Do You Babysit, Own or Work at Daycare

Updated on June 10, 2010
P.O. asks from Antioch, TN
11 answers

Do you babysit, own or work at a daycare (in home or outside) What are your pros and cons, positives and negatives doing this full time or part time.

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answers from Kansas City on

I run my own in-home care. I do not BABYSIT. A babysitter is someone that works sporadically for someone else. They are employed to keep children fed, safe, and entertained while parents are gone.

I am a caregiver. My entire life is wrapped up in my daycare. My home and family reflects my career choice. Nothing we do for the home, to the home, or in the home happens unless it works with the daycare.

The positives- I love what I do, I live what I do (meaning it's my life, not just a job) I am in charge of my time, I get great tax breaks for using my home and being open 7 days per week 24 hours per day, my children benefit from me working at home. 3 of my 4 children are grown and now one of them has her child with me in my daycare. I look forward to another 20+ years in the business helping to raise my grand babies as they come a long.

The negatives- While I am in charge of how I spend my days, it's hard to get the laundry done or take a shower without getting help because I don't leave the children alone for anything. My entire family helps with the daycare which is both a blessing and sometimes a cursing because there isn't enough money in the daycare business to pay my family for their contributions. These days the biggest negative is the fact that just about anyone and everyone is jumping into the daycare "business". Most have zero experience and no idea of what they are getting themselves into. They under cut our prices and make people think that those of us that are old timers in the business are greedy. Then they do bad things making all daycare providers look bad. It's also hard to stand up to people, demand advance payment and get reimbursed for bad checks.

This is just a small fraction of things I could say. But I'm tired and that's one of the negatives. It's not an easy job.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I did daycare out of our home for 7 years after our 4th child was born.
Pros- not having to leave to go to work -get paid to stay home with your kids (and other's) Cons- parents who don't pay faithfully. -always having to have a very clean house because it's getting used as a business. -parents who take advantage of you. -trying to stay fair between your own kids and other people's. - your kids possibly feeling a little resentful they have to share their mommy. -always having to make arrangements when you do have to go somewhere like the dr's office etc. -Gosh there's so many on either side. I'm sure I will think of a lot more once I submit this comment.

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answers from Phoenix on

Be very careful if you are thinking of doing a home daycare from your home. Its a HUGE liability issue and if something happened to a child in your care, you could financially (and emotionally) lose everything. Most insurance companies will not insure a home that has a daycare. good luck.

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answers from College Station on

I work at a daycare and I love it if thats what your asking. I have also done lots of babysitting, but I love the daycare bc its so nice to just get out of the house sometimes :) biggest con ever, missing my kids, but they go where I work so... I know they are close!

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answers from New York on

for me, the main negative is all the new germs coming into my house. i got puked on yesterday, last night found out that she has strep. something for me to look forward to, haha!

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answers from Tampa on

I agree with what everyone else has been saying! I am licensed as a home childcare provider through the state of Fl. I do not babysit. I am just like any other daycare, only I am in my own home. It has its rewards, but it is not just something to go into lightly. My ENTIRE life revolves around the daycare. Plus most jobs you get to leave and come back the next day..... With a homedaycare you dont. I am stuck in my house all day long......without contact to other adults which can be VERY lonely and frustrating..
Not to mention the legal matters as well....taxes each year, what to claim, writting tax staments for your parents, record keeping, and depending on what your county rules are, can you even do a home daycare. Some places you have to be licensed which means people can randomly come into your home to inspect, or do you have to be registered, which is not nearly as strict. There is ALOT to think about......... Here is my website if you want to check it out

Good Luck!! It really is worth it....If you are strong enough. Being with children and having a role in their life is wonderful!

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answers from Tampa on

I used to babysit all the time and was licensed to do it when I lived in Michigan. Personally I found it much easier to have them bring the children to my home. That way I could get my things done and still make a little money. Also, I had a special toy room where all the toys were kept and it didn't matter how much they played or how many toys they got out. I used to babysit full time at someone elses house and found it to be really hard to get anything done for myself. Also if you are watching children at their homes the parents expect a lot more out of you and don't pay any more then if they were bringing them to your home. My neighbor used to own a daycare and sold it because it was such a hassle dealing with all the parents and she said it is almost impossible for any daycare to take care of a child properly. Also I know someone who works for a day care in the infant room and she said it's totally crazy. She has seven babies to take care of and said you can not take care of all of them properly. If I were you I would do babysitting in my home if I were going to do it. You will enjoy it more and have better control over your life.

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answers from Tulsa on

I have over 12 years in child care. I have worked in various child care centers, with all ages, and have owned my own center also.

The pro's to owning your own business, whether child care home, large child care home, or center.

You have the power to make the changes you feel necessary. Such as menu, curriculum, decorations, child ages and numbers, hire staff and manage their training. This gives you a lot of responsibility but it also gives you great pride when someone notices and gives you credit. I think it was easy to have my own center, I was partners with a guy whose wife had retired and didn't want to do kids anymore. The facility was full of everything we needed and it was just sitting there waiting.

