General Question

lindsayv13's avatar

Daycare and being fair with what I charge?

Asked by lindsayv13 (3points) June 30th, 2009

I have been watching a 5 month old girl in my home. The parents and I agreed on a flat rate per month with me watching her Mon-Thurs. I have recently been watching her Fridays at no extra charge. My husband and I will be going to Vegas next week and I will miss watching her for 3 days. The dad asked me today if he had to pay me for those days. I personally feel that they should. I would for someone that is bending over backwards for me. I have picked her up and dropped her off before. My question is: Should they pay me? Thanks :)

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18 Answers

lindsayv13's avatar

May I add that this trip was planned several months before I began watching her.

Grisaille's avatar

I personally wouldn’t ask nor accept for the money.

If I were in the parent’s shoes, I’d definitely offer, though.

And… I’m pretty much useless in this situation. Don’t mind me.

Facade's avatar

Since you’ve been watching her on Fridays, I think it’d be fair for them to pay you for those three days.

lindsayv13's avatar

That’s what I think. If I were in there shoes….I would definitely think that was the right thing to do. In my opinion showing someone they are appreciated goes a long way.

Darwin's avatar

When we were paying for daycare, the folks we used insisted that we pay x amount per week, regardless of whether the child was at day care or not. However, this was something we were told up front and agreed to.

I do think that if you are being paid by the day, and that is the agreement you have with the parents, that: a) they need to pay you for the Fridays that you watch the child, and b) they shouldn’t have to pay for the days you aren’t watching her.

However, for the next time you provide day care to someone else’s child, you need to tell the people up front what your policies are, and then stick to them (and put them in writing).

lindsayv13's avatar

I have also had kids in daycare and it was “X” amount per week regardless. This is why we agreed on “X” amount per month regardless because they wanted to pay monthly. We came up with figure based on a weekly fee. They don’t pay me by the day.

Darwin's avatar

Then if it is X amount per month, then it should be X amount per month, the idea being that you are keeping their child’s place open. They are already getting a discount since Fridays weren’t figured in to the original calculations.

lindsayv13's avatar

Thanks. That’s what I felt. The dad has been difficult with me about payment. They are our friends and that can make this uncomfortable. This is their first child and I know they don’t understand how daycares work. I’m afraid I may have been too lenient with them :)

Darwin's avatar

Good luck! That is why it is often better to look after strangers’ children rather than those of your friends.

Hope you can remain friends throughout all of this.

A possibility if he is being a pain, is to suggest that he begin to pay you for Fridays, then he can get those three days free.

lindsayv13's avatar

That’s not a bad idea. He works with my husband and I have known him for a while. He is pretty much known to be kinda sneaky and will blow money left and right on things he doesn’t need and then turn arounds and wants to be stingy for childcare. Priorities huh?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Full time in-home day care here for an infant is $250—$400 a week, on the upper end if there isn’t any other infants in the house. People should expect to pay a premium not to have to take an infant to a day care center. You’re picking up and dropping off the infant as well? Are you related to these people? If not, have them pay you for the Fridays you watch her that aren’t agreed upon. If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, you probably are.

lindsayv13's avatar

I have picked her up and dropped her off before. I have since stopped that. I am not related to them. I am annoyed that I am being paid what I agreed was fair for 4 days a week when I actually watch her 5 days sometimes. I feel like he knew it would be 5 days all along. He is thinking they should pay me what a daycare center charges. I disagreed and told them more which they agred to and then he threw in the extra day. I am just frustrated with it all.

Jeruba's avatar

I agree that they should pay you for the Fridays but not for the away days.

You need a new arrangement. Or maybe you need to end the relationship.

MissAusten's avatar

When my daughter was a baby, she went to a home daycare while I was at work. The caregiver has us sign a contract which clearly stated, among other things, that the weekly rate we paid was firm and applied even if our child was sick, the caregiver was sick, etc. The only exception to this would be a planned vacation. Usually the caregiver took a vacation week once a year, let us know about it far in advance, and didn’t charge for that week. She was awesome, by the way! Even the larger daycare center my kids eventually went to had the same payment policy.

I think you should do something similar—come up with a contract just so any misunderstandings about schedule, payment, days off, illness, or whatever, can be avoided. You all know what to expect.

LostInParadise's avatar

There is something I am wondering about this. My brother, who is a lawyer, was telling me about the woman who was hired to take care of my mother and I suspect your case is similar. From a legal point of view my mother is considered the employer of the woman who takes care of her and therefore is obligated to pay social security and maybe some other taxes. She is not doing this.

Is your case similar? I have a hunch that it is, which may help to explain why there is no written contract. I wonder if the people you are working for are aware of their legal obligations.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@LostInParadise raises a good point. If they aren’t paying your taxes, you are obligated to pay them all. They should not be deducting the money they pay off their taxes as child care expenses if taxes aren’t being paid. Are you providing them with statements so they have receipts?

@lindsayv13, just remember, people only take advantage of you if you give them permission to do so. They are more than welcome to make other child care arrangements, but I suspect they have a sweet deal with you, and know it. Some people just push the envelope. They may think their child is so wonderful that everyone should want to watch her for free.

lindsayv13's avatar

I do think you are right. And I already told them that I will not be reporting it on my taxes as income therefore meaning they can’t claim it on there’s as child care expenses. They were actually supposed to pay me today per our agreement. The child did not come today because he was off work. When I asked about payment he dodged the question. I don’t feel I should have to ask. That should be his responsibilty.

Darwin's avatar

“From a legal point of view my mother is considered the employer of the woman”

It’s little more complicated than that.

If you watch the child or care for the person in their home and use the tools provided to you and/or perform the tasks assigned to you, then you are indeed their employee, and they need to do social security, FICA and income tax withholding.

However, if you watch the child in your own home (as in this case), or if you bring your own tools and equipment to do the job, then you could be considered an independent contractor and thus are responsible for your own taxes.

You need to check with the IRS (or they need to) to be certain.

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