November 17, 2009,
A.S. asks from Sterling, VA on February 22, 2008
How Much to Charge for In-home Childcare??
I'm going to be helping out a friend by watching her 2 1/2 month old baby for a little while and she asked me to come up with a number to charge her. I have NOOO idea how much to charge for In-home childcare. She'll be bringing her to my place Monday through Friday from 8:30am-5:30 or 6pm. So it's going to be all day. How much should I charge? It's hard since they are friends, I don't want to over charge, but it's going to be hard work for me, so I don't want to undercharge either. Does anyone know the going rate for childcare?? Thanks!
K.G. answers from Washington DC on November 17, 2009
I know she's friend, but you are going out of your way along with your little one. I think that you should charge her the minimum is $175.00. Now that's really cheap compared to some daycares out there. The going rate at this time for childcare at any center for an infant can be anywhere between $225.00-$300.00 for an infant. You could also charge a little more up to 200.00. I know she's your friend but you will the one with 2 infants in the house.
A.L. answers from Washington DC on February 25, 2008
I have been through two rounds of in-home childcare search in the last year and half. $200 is a good number. Granted (good) in-home places will charge a little more but since she is a friend and bc you won't have to supply any food - $200 is a generous request. Good luck mixing business with friendship though.....be careful - could be no problem at all but be safe. Be clear on your expectations and honest with her about your willingness to meet her requests.
Good luck and congratulations to you on your little one!
C.F. answers from Washington DC on February 26, 2008
I'd say a *minimum* of $200/week, you may want it to be higher, with the amount of work you're going to be doing. I've priced it anywhere from $215/week to $375/week. Usually infants cost more than toddlers, but that is more strictly applied in the larger places where they are concerned with the staff/child ratio. Not an issue for you since you'll be watching only the one child.
Not to be a stick in the mud, but you since you're going to be doing this full-time, you should consider (or at least be educated on) the licensing requirements here in Fairfax County, since you're in Reston.
My in-home daycare provider is licensed and while it is a bit of a pain to start it up, she said it is well worth it - besides the tax breaks, there is a built in support network of other providers and the staff in that agency. They have group meetings, etc. Also, consider your liability risk if you are not licensed, since the licensing requirement includes a safety inspection by the fire department, etc. Once the baby is on solid food, there is a USDA Child Care Food Program that is a subsidy for the provider as long as the child's meals meet the nutritional criteria. (My provider does this as well.)
Besides mixing the whole friends/business thing, you should also consider some very important points:
-have you defined how you're going to handle sick time - your's, your baby's and her child's? Notification, etc. I'm assuming that when/if your baby has something contagious that you won't take hers into the house, and of course you won't want to take her baby if it is sick, or if you are ill yourself.
-what about if you (or they) are going to take any vacation time? Most daycares charge a set amount weekly, regardless of whether the child is there or not, unless there is some kind of agreement of 1/2 the pay for when the child is on vacation for a straight week. Consider the difference between single days off in a week, versus the entire week (or more).
-when are you expecting to be paid? every Monday, the Friday before, once a month, etc.
-written contact information for them, information about allergies for the baby (even that there are none), and a medical treatment form authorizing you to have the baby treated in an emergency. There are generic ones that don't give excessive permissions, but every daycare I've been to has some form of this.
-lots of other points as the baby gets older (are you in this for the long haul, 2-3 years?, or longer?) addressing discipline, food/meals, etc.
My daycare provider has a whole 10+ page contract that spells out both our and her responsibilities and rights. It's a form one she got through her contacts, and very, very thorough. It protects both her and us and is very reasonable.
Like I said, not trying to put a damper on this, and I do have a friend who has done daycare for other friends and the friendship survived, but make sure you are educated on all of the factors going into this. It is not a small thing, you aren't talking about occasional babysitting here.
B.W. answers from Washington DC on February 23, 2008
I have done in home child care with my children when they were infants. I was charged anywhere from $40-45 a day depending on the provider. If I would have done full time (5 days a week) it was cheaper than that, so you could do less. That is truly a tough thing when it is a friend, but remember it is your time too.
T.L. answers from Washington DC on February 23, 2008