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babysitting/childcare rates

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My dhs best friend and wife just moved back into town... they have said that they need someone to watch their three boys as both of them are working full time... all are under 3 right now (almost 3.. 1 1/2.. and 6 months)... I REALLY want to watch these kids but I need help coming up with a reasonable weekly rate to "charge" them... BUT I dont want to feel like either of us arent being fairly treated as far as money... these people need a serious break when it comes to life, and I just dont want to be unfair by asking too much from them. also I need to make sure I am being compensated for the cost of everything.. food.. craft supplies... extra diapers.. etc!

I already take care of my sis, 14 (ok she doesnt really need a sitter.. but doesnt like to go home because she'll be alone for quite a while) and my bro, 5... but only before and after school.. and on days off... I get 25 a week from my father for that... I honestly do not think that is quite enough for all I do for my brother... but my father is doing everything on his own because my mother is a deadbeat parent.... but we wont go there

so enough rambling... any suggestions?

(if I left something out.. because I'm normally spacey like that, let me know)
post #2 of 11
I am a homedaycare provider and although I do not know the going rate in your city there are things you can do to find out what it is.

First, home daycares usually charge less than centre based. Around $5.00 per day less. So, call around or go on-line and look up some daycare centres in your area. See what they charge.

A tip for you: do NOT offer the ever so popular sibling discount that home providers make the mistake of offering. 3 siblings eat just as much as 3 seperate kids, use just as many crafts, supplies etc etc etc. I always think it is foolish to offer such a discount and it undermines your costs and the service that you provide.

Also, as it is your friend I would suggest a contract. I have all my parents sign one. It doesn't have to be complex but it is really good to have all the committments and rules in writing that you have all agreed to. This way there is no question as to payment and amounts owed, what days you get paid for etc etc etc. The last thing you want to do is lose a freind because you both had different expectations and didn't know so from the beginning.

Good luck to you!
post #3 of 11
Also, if you do decide to do this, I'd really suggest a trial run of maybe a week. You're talking about having four kids three and under, which is a huge amount of work.
post #4 of 11
Thats a hard situation. The average is $8/ hr until the age of 2 for good child care around where I live, but in another part of MD, a friend of mine pays $20/day for her 1 year old son. I hope you find a good solution.
post #5 of 11
I charge $250 per week for full time care. My hours are 8:30-5:30, unless prior arrangements have been made. I spell everything out very clearly in my parent/provider contract, that even my friends have to sign. It just makes it a lot less uncomfortable for everyone. I do not provide formula, diapers or main meals. I provide 2 healthy snacks for toddlers/children who eat regular food (meaning I dont buy baby food). I let the parents know what the snacks will be in advance, and if the child has allergies or aversions to a particular snack, they need to bring another one. I also take the children places, which means I have permission to drive with them. I can not be stuck inside all day long, especially since where we live you have to drive to get anywhere. I do not allow sick or seemingly sick children to be dropped off. 'I' make that call. Alot of times I'll get a runny nosed kid and the parent will tell me it's allergies or what have you. Ummm no. Green mucus is sick not an allergy. The parents pay to reserve the spot. Meaning that if they call in, I still get paid. If I am not paid I need to find a replacement. I try to explain this to parents and they understand, but before when I didn't explain, I always had parents try to under pay me when they had a sick child or missed half a day. I charge for staying late or coming early. I do not dispense medications. I make all this very clear in my contract/agreement. I also put in there to please not bend the rules, because it puts me in a very hard spot. I ask that for the daycare to remain business, and that for our friendship to not interfere. Most people get that, but I have been burned by EVERYONE I did not spell that out to. I had people picking up late, calling me ON THEIR WAY 2 hours early in the morning, switching days at the last minute, ect. I had to just bite the bullet and put it in writing. I know it sound like I am a total jacka$$, but really I am not. I LOVE what I do, and though it's really hard, it can be a really rewarding and great way to stay home with your child/ren ad make some $. Just cover your butt!
post #6 of 11
Natalia,

I am just like you in my daycare business. I have EVERYTHING in writing. I do NOT bend the rules for anyone! I get paid regardless of attendance and sick children are not permitted. I also do NOT supply diapers or formula or baby food. I do however, supply all snacks and meals to stop parents from sending junk to my house.

