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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Help! How Can I Find Out How Many Kids A Home Daycare Owner Watches?
countrygirlx 12:32 PM 11-28-2015
Hello,

I need some help. My husband's ex wife (whom he pays child support for for 1 child) owns her own large family home daycare here in Massachusetts. We know she lies about how many kids she has in her daycare in order to claim that she makes no income in order to get a hefty child support payment. Is there a way to go through the state to see how many kids are registered at the daycare? I know she has 1 assistant as well (part time), but other than that it is just her who watches the kids.
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Michael 01:01 PM 11-28-2015
I don't believe she would need to register each child with the state. She would need to abide by the ratios that she is licensed for. You could always enquire from her as to how many children she can care for. Your state may not require her to be licensed if she is below a certain number as per your states guidelines. Your states licensing standards can be viewed here https://www.daycare.com/states.html
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countrygirlx 01:10 PM 11-28-2015
Thanks. I should say I do know she is licensed, not sure if that can help me or not. I know nothing about the laws around home daycares unfortunately.

We would ask her, but there is no casual communication between them (my husband and her). Everything is through court orders because she is unable to co parent and follow judges orders. If she was a truthful individual I wouldnt have to try and find this all out!
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Michael 02:22 PM 11-28-2015
You can find out how many she is licensed for. She probably has to post her license number when she advertises. You can always contact you state childcare licensing agency.

Child Care Licensing Agency
Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
51 Sleeper Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 988-6600
Fax: (617) 988-2451
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e.j. 02:48 PM 11-28-2015
Here's a link that may help you: http://www.eec.state.ma.us/ChildCare...rlyEduMap.aspx

It will tell you what her "capacity" is which only tells you how many kids she's allowed to enroll at any given time. (For example, I'm licensed for 6 but there have been times when I've had 11 kids enrolled. I had a mix of full time, part time and drop in kids but only cared for 6 kids at any one time. There have been other times when I've only had 4 or 5 kids enrolled.) It doesn't necessarily tell you how many kids she actually has enrolled in her care.

Her licensor's contact information is provided on that site so you could try calling the licensor but since we don't have to send enrollment information to the state when a child is signed up with us, the licensor may not know how many kids your husband's ex has enrolled currently. She might be able to tell you how many kids were enrolled the last time she inspected but I'm not sure what info they're willing to give out. Not sure how else you'd find out for sure unless you had someone pose as a potential client who asked her outright during the interview process. Not sure I'd recommend that, though.
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spedmommy4 03:14 PM 11-28-2015
How many she is licensed for would not give you much useful information. You would need to know what she charges, how many are full time and part time, etc.

The really useful information would come from the IRS. Parents who pay for childcare are allowed to claim it on their taxes and the parents would identify her as the person they pay it to. (So the IRS would no if she isn't claiming the income)

If you suspect that she is lying about her income, then it's best to consult an attorney to see if you would be allowed to make her prove her income via tax records.
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Preschool/daycare teacher 03:29 PM 11-28-2015
Originally Posted by e.j.:
Not sure how else you'd find out for sure unless you had someone pose as a potential client who asked her outright during the interview process. Not sure I'd recommend that, though.
I don't know that I'd recommend it, but someone could also call her and ask questions as if they are looking for childcare and then casually ask how many children she cares for. That's a question I'd want to ask if I was going to put my child in daycare, so it's a common question, I'd imagine.
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Blackcat31 04:08 PM 11-28-2015
Originally Posted by spedmommy4:
If you suspect that she is lying about her income, then it's best to consult an attorney to see if you would be allowed to make her prove her income via tax records.
Take the legal route.
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Josiegirl 04:18 PM 11-28-2015
Originally Posted by spedmommy4:
How many she is licensed for would not give you much useful information. You would need to know what she charges, how many are full time and part time, etc.

