This is a partnered post.
How