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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Question on Assistant/Helper...Please Help!!!
frugalmama4 04:53 PM 03-20-2013
Good Evening,

I know this has been discussed over-and-over on here...but I need a fresh out look-input please.

So I have no choice but to hire someone...my state sucks!!! Because of my own four kiddos I'm limited to the number and age of kids I can have alone.

So I have decided to stay with the infant-toddler age group...this is the only group I can get top dollar for in my area in order to make any $$.

I'm so torn with doing the under the table pay (I wanna be able to write off all expenses however I can't find anyone welling to work for so little $$, and if I do pay "on the table" all I can do is min-wage $7.25 and that's a lot on my income.

My questions-
For those who do pay correctly "on the table" how much do you actually write off in the end...does it really make a big difference at tax time??? I will have to have a helper here all day 7-5:30


Thanks for any advice
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Patches 05:33 PM 03-20-2013
I will be very interested to see what others say. My asissttant starts Monday and I'm too scared to pay her "under the table" but it seems very tempting Shhh! Don't tell
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wdmmom 06:38 PM 03-20-2013
My helper is paid on the books. Last year my deduction was about $6000. She is only part ti and I pay her $7.50 per hour.

Just an fyi but I would never pay a helper during naptime.
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blandino 06:44 PM 03-20-2013
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
My helper is paid on the books. Last year my deduction was about $6000. She is only part ti and I pay her $7.50 per hour.

Just an fyi but I would never pay a helper during naptime.
Yes, but if you need a helper to maintain ratios then they would need to be there at nap time. And it sounds like OP needs the helper to keep correct ratios. Even though the helper might not be doing "work", they aren't free to leave.

If I was just hiring a helper for an extra set of hands, then I would schedule their hours around nap time. We try and avoid using out helper during those hours since it just doesn't seem worth it.
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DaisyMamma 06:52 PM 03-20-2013
Originally Posted by blandino:
Yes, but if you need a helper to maintain ratios then they would need to be there at nap time. And it sounds like OP needs the helper to keep correct ratios. Even though the helper might not be doing "work", they aren't free to leave.

If I was just hiring a helper for an extra set of hands, then I would schedule their hours around nap time. We try and avoid using out helper during those hours since it just doesn't seem worth it.
There's always lots of cleaning that can be done during nap.

I'm also interested to see what others say. I pay my helpers cash above the going rate for daycare center staff, so its costing me too much, because I'm also paying taxes on it as if it were my income, kwim?

I don't even know how to go about paying above table, or if I can hand out 1099s.
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Sprouts 07:10 PM 03-20-2013
I made a TO DO list for those down time hours, so they are not sitting there playing with their phones...there is ALWAYS something to do....even if theyre done cleaning , they should be reading a book planning out the next activities for the children...

to help decide if the amount of money is worth paying a helper, i made an excel worksheet where I plug in the numbers for my income, exclude 20% for taxes and money for next years insurance (so i can pay in full) and then work from there.

I use the intuit online payroll with the costco discount and that helped me out sooooo much, with out it i wouldnt even know what taxes to pay, how much or when.

let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if u need the codes for making an excel spread sheet
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frugalmama4 08:10 PM 03-20-2013
Originally Posted by Sprouts:
I made a TO DO list for those down time hours, so they are not sitting there playing with their phones...there is ALWAYS something to do....even if theyre done cleaning , they should be reading a book planning out the next activities for the children...

to help decide if the amount of money is worth paying a helper, i made an excel worksheet where I plug in the numbers for my income, exclude 20% for taxes and money for next years insurance (so i can pay in full) and then work from there.

I use the intuit online payroll with the costco discount and that helped me out sooooo much, with out it i wouldnt even know what taxes to pay, how much or when.

let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if u need the codes for making an excel spread sheet
I due need help making a to do list...its so hard we're getting ready to move into the garage...all things daycare will happen out there. So having someone move around during nap time will be a BIG no no. I hate the ideal of having to pay someone during nap time...but b/c of my ratios I have to

Even now my office is the nap room..so I just spent money about two weeks ago on a lap top because I was not able to do computer work during my break "nap time". My state sucks!!

Thx
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frugalmama4 08:13 PM 03-20-2013
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
My helper is paid on the books. Last year my deduction was about $6000. She is only part ti and I pay her $7.50 per hour.

Just an fyi but I would never pay a helper during naptime.
Yea, I don't wanna pay someone during nap time but my ratios calls for it.