The really useful information would come from the IRS. Parents who pay for childcare are allowed to claim it on their taxes and the parents would identify her as the person they pay it to. (So the IRS would no if she isn't claiming the income)

If you suspect that she is lying about her income, then it's best to consult an attorney to see if you would be allowed to make her prove her income via tax records.
Wouldn't she have had to prove her income when she went to court for child support? Just curious because I really don't know. She might be taking a mountain of deductions to claim little income.
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nannyde 05:24 PM 11-28-2015
It doesn't matter what she makes. It's what she nets after expenses. You couldn't get that from the state. I don't know of any state that requires providers to send in the enrolled children when they come and go.
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countrygirlx 05:52 PM 11-28-2015
Thank you everybody for your input!

I may try calling her Licensor first and see if they are any help. If not, I'll try some of the other advice.
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midaycare 06:01 PM 11-28-2015
Originally Posted by countrygirlx:
Hello,

I need some help. My husband's ex wife (whom he pays child support for for 1 child) owns her own large family home daycare here in Massachusetts. We know she lies about how many kids she has in her daycare in order to claim that she makes no income in order to get a hefty child support payment. Is there a way to go through the state to see how many kids are registered at the daycare? I know she has 1 assistant as well (part time), but other than that it is just her who watches the kids.
I'm just going to give you advice because I've been there - I'm a second wife and my DH paid a huge amount for cs because the ex-wife lied about income.

My advice is to let it go. Fighting about cs doesn't help anyone, particularly the child. I understand the struggle, and the unfairness. But long term, your DH will have a better relationship with his child/ren if he - and you - aren't bringing up cs or accusing the ex of hiding money.

The state knows what it's doing with cs. If she is registered, she can't hide money. Her deductions show on her tax forms. If you have reason to want a new cs evaluation, and it's a good one, the state will usually do one for a small fee.

It's not always easy to co-parent. My only other advice is stay out of stuff. If your DH wants to pursue a smaller cs, let HIM do it.
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ColorfulSunburst 07:29 PM 11-28-2015
Originally Posted by midaycare:
... stay out of stuff. If your DH wants to pursue a smaller cs, let HIM do it.

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Ariana 04:32 PM 11-29-2015
Originally Posted by midaycare:
I'm just going to give you advice because I've been there - I'm a second wife and my DH paid a huge amount for cs because the ex-wife lied about income.

My advice is to let it go. Fighting about cs doesn't help anyone, particularly the child. I understand the struggle, and the unfairness. But long term, your DH will have a better relationship with his child/ren if he - and you - aren't bringing up cs or accusing the ex of hiding money.

The state knows what it's doing with cs. If she is registered, she can't hide money. Her deductions show on her tax forms. If you have reason to want a new cs evaluation, and it's a good one, the state will usually do one for a small fee.

It's not always easy to co-parent. My only other advice is stay out of stuff. If your DH wants to pursue a smaller cs, let HIM do it.
All of this x100
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countrygirlx 08:42 AM 11-30-2015
Thank you to all who have responded so far! It's greatly appreciated.

For those of you who are offering unwarranted advice on my situation, no disrespect but that isn't what I asked. Me posting on here is just to simply see if anyone who has experience with home daycare (since I do not) can offer up some helpful tips. I am well aware what is the most beneficial to the children during custody battles and arrangements, and what can be harmful. We have been dealing with this unwanted drama for 5+ years, all of which I have never said one word to my husband's ex wife. I have bigger things to focus on (like our own children) than joining their battle. I just like to do research and help out my husband behind the scenes when I can. She has been investigated by the state before because of previous parent complaints within her daycare(we have heard about through the grapevine if you will) and in regards to our personal situation, I have had a restraining order on her for harassment for 3 years and she has been found in contempt in court for not following court orders in regards to their custody agreement. I have become quite an expert in staying in my lane and using that to my advantage.

Now that I have thrown some brief history in there so I don't get any more replies of someone suggesting what I should do personally, I would still appreciate any other helpful tips in response to my initial question
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Blackcat31 08:57 AM 11-30-2015
Originally Posted by countrygirlx:
Thank you to all who have responded so far! It's greatly appreciated.