You are absolutley right about being taken advantage of. Until you have it all in writing and everyone understand the expectations there will always be someone who goes by their own rules. A contract is an absolute must!
post #7 of 11
In my area, the going rates are $100 per child, per week, or $2.50/child/hour. I agree that you should find out the going rates in your area, and then offer a one or two week trial to see if it is manageable for you.
post #8 of 11
You can pick up your local paper and call around to other moms who offer childcare to find out the average rate. Some people say when doing this, to act like your thinking of sending your kids to her, but in your situation, I'd just go with the truth

It really varies by area - we're in a very low-wage area, and I charge $3.50/hr. I also would go with the trial of around 2 weeks, just to see if you can hang with that many kids that are so young. Let the mom know your plans, so she won't be in the dark.

DO NOT provide diapers!!! I have parents bring a backpack each day filled with diapers, wipes, sippy cup, extra clothes and plastic bags. I would actually be nervous doing childcare for someone that is already a friend. I find it better to start off with people I don't know, and usually we become good friends with the family anyhow But if the relationship starts off as business, there's less a chance of feelings being hurt or relationships being ruined if things don't work out.

Also, do you have a car that is big enough for that many kids? Do you have the extra carseats? All things to think about. I know some providers don't leave the house, but I find it necessary to get to the playground or storytime once-in-a-while I have all the extra carseats, so parents aren't having to undo and re-install their own carseats every day. Just some thoughts

Maybe if you try it and decide it would be too overwhelming, you could give a nice 2-week notice so that they'd have time to find someone else (always good to have a back-up plan!)
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by angel1895 View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]My dhs best friend and wife just moved back into town... they have said that they need someone to watch their three boys as both of them are working full time... all are under 3 right now (almost 3.. 1 1/2.. and 6 months)... I REALLY want to watch these kids but I need help coming up with a reasonable weekly rate to "charge" them... BUT I dont want to feel like either of us arent being fairly treated as far as money... these people need a serious break when it comes to life, and I just dont want to be unfair by asking too much from them. also I need to make sure I am being compensated for the cost of everything.. food.. craft supplies... extra diapers.. etc!
I watch my dh's best friend's daughter and starting in 2 weeks, my niece. I was approached to watch our cousin's twins starting this fall.

In each case, because they ARE friends and relatives that I can trust, I asked THEM to approach me first with an hourly rate that they thought was reasonable and fair, and that we would negotiate from there. In one case, the parents decided on $4/hour, and in the other case, $3/hour. I thought that this was the best solution for me because I wanted to make sure they felt like they were being treated fairly and paying me a rate that was within their budget.

In each case I told them that they could either bring their own diapers/wipes and food, or they could have me provide them for an additional charge. Both mothers opted to provide their own.

Good luck! I think that the ages seem pretty ideal and you will have a great time!
post #10 of 11
Definitely call around to centers in your area. It's obvious that rates vary DRASTICALLY by area/urban vs. suburban vs. rural, because I'm shocked at how low some of these rates are. I live in Chicago and an in-home nanny will charge at least $10 an hour for one child and possibly $12-14 for two. A daycare center will run about $250-400 per child per week for full-time care, with a home daycare provider charging perhaps about the same or a little less than a corporate or nonprofit daycare. It's very compassionate to want to provide care at an affordable rate, but you really shouldn't take on the tremendous work and responsibility of 3 small children without being compensated fairly according the going rate for your area. And I agree that I would ask the parents to provide their own diapers. When my dd was in part-time daycare, we had to bring our own diapers/wipes and food until they were on solids (so I brought breastmilk, some brought formula, later I brought jarred baby food, until dd could eat the hot meal at about age 15 months). Don't fold it into the childcare cost--I wouldn't even want the responsibility of shopping for the supplies. But I think craft supplies and some food can be part of the cost.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I appreciate everyones replies.. I have not started to watch the extra kids yet... and I dont honestly know when I'm gonna start

I mainly wanted to do this in the first place because this family has been between a rock and a hard place for such a long time... and seeing as my own family has been there a few times already.. I want to help.
I would have jumped at the chance if someone would have offered me

and I just want to come out being fair when it comes to money.. I dont want to lose out.. but dont want to be greedy either
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