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Need a PT job, wwyd?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I used to work limited PT but have always considered myself a SAHM. I've been totally SAHM for about 9 months now. We need some extra money coming in to feel comfortable with our financial situation and to pay off some debt. We are making it, but it's sometimes tight and we'd like the peace of mind that comes with having a little more dough. Things I'm considering:


Watching a child in my home or going to theirs full or part time daylight. Concerns I have: how to do my taxes is probably my #1 concern. I also have no idea what to charge and I'm not even sure if there is any market for a sitter who comes with a kid. Perhaps someone would want me just for the summer...


Getting a part time (3-4 hours, 3 days a week after my husband comes home) job outside the home.  I want something I can leave at work. Maybe being an aide at a nearby nursing home (about a 5 minute walk from my house), or even dietary or receptionist staff there? Concerns I have: being away for bedtime. Couldn't start until 5- bedtime sometimes happens at 7. I think I'd be okay waiting until 8 to come home in case she waited up for me. My 3 y/o still nurses to sleep. I can't imagine night weaning. This would have to be a temporary job or at least a temporary shift because we will be moving later this year and won't be close enough to the place for it to be worth it. 


My priorities are at home. I know that our financial situation is temporary because once my daughter enters Kindergarten I can go back to work full-time and we can start saving and paying off loans, etc. but it is really hard to live this close to the red, you know? I also feel badly that I can't do things with my daughter that cost money and I know she'd enjoy, like going to plays, amusement parks, museums. With gas prices, we have even been skipping story time some weeks and I feel guilty about it sometimes. So I want some extra money but I don't know what sacrifices to make for it and it feels like such a difficult decision.


What would you do? 



post #2 of 7

I think it's normal for in-home daycare prov to have their own kids at home.  Parents expect it to be a group setting so it shoudln't matter whose kids they are, I'd think.  Seems to me most in-home prov I've heard of are watching their own + others. 


I watch my sis' baby once a week for $50 for the full day.  It's a long day - 10.5 hours or so, so it works out to a low hourly wage, but the going rate here is $225 - $250/week so that's why it's $50 a day.  I don't do it for the $ really, but so that her baby is with family and I think it's good for my DS to have her around.  But it does help the budget. 


If you did if for more than one kid, it would pay better for about the same work, assuming they're not babies that require bottlefeeding and such (that's a lot more work per kid IMO).


Also, have you searched out play dates?  That would be free for your daughter and not require gas when you host or do it at a walkable location.


Good luck!  I think SAHM'ing is very important when possible; kudos to you for sacrificing and trying to make it work.


ETA: if you use turbo tax, it will ask you about self-employment, which daycare is.  You would do a schedule C form for that income.  If you do taxes on paper,  you can get the form from the IRS online or on the phone.  IIRC, you pay 15% soc sec/medicare instead of 7.5% (you are paying employer and employee parts) and the rest of the tax is same as always for your income bracket.

post #3 of 7
I work nights and weekends and I love it. I get out of the house, the extra money is nice, and I know that my sweet dd is home with her daddy. An added benefit is that dh has to be a hands on dad. I love my dh, but he can sort of check out sometimes, so it's great that he has time alone with dd. They have a very special relationship.
That being said, i think in home care would be a great option too. I personally would be more comfortable leaving dd with a mom than someone who doesn't have kids. I would just make sure to find a slightly older or child than your dd. Maybe an 18 month to 3 year old. When the kids get bigger they will entertain each other. Good luck!
post #4 of 7

I offered part time in home daycare with my kids for 3 years. I found it to be tiring, fulfilling and overall totally worth it. I would like to do it again someday, but closed after we'd paid off our student loans so I could enjoy a little time as a SAHM before the kids are both in school all day. PM me if you have specific questions I can help with.

post #5 of 7

I also work a few nights and weekends a month and it works out great. I have found that having my husband put DS to bed a few times during the month actually helps them to bond and helps my son to get more used to his dad, and help my DH have more parenting skills. Also that way I can enjoy my time with my son as a SAHM during the day and still get to run errands, go the gym, etc. without having to do daycare in the home. Although I do think in home daycare is a great way for SAHMs to make income.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

So I am going to try to find some freelance work for an extra boost, but it's not steady, so I guess I'm going to give the at-home childcare thing a shot. The reason why I quit my job was because we needed more family time, so I don't think I really want to work evenings/weekends unless I have to. I think I would only want to take on one more child.


You can get a pretty good daycare for $40/day here. Do you think anyone would choose me over a daycare for the same price? Or should I charge more than daycare since it will be more personal? It's such a low hourly wage... And then to have to hold 15% for taxes....



Do I just place an ad on craigslist and with my playgroup?


How tidy would you expect one's house to be if you were having them watch your child?


Do you think my ultra-friendly cat will be a deterrent?


Is it generally considered OK to take the kids out in my car to go to playdates, storytimes, and stop at the store?


Also, what about food? If they bring their own I could see the kids maybe arguing about it if one has something the other wants? But should I maybe charge an extra $2 a day for food or something or should I consider that when I choose what to charge? And we are vegetarian so if the child wants meat they will have to bring their own....

Edited by HikeMama - 3/8/11 at 9:52am
post #7 of 7

I am keeping once child part time. I had two children/babies part time for a while but one was only temporary. I found both of them by posting on CL. I did try to make my posts geared towards family that I thought would be a good fit. I posted one geared towards AP/Eco friendly home/ etc. The other post was geared towards teachers who might not want to pay for childcare over summer (my dh is a teacher and so I wouldn't mind the summers off either). I actually found a family through each posting.


I did consider charging a slightly higher rate than other in home providers because of the low ratio I was offering (2:1) The child I keep is an infant and so we didn't really discuss food, but so far her mom is bringing all of her food. I also wash her diapers here with ds's. It's not really an extra cost for me because she's only here part time and it doesn't increase my diaper load. The families I have cared for so far have not wanted to report their daycare costs and so I am doing it "under the table". If they wanted to I would have adjusted my rate to make up for it. 


I called around to some local day care centers and inquired about costs/ratios/ the basics. I also checked CL and looked at what was being charged in other in home daycares or SAHM in home care.


I would say once you do that I would suggest starting at how much YOU feel it will be worth to offer it.


So far it is working for me. I would like a a couple more days to make it more financially feasible, but I also like p/t because I still have free days with ds to get out (run errands, play dates, park, etc).

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