For those of you who are offering unwarranted advice on my situation, no disrespect but that isn't what I asked. Me posting on here is just to simply see if anyone who has experience with home daycare (since I do not) can offer up some helpful tips. I am well aware what is the most beneficial to the children during custody battles and arrangements, and what can be harmful. We have been dealing with this unwanted drama for 5+ years, all of which I have never said one word to my husband's ex wife. I have bigger things to focus on (like our own children) than joining their battle. I just like to do research and help out my husband behind the scenes when I can. She has been investigated by the state before because of previous parent complaints within her daycare(we have heard about through the grapevine if you will) and in regards to our personal situation, I have had a restraining order on her for harassment for 3 years and she has been found in contempt in court for not following court orders in regards to their custody agreement. I have become quite an expert in staying in my lane and using that to my advantage.

Now that I have thrown some brief history in there so I don't get any more replies of someone suggesting what I should do personally, I would still appreciate any other helpful tips in response to my initial question
In regards to your initial question (below) No, there is no way for you to go through the state or anyone else to find out how many children she has registered in her care.

The ONLY thing you have a right to know (as an step parent, ex spouse, family friend, perfect stranger...and every other type of relationship) is how many kids she is licensed for.

The information you are looking for is her private information that BY LAW she is not required to disclose to anyone other than her licensing agency and (even then only at certain times such as relicensing etc) and the IRS as the current roster of kids on any given day can increase/decrease based on the many things that happen on a day to day, month to month and year to year basis in the world of child care.

So, again no you can not find out how many children are registered in her care.

For example, I am licensed for 14 kids but I have 23 kids "registered". Many of those children are drop in kids or kids who attend on an occasional basis. Last summer I had 17 kids registered but again, never have more than my license capacity ratios allow on any given day.

So even if you find out that she has 100 kids registered, there is no way you'd be able to know how often they attend (part time, full time, drop in etc) and what she charges for those spaces/kids (including the potential income she brings in from that situation).

Originally Posted by countrygirlx:
Hello,

I need some help. My husband's ex wife (whom he pays child support for for 1 child) owns her own large family home daycare here in Massachusetts. We know she lies about how many kids she has in her daycare in order to claim that she makes no income in order to get a hefty child support payment. Is there a way to go through the state to see how many kids are registered at the daycare? I know she has 1 assistant as well (part time), but other than that it is just her who watches the kids.

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countrygirlx 09:43 AM 11-30-2015
Thank you, Blackcat31, that was very helpful. I have a few questions. Whatever you are licensed for, does that mean you can not go beyond that in one given day. So, if you are licensed for 14, you cannot have more than 14 kids in one day? Also, what is the ratio for caregiver:kid. I know after a certain number of kids you need to have a helper - assistant, teacher, etc. IF you do need an assistant, are there laws around that (i.e. their educational background, paid employee vs volunteer).

Thanks!
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Blackcat31 10:20 AM 11-30-2015
Originally Posted by countrygirlx:
Thank you, Blackcat31, that was very helpful. I have a few questions. Whatever you are licensed for, does that mean you can not go beyond that in one given day. So, if you are licensed for 14, you cannot have more than 14 kids in one day? Also, what is the ratio for caregiver:kid. I know after a certain number of kids you need to have a helper - assistant, teacher, etc. IF you do need an assistant, are there laws around that (i.e. their educational background, paid employee vs volunteer).

Thanks!
Yes, I am licensed for 14 children. On ANY given day I can NOT have more than 14 children AND the ages of those children play into the ratios for adult:kids.

According to the ratios for your state (Mass) these are the licensing ratios:
https://www.daycare.com/massachusetts/

Infants ~ (1:3) 1 of the 3 infants must be at least 15 mos. and walking

Under age of 7 years ~ (1:6) includes children living in the home

So according to the above info, she could have NO MORE than 6 children under age 7 AT ANY GIVEN TIME, including her own children under age 7. Of those 6 kids, NO MORE than 3 can be infants and IF she has 3 infants, 1 of them MUST be 15 months of age AND walking.

Confusing? Yes... it is for licensed providers a lot of times but if you read it over and over, it will make sense...

So it looks like 6 TOTAL children (under age 7) in attendance on ANY given day. If she has MORE than 6 children under age 7, she would be over ratios and out of compliance according to her state licensing rules.

