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AfterSchoolMom 03:20 PM 07-28-2011
Make sure you figure out your rate, and charge more for days that school is out due to snow, teacher work days, etc. Don't rely on the families to tell you when these will be - the school calendar is usually on each city/county school website.

I personally allow cell phones and handheld games, but I make sure to make it VERY clear to the parents (and it's in my contract) that I am not responsible, either personally or financially, for lost, stolen, or broken toys, phones, or other electronics brought from home.

Homework is an important factor. Decide whether or not you'll give them time to do it at your house. If you will, make sure that they know that:
1. You're not a teacher and can't be expected to re-teach them each day.
2. You can't help them with school projects - that's a parent's responsibility.
3. You won't dig through their backpacks or police them. If they tell you they did all of their homework, then you believe them. It's also a parent's responsibillity to check over homework nightly. You can't guarantee that it will always be entirely completed.
4. You won't enforce "extra" homework that a parent decides they want their child to do - so no extra reading while others are playing, no flash cards, no practice spelling tests, etc. If they want a tutor, they need to pay a regular tutor rate!

Transportation to and from school is also a big one. Does the bus stop by your house? Will they expect you to walk them to the bus stop or drive them to school? Can you accomodate either of those things, or are they ok with the kids walking from the bus to your house alone? Get it in writing and signed.

Sick days. If they're too sick to go to school, can they come to your house? What if they get sick while at school?