Now I was thinking if I get a college student maybe giving them a 1 1/2-2 break for study time may work...I'm at a lost.
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frugalmama4 08:26 PM 03-20-2013
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
My helper is paid on the books. Last year my deduction was about $6000. She is only part ti and I pay her $7.50 per hour.

Just an fyi but I would never pay a helper during naptime.
So your able to write off every $$$ for your helper right? So when you say your deduction was $6000...then $6000 comes off your gross income...and reduces your taxable income???

Thx
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snbauser 05:45 AM 03-21-2013
Originally Posted by frugalmama4:
So your able to write off every $$$ for your helper right? So when you say your deduction was $6000...then $6000 comes off your gross income...and reduces your taxable income???

Thx
Every penny that you spend on your helper is a tax write off - salary, payroll taxes, workers comp (if required), etc. It is all business expenses that you would not have if you did not have a business. And yes it comes off your gross income so you do not pay taxes on that income.
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Patches 06:45 AM 03-21-2013
Originally Posted by snbauser:
Every penny that you spend on your helper is a tax write off - salary, payroll taxes, workers comp (if required), etc. It is all business expenses that you would not have if you did not have a business. And yes it comes off your gross income so you do not pay taxes on that income.
Good to know
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wdmmom 09:10 AM 03-21-2013
Keep in mind that hiring an assistant means you have to follow the federal regulations and state regulations set forth. Meaning you need to give them a break for the hours they work and a lunch break. If that lunch break is unpaid, they are entitled to leave.

If you are needing to hire an assistant due to ratios, why not just decrease your total number of kids to comply? Seems like you'd be paying much more out than what you are taking in.

For example:

If your own kids count in your numbers, you aren't receiving any income on them. If you are only permitted to carry 3 more children at $150 a week, and you are needing a staff assistant there 9 hours a day @ $7.25 per hour, your only grossing $123 a week. That obviously isn't worth it.

What are the regulations in your state? Wouldn't it be more cost effective to discontinue services for a child or two than to pay for a full time staff assistant?
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snbauser 10:20 AM 03-21-2013
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
Keep in mind that hiring an assistant means you have to follow the federal regulations and state regulations set forth. Meaning you need to give them a break for the hours they work and a lunch break. If that lunch break is unpaid, they are entitled to leave.
You definately need to keep your local laws in mind when hiring. Where I live there is no required break or lunch period no matter how many hours you work (sad isn't it?). You also need to keep in mind that if you are hiring an assistant to meet ratios, you need a back up in case they are sick, need a day off, or quit without notice. For these reasons I always hired part time instead of full time. This way I had someone that if I needed to call them in early or ask them to work more hours, hopefully they were available.
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frugalmama4 10:25 AM 03-21-2013
Originally Posted by wdmmom:
Keep in mind that hiring an assistant means you have to follow the federal regulations and state regulations set forth. Meaning you need to give them a break for the hours they work and a lunch break. If that lunch break is unpaid, they are entitled to leave.

If you are needing to hire an assistant due to ratios, why not just decrease your total number of kids to comply? Seems like you'd be paying much more out than what you are taking in.

For example:

If your own kids count in your numbers, you aren't receiving any income on them. If you are only permitted to carry 3 more children at $150 a week, and you are needing a staff assistant there 9 hours a day @ $7.25 per hour, your only grossing $123 a week. That obviously isn't worth it.

What are the regulations in your state? Wouldn't it be more cost effective to discontinue services for a child or two than to pay for a full time staff assistant?
Yes and No....

I live in TX, here the only age group I can have alone (w/out a helper) is 18-3yrs...however in my area we have so many centers offering cheap rates and late hours I can't compete and make a living. This is why I choose to stay with the younger ones...I'll have a longer life span (for lack of a better example) then with a 3-5yr old...and my turn over rate would not be so high/soon.

I have four kiddos of my own...three are in school all day...one is home with me.

One issue is when school is out my older kids are home all day...I can't tell a family go fine care else where and come back when school is in again...life its that good.

Also b/c when my kids get off the bus I still have a full house...yes If I didn't have family's needing care til 5/5:30ish life would be good, however in my area you spend more time in traffic than on the job...so even if my families get off at 4:00 (before my kids get off the bus) they still would not make it to me on time.

Another reason for the helper...is so I can have a break every so offered. I would be able to get work done around the house while my helper tends to the kids...and so on.

To add to my issues... my hubby it's working at the moment (he's in school) so I can't depend on him all the time to help w/daycare. And the daycare is the only income coming in right know...thank GOD the daycare is doing so good and nothing has been turned off....and we eat petty good.

