Questions about WAHMing (in home daycare) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 12-29-2005, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two children (ages 7 and 4) and I recently quit my WOH job as a nurse at a pediatrician's office to be a SAHM again. Since I've quit, my dh and I have realized that we need more income. I'd love to be able to do a daycare out of my home -- especially since quitting my job working with babies, I need my baby fix!

There are some aspects of running a daycare out of my home that I don't know how to prepare for. For instance: taxes, meal/menu planning, baby proofing (to an extent), activity planning.

I have done research on the 'net for tax deductions, but is there a simple way of keeping track of these deductions throughout the year?

Is there a place on the internet with sample menus and meal planning for daycare snacks and lunches?

My house is not currently baby proofed because my children are old enough. We have a baby gate to keep our golden retriever puppy from going upstairs until he's old enough. I know that I need to put baby locks on our kitchen cabinets and covers on our outlets. Do I need to find a different place for our cleaners? Or is a baby lock enough? Do I need to put a lock on the toilet, cushions on table corners, etc?

Does anyone have any other tips or advice to offer? This is all overwhelming and I'm trying to sort it all out so I can get started.

Thanks so much!
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#2 of 16 Old 12-29-2005, 07:39 PM
 
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try checking out eccdc.org there is some great home daycare info on the site you will just have to look for it.
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#3 of 16 Old 12-29-2005, 11:19 PM
 
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Oooh, I can help! I've been a licensed family child care provider for almost 13 years.

I have done research on the 'net for tax deductions, but is there a simple way of keeping track of these deductions throughout the year?
- Check out Redleaf Press, they have tons of great info for inhome child care providers. If you don't want to buy the books right away, you could see if your local library has them. I suggest starting out with the tax book, contracts and policies book, and calendar keeper, to start out. Also, check with your local Resource and Referral, they have great resources for family child care providers.

Is there a place on the internet with sample menus and meal planning for daycare snacks and lunches?
- If you decide to get regulated (licensed/certified, whatever your state has) which I HIGHLY recommend, you can join the Federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). You'll have to follow certain regulations regarding minimum portion sizes and required food groups for certain meals. But you'll also get a reimbursement for each meal you serve each child. I figure since the children need to be fed anyway, why not get some money back?

My house is not currently baby proofed because my children are old enough. We have a baby gate to keep our golden retriever puppy from going upstairs until he's old enough. I know that I need to put baby locks on our kitchen cabinets and covers on our outlets. Do I need to find a different place for our cleaners? Or is a baby lock enough? Do I need to put a lock on the toilet, cushions on table corners, etc?
- If you get regulated they'll have a list of health/safety requirements. You don't need toilet locks or table corner cushions, as far as I know. But you will need baby gates at stairs, locks on cabinets where there are dangerous items, etc.

Does anyone have any other tips or advice to offer? This is all overwhelming and I'm trying to sort it all out so I can get started.
- Take it one thing at a time. Start by contacting the Resource and Referral for start-up info and take it from there. Feel free to PM or email me if you need more help. I'm VERY happy to help a new child care provider!

Thanks so much!
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#4 of 16 Old 12-30-2005, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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amysuen ~ THANK YOU so much! I will start with the Resource and Referral and will go from there. I will probably be PMing you with questions!

Thanks again!
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#5 of 16 Old 01-10-2006, 01:43 PM
 
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Hi I am a stay at home mom of 3 and now watch 4 children in my home. I am friends with the parents and we agreed on a price but she now thinks she can pay me whatever she wants. I now have to make her sign a contract that way she will go along with the terms that were agreed to in the beginning. My advice is to sign contracts & stick with them because verbal ones don't work especially with friends! Best of luck to you!!
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#6 of 16 Old 01-10-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmie-pooh
amysuen ~ THANK YOU so much! I will start with the Resource and Referral and will go from there. I will probably be PMing you with questions!

