If a parent wanted you to care for their child on a day that you are normally closed (holidays and weekends), what would you say?
It’s up to you.
Many family child care providers would say “no”. They want to spend these times with their own family. Refer parents to your contract that says you are closed on these days. Tell the parent, “Sorry, but I’m closed on these days and I have made other plans with my family.” You can also give parents the names of local babysitters.
What if you were open to providing care on a holiday or weekends? Here are some issues to consider.
Check with your licensor to see if are allowed to provide care on these days. If the parents ask your own child to care for their child, ask your licensor if this is allowed. In some states, a provider’s own child cannot do “babysitting” in the provider’s home.
Check with your business liability insurance agent to make sure your policy covers you when providing care on these days.
What should you charge?This is also up to you, but I would encourage you to charge a lot more than your normal child care rate. Babysitters in your area probably charge more than $10 an hour. If you are going to give up part of your holiday or weekend time, it is reasonable to charge a much higher rate. Very few providers do offer such care, so parents will pay a lot more for this service. Ten dollars an hour is not unreasonable.
You should assume that if you offer to care for one family, the other families in your care will hear about it and may want you to care for their child. You can agree to care for more children or say that you won’t care for children from more than one family. There is no rule requiring you to care for every family. Make your own decision about how many children you want to handle. Remember, these are normally down times for you.
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