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Old 07-09-2012, 01:03 PM
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Default Babysitter or Daycare? Rates?

I was just laid off my job working at a home daycare (enrollment declined so much this summer the owner just couldn't afford to pay me anymore with so few children left). So, I am thinking about watching some children in my home until I can find another daycare to work at (this area mainly only hires part time assistants, and at the moment no one seems to be hireing at all). So my question is, if I were to care for 2-3 children in my home, should I charge them as a babysitter, or a child care provider? (in my state you can have up to 5 children and still be unlicensed). I don't have the space for 5 children (really small house, all bedrooms are crammed so the only space the children would have is in the tiny living room or kitchen), though, so my max would have to be 3, probably. But I don't know what to charge. When you care for a child all day, would you charge a babysitter rate, or a daycare rate? The daycares around here hardly charge anything. The maximum I have found is $90/week, but most are even less than that. I know caring for 2-3 children at those rates would never be enough income. If I claimed to be a "babysitter" instead would parents pay more? (I know teenagers who babysit in the evening get paid pretty good. Like $10/hr or more), but would that rate be different if you watch the child full time?
Any advice? I would really really appreciate it!
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:35 PM
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Would you consider going to someone's house as a nanny? I think that may be your best bet. I think the fact that your prior daycare had trouble filling spots may be a good indicator that you will have a hard time finding clients willing to pay a higher price. Many times, nannies are paid between $10 and $20 an hour.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:42 PM
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Have you considered being a substitute for child care providers in your area?

We have someone (a retired provider) in my area who subs for daycares in town when one of us providers has a dentist (or whatever) appt or simply needs a day or half day off. She basically works full time but at different daycares each week/day and makes great money.

Plus she is never bored as her environment changes every day and with every job.

Being a regular at a few different daycares she also gets to know families and does evening and weekend care for some of them on the side again, making good money.

Anyways, don't know how or if that would work in your area but some food for thought anyways.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:45 PM
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I was just laid off my job working at a home daycare (enrollment declined so much this summer the owner just couldn't afford to pay me anymore with so few children left). So, I am thinking about watching some children in my home until I can find another daycare to work at (this area mainly only hires part time assistants, and at the moment no one seems to be hireing at all). So my question is, if I were to care for 2-3 children in my home, should I charge them as a babysitter, or a child care provider? (in my state you can have up to 5 children and still be unlicensed). I don't have the space for 5 children (really small house, all bedrooms are crammed so the only space the children would have is in the tiny living room or kitchen), though, so my max would have to be 3, probably. But I don't know what to charge. When you care for a child all day, would you charge a babysitter rate, or a daycare rate? The daycares around here hardly charge anything. The maximum I have found is $90/week, but most are even less than that. I know caring for 2-3 children at those rates would never be enough income. If I claimed to be a "babysitter" instead would parents pay more? (I know teenagers who babysit in the evening get paid pretty good. Like $10/hr or more), but would that rate be different if you watch the child full time?
Any advice? I would really really appreciate it!
If you charge babysitter rates, you will be expected to run your business like a babysitter....random times, no full time kids, just filling in for parents as they need you and they will not be paying you if they dont attend. I dont see how you can make a reliable income doing this sort of work. Daycare rates are less but the benefit is that you can get a routine going with the kids, set up a reliable payment plan with the parents, have a predictability to your work schedule and income. But if you cant make enough doing daycare with several kids (assuming you can even find some kids quickly) then your best bet would be applying for nanny jobs or applying for jobs outside of the childcare industry.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:48 PM
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If you charge babysitter rates, you will be expected to run your business like a babysitter....random times, no full time kids, just filling in for parents as they need you and they will not be paying you if they dont attend. I dont see how you can make a reliable income doing this sort of work. Daycare rates are less but the benefit is that you can get a routine going with the kids, set up a reliable payment plan with the parents, have a predictability to your work schedule and income. But if you cant make enough doing daycare with several kids (assuming you can even find some kids quickly) then your best bet would be applying for nanny jobs or applying for jobs outside of the childcare industry.
I agree. I like Blackcat's idea too, makes me wonder if we have someone in our area that does that too and I just don't know about her/him!
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:08 PM
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just curious, if the home daycare you worked for is down on enrollment what makes you think you'd be able to get 2-3 kids in yours??? The HOURLY rate for a babysitter is higher than a daycare provider but that is because parents are using a babysitter for a few hours here and there - not for 40 hours a week! If full time daycare in your area is $90/wk. how on earth would you expect parents to pay you $400/week ($10/hr x 40 hrs/wk) because you are a babysitter and not a daycare???? That just makes no sense to me.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:46 PM
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I don't believe parents would pay more if you market yourself as a babysitter. I was a babysitter and I definately got paid more, but it was only for a few hours once and awhile.

