If you work outside the home, what do you do for daycare?

United States
January 14, 2009 4:02pm CST
I specifically want to know what you do for daycare during the summer for elementary school age kids? I live in Maryland and in my county they charge $305 for before and after school care for the first child and $250 for each additional child. Since I will have 3 kids in school in Sept., that would cost me $805/month. How do you do it? I really need to know how regular families can afford to work and pay for daycare. Doesn't all your money go to daycare? Thanks for your help!
2 people like this
11 responses
• United States
14 Jan 09
Well, I don't have the problem that you have, but I'm familiar with it. That's a ridiculous amount of money for only before and after school! For the summer, I would check with your children's friends' parents - if any of them have a parent at home, that parent may be willing to watch your children for a fraction of what you would pay a daycare - I did it for a friend of mine, and it worked out well for both of us. She had affordable care she trusted, my daughter had friends to play with, and I made a little extra money. You might even be able to work out an arrangement with that friend for before/after school care. If not, check into licensed home daycares. They are (usually) just as good if not better, and usually MUCH cheaper. Or hire a stay at home mom to babysit your children - she'll work for less, but, in most cases, be just as reliable, safe, loving, and caring. A lot of stay at home moms want to earn extra money but also want to be with their kids, so they are usually pretty reasonable about what they charge. I'm a stay at home mom who works as a nanny/babysitter, and I make a little extra money, but I'm certainly not making anyone sacrifice all their paycheck for daycare! I hope that helps; good luck!
• United States
14 Jan 09
Thanks! I'm an at home mom now and would love continue. There were lots of at home moms in my area, but it seems lots of them are also searching for work outside the home just to stay afloat. I think I really need to look into becoming a babysitter or nanny for other families. Thanks for your advice!
• United States
15 Jan 09
Now that I have my own child, I stay at home because it's better for our family. I helped take care of my nieces and nephews before and worked overnight shift, that was really hard. I think becoming a nanny for other working moms is a great idea. I used to do it for various family members. You might also want to look into the programs in your area for in home nannies and low income families. Basically how it works is that you can call the local family aid office or division of families and ask them if they have any state funded programs or programs for helping parents pay nannies to care for children in their home. As far as I know, every state has it in every county. Here, the aid office doesn't sign the care prodiver and parent up for keeping the child, they just refer you to the office that does the sign up. You or the parent make the appointment and find out what all you will have to bring in (proof of identity, etc), they will run a background check, and do TB skin tests or schedule them for a later date, the parent gives all of their info and the child's info, you will be talking to a representative who signs you up to be the child's care provider. What this does is allow the family to receive state funding to pay you for caring for their child while they work or go to school. So, you will get a check directly from the government each month to pay you for being their nanny. Some people charge a small fee on top of what the government pays them from their funds, it all depends on you and what services you will be providing and charging for. They will also give you extra money if you will be providing meals to the children as well. Some places require you to take classes or get some type of certifications if you're keeping more than a certain amount of children who are not related to you. You just have to check with your local office to see what programs they have and what the stipulations are. For example, I used to keep my two nephews while their mom worked. I didn't have to do certification or anything because I was related and I only was keeping two children, I think if you have over 10 here in IL then you have to. I was keeping them for someone who lived in KY, however, and their laws are about the same as IL on those things. KY's child care assistance program was called Audobon then, or paid for by organization called Audobon. Each state's program is different. I didn't keep them for long periods of time, but if she wanted me to keep them longer so that she could do other things then I charged an extra fee. If they stayed the night, I charged her $20, that's $10 for each kid and she provided extra money for meals or brought their meals over. I would have charged more if she was not related probably, like $20 per each kid for an overnight stay because most people charge $30 for two extra hours around here. If you are picking up children or dropping them off, charge extra for those things as well. If children are in diapers or not potty trained, you should charge extra. I did this years ago in highschool and afterward, then they paid $400 a month for both children without the meal allowance but it should be more now. Depending on you, you'll want to charge something extra per month of caring for a child on that amount of money. One person I know charges $50 per month per child, and another charges $100. Neither one has a problem getting paid that much, because daycare is so much higher and that is on top of the state check. What you want to do regardless is have a contract stating what methods of payment to take and how much is coming from whom and when and how much you will be keeping the children. Keep a log book of the schedules for keeping the kids, and if a parent's schedule changes and they have different hours for you to keep their child log it and make a contract where they sign for that schedule. Always make a contract with schedules for each parent, and make a new one if their schedule changes, keep the old schedule and contract, and also have them sign a consent on who can pick the children up and who can not. Have the people who are allowed to pick them up or visit them come in and possibly get a copy of their driver's license phone numbers and address with them signing a form to consent in picking or dropping off the child. If they're not doing anything wrong, that shouldnt' be a problm and this will protect you and the child you're keeping. Get yourself a file cabinet, file folders, and keep neat records of all of this stuff, you will need it. You can either type up the contracts yourself, or there are premade contracts online that you can edit to fit your situation. I also have some advice on payment methods, only take cash with receipt or money orders and keep your receipts. It's sad to say, but more often than not you'll come into contact with someone who doesn't pay and will claim they have or something of that nature. Doing all of these things will ensure you get paid, and keep safe. The government assistance programs are great because you will be sure to get paid on time everytime.
