New here and need advice about a babysitting situation

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2014
New here and need advice about a babysitting situation
5
Tue, 04-29-2014 - 2:24am

Hi, I'm going to try to keep this as short as possible. (Which didnt end up short at all)

Ive got two kids (DD born may 2007, DS born march 2009). I'm a stay at home (homeschooling) mom. Last summer I was hired to watch two brothers (now ages 9 and 10) 40 hours a week, 4 days @ 10 hours each day, by a very nice lady (Kathleen). During the same time, I was also hired to watch another 6 year old boy who was in my daughters kindergarten class two days a week (overlapping with the brothers) for 6 hours a day. I love kids. I am not afraid to take all of them to do cool stuff, not even scared to go grocery shopping with all of them. We all had a blast. Kathleen was so pleased that she even hired me on for after-school care so I've been picking the boys up from school four or five days a week. In December I pulled my kids out of public school (1st grade and preschool) to homeschool them and we all love it so much. I've even started up a Christian Homescholing group in my area and we have a wonderful network of families that get together. I host all of the events through meetup and so we do stuff 2-3 times a week. So this summer, I've got so much planned and am so excited to do more fun field trips and water splash parks and stuff with the other families (more sets of eyes on all the kids). One lady from my church was so impressed with all the stuff we have planned that she wants me to watch her 7 year old twice a week, 8 hours a day. Her parents could watch but the boy would be stuck at home in front of the tv and she would rather him be with me. I'm active, full of energy, and have a minivan big enough to fit all these kids. The only thing is, Tuesdays I would have 6 kids. To me, this is not a big deal. We live in one of those neighborhoods with a ton of kids who play together outdoors (a rarity these days) and half of them are in my house or on my trampoline in the yard anyway. But here's the thing, today Kathleen says she is uncomfortable having me watch her boys on Tuesdays and wants to arrange for her mom to watch them (they'd be sitting playing video games all day) instead. She said that if they wanted to put the boys in "day care" that's what she would've done last summer. Now, I'm a bit sensitive and so her words stung. Day care? Really? 6 kids is day care? Bringing them to the park, beach, aquariums, etc etc is not what day cares do. Whatever, though, she is entitled to her own opinion. The dad keeps the boys in a bubble. Like, they don't even know how to swim because he won't let them near the water unless they're in life vests (9 and 10 year olds) because he doesn't trust swim instructors and they have a pool in their back yard! And today, we did a field trip to the Natural History Museum and I offered to take them cuz I knew theyd love it, but wouldn't let them skip school even though they've only missed a day. But I digress.

My question is, should I tell the mom from church that I can't watch her son Tuesdays because it's making Kathleen uncomfortable? (I talked to the dad of the other 6 year old 6 hours twice a week kid and he's fine with whatever, he loves that there will be another boy his sons age). Or should I just go with it and let them take the boys off to grandmas house on Tuesdays? I trust Gods plan for me but I want to make sure I'm doing what's good here. What would you do?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Seriously though I would check to make sure that you are not actually over the number of kids allowed. All day-cares are not bad and it's whatever suits your family.
Nightangel
Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Let them go to grandma's house...;)...
Nightangel
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

As far as your initial question, I think it's up to you whether to let Kathleen take her kids somewhere else one day a week or to tell the new kid's parents that you can't watch him.  But I agree with the others--you are running a day care business whether you call it that or not, and I don't know what's insulting to you about calling it day care.  In my state, one adult can take care of 6 kids but there are a ton of regulations that have to be followed, including having your home instpected for safety, keeping records and having WRITTEN permission from the parents to take the kids out of the premises.  I know that a lot of people will pay a friend who is not licensed to babysit and if you have 1-2 kids, you could probably get away with it, but when you start adding multiple kids, you are just risking a lot by not doing things the right way.  Imagine if one of the kids got hurt--your homeowners insurance probably wouldn't even cover it (I'm a lawyer so I always look at the risks).  Plus I don't know about taking 6 boys anywhere with only one adult.  Even if they are well behaved kids, too much could happen and it's hard to watch over so many kids at once. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997

Agree with sabrtooth.  FYI - over the years, there have been Moms like you who actually ended up in court because they were taking care of children over the state limit and running an illegal day care.  I don't remember what the outcomes were, but my advice is - get real.  You need to stop taking care of all these kids IMMEDIATELY!  Do the following immediately:

1.  Apologize to all the parents and explain you need to get licensed by your state because the number of children in your care exceeds the state limits.  Until you are approved by the state, you cannot take care of anybody's child.

2.  Have a state inspector come to inspect your home.  There are testers in the field who come to licensed day cares to verify the caregiver is following all procedures properly.

3.  Call the IRS and find out the requirements for operating a licensed day care.  You are operating a business and you don't want the IRS coming after you.  With computers, it doesn't take much for your state to notify the IRS that you have a license to operate a day care.

Kathy

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

If you watch children in your home FOR PAY, you ARE running a daycare, and depending upon the state you live in, an unlicensed one at that.  In South Carolina, you can only watch 3 children without a license.  In Georgia, you can only watch 2.  Some states count your children in the total.  Some states require children up to 100lbs be in a carseat or booster.  Do you have SIX car seats in your minivan?  Do you realize that if one of those children is injured while in your care, you could be sued?  And if you are running an unlicensed day care, as defined by YOUR STATE, you could go to jail?  Your OWN children could be taken from you, for inappropriate care?

I need to add, that the number of children you can supervise on an outing--be it only to the grocery--drops dramatically.  And most states count your own children in THAT number.  You are playing with fire.  Wake up.