Doing Your HomeworkIf you are researching individual daycare providers such as a nanny, full-time sitter, or other childcare professionals, you can enlist the help of an agency to investigate a candidate's background. You can also do your own reference check by calling each family they have worked for and asking a few important questions.
Here are a few questions to help you get the conversation started:
- How long did this individual care for your children?
- What were the ages of your children at the time?
- When and why did they stop working for you?
- How did you find this individual?
- Would you recommend this person to other families?
- Would you hire this individual again?
- Did this individual go beyond the basics and actively engage in fun activities with your children?
- Is there anything that you would want other families to know about this person?
Becoming an EmployerA major part of the daycare equation is inevitably the cost. Parents heading back to work need to make sure that their income will allow for the type of daycare they have chosen for their child. Depending on the state in which you live, you may be able to claim some or all of the costs of your daycare needs.
However, if you have hired a private daycare provider, you may have to pay the government a portion of your employee's social security taxes in addition to their regular fees or salary before you can deduct anything from your taxable income.
Be sure to research this aspect before hiring a daycare provider and make sure this individual is prepared to be working "on the books" if you are hoping to take advantage of any childcare tax benefits available to you.
Those parents who bring their children to a daycare center do not technically need to be concerned with this aspect of the daycare process because they are technically customers (not employers) in the eyes of the government.