Furthermore, I believe there is a big difference between a babysitter and a daycare provider. To me, a babysitter is someone who plays with the kids and more or less 'watches' them for a few hours while the parents go out for an evening. A daycare provider, in my opinion, is someone who has planned activities (not all day long, but in general has an idea laid out for the day) and teaches the children instead of watching them. Not trying to start a debate as I know daycare providers who just watch children and babysitters who teach children but in general it's the other way around.

If you choose to market yourself as a babysitter for all day care and try to charge the babysitter rates, I'm afraid you may not get any kids.

It's unfortunate but it's generally the norm for babysitters to get paid more than child care providers. At least from what I've seen.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:48 PM
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If you charge babysitter rates, you will be expected to run your business like a babysitter....random times, no full time kids, just filling in for parents as they need you and they will not be paying you if they dont attend.
This is spot on. You said it much better than I did (or tried to).
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:27 AM
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If the going rate in your area is $90 a week, your area is likely flooded with too many providers. If you only took 3 kids, that is only $270 per week for 50 hours! That is way less than minimum wage. Not worth it at all. I do like the substitute idea.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:45 PM
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If the going rate in your area is $90 a week, your area is likely flooded with too many providers. If you only took 3 kids, that is only $270 per week for 50 hours! That is way less than minimum wage. Not worth it at all. I do like the substitute idea.
Thank you for the replies everyone! I wanted to mention, taking on a few kids would be temporary, until I find another childcare job. Right now I have nothing coming in, and some extra time on my hands. I'd like to find a way to bring in a little money during the week days, and still have evenings free for my family. Any money is better than none.
Crazy8, you said: "just curious, if the home daycare you worked for is down on enrollment what makes you think you'd be able to get 2-3 kids in yours??? The HOURLY rate for a babysitter is higher than a daycare provider but that is because parents are using a babysitter for a few hours here and there - not for 40 hours a week! If full time daycare in your area is $90/wk. how on earth would you expect parents to pay you $400/week ($10/hr x 40 hrs/wk) because you are a babysitter and not a daycare???? That just makes no sense to me." I went to unregisteredbut that doesn't mean you need to be rude (it may not be the way you intended, but it came off that way to me). The daycare I was at is in a different town from mine. This town has no problems staying full, but they are also not hiring. They hire part time for bare miniumum wage, and currently no one needs anyone. So I was thinking of watching 2-3 kids to make some money until I can find a job, possibly in another town. I KNOW I won't get $10/hr watching a child all day in my home (I said when teens babysit weekends and evenings they might get that). That's why I mentioned that daycares around here are lucky to get $90. But again, I wouldn't be a licensed daycare. I wondered what babysitters charge for all day care.
I have found ads on-line asking for babysitters and they pay $5-$10/hr at the LEAST, BUT it's in their own home. And none of them are in my town. I have applied for several nanny positions, and babysitting in people's homes, but they're not in my town and I'd have to travel at least 45 min to an hour or more each way.
Maybe I should stick to just one child all day at $90/week (the one I'm thinking of is very independant in that he plays alone most of the time and doesn't need a lot of work or entertainment). At least it would be better than no income at all until I find another job.
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