Mary Renee - posted on 08/31/2011 ( 24 moms have responded )
I very much want to be able to stay home with my toddler until she's old enough for preschool, and I have looked into watching other children in my home in order to supplement the family income.
I thought for sure the going rate would be around $8/hour. That's pretty much minimum wage in Hawaii (we live in Honolulu) and let's face it, watching kids is a lot more difficult than ringing people up at a store (I'm speaking from experience as I've done both).
When a friend of mine (we are both mother's with a college degree and several years worth of child care experience, her as a science teacher, myself as an english teacher and a drama camp counselor) and I started talking, she said she wasn't able to get people to be willing to pay more than $600 per MONTH!
To me, this is shockingly low! The family needs daycare 8am-4pm Tuesday and Thursday, and 8am-12pm Wednesday and Friday - so 24 hours/week (so part-time hours, but still a regular commitment)
I did the math and to work 24 hours/week at the minimum wage of $8/hour is $192/week and about $864/month. When I've looked at the going rate of daycare in Honolulu for $18-month-olds it's about the same, often more, and at least in my opinion, you aren't going to get the same individualize attention at a daycare that you'd get at an at-home day care.
I understand that since I would have my own child with me and the luxury of staying at home, maybe that would factor in to the cost. So if I charged $7/hour (which is LESS than minimum wage) that would be $168/week and $756/month.
Still, $756/month is $150 more than the person looking for a sitter is paying right now. I don't get it, Honolulu is a urban city with one of the highest cost of living in the world.
I was thinking of giving potential parents two options. Pay $8/hour, and I'd be paid at the end of every week after calculating the total hours. OR pay $7/hour for the entire month, a flat rate of $756/month regardless if whether some days they decide to take work off or skip a day.
I really could use the money for our household, especially as my daughter is out growing her "baby" things and is starting to need "toddler/big girl" things (toddler bed, booster seat, etc). I don't want to be money hungry, but at the same time I don't want to sell myself short! What do you guys think is a reasonable price for childcare? Should I charge even LESS than $750/month? How do you factor in the cost of food? What do you guys think? Would you watch an 18-month-old 24 hours a week for $600/month?
***Edited to Add: When responding about the rates you pay/have paid/charged... please let me know what region you live in so I can take into account the differences in the cost of living.