Thanks again!
You're VERY welcome! PM or email anytime, I'm VERY happy to help!

mommy969805 has a good point. If you do nothing else, get a written contract. It can be as simple as stating how much they'll pay you, when they'll pay you, what days and hours you'll provide care, and any fees for overtime care. It can save you headaches later! (Oh, and I'd go for weekly or at least daily fees. Hourly is a pain to keep track of, and if they pick up an hour early every day for a week it can sure add up!)
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#7 of 16 Old 01-10-2006, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I may have 3 kids lined up from one family. We are pretty good friends with them. Mom decided to go back to work after being a SAHM for 3 years.

I have no idea what to charge them. Daycare Centers around here charge outrageous prices! I was going to divide their prices in half, but it still seems like a bit much.

Honestly, any amount of money will help our financial situation right now, but I want to make sure I'm getting a good deal, as well as the family.

We agreed that I would take the oldest (5) to school and pick him up at 11:30 am. This was one of the most important factors. This is completely across town (a 15-20 minute drive in the morning; probably not as much time in the afternoon). I would most likely provide the the other breakfast, snack, lunch, and afternoon snack.

Another thing I wanted to make sure I do is to to take the kids to the museum, butterfly pavilion, and places like this so they don't get too bored. As if an exciting trip to the supermarket isn't enough. But I didn't want to have to 'charge' for these trips -- I wanted the costs of the trips to come out of the daycare costs. kwim?

Also, it's all going to be "under the table". Can anyone give me any tips or advice on figuring out how much to charge them?

Thanks so much!!

Oh! And is it awkward to make a friend sign a contract?
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#8 of 16 Old 01-10-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmie-pooh
Oh! And is it awkward to make a friend sign a contract?
It is much less awkward then having to argue or plead for back pay on care you have already done.
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#9 of 16 Old 01-10-2006, 11:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmie-pooh
I have no idea what to charge them. Daycare Centers around here charge outrageous prices! I was going to divide their prices in half, but it still seems like a bit much.
I helped a friend once for a number of months watching her two children. I made a verbal contract with her, said that I could only do it for no more than 3 months, the first month for $80/week (for both kids!) including breakfast/snacks/lunch and then $100/week after that...very cheap for California prices but I was trying to help her get back on her feet.

Anyway, after healthy breakfasts & snacks & lunch (including fresh fruit and veggies), there wasn't too much more left but I was at least making a little (we were going through a very broke time!!) but when she started to get behind on paying me ("sorry can't pay you now, but in two weeks I'll catch right up, 'kay?)...then suddenly I could barely afford our own food, let alone feeding her kids, also. I did it and she did catch up but somehow she never started paying me the $100, she conveniently forgot and just paid $80 all the time. I was embarrassed to fight her and even after three months, she still continued to bring them until a couple of weeks later, when I finally put my foot down and said, "you have to find someone else to watch them". She did.

Anyway, I guess my points are this:

- Write it down and make a food plan for the week, figure out how much it will cost to feed the children, you might want to include two snacks a day, plus breakfast & lunch.

- Make a month plan and think about what other extra activities you would like to do with the children and figure out how much that would cost. Think about a portion of your gas costs, too. Occasionally, if you take the children for a day trip to a museum, or something, will you end up buying everyone lunch or snacks there? Factor that in.

- Make sure that if you end up being really annoyed with having so many kids around, the huge mess the kids make (perhaps after everyone is gone, you will need to clean for half an hour before you make your own dinner), all the food prep you will be doing, all of the diapers you might be changing, etc., that you actually have some profit to make it all worthwhile. It's kind of you to want to help your friend but it doesn't help if you end up hating doing it day to day because there is no profit or dependability in it.

- Get it in writing, very important. Make copies for both of you, write down your expectations (kids to be brought in clean clothes daily, with an extra change of clothing, with all of their diapers and extras as well) with a latest pickup time and perhaps an extra charge for late fees...otherwise it will be too easy for her to be late here and there, possibly really disturbing other plans you have. You can always include a small grace period, but in my experience, some parents might take advantage of the grace period and end up arriving exactly at that time every day.

