4 Drawbacks To Running a Day Care from Your Home

One of the best work-at-home jobs, especially when you have your own young children, is to run a daycare out of your home or to babysit a small group of children in your home.  As was my experience growing up with a mom who provided in-home daycare, your children have built-in, easily accessible playmates, and you get to spend plenty of time with your own children.

However, before you get into this business, there are some drawbacks to consider.

Parents May Take Advantage of You

Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often, but you may have parents who take advantage of you by dropping off their children too early or picking them up later than the agreed upon time.  This can be difficult, obviously, especially if you have plans out of the house after the child is to leave.  One way to negate this problem, or at least lessen it, is to have a contract that stipulates fees for early or late pick-ups.

You Likely Won’t Get Vacation or Sick Pay

Unless you explicitly write in your contract that you get paid vacation and sick leave, that likely won’t happen.  Keep in mind, you’ll potentially lose income from sick leave two ways—first, you may be sick and unable to provide care, and second, the child may be sick, so you won’t have the child in your care for the day.  Also keep in mind that during the summer when kids are out of school, parents also schedule vacations, which means all summer long you may have interruptions to your income.

Your Schedule Won’t Be Flexible

If you only care for one child, you can easily enough bring that child with you to events that you do as a family or errands you need to run.  However, if you’re caring for multiple children, the task becomes much more difficult.  If you need to make something for dinner and you’re missing a few ingredients, you won’t be able to pack up all of the kids and quickly run to the store as you would if you only were caring for your own children.  By default, you will likely have an inflexible schedule. 

Even though you’re not leaving your house to go to a job, you will still be confined to the nine to five hours just like a parent that works outside the home.  In fact, your hours will likely be longer—eight to six because the parents need time to commute. 

Can Disrupt Your Own Family Life

How does your husband feel about having small children around?  If you have older children, do they like children, or would they prefer to have their own space?  If you have an in-home daycare, your own family’s life will be disrupted.  Your older kids likely can’t have three or four friends over after school.  It may be harder for your older kids to find a quiet place in your house to study.

When my mom babysat, I was used to the kids being around.  They were almost like members of our family.  However, when my son went to a home-based daycare, the provider had her walk-in basement fixed up so that the daycare was run downstairs.  That way, her family still had free rein of their own home, without the interference of a dozen young children.

Many people find providing in-home daycare a fabulous work-at-home opportunity, but just like any job, it does have its drawbacks.  Many of those drawbacks, however, can be negated with a solid contract.

If you provide in-home daycare, what drawbacks have you discovered?  How have you tried to negate those drawbacks?

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