• United States
15 Jan 09
That was extremely helpful! Thanks so much. I think I need to look into this further for my specific state and county. Rates seem to very quite a bit depending on where you live.
• Philippines
15 Jan 09
My husband doesn't work so he looks mostly after the kids. I use to have a my sister or mother in law to come over before since it's cheaper to do that. I pay my sis though but just for a small fee.
@dfollin (17137)
• United States
15 Jan 09
When my boys were in public school and I worked outside of the home during the summer months they went to a public school program called SACC (School Aged Child Care) and the rate went by my income.When summer the SACC was full and I put them in the Summer Recreation Program that was not too expensive. Now,I babysit my 2 year old grand daughter.
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
15 Jan 09
well, i have only worked part time while my kids were younger and i was fortunate that i was able to stay home til they both started school. when i was working before, they were both in school but on pa days and vacations, they went to their grandparents, but now, they stay home (they are 11 and 15). i know someone that pays almost that much in a week for her child to be babysat! (i am in canada.)
@jessi0887 (2792)
• United States
15 Jan 09
That is way more expensive then here. I live in alabama. Although i get assistance. I am in a childcare family assistance program. That way i don't have to pay full fee's. I get a low rate. It helps me out big time. With out it i wouldn't be able to work. Wouldn't it be cheaper to find a baby sitter who will accept a set rate for all of them instead of individually.
@tammytwo (4302)
• United States
15 Jan 09
When my children were small I actually worked at a daycare center for a while. Then I had my own home daycare. I couldn't afford to pay the prices they would have required and only make minimum wage. It just wasn't worth it so I found a job in a daycare and they allowed the kids to come for free. Then I had my own home daycare and it was really nice to be home with my kids while making some money. I just don't know if I could handle it these days. Not sure I have the patience for it anymore. Maybe you could get assistance from your state to help pay for it. I know they do offer some help.
@mimico (3618)
• Philippines
15 Jan 09
Someone actually pointed out this same dilemma with me. I asked that person why she can't earn money and take care of the kids at the same time and she said that if she goes to work, all her salary goes to daycare! I guess if you don't have a very high earning power then you should stay at home and mind the kids. Or you can leave them with your parents if you're lucky enough to have good ones. :)
• China
15 Jan 09
i heard the munber about the free . i am fell so astonish .but i can give you some advice .maybe you can get a part-time job .but in that case you will have some hard and you will fell so tired . maybe i give the advice is not the good advice .you can earning some money online.nice to meet you .
• United States
15 Jan 09
daycare cost a fortune and I am thankful that I dont have to go there. If I did work outside the home, it would take everything I make to put my child in daycare so it wouldnt be helpful. thank goodness for my husband who sees it this way too so that I am a full time mom, and housewife.... only now that my son is out of the house in school for a couple hours and I have the one yr old, I am trying to make some money from here....hey any little bit will help.
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
15 Jan 09
I was going to respond with how much I paid for daycare in your other discussion, but I saw this one too so I decided to save that part for this discussion. When my son was in daycare it was $75 a week that I paid. When we moved to where we live now it was $65 per kid per week. Before and after care would have been $5 a day. It is the same at the schools after school program as the daycare.