Word of warning though....many state's do not have the staffing and/or means to do much other than maybe a small fine or a written citation (which equates to a warning in a lot of states).

Anyways, hope that helps.
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Blackcat31 10:23 AM 11-30-2015
Oh, and as far as employees go...yes, in SOME states you can have MORE kids OR you can have a younger adult;child ratio (but NO additional kids) if you have an adult helper and/or assistant working with you.

I didn't see anything off hand for MA rules stating you can have more kids or different ratios for having a helper so I cant help with that part. It might be in the regulations but I have a hard enough time keeping up with my state's regs that I am not about to read through another states in it's entirety... you can follow the link I posted above though and peruse around the info and see if you can find anything about helpers etc but that's all I got.
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countrygirlx 10:59 AM 11-30-2015
Thank you, you've been a big help.
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midaycare 11:35 AM 11-30-2015
Just to add to BC ... MI has the same max number of kids, but I could have more than that in one day. I could have 3 before school kids, and 3 full-time kids, for example. But when the SA'ers leave, I can have 3 more come. We just can not have any more than 6 at one time.

In MI, a home daycare can be licensed up to 12, but anything more than 6 at one time and you need an assistant and a different license.

I have been through a lot of what you have, I'm not trying to get up in your business. But you did post here...so you get what you get.
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Fiddlesticks 11:37 AM 11-30-2015
Just a point of clarification on the ratio: "any given day" should really be changed to "any given time". A daycare provider could have twice the number of their license limits in any given day if, for example, all of the children only attend half day (so if the limit is 14, 14 children could attend in the morning, leaving at noon, and another 14 could attend in the afternoon arriving after noon) In that instance, there would be 28 children on a given day, but never more than 14 at any given time.

The flip side is that she could also be under ratio all the time. I am licensed for 12, operate under a lower license of 10 (to increase the number of children under 2) but only ever have 8 children enrolled because I do not like to juggle schedules or care for school agers.

In my opinion, there is no way for you to determine her income based on how many children she is licensed for, because being licensed for a certain number of children does not denote number of children enrolled, nor does it indicate the amount of fees collected---even if you called anonymously to find out her rates, that doesn't mean the other parents are paying the same fee. I only ever raise rates on new families, never on current families. Also, her income would be reduced by any money she pays out for the daycare. In general, half or less of parent fees received would be actual income, less if she has an employee.
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midaycare 11:55 AM 11-30-2015
Fiddlesticks had a great point. It would cost me the income from 2 full-time kids to have an assistant, maybe more.
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midaycare 11:57 AM 11-30-2015
Also ... Let's say I made 40K last year. Because of how daycare write-offs work, I may only show an income of 10K.

Maybe not even that much.
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e.j. 12:11 PM 11-30-2015
Originally Posted by countrygirlx:
Whatever you are licensed for, does that mean you can not go beyond that in one given day. So, if you are licensed for 14, you cannot have more than 14 kids in one day? Also, what is the ratio for caregiver:kid. I know after a certain number of kids you need to have a helper - assistant, teacher, etc. IF you do need an assistant, are there laws around that (i.e. their educational background, paid employee vs volunteer).
This is a link to EEC regulations: http://www.mass.gov/edu/docs/eec/lic...e-programs.pdf If you look at 7.10, you'll find a chart listing ratios (scrolling down, it's on page 52) By reading through the regs, you'll also find info on assistant qualifications - both paid and volunteer.


Originally Posted by Fiddlesticks:
Just a point of clarification on the ratio: "any given day" should really be changed to "any given time". A daycare provider could have twice the number of their license limits in any given day if, for example, all of the children only attend half day (so if the limit is 14, 14 children could attend in the morning, leaving at noon, and another 14 could attend in the afternoon arriving after noon) In that instance, there would be 28 children on a given day, but never more than 14 at any given time.

The flip side is that she could also be under ratio all the time. I am licensed for 12, operate under a lower license of 10 (to increase the number of children under 2) but only ever have 8 children enrolled because I do not like to juggle schedules or care for school agers.

