Home Child Care - Coppell,TX

Updated on January 20, 2012
K.M. asks from Coppell, TX
23 answers

Hello Mommas:
I have been speaking with a couple who is expecting their first child in May. They would like me to care for their newborn while they both work full time.
Here is my question; How much should I charge them for 40-45 hours per week? They have mentioned $120.00/week. That works out to be $2.67 per hour, which I think is really, really low.
What do you think?

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm in Silicon Valley (everything's expensive here) and pay $70/day for an in-home day care. My toddler is one of 4 children there. She provides food, snacks and bedding. The day is 8-5:30.

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answers from Dallas on

I think if she is the only child you are watching and you area essentially acting a nanny, that price is highway robbery.

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answers from Portland on

I think they are living in fantasy land, and looking at what they think they can comfortably afford.

I speak to this as a former nanny and as a mother whose son is in preschool (plus aftercare expenses): childcare is supposed to be a significant expense, not a triviality. And there are people on this planet who do not value childcare and consider it 'just taking care of the baby'. Here are some things to do to protect yourself:

1.Draw up a contract. In it, state specifically the hours you will be working (the baby will need this consistency, as will you), the jobs you will be doing, and the wage, which should be an hourly rate. I wouldn't do it for any less than $7, personally, and only then if they aren't going to claim you on their income taxes. If they do plan on it, they need to pay you more. (Taxes will eat up about 25-30% of your income; consider that FICA is 13-14%, alone, plus whatever state and federal income taxes apply in your area.)

2. Also make sure to have them sign a liability waiver, which will protect you from honest accidents, but not negligence. And unless they are going to be close by, an Emergency Consent form. PM me if you need this information; I can send you copies of what I use for my preschool.

You might also consider that each state has regulations about providing childcare for others in one's home. It's advisable to check out what those are in your state, and think hard about protecting yourself legally.

I caution you to go into this with their eyes very wide open. In my 19+ years of working with children and their families, I've run into nearly every sort of attitude about my line of work. After having my son, I stayed home and provided after-preschool care for a child whose family I previously worked with. The pay was $7 an hour (under the table, at that time) and the child was 4, nowhere near the amount of work of a newborn. Don't sell yourself short, just because they might.

Just tell yourself: there's a profound difference between providing loving child care for an infant and "babysitting". This couple will need to get their heads around this. They are asking you to be consistently available and reliable. (although they should also have backup care, in case you or your family are ill, or the baby is ill) We parents have to ask ourselves hard questions about what's important in life after our children are born, and going back to work is one of them. For what it's worth, currently I pay more for childcare than I make with my business, but I value my work--and my son-- and this makes it 'worth it'. They will have to come to their conclusions on their own, but don't get pulled into fixing their dilemma.

Added: I made a mistake in saying that I charged $7 an hour --that was a reduced 'shared care' rate for that family when another child joined; I checked my records and it was actually $10 an hour for the single child and their rates were reduced to $7 for each family when her buddy joined her. Please remember, too, that I'm charging what's more or less market rate for a *very experienced* child care provider in my area.

Also, the reason I have a contract is because I explain To The Letter what it is we are all agreeing to. The hours of care in specific, which sorts of jobs are agreed upon (some families want a built-in housekeeper-- I am not the person for them, although I clean as I go during the day, etc.) Contracts are not designed as a be-all/end-all but a method of clear communication, and a document both parties can refer back to when there is some confusion. Besides the hourly rate of pay, as well as the payment schedule (is the family paying every other week, on the 1st and 15th of each month, or monthly?) All of this is important. As for the liability waiver, it does not guard against negligence, however, there are some parents who would be happy to sue YOU because they have trust issues and simply nothing more. I have worked in homes where sharp tools were left out by the family, or they had an unprotected hearth area... things like this. We must put the onus of the safety of the environment back on the homeowner/client and they are expected to install gates/childproof, etc. I'm good at helping families assess needs for this, but they have to do the follow-through too. You don't know how many people think its fine to have stairs in a house with very young children but no gates/door at the top or bottom....I'm covering my butt despite their flawed thinking.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

LOL... in our area is $400-$800 per week per child for infant - potty trained depending on whether it's group 400, or 1:1 800.