[the lady whose children I watched would often be dropped off with no diapers, no wipes, in dirty smelly clothing and I would end up having to buy disposables for them and I'd undress them and wash their clothes and re-dress them before the end of the day. Yes, I guess it was a bit of a nightmare and I was silly to stick around and do it for so long, always thinking that I was helping out but really, I was just being trod on, since the next sitter she got, she paid much better than I.]


Sorry for the diatribe! Good luck to all of you.
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#10 of 16 Old 01-12-2006, 08:17 PM
 
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NAK

I've got tons of paperwork if you'd like copies of it all.

I charge $600 per month for care here. Pretty cheap in Austin.

Always sign a contract, always get pay in advance.

Mom to Dakota (6), Coy, (4), Max, (4), Lily (4), and Auri (June 19th 2010)!
Visit Lily's site at www.caringbridge.org/visit/lilymathis1
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#11 of 16 Old 01-14-2006, 03:14 AM
 
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kimmie-pooh, thank you for this thread! i, too, am possibly going to start an in-home childcare service. i am excited, but also overwhelmed. all of these responses have been a world of help! I'm going to resource and referral tuesday. what is required for licensing? I am a fully credentialed elementary teacher--will this help?

I also have 2 kids, though mine are 33mos. and 9mos. old. our home is still pretty safe...

As far as contracts go, how long do you make one for? can it be monthly? i know i'l get all this from R nad R but i am antsy...

thanks everybody for all this great info!

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#12 of 16 Old 01-14-2006, 12:22 PM
 
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I do semi-yearly contracts. Monthly works more for drop in care.

Being a teacher won't help you get licenced, but it will help you get daycare kids.
Remember not to charge too little because if you do, parents will be wondering why you're so cheap and they won't choose you. You get what you pay for kind of thing. Call other home daycares in your area and ask what they're charging. Tell them that you're opening a daycare and you'd love to take their name and refer people to them when you're full and you'd really love it if they would do the same.

Make up business cards (the ones from Vistaprint are great), drop flyers with cards wherever you can, advertise on craigslist.org

Like I said before, I've got bunches of Attachment Parenting daycare paperwork if you'd like it. Contract, handbook, accident report, medical permisson form, transportation form, enrollment form, fee agreement form, people to release to form, etc... Tons of them. Let me know if you'd like them. I can e-mail you copies of everything.

How many kids do you plan to get licenced for and take? I only take 3 because I'm listed. I can't get registered because our stupid house has no downstairs bathroom. : Some days I wish I could take more and then other days I wish I only took one. Are you doing this on your own or do you plan to hire help? I believe you can have 12 children of varying ages if you're registered and 6 if you're licenced (in TX anyway). There's no way I could watch 12 children without part time help from a teenager or something.

Anyway, if you have any questions or would like the paperwork, please let me know. I'm happy to help.

Mom to Dakota (6), Coy, (4), Max, (4), Lily (4), and Auri (June 19th 2010)!
Visit Lily's site at www.caringbridge.org/visit/lilymathis1
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#13 of 16 Old 01-16-2006, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kathryn ~ I would love copies of your paperwork if you wouldn't mind! My email addy is cadeik@comcast.net

I put a flyer together. I'm going to work on my business cards next!
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#14 of 16 Old 01-17-2006, 01:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn

Like I said before, I've got bunches of Attachment Parenting daycare paperwork if you'd like it. Contract, handbook, accident report, medical permisson form, transportation form, enrollment form, fee agreement form, people to release to form, etc... Tons of them. Let me know if you'd like them. I can e-mail you copies of everything.

Thanks!
I pm'd you . I'd love copies. I'm in CA and care around here is throught he roof! I just hope I can get atleast 2 kids.

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#15 of 16 Old 01-17-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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Great! I will get an e-mail to both of you tonight sometime when I get a free minute.

Mom to Dakota (6), Coy, (4), Max, (4), Lily (4), and Auri (June 19th 2010)!
Visit Lily's site at www.caringbridge.org/visit/lilymathis1
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#16 of 16 Old 01-17-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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Thanks
!!!!!



Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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