Thank you all for your advice. I think when I find the right person I will be paying on the "table and not under" I don't want to worry about getting caught someday ...please wish me luck...and send good prayers my way...you all are always in my prayers.

Have a good day!
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JLH 11:48 AM 03-21-2013
My husband is my assistant because of this exact reason. We talked about whether he wanted to work elsewhere or stay home as my assistant before we opened the daycare. We decided that he may as well just stay home because otherwise any money he brought in would be spent paying an assistant. It may be different if he could get a job making $30 an hour but he works in labor where the paychecks aren't that big. You could try having your husband take night classes so he could be home with you during the day. Just an idea. Good luck!
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frugalmama4 12:53 PM 03-21-2013
Originally Posted by JLH:
My husband is my assistant because of this exact reason. We talked about whether he wanted to work elsewhere or stay home as my assistant before we opened the daycare. We decided that he may as well just stay home because otherwise any money he brought in would be spent paying an assistant. It may be different if he could get a job making $30 an hour but he works in labor where the paychecks aren't that big. You could try having your husband take night classes so he could be home with you during the day. Just an idea. Good luck!
Thanks JLH,

That was the plan originally when he was only making a few bucks working...and then he got what I call a "Real Job" So that's why he's going to school to get his certification in welding...BIG bucks to be made...and then the DC income will be secondary...but we have to make it til then...that's why I had no choice but to increase my numbers and stick with the younger kiddos so will can stay up-float. I thank God each day for growing my business...my hubby has been out of work for about six months know...and we have been ok.

Thx
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Sprouts 05:29 PM 03-21-2013
WHAT TO DO??

THROUGH OUT THE DAY
ENTRANCE AREA CLEAR OF CLUTTER (hang bags up, organize shoes...)
REFILL BLEACH BOTTLES (keep out of reach of children)
BABY CONNECT: please update on a regular basis to keep parents informed

MUSIC: Mozart on low to keep calm environment
CIRCLE TIME: What are we wearing? Around and around is the name of the game, or your choice!
DID THE PRE-SCHOOLERS PUT EVERYTHING BACK THAT THEY TOOK OUT?
ARTS AND CRAFTS: Refill paint water, refill paper
IS INFANT AREA OR PRESCHOOL AREA NEAT AND TIDY?
Are all activities and pieces where they should be?
ARE LUNCH PLATES SET IN “SELF SERVE” AREA?
ARE TISSUES AND WIPES AVAILABLE? Infant area, preschool area and bathroom.
*CURRICULUM: Plan an activity to do with the children (*if time permits)
PLAYGROUND: Bring first-aid kit with orange basket and sippy cups (water) for children. Please bring back in when done. (OR KEEP AT KITCHENETTE WINDOW)

BEFORE CLOSING
SANITIZE BATHROOM
TOILET, HANDLE
SINK
DOOR KNOBS
SWEEP AND MOP WOOD FLOORS
VACUUM: Infant, pre-school side, sleep room, entrance & stairs
SPRAY BABY SIDE WITH BLEACH SPRAY (Toys, rides, kitchen...)
GARBAGE
DIRTY DISHES? (Clear & CLEAN sink, put back dishes where they belong, put away food)
THROW IN WASHER: DIRTY BIBS, BLANKETS (CRIB AND BABY SIDE), HAND TOWELS (BATHROOM & TABLE CLEANING TOWELS)
COTS PUT AWAY

SOME IMPORTANT DAYCARE AND MONTESSORI THINGS TO REMEMBER

PLEASE SPEAK QUIETLY TO EACH OTHER AND CHILDREN (if i don’t do it please remind me and each other) it helps child to focus- We are a Montessori daycare so we must act like one
IF A CHILD LOOKS FOCUSED, PLEEEEASE DO NOT INTERRUPT THEM, EVEN IF THEY DO SOMETHING AMAZING....i know its hard! But unless they look at you, give them a reassuring nod, or say quietly... You did it, you....(explain what they did...instead of WOW!! OMG!!!) This will distract them and can make them loose focus.
3 TO A SHELF RULE: There should be no more then 3 toys or baskets per shelf, over stimulation can cause children to act out, so lets try to keep things simple. Also every toy has a place.
PARENTS: If a parent asks for your number give them ********. Tell them you can not give personal number out.
Be mindful of how and what we say to children, think of how it might affect them in the future.
HAVE FUN!!!

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