cost savings.
  • We remain committed to considering exceptional family and student circumstances warranting an individualized fee and payment approach.

Again, we strive for fairness, equity and accessibility across the scale and our programs, and these changes help us achieve that.

Set Monthly Fee Schedule

In addition, we are always seeking out funding opportunities to make some of our programs further accessible, and sometimes free of charge, to equity-deserving students and families.

We constantly scrutinize our processes and practices to ensure that we are operating as efficiently as possible to keep our costs down.  

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our fee structure, other grant-funded programs and initiatives or would like more information.  

Thanks kindly for your time reading this and continuing to be a valued part of the LDS community. It is our honour to work with you and your family; please always feel free to let us know how we can better serve you. 

– Rachel S. Forbes, Executive Director

LDS is a community of dedicated professionals that write collaboratively. We recognize the contribution of unnamed team members for their wisdom and input.