I'm expecting my first baby in about a month and am trying to figure out childcare once I go back to work after my 12 week leave. I work from home but will need to travel to the home office (requires a plane ride) at least twice in the three months following my return. My partner and I plan to stagger our schedules somewhat to try to reduce the number of hours we'll need childcare (she works outside the home, but locally). My sister is graduating from college in June and has expressed interest in being our nanny (once my leave is up). I would LOVE for this to work out, but have a few questions and I hope some of you might have advice.
1) If I pay my sister hourly or weekly, etc. is it the same as hiring a regular nanny? Do I need to take out taxes (state, federal, social security, etc.) or are there exceptions for family members? Any idea if there's a state agency or something that would be able to answer these questions?
2) I read somewhere that with a regular nanny, you still pay the agreed upon wage, even if you (and the baby) are out of town. Would this apply with my sister? When I'm out of town for work (with the baby) should I expect to still pay her?
3) I live in St. Paul, MN -- does anyone know what going rates are for nannies here? Obviously one of the benefits of hiring my sister is that she may be willing to work for less than a professional nanny, but I also want to be fair. Is $10/hr reasonable?
4) Lastly, for other work from home moms, at what point did you find that you needed childcare? I know some people work with their babies by their side for quite awhile, but I have to be on the phone/video skype a lot for meetings and am worried about interruptions. On the flip side, we definitely need to save as much money on childcare for as long as possible!
Thanks so much for your help!