how much do you pay for childcare?

danachattanoogaOctober 29, 2006

I am trying to determine what would be a fair price to charge my sister for providing childcare for her two boys. I am a stay at home mom with a 2 1/2 year old and a 16 month old, both boys. My sister has twin boys, ages 2 1/2. I would be keeping them 4 days a week, a total of about 35 hours. We are in Chattanooga,TN.

I would have to keep them whether or not they were sick and possibly on some holidays.

How much do you pay for childcare? Is the rate discounted if you have more than one child? Are there monetary penalties for picking up the children late?

I do not , of course, want to overcharge my sister but I expect to be compensated fairly.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Dana honey, all I can tell you is: Do not do this. There is no amount of money your sister can pay you that will fairly compensate you for the the care of 2 1/2 year old twin boys--good god, and you already have one of your own plus a 16 mo. old! And who said you have to keep them when they're sick--and on what holidays??? You gave up a career (I'm sure you had one) so that you could stay at home and properly raise and care for YOUR children. Now do it. Yes, you might need extra money, but please, find something else--Discovery Toys, Arbonne, Mary Kay-- or ONE tiny infant--something that will not totally turn your life upside down. You'll never be able to go to Hamilton Place with all the kids in tow or Bi-Lo or anywhere--your life will be exhausting and stress-filled.

And betcha anything there will come a day when you will do something (or not do something) that will tick your sister off and there goes your relationship. Please reconsider. I'm sorry, I know this isn't what you asked for.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 6:03PM
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I have to second that opinion of PP. When you have relatives care for children, you are asking for trouble. I have been there and done that. Trust me, it is a lot easier to discuss something your sitter is doing that you find questionable if you don't have to sit across the Thanksgiving table from them. If you need extra cash trying selling on Ebay or even put an ad in the paper to provide care for a stranger's child. If you really want to help your sister out, then help interview care providers for her.

If your sister is really in a pinch to have care, then offer to do this temporarily while you help her find someone else. That way neither of you is stuck in a situation that may not work.

That being said, I have used private providers in the past as well. Those rates varied depending upon age and experience of caregiver. I paid 22-25 a day for two children on average but some centers around here (am also in Tennessee) get as much as 140.00 per week per child. In general I found better quality of care by using in home daycares and cheaper more flexible rates as well. My sister pays 70.00 per week for her child currently through an in home daycare. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 6:39PM
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Thank you Deanie and Jules for your responses. I appreciate your taking the time. You are both right, of course, it is a mistake and very stressfull. I have already started keeping them. It has been about a month now and it is very trying. I kept them from the ages of 6 months to twelve months too, but couldn't handle it when I became pregnant with number 2.
This time, when I agreed to keep them it was only supposed to be for 3 days a week and then my sister's schedule was changed and it is now 4 days. That extra day watching 4 kids under three may not seem like a big deal to her, but to me it adds a lot more stress.
We are planning to have the three older kids in preschool 2 days a week soon, so that should help me some.
I guess I just needed an unbiased opinion as to how much to charge because some days it seems like no amount of money in the world would make it worth it.
Also, we don't really NEED the money. I am mainly doing it to help my sister. It does also provide my very shy 2 1/2 year old much needed socialization with 2 other children his age so it does have some benefits. Anyway, thank you again.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:01PM
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In my area full-time child care at a well-respected center is about $700-750 per month. Some places slightly discount a second child. In home care is less expensive, but not much.

Prices are very regional. My SIL and BIL pay about $250 per week for a nanny that comes to their house (she also does all their cooking, cleaning and laundry). They have two small children. You could never get a nanny in my area for that cheap.

Why would you have to keep them if they were sick? The kids come over throwing up and then you and your kids will get it.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:02PM
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Goodness,Dana, I can FEEL the stress in your response and can only imagine what you are going through! Here's a HUG! When you say the older children will be in preschool soon I hope you mean on two of the days you are now taking care of the children. Don't let sis send them on her day off and still use you the other days! You need a break! Hopefully it will help to only have them 2 days a week. I would still spend some time looking for someone for her (if you can find any time that is). That way if it gets to be too much then you can always soften the blow by offering her alternatives. The last thing I have to add is your children are only young once. You are fortunate to be able to stay at home with them and enjoy this time so do not let anything prevent you from spending that quality time with them. Too soon they will be older and in school and you will wonder where the time went. Time is the most precious thing you can give them right now...don't let anything or anyone get in the way.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:18PM
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in my area prices range from 65 per child per week, to 85 per child per week. our daycare charges 73.00 a week to watch our 2 year old. NO holidays! tell your sis that you are going to charge her 100.00 a week adn NO weekends or holidays are included in that price. for those, charge 75.00 for the day.

if she can afford to pay this, then she can afford to put them in real daycare adn save you and her LOTS of grief.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 1:23PM
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Since you wanted the "fair market value" of child care....

Because you have your own kids, I would equate your situation to an in-home day care and not to a nanny in the home of the cared-for child. My 4 1/2 year child is at a Montessori preschool/day care for four days a week. This costs $1040 per month. I also had my older son at a different preschool/day care when he was 4. That school costs $679 per month for full time (4 to 5 days a week). The teachers and the curriculum were not as good at the previous school, and we did not return. As you can see, there is a significant variability of the cost even in the same city.

BTW, when we had a full time nanny at our house without a child of her own, she charged $15.00 per hour plus benefits and taxes for two kids. (This is the going rate in our city.) She came to our house, fed them, dressed them, cared for the kids laundry, and did some cooking and cleaning. I know a neighbhor that pays $10.00 per hour under the table. I do not think your sister is getting quite this degree of service since you are NOT at her house where she can run out with the breakfast dishes on the table with the child still sleeping, which is what we did.

I do not have any personal experience with in-home day care.

What I would do is to find out how much the in-home day care cost in your geographic area and charge about that much. However, you also need to consider that your sister will not be able to deduct the child care credit, which is up to $5000.00 per year per family, unless you declare the amount she pays you in YOUR income.

Most child care centers will charge a stiff penalty for late pick up because the staff needs to get home. Many charge $1.00 per minute in our city.

Hope these numbers help.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 1:30PM
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I don't pay for child care. But I have to have someone come and stay with Mum when we want to go to the theatre during the summer. I pay between $10-15/hr..

We don't go out at night very much, obviously. During the day she can be left alone for 4-5 hours, but if she wakes up unexpectedly someone has to be there should she become disoriented.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 2:34PM
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My oldest kid was 45 yesterday.

All of the care that he gets is a gift at birthday and Christmas (well, almost).

Have a great weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 5:55PM
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