Then it lowers from 1600-2500 p/month to about ###-###-#### per month from potty trained-school age. The it jumps up again to apx 1000per month for only 3 hours of "afterschool" care (at the ymca), instead of 9 hours of daytimes care.

Of course, in our area a 2bd/1ba starter house (apx 1000 square feet and needs work) is half a million.

Call around to your local daycare centers (5-10 of them) as a prospective parent and ask what their rates would be for a newborn. A home group daycare is about half as much, and a home 1:1 is about double.

PLEASE REREAD HAZEL'S RESPONSE. Absolutely, without a hesitation, question, or doubt follow what she says to do.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

Why in the world do new parents think they can pay $2.67/hr to have their child watched full time?? Also, why would a child care provider devalue their services and charge $100/week?? I think that was the going rate twenty years ago. I just don't get it. My 17 year old daughter makes nearly $10/hr as a hostess and doesn't work near 40 hours per week (and she can go to the bathroom alone and gets a lunch break).

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answers from Kansas City on

Oh and by the way... Newborn care is only USUALLY more than toddler care. I don't charge more for infants and I don't believe for one second babies are really that much harder. I can tell you without a doubt that every age and stage has it's ups and downs and from one day to the next any one of my little charges may be making me more or less crazy and I care for EVERY age group from infants to 11 years old.

Also, liability waivers are NOT worth the paper they are written on. Check it out. Some states allow them in a very limited way. Many states don't recognize them at all. The best defense is good supervision.

Contracts are also only worth the paper they are written on. Contracts keep honest people honest. Dishonest people aren't worth your time of day. This is 24 years of experience talking. I have ZERO desire to spell out every detail of my life. No pay, NO stay.

Also, cash under the table payments are illegal and I can't believe anyone would even admit to ever receiving under the table payments. I pay my taxes and everyone should.

Yes, check out the laws in your state. Seems like I remember you can have a few children unlicensed. It's been a long time since we were thinking of a job there in Texas. If you don't need to be licensed, it's really not worth the bother for me. Licensed care is time consuming, expensive, and in the end, not worth the hassle. Once again, that's 24 years of experience talking. I attract the most wonderful families, without contracts, and most of them come to me because I am hassle free. Because of it, they are too.

I charge 120 per week. But like everyone else said, it depends on so many factors. At one time my entire house was divided into learning centers, I was licensed, and charged even LESS than now. But I was younger, had more kids, and didn't know better. We were a family living in a daycare. But over the years I changed things around to now we are a familly that provides daycare. You don't walk in here and think, wow, there's a daycare here. We still provide good care. But it's family daycare for sure. The kids are treated just the same as my grandson. But this is not one of those places where every minute of the day is pre-planned, we do watch tv and I would NEVER consider working for someone that's a tv prude. I do provide learning, but most of it's electronic in nature. I'm not doing circle time everyday. I do laundry and picking up (gasp, while the children are in care). I'm open 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. I provide care in my home and have no problem reading a book (for myself) or sitting on the couch with my laptop on facebook while the kids play on the floor or on their own nearby computers.

If you provide care in your own home, your own environment, and they simply want her well-cared for but they won't dictate a strict schedule or be sending you to mommy play groups and having you shuttle her around to dance lessons when she's 3, then you should charge less. If you are going to be treated like a nanny, expected to entertain and teach her hands on every minute of the day, maybe even go to their house, put through the babies laundry etc.. Then they need to pay you more like 500 per week!

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answers from Biloxi on

I think it depends on if you are going to have to be licensed; if they are going to want to claim the child care expense as a tax credit at the end of the year in which case you will have to pay taxes on the income you make from them.