In my opinion, there is no way for you to determine her income based on how many children she is licensed for, because being licensed for a certain number of children does not denote number of children enrolled, nor does it indicate the amount of fees collected---even if you called anonymously to find out her rates, that doesn't mean the other parents are paying the same fee. I only ever raise rates on new families, never on current families. Also, her income would be reduced by any money she pays out for the daycare. In general, half or less of parent fees received would be actual income, less if she has an employee.
In addition to what Fiddlesticks said, her own kids, if she has any, count in her numbers. So, even if she has 10 kids enrolled but say 3 of them are her own, her income will also be affected by that. It really will be tough for you to figure out what she actually makes because of all the different factors that might determine her income.
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Blackcat31 12:19 PM 11-30-2015
Originally Posted by Fiddlesticks:
Just a point of clarification on the ratio: "any given day" should really be changed to "any given time".
I wrote "any given time" in my post above (under the ratios I posted) because I did consider more than one child occupying one space over the course of a day.

When I said "Any given day" I was referring to my own day.

Originally Posted by e.j.:
In addition to what Fiddlesticks said, her own kids, if she has any, count in her numbers. .
This was also stated in my post above right after I said "any given time".
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e.j. 03:59 PM 11-30-2015
Sorry Blackcat; I missed that info in your reply.
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Blackcat31 04:13 PM 11-30-2015
Originally Posted by e.j.:
Sorry Blackcat; I missed that info in your reply.
No worries....

I was just being snarky... ...but not in a mean/rude way, more in a "Oh, it's Monday and I have no idea what I am doing here" way...
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Unregistered 06:15 PM 11-30-2015
Originally Posted by nannyde:
It doesn't matter what she makes. It's what she nets after expenses. You couldn't get that from the state. I don't know of any state that requires providers to send in the enrolled children when they come and go.
We are not required but I'm always asked that question on renewals and visits.
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Unregistered 12:55 PM 12-01-2015
Originally Posted by midaycare:
I'm just going to give you advice because I've been there - I'm a second wife and my DH paid a huge amount for cs because the ex-wife lied about income.

My advice is to let it go. Fighting about cs doesn't help anyone, particularly the child. I understand the struggle, and the unfairness. But long term, your DH will have a better relationship with his child/ren if he - and you - aren't bringing up cs or accusing the ex of hiding money.

The state knows what it's doing with cs. If she is registered, she can't hide money. Her deductions show on her tax forms. If you have reason to want a new cs evaluation, and it's a good one, the state will usually do one for a small fee.

It's not always easy to co-parent. My only other advice is stay out of stuff. If your DH wants to pursue a smaller cs, let HIM do it.
I don't think this is to do with money as harsh feelings. Yes good advice, not her business and if something happens this lady will know exactly where it came from. When I see this kind of garbage I feel sorry for the kids. They are apparently the last ones anyone is thinking about.
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Cat Herder 09:02 AM 12-02-2015
My Ex's new (at the time) wife has brought this type of "issue" up before. She was advised she was a legal stranger to the matter.

When my Husband needed to go back for adjustment I simply helped him scrape up a retainer and baked brownies while he was in the attorneys office. I served them warm when he came home and put in a movie... it made for a much more pleasant afternoon than asking for details. Sometimes less is more.

My advice for your hubby? Get an attorney. Request bio-parents exchange 3 years tax documents to average. Use the CS calculator...then move on with your life.

3 years is better, IMHO, since either parent can adapt their income to attempt to alter the outcome of an upcoming case. If the Ex is making less than minimum wage per tax records, you can request her income be imputed at minimum as both parents have a duty to support their kids. (I believe it can be imputed even higher based on what her original earning potential was. That does not make it true, though. Your Attorney will know for sure.)

Looking back, my EX resented my initial lowered income in the first year but forgot to figure in the childcare costs we did not incur. The Judge reminded him, harshly. Be careful what you wish for.
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Tags:assistant, child support, co-parenting, daycare costs, divorce - life after, illegal providers, massachusetts
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