For a home setting you'll need to get additional insurance for liability. You'll also need to register your business with the state and federal gov. for taxes. You will also need to have your company legally named and made into a LLC, Limited Liability Corporation. That way if someone is injured or sues you they can't take your personal property. You have a "limited liability". You'll need to have back up plans for someone to work in you stead when you are sick or have an appointment. You may want to turn a room or den into the care area so that the rest of your home stays personal. It is definitely an invasion of your families privacy when the licensing inspector shows up and you have to allow them in all areas of your home.

Working for someone else in any type child care setting:

You have little power, they set the curriculum for you, it is their center and they make all decisions, that may be a comfort to you that you don't have to carry that burden. You don't have to buy any toys, books, plug covers, paint for the walls, new carpets or flooring when water leaks in and damages the property, fix clogged drains, etc.... You come to work for your hours, go home when the day is over, pick up your check and spend it on things you want to buy.
I loved working in child care, the new regulations are really good and I enjoyed the training I had to do. I learned a lot and was able to apply what I learned to all aspects of my life. I worked with all ages but found I really like school agers the best. Babies are nice for a short time but they demand a lot of attention. Three year olds are my next favorites, the whole world is opening up for them and their little brains are expanding daily.

If you really like working with kids I recommend you seek employment in a center so you can get a feel for the daily grind of it and see how you do. There is a lot of training you can do before you start looking, I have included a link to your state licensing agency. Take some of the classes, you can network with other child care workers and might get a better feel for what centers are good and looking for employees. After you work a while you will be able to tell if this a field you are really interested in and can start buying toys and things you'll need to pass licensing regulations.

Good luck in you coming adventure.

Here's a link to your state child care licensing information pages.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I have had a home daycare for almost 16 years now. It has been great being home with my kids who are now 16,13,and 8. Many of the daycare kids have been like my own kids as well. Someone else said that many people are now jumping on the home daycare bandwagon as an easy way to make money. It is NOT an easy job or an easy way to make money if you do your job/career properly, raising the daycare kids like your own. We decided this year to renovate our home and sell it, one of the main reasons for this decision, was the daycare. I want my daycare kids to have a separate playroom, apart from our living room for their own space and space for us as a family. I do have 2 children that can be here overnights/weekends, they do everything we do as a family from family activities/gatherings, camping and church. A home daycare is much more than a job, be sure to think carefully before starting one.

What would you do if you were sick? What about if your children were sick? What if any of your daycare kids are sick? What will you feed them? Where will they play? what about sharing of your children's toys? Where will they sleep? What about vacations for you and holidays?

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't care what you call me. I wasn't licensed (in my state you are supposed to be) all my parents knew I wasn't and didn't mind it. So you can call me a babysitter or a home daycare? I did do the following:
Filed state and federal taxes as self-employed
Notified my insurance agent that I would be watching kids in my home (my homeowners insurance rates weren't affected) I did notify them in writing to put in my file (sent certified) just in case, you never know.
Verified immunization records
Had a learning curriculum, story time, etc daily
Provided a lunch menu weekly, I did lunch and snacks
Did outside "field trips", parks
Didn't allow the children to come if they were sick
Had a play room, outside toys, swingset, small pool, separate rooms for naps.
I would insist on being paid up front. I had one family that would seem to 'forget' over and over to pay me. After a week, I just answered the door and told them they were taking advantage of me and I couldn't keep their child an more until they were paid up in full and for the next week in advance! Funny how they miraculously found their checkbook in their car, after forgetting it for a week.
I would only take children by referral and for a trial basis . Sometimes the children just didn't jive with me or the other children. I would just say it wasn't going to work out. The parents always knew this up front - no surprises!! I didn't make the parents pay me if the children weren't going to be there if they gave me notice: vacations, appointments, etc. I think that is ridiculous and the one thing I always hated about daycare centers. I also gave the parents a calendar from day one of the dates I would not be available to work. My family loves to travel and I would want time off in the summer, around the holidays, my child's birthday, etc.

Get to stay home with your own child(ren), make money and your child(ren) has kids to play with everyday.
Set your own hours and days: My hours were 7:30am to 5:30pm
You can choose how many children you want to watch (I usually kept it small - 3 or 4 plus my own. (only 1 infant at a time)

Can't do spur of the moment activites, errands
Don't have all the one-on-one time with your own child(ren). I would put the children down for their naps (2-2 1/2 hours) and would spend that time with just my child everyday.
If you have to be licensed or registered, all the paperwork, fees, rules, drop in visits, etc. that come with that.
If you have errands, appointments; getting someone else to watch the children while you are going to be gone. (My husband sometimes didn't mind watching the kids if he was home, but they all had to be down for a nap! My mom would watch them sometimes too.) I would always tell the parents upfront and let them know that I had things to do and my husband or my mom might be watching them. None of them ever had a problem with it, so it worked out great)

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answers from Honolulu on

Ditto Kerry I.

I, babysat in my home, for about 2.5 years. I had 2 kids, in addition to my own....
It was for 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week.

I did it because I am a SAHM and to earn extra money, and to be able to be home with my daughter at that time. I baby sat, until I had my 2nd child.

If I had to do it again... I don't know if I would.
You don't have much freedom... but its a job like any other. But the great thing is, is that you can be home with your own child.

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