Call around to your local day cares and see what they charge for new born care. I know that many in-home care providers in my area charge less than the big day cares.

One of my friends does this and she has had some of the same children since they were babies - she loves it - it has allowed her to stay home with her daughters and since she has watched some of these children for 3 and 4 years she has really bonded with them and their parents.

It can be a real win-win situation.

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answers from Milwaukee on

If you are only watching one child then you can charge more because you would be giving one on one care. Maybe $200 a week. Caring for an infant is always more, most drop the price by $20 after age of 2.

Maybe check out what some local daycares or in-home child care places charge. Now they may be less then $200 a week, but remember they are watching multiple kids which adds up to more per hour then (close to $8-10 an hour). You may also find that they charge more.

How much would you consider fair per hour?
--- Are they friends? You do not want to feel taken advantage of, but if you also want to give them a slight break (cheapier then other child care) make sure you are ok doing so.

Are you providing the food, diapers, extra clothes, toys? Or are they?
--- If you are expected to have all those things on hand, figure that cost into the price. May require a quick look at all the prices and adding it up. If they are going to provide everything, and are good at always make sure you have MORE then what is needed then you do not need to figure in the extra cost.

Are you watching their child at their house or yours?
--- If you are watching at their house figure in travel time and gas cost.
--- If they are dropping child off

Dose the parent picking up the child have a decent set schedule so usually always able to pick the little one up on set time... if not might need to figure out the cost for if they might be picking up late (30-hour maybe more late).

In the end whatever you do and if you decide to take it on have everything written out so everyone is onthe same page.

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answers from Chicago on

it's reallly low for a new born and it doesn't matter which state your in. do you do home daycare for others? what do you charge them? Going rate in that area is anywhere from $150 at low end to $250 at the highend. it was higher in center's than in home daycare. No way in heck I would take on a newborn for $120 a week. I would like the other poster said ask if they are planning to claim it on their taxes. If they are then tell them you need at least $200 a week. if not then go for something a little less like maybe $175 or so. Good luck.

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answers from Nashville on

i know daycare is only about $130 a week were we live for a new born. It doesnt sound alot $ 2.67 per hour but when you look at it there forking out $ 480 a month for child care and thats alot. Im just glad that im a stay at home mom and didnt have to put my baby in daycare or anything because i would hate to pay that much a month. Also my friends mom is a home day care lady and she was going to charge me $80 a week for a 1 year old.

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answers from Cumberland on

It really is a local issue--rates vary tremendously from area to area. I charge 100 for an infant but 2 hours away the going rate is closer to 200. Check with other providers in your area. Also --most daycare providers take more than one child thus getting paid 2.50 an hour per each child adds up when they have 4 to 8 children...You would be more like a nanny since I'm assuming this is the only child you would consider taking in. Also in MD you are pretty much required to be licensed and regulated --I don't know how TX is. Hope this helps. Check out nanny rates in your area instead--that'll give you a better gauge of what to negotiate.

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answers from Chicago on

I live in Illinois and do home daycare in my home. I charge $5 per hour. If I were watching a newborn 40 a week, I would charge them $200. If it wound up being 45 hours a week, $225 per week. If you are only watching their child, I would think you could charge more than $5 per hour.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi there!

I know when you figure the hourly rate is seems low. I charge about $175 for full time care. And yes, it does depend on your area. Always do the research and call home daycare and commercial daycares in your area so that you can keep rates competitive. And you have to remember, you don't have to pay for gas, miles and professional clothes to go to work. They come to you. I've been doing home daycare for 9 years and I LOVE it!!!!!

