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Daycare and Taxes>How Much Extra Would You Charge to Provide 2 Snacks a Day?
jenh171 12:13 PM 08-23-2010
I care for 5 children in my home, and up until now, the parents have provided all the food, snacks and drinks. I am thinking about starting to provide the 2 snacks a day starting in the fall. I just think it would be SO much easier, because when I have all 5 here, it is unreal how many baggies and tupperwares we have here and it's so much extra work to wash them all out and keep them all straight. Also, it seems it would be easier for the parents not to have to pack all of that up and clean everything out every night, not to mention that it is probably more ecologically sound to provide it. I would give the kids things like goldfish, grahams, fruit, veg, etc. I would just have the parents provide drinks and their main lunch and breakfast. I was thinking of offering this as an option for a few dollars extra a week. What do you think would be a fair and reasonable price to charge extra per child for just 2 snacks per day?
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sahm1225 12:27 PM 08-23-2010
I provide all snacks for the kids and I have kept track of how much each snack costs. It ranges from .07-.17 each snack (goldfish are one of the cheapest and fruit snacks & string cheese are the most expensive). So you would figure it's about .15-.30/day, so at most about $2/week per child. I would charge an extra $3-$4/week. That way you can take into account your time and gas to purchase the items..

Are you planning on offering it as optional for the parents or a mandatory cost? If it's going to be mandatory, I would just do a $5/week rate increase (state that it's for cost of living, insurance, crafts, etc.) for everyone and then announce that you will now be including snacks.
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kitkat 12:31 PM 08-23-2010
Have you checked the going rate in your area and whether or not it includes snacks and meals? In my area it's standard for that to be included. I'd call a few places and check out their rates and what's included, compare it to your own rates, and adjust accordingly.
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jenh171 01:13 PM 08-23-2010
I'm planning for it to be optional. In my area it is normal for the parents to provide all of the snacks, drinks and food. It is really only the child care centers that provide snack.
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TomCopeland 02:11 PM 08-23-2010
Remember, you are probably better off financially if you join the Food Program, rather than having parents pay for snacks. If you are on the Food Program you can't charge parents money for snacks, but you could still raise your rates to parents. Charging parents for food reduces your ability to raise your rates.
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thatgagirl 04:14 PM 08-23-2010
here my rate is $80 a week and includes all meals snacks and drinks. I only do healthy foods (mostly organic, completely free of HFCS and artificial colors) we drink milk and water only, no juice.

My rate is in line with everyone else in town, and it is normal here to provide all meals and snacks
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HeatherB 05:32 PM 08-23-2010
You cna claim your meals and snack on taxes ONLY if you provide it. It is so worth just providing it and writing off on taxes.
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SunflowerMama 08:02 PM 08-23-2010
Originally Posted by thatgagirl:
here my rate is $80 a week and includes all meals snacks and drinks. I only do healthy foods (mostly organic, completely free of HFCS and artificial colors) we drink milk and water only, no juice.

My rate is in line with everyone else in town, and it is normal here to provide all meals and snacks
We are the same. Only healthy, mostly organic foods are all provided and we only do organic milk and water...no juice. But our average weekly rate in this area is around $140/week.
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countrymom 08:37 PM 08-23-2010
so much easier if you just provide the meals, I can't fathom having so many things brought in, I'm looking at trouble, because everyone would want what the others are eating.
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jenh171 08:38 PM 08-23-2010
I don't know anything about the food program, but is it true that I can write off snacks if I do decide to provide them? I was always under the impression that food could not be written off on my taxes. I'd much rather pay for it myself and write it off rather than charge a measly $3/week to the parents. I'm really just trying to make my workday easier by providing it.
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Unregistered 08:44 PM 08-23-2010
The IRS allows a standard deduction for both meals and snacks, up to four per day. See Publication 587 for the current amounts.
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Rachel 10:31 PM 08-23-2010
Originally Posted by sahm1225:
I provide all snacks for the kids and I have kept track of how much each snack costs. It ranges from .07-.17 each snack (goldfish are one of the cheapest and fruit snacks & string cheese are the most expensive). So you would figure it's about .15-.30/day, so at most about $2/week per child. I would charge an extra $3-$4/week. That way you can take into account your time and gas to purchase the items..

Are you planning on offering it as optional for the parents or a mandatory cost? If it's going to be mandatory, I would just do a $5/week rate increase (state that it's for cost of living, insurance, crafts, etc.) for everyone and then announce that you will now be including snacks.
I think this is a good idea. When you start giving to one, you might have fights (they want what you have, not what mom packed) and you may wind up giving out more snack to kids who brought because they see it and insist. Also if a parent "forgets" since you are now providing. IMO, it's easier to explain "Johnny has an apple, but your mom sent an orange" rather than "I give out goldfish because Johnny's mommy paid for them, but you need to eat the celery your mom sent."
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Abigail 10:59 PM 08-23-2010
Originally Posted by thatgagirl:
here my rate is $80 a week and includes all meals snacks and drinks. I only do healthy foods (mostly organic, completely free of HFCS and artificial colors) we drink milk and water only, no juice.

My rate is in line with everyone else in town, and it is normal here to provide all meals and snacks
Originally Posted by twinmama:
We are the same. Only healthy, mostly organic foods are all provided and we only do organic milk and water...no juice. But our average weekly rate in this area is around $140/week.
Is there a reason why you don't offer juice?
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DCMomOf3 12:11 PM 08-24-2010
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
The IRS allows a standard deduction for both meals and snacks, up to four per day. See Publication 587 for the current amounts.
page 14, table 3 shows the rates for 2009.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p587.pdf
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misol 12:22 PM 08-24-2010
Originally Posted by Abigail:
Is there a reason why you don't offer juice?
Not sure why others don't offer it but I don't offer juice because it has too much sugar. Juice drinks are nothing but sugar water. Offering 100% juice is healthier but also more expensive. It's better for the kids to have fresh, whole fruits than juice. I am sure that most of them get way more juice (and soda) than they need at home
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Tags:charging for meals, food program, snacks, tom copeland
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