Way OT: babysitting

So i officially started to babysit today for someone who is NOT family…I say that not in an offensive way but because my babysitting experience is from children who are family or family friends. I’ve never charged to sit for them because it was more as a favor plus they’re family. If they did pay me it was at their own disgretion<–sp? the amount too.

So here’s my thing… I didn’t get a chance to discuss with the childs parent how and when they need to pay me, just how much (it’s weekly, full time, unlimited sitting houre, flat rate). So when they arrived this morning to drop off i talked it over with them. I told them I prefer that they pay in advance and in cash… They seemed fine with it…but even though they were ok with it i feel all weird… is it OK or NOT OK for me to have asked to be paid like that???

Opinions good and bad welcome but now “serious” bashing though :teehee:

Actually paying in advance is pretty standard for day care services these days. I doubt they were surprised.

Sounds perfectly fine to me, but try to have some sort of leeway if they get home early or late.

I think it’s GREAT that you did that- as you said, they’re not family, so you have to protect yourself somehow. I would also recommend possibly drawing up some kind of contract regarding notice (you, if you’re sick; them if they won’t be coming in; them if they quit using you) and perhaps holidays, or vacation time for you.

Are you doing this as a daycare from home then? If so, then by all means yes…payment up front is fine. Maybe a contract would help. If not doing an hourly rate this is perfect. If it’s an hourly rate, then be prepared to issue a refund or credit (if this is ongoing) if the # of hours fall under what was paid.

If you’re babysitting as a hit/miss thing, then it is different to be asked to pay up front. I’ve never paid a sitter up front, but I did for daycare.

This is your “business” so to speak and you make the rules. I did this as a business several years ago and learned a few things that may help you. DO NOT give them a break on their payment when the kid doesn’t show up. You will find that grandma sits or aunty or whatever and they jerk you around that way and you end up getting a day here or there and sitting at home waiting for them when you could be doing something else. Paying in advance and cash is at your discretion and though I would have discussed it with them previously so that they wouldn’t have been put on the spot, there is nothing wrong with your request and in fact the paying in advance is a good idea. Also, you need to give them heads up with regards to any time off you will take, ie vacation or trips or any time you can’t sit. Don’t wait until the day before to tell them you can’t sit the next day. Make sure you have written information on these people as far as who to contact in emergency even the child’s doctor etc. and CHECK THEM OUT!!! I once had someone who signed all the papers I had them fill out, then brought the baby over around 8 AM and by noon the next day had not shown up to pick the poor thing up. I had to go out and buy diapers, food etc for the little guy and do laundry for him because they brought no extra clothes. I was on the phone with Child Services when the mother showed up and said she didn’t have enough to pay me. Well, you can’t hold the kid hostage, but I did turn all the information about them over to the CS and told them I was doing it. It infuriated them, but I was pretty mad they left their baby with what amounted to a complete stranger. The contact info they left wasn’t even valid so I had no one to take the baby to either. Their work numbers weren’t valid. So with all this being said, lean towards caution when taking care of other people’s children!

:wink: Thanks guys I’m feeling better now.

It just i’ve never done this before out side family so I felt like i wasn’t “doing it right”. I’m not very good with money talk giving or receiving :shrug: . It’s not in me :teehee: It is in my home and it’s just 1 child.
So what do you guys think about the whole me asking for cash thing…I’m not trying to offend anyone but i just don’t want and weird stuff going on with my bank account incase checks bounce, insufficent funds, penalty fees, you know all that unexpected stuff :wall: .

I have a whole arrival and pick up time sheet i printed out for them to sign when droping off & picking up just so it’s clear to them and me when i’ve been sitting. And i’ve made up my own receipt so that they will know and i will know when, how much, and for what week is being paid (copy for them and a copy for me…they also have to sign it so it’s official that i didn’t just print out whatever amount and they can’t say they did/didn’t pay) Hey it’s MONEY just want to be on the safe side with no confusion :teehee:

Sorry nonny2t i was in the middle of posting when you posted… What a you know what :!!!: of that person to do that to you and their OWN child!!! I can’t even imagine what i would do… But thanks for the tips/ advise I really appreciate it :heart:

I understand your concern regarding form of payment, however some people do use their checks as record-keeping for taxes.

What about asking for cash, money order, or cashier’s check?

I think it’s good that you’re doing the research necessary. This is a business, and you need to treat it as such. Be firm…you are providing a service, and you have certain rights.

If you’re giving a receipt, that is adequate record for tax purposes.

My mother ran a daycare and the things nonny said rang true. You need to decide what your expectations/boundaries are and tell the parents what you want.

You’re babysitting “unlimited hours”? Are you certain that you’re being adequately compensated?

I think cash is a good idea since you don’t know these people. Also- if you do a contract, you can put that in the contract, that way you don’t have to “talk” about it. :slight_smile:

well not totally unlimited more like hours as early as 6 am as late as 9pm. I’m charging a flat rate and this is only for full time hours (min 8 hours a day 5 days a week) and all meals are included with the exception of babies. Overnights is a-whole-nother thing. Anything less than that (less hours or less days) i have an hourly rate.

You’ll learn as you go, the myriad ways people will find to take advantage of you. Sounds like you have a good start, though! Keep us posted, I hope it goes well for you! Keep in mind that your clients are paying for the “privilege” of unlimited hours- that means you are reserving that time for them, to the exclusion of other paying customers, and they, therefore, pay for the privilege regardless of whether they use it. People using home-daycares tend to think they should only have to pay you for whatever they decide to use… but since you are reserving your time for them, they need to pay for that. If they decide they want drop-in care, make sure the hourly rate for that is higher!

Good luck on this exciting new venture!
How many kids/babies are you caring for or planning on caring for in your daycare?

well i already have 2 kids of my own who are the same age as the one i am sitting for. Really i’m not looking to watch 5 kids or anything :shock:
Including this one MAYBE another one part time only and thats it for me.

That is a good doable group. You can enjoy them without it becoming too stressful to provide great care for them. When I was doing it I even worked out a little schedule for the “daily” kids where we would have crafts on one day, movie day, etc so the kids didn’t get bored. I don’t know what age groups you are sitting for, but most of my regulars were toddlers so it was a little easier having all the same age group so to speak. This can be great fun and can be a good business venture, but just remember it IS a business and you have to treat it as such. Right on with the receipts. Keep you a folder for tax purposes and don’t let someone try and talk you into letting them file for child credits they don’t deserve. One of the good things is you can be a real positive influence in these kids lives and make some good changes in their food and exercise habits and such by making eating healthy fun and providing good play time. Oh, and make sure you get FOOD allergies of the kids. You don’t want one of your charges ending up in the hospital because mom forgot to tell you he is allergic to peanut butter or something. I never gave kids under two any type of nut foods including peanut butter because that is how they develop allergies to foods later on and kept a list of kids with allergies and what they were. If you have a kid that has dangerous allergies, demand an epipen of the parents especially if it an allergy that could be unavoidable, like bee stings. I wish you much good luck and if you have something that ever stumps you, feel free to PM me!

I babysit (ok, mother’s helper) every Saturday from 9-12 and get paid $7 an hour after I’m done. If I stay longer, even just a half hour, and I get paid an extra $7. I think they overpay me, and I want to ask them to pay me less, but I think it’s an awkward topic and don’t really want to talk about. I think you did it a fine way. Congrats on getting a new job!