Good luck!


answers from Kansas City on

we paid 135 a week for my son who is now 4. but at the same time, she was licensed and had a handful of kids at any one time. so she was making about as much as i do per week. as others have said, it all depends on where you live and the individual circumstance. you don't mention if this is the only child you watch, if this is going to be your sole income, etc.



answers from Cleveland on

i say about 5/hr would be reasonable especially if they provided everything (diapers, formula/breastmilk, bottles, whipes, extra clothes, pack n play, swing, baby food, bibs, drop off and pick up)



answers from Chicago on

I run a home daycare in Illinois & that is really low!! I charge $125/wk for SCHOOL AGED kids!! The going rate for a newborn can be anywhere from $175-$225 over here. A newborn requires so much attention and care! Think about the time you will be feeding, changing diapers, holding them, going back & forth for nap time, etc. This is what I generally charge:
Newborns up to 12mos: $175/wk
1-3: $150/wk
3 & up: $125/wk
So, as you can see, I would say $120 is low for any age in general, but especially for a newborn who requires attention about 95% of the time!
Maybe point out the needs of a baby in relation to the rate. Plus some parents are under the belief that you "pay for the care you receive". If you think about it, would you, as a parent, want to pay someone $2.67/hr to care for your newborn??
Good luck with everything!!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Definitely check around with other home daycares and licensed facilities, it varies from city to city and state to state. Is this the only child you will be watching? Will you do it in their home or yours? Do you need to be licensed (most states you can care for a small number of children without being licensed)? I have a home daycare and charge $110 a week, fulltime care for any age, that is the average cost around here but I also have 2-7 kids here daily, so I make a nice weekly income.


answers from Chicago on

Oh my goodness :( That is HORRIBLE! Au Pairs make 195.75 per week (no matter the number of kids) and can work up to 45 hours. A Nanny that is here in the US, for infant care it is WAY MORE THAN THAT. We paid our sister in law $210 a week for 3 days a week of 10 hours per day THREE YEARS AGO -- and she is FAMILY! When we switched to a daycare center, they charged $270 a week for 40-50 hours per week for infants. Unless you don't really mind working for scrap money, I would say no or negotiate something better. BTW - the au pair stipend is based on the US minimum wage...



answers from Dallas on

I am in Far North Dallas, close to West Plano. I charge $190/week, but I am licensed with the state and provide all the baby food, formula not included. You might want to consider getting LISTED with the state, that is the easiest and fastest way to become legal. Check with the department of family and protective service www.dfps.state.tx.us. If you become listed, you can provide care for up to 3 children not related to you. $120/week sounds about right for your area, multiply that by 3 kids and you have a decent income. But remember, ask yourself if you are willing to dedicate 40-50 hours per week to the kids without going ouside to run personal errands.



answers from Kansas City on

when my baby was born I paid 125/week. I found out this was pretty low when our daycare lady moved and the one we go to now is 175/week. We're currently looking at a center that is 145/week, for a toddler. 6 weeks - 2 years there is 180/week. You should call around to the centers in your area, or look online, and see what the going rate is.



answers from Dallas on

Well I live in Coppell too. I do pay $480 a month for my infant daughter at Windsor Park Primary. But let me qualify the price. Windsor parks hours are 9 -3. If she attends earlier ( they open at 7) then it's 6 dollars per day. If she attends after care ( which is 3-6) it's an additional 9 dollars per day. Mind you they also follow the school calendar and are not open every day. On the days they are not open her teacher takes care of her and charges basically 40 bucks a day. For two children I pay $1400 a month. But mind you they dont go to school in Coppell (it's too expensive!) . The going infant rate in Coppell was on average $230 a week. Of course being a home op you shouldn't charge that. However, if I were you I'd say from 7 am to 6 pm monday through friday $200 a week for quality care. Keep in mind you have no food expenses they provide diapers wipes etc. By the way do you do weekend babysitting we are looking for a weekend sitter.


answers from Houston on

Newborn/infant care is always more than toddler care, just so you know. Research rates in your area and definitely have a contract. Remember, you will also be paying taxes on this income.

contracts and such can be found here:



answers from Dallas on

That actually is pretty good. My SIL sent my niece to a lady that charged $100/week for the same.

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