How much should in-home child care cost?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Thomas Veil, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    My wife is looking at doing in-home child care (ages 0-5) to earn some extra bread. She's a mom, an LPN and has worked in Pediatrics, so she's got the experience.

    But we've no idea what she would charge for caring for someone's child from, say, 6 am - 6 pm, five days a week.

    I've tried to research it via classifieds, but nobody gives out prices. (I guess they like to keep it flexible.)

    Anybody out there got any experience with either doing child care or paying someone else for it? What's it earn, and is it worth her while?
  2. rogerw macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2004
    west sussex UK
  3. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    Sorry...United States.

    Or "Jesusland", as it says under my avatar. ;)

    Cleveland area, to be specific.
  4. Pismo macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2002
    From my experience, $90 to $120 per week (5 days) sounds reasonable. You probably need to charge for different age groups. Infants and toddlers require more care, therefore they will cost the most to take care of. Older kids will cost a little less because they can entertain themselves.

    Also, to sell your services to other parents, try to develop games and stuff they can learn during the day. Parents want their kids to learn during the day as well as eat nutritious meals, not watch soaps and eat mac 'n cheese.
  5. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I would say there are several considerations. First, you need to make sure that you have appropraite licensing and insurance to run a child care center. Sure, you could do it without it, but why risk it? These will likely cost something, and will need to be covered in your fees.

    Also, what will you be providing and what do you expect parents to bring with their children? E.g., food, toys, drinks. If you are providing meal services, this also gets expensive.

    What will you need to purchase for your home to prepare to house children for long periods of time (12 hours or so)? Gates to block off unsafe areas, weekly carpet cleanings (um, yeah...), changing areas (if you're doing infants), etc.

    We use a professional daycare provider - it costs us roughly $350 per week for a 15 month old and a 4 year old (we get a multi-child discount :rolleyes: ). I would expect that you would probably charge less, which would be your attraction - along with personal service. I imagine you'd set up some sort of tiered pricing:

    Infants: $190 per week
    1.5 - 2: $170 per week
    2 - 4: $150 per week

    Also, keep in mind that most states have minimum child/teacher ratios. This will limit the number of "students" you can take on before needing to hire someone else.
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    my sister is a 'nanny' she has basic run of the house, takes care of two children, makes dinner, does the laundry and whatnot, she works about 12 hours a day give or take a few here or there, five days a week

    are you looking at child care as in having the kids at your place or going out to the family's residence? if at your place make sure that you do have the proper insurance and legalities are out of the way

    my sister is paid $550 in cash a week to give you an idea, but then again she is probably responsible for more than your wife would be...
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Home day-care is a lot more work than most people realize... And a lot more difficult. Your wife has to ALWAYS remember that she's running a commercial business and not a social program... that's the hardest. Don't get attached, don't be afraid to get in shouting matches with parents. It happens. BUT, it can be fulfilling: my mother-in-law began daycare when her kids left the house, she's enjoyed it for years. Still, she's struggled with "firing" families with uncontrollable children, and an infant that died of SIDS in her care... not pleasant things.

    But, you didn't ask for advice, you asked for pricing :) $90-120 /week is certainly reasonable for middle-class families. It may be on the low side, especially if you're dealing with upper-middle-class families...

    My advice would be to select a handful of daycares in your area, pretend you're a new parent, and call asking questions. Some may wish to meet the child before offering a quote, but be firm in saying an interview will be the next step after pricing. These people are going to be your competition, you absolutely must know their rates.

    Good luck!
  8. GeorgeTheMonkey macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2004
    That's certainly a noble persuit for your wife, Thomas. In-home child care providers can be some of the most generous and loving people in a child's life.

    And Paul is right, it can be most rewarding for her, too. The absolute best thing to do right now, though -- to ensure that this adventure is pleasant for both her and her future families -- is to be as professional as she can about it... especially during these building-block stages.

    Becoming accredited both on local, state, and national level is probably the first thing she should shoot for. The website for the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children is probably the best place to start, and she can learn about becoming accredited at this site. (Oooh, there's an early childhood conference April 7-9 too.)

    Also some great websites and organizations for reference (and which I would most heartily encourage your wife to join as a member) would include the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the CDA Council (for professional recognition and certification), and the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance. The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood -- an Italian philosophy that has established itself in just the past two or three decades -- is, bar none, the most fascinating perspective on children possible... and, in my humble opinion, the only way to teach and set up a center that provides care to children. If you can find the book "The Hundred Languages of Children," then it is a most delightful read that I can only most wholeheartedly encourage. As a teacher at an Air Force-operated Child Development Center, I've seen a lot -- and witnessed every kind of operational child care -- but nothing compares to this approach.

    Please let us know how the endeavor goes! Don't hesitate to ask any questions along the way, if you need. (Oh and, erm, pretending you're a new parent just to find out rates is not, usually, the best of ways to establish yourself as a professional. ;) )

    If you'd like to know about rates (rates always fluctuate drastically based on a given number of things and more: your state, your city, the general economic basis of your neighborhood and targeted families, etc.), I'd suggest first seeking out information about accreditation and licensing. Usually, some kind individual who is a child development professional will help you along the way.
  9. GeorgeTheMonkey macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2004
    Oh, and I'm sorry: I just did a double-take and realized you said Cleveland. For some reason, I had in my mind that you said Detroit. My bad.

    Give me a few minutes to ammend my post with Ohio-specific links instead of Michigan's. :p :D
  10. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    First of all, thanks for all the advice, everybody. To get into some specifics:

    Until our neighbors moved, we used to take care of their infant and their somewhat hyperactive six-year-old for about a half-day at a time. I realize that's not the same as having the kids for twelve hours, but I think it gives us a good idea as to what we'd be in for. (When I say "we", I mean I work an evening shift, so I'd be helping.)

    My wife's a good cook, and when our own kids were little, for some reason ours was the house all their friends wanted to play at, so feeding the neighborhood kids is nothing new to us either. ;)

    Safety considerations -- that's a no-brainer. We'll need baby gates, outlet covers, etc. Also entertainment -- toys, games, story books, coloring books, and so on.

    We only want to do perhaps two kids at a time, which means that licensure is not necessary in our state.

    The legal issues are not lost on me. What I want to do is formally incorporate, to protect our assets. And one of the reasons we're not doing older kids (ages 6+) is that you may need to drive them to school. Aside from exposing yourself to liability if you get into an accident (whether it's your fault or not), I've heard too many stories about parents imagining that a caregiver sexually molested their child while they were in a car together. Perhaps I'm being paranoid about that, but I figure if the kids are always in our home, where there are at least two of us around at any given time, we're safer from any accusations of imagined wrongdoing.

    Anyway, my wife's still "on the edge" as far as going ahead with this idea. I'll let you all know if we proceed. Again, my thanks.

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