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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>New! Advice Please:)
amber.b0812 07:55 PM 11-30-2013
Hello everyone! I'm new to the site..heard about it from the babycenter home daycare board! I have just recently started watching 2 children (siblings, ages 1 and 3) in my home Mon-Fri.

I am new to this home daycare business (unlicensed..under states limit so good there) , so I thought i'd post a thread and get some advice, and info from you all! Since I'm new to home daycare, I do not have a contract, I do not get paid holidays or vacation, and the parent is only charged when the children are here. I know a lot of you do things complete opposite from me, but this is what I thought was best until I get licensed. I am only caring for 1 family right now, so

I don't see this being a huge issue. Am I doing this wrong? I charge 30/day for both children, so I'll make roughly 600 a month. Is this enough to cover small expenses such as groceries? Since they are so young, we do a lot of hands on things..is there anything besides groceries that I need to budget for? Also, how much should I allocate for groceries? I was thinking about $120 since they are young and they don't eat much?! I'm also stressing about tax time and what tax write offs I have, and how to come up with the time/space %..I will definitely claim all money paid to me, but will it be worth it to me to continue doing this?

I guess I wasn't thinking about taxes when I started. I've posted on the babycenter board, and one person said that I will be writing off almost 100% of my income..is this true? I'm not familiar with Tom Copeland..I've read a little bit on his page but most of it I don't completely understand. Thanks for all of your help
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Cradle2crayons 10:05 PM 11-30-2013
Originally Posted by amber.b0812:
Hello everyone! I'm new to the site..heard about it from the babycenter home daycare board! I have just recently started watching 2 children (siblings, ages 1 and 3) in my home Mon-Fri. I am new to this home daycare business (unlicensed..under states limit so good there) , so I thought i'd post a thread and get some advice, and info from you all! Since I'm new to home daycare, I do not have a contract, I do not get paid holidays or vacation, and the parent is only charged when the children are here. I know a lot of you do things complete opposite from me, but this is what I thought was best until I get licensed. I am only caring for 1 family right now, so I don't see this being a huge issue. Am I doing this wrong? I charge 30/day for both children, so I'll make roughly 600 a month. Is this enough to cover small expenses such as groceries? Since they are so young, we do a lot of hands on things..is there anything besides groceries that I need to budget for? Also, how much should I allocate for groceries? I was thinking about $120 since they are young and they don't eat much?! I'm also stressing about tax time and what tax write offs I have, and how to come up with the time/space %..I will definitely claim all money paid to me, but will it be worth it to me to continue doing this? I guess I wasn't thinking about taxes when I started. I've posted on the babycenter board, and one person said that I will be writing off almost 100% of my income..is this true? I'm not familiar with Tom Copeland..I've read a little bit on his page but most of it I don't completely understand. Thanks for all of your help
First of all, I don't think yu are charging nearly enough.

Even here in my state which is low paying for daycare, it's more than $15 a day a child. I would be charging $100 a week for the youngest and $85 a week for the three year old... $185 total and I'm on the low end.

$600 a month isn't enough to pay for the added water, electricity, learning activities, food, etc.

As far as the taxes are concerned, tom will hopefully chime in and help explain it better. I'm horrible at explaining that part.
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Josiegirl 04:30 AM 12-01-2013
You can find lots of sample contracts/handbooks, etc. if you google daycare contracts, etc. Just because you're not licensed, doesn't mean you shouldn't have paperwork in place such as that. You want to protect yourself as well as your family's income.
I don't know what the going rate is for your area but as the above poster mentioned, I charge exactly what she suggested, 185 a week for 2 siblings. Separately, I charge 105 a week. In your handbook you can add in paid holidays. The food program is an amazing help and here(Vt) if you're legally exempt from being licensed(not sure of the criteria) you can still get the food program.
There have been some years when I've made 0 profit because of being able to claim things. I have my tax preparer(which I can claim also) do my taxes; they figure out a formula for how much of your home you use(even for storage of dc stuff) vs. hours worked, and that's not just if you're open 7-5. It includes trips to the store dedicated to dc, cleaning time, research time on the computer if it's done outside of work hours, anything you can think of. I keep every single one of my receipts. Most everything you buy for the home can at least be figured out using the formula plus your regular bills(heating, electric, etc.) so a portion of all those will be tax deductible.
These are just some of the things you can write off for daycare:
gifts for the kids
food
baby wipes you buy
any toys, books, games, anything at all that you buy exclusively for daycare
construction paper, glue, markers, etc.

the formula(for example I get to claim about 32%) includes items such as:
heating
electric
gas mileage
any landscaping or cost to upkeep your home
computer supplies and internet
household expenses, anything from light bulbs to buying a new vacuum cleaner
home insurance
property taxes
garbage pick-up
snowplowing
repairs
ohmygosh there is so much!
Every single item you can stop and think...does this have anything AT ALL to do with daycare?

Welcome and good luck! And above all, do what you need to do to protect yourself. You may love this family and trust them completely, but sometimes all it takes is one fall on the icy sidewalk to change that relationship.
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itlw8 06:30 AM 12-01-2013
figure about $5 a day minimum for food per child. Which means 2 children for 10 hours a day you will make $2 an hour. until you take out other expenses
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preschoolteacher 12:44 PM 12-02-2013
What state are you in? Are you in a rural or urban area? I also don't think you are charging enough. However, I know some rural areas the price is lower.

I'm in MN in a large metro area and charge $55/day. My rates are average for my area.

I agree that you should account for about $5/day for food per child. Little ones don't eat a lot--but they definitely waste a lot! Food on the floor, picky eaters who won't eat the apple you cut up and put on their plate (but they squish it around so it's not like you can't serve it to someone else)... you still paid for that apple, know what I mean??

I think you should charge for days when they aren't there FOR SURE once you are licensed. I'd do it now if I were you. What if they go on vacation or are sick? Since both kids are form the same family, you could be completely without income if they go out of town. I wouldn't be able to deal with that with my finances.

Minute Menu Kids is a great software program to help you with taxes and keeping track. Get on the food program and you'll get it for free. The food program will also reimburse you for some food expenses.
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