Friday, March 7, 2014
Should You Provide In-Home Childcare?
Do you ever wonder if you should provide childcare to other children to bring in some extra cash flow for your family? Maybe it would allow your family to take that some extra vacations or maybe it's a necessity? Maybe you would really like to quit your job and stay home with your kids?Whatever the case, make sure you consider the big picture before making the commitment.
1. Do the math. The cost of caring for just 1 or 2 children is usually not a huge amount of money. The reason is that you are competing with childcare centers that are able to cover the expenses differently and have a higher teacher/child ratio. That being said, if you want a few extra dollars, it could be perfect for you. Just make sure the extra money is worth it to you. HOWEVER, don't forget to put a number (expense) on your OWN children. For example, if you have to work outside the home, you will be paying for your children to go to childcare which would cost you ___ amount. But if you want to make a DECENT amount of money it may be necessary to watch more than 3 children. Also calculate what you will be making per hour versus your current situation.
2. Consider the responsibility involved. Caring for children is not easy, especially younger children. They demand a lot of time and can be stressful when they go through potty training, terrible twos, or even if they experience allergies or injuries. If the kids you will care for are babies, it's important to remember the extra time and care that these children require. For this reason, daycare centers will charge extra for infants for children with special needs so that's something you may want to consider.
3. Find a good family/families. If you already have a family or 2 in mind (that you like and trust) you will be in a better situation to succeed. It took me a long time to find families that I could depend on to pay on time, pick up on time, and had the same values and parenting style as me. Remember you're interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you so be picking about who you choose and if it's not a good fit...don't do it.
4. Consider all factors involved. Watching children on the side is essentially starting your own business. It's important to have a plan and set clear boundaries from the beginning (especially if it involves your family members children or friends' children) It may sound easy to take in a few extra kids, why not? You're already taking care of your own kids, right? But make sure you consider all aspects before making the commitment. How will you handle sick kids (yours or theirs)? What if you or your husband is sick? What if they don't pay you? Will they be bringing their own lunches/snacks? Do they want to deduct childcare expenses from their taxes? Will they be accommodating for your vacations? Will they get a long well with your children?
Although caring for other children in your home can be a great business for many parents who are already at home with their kids, it's important to make sure you consider everything involved and how it will impact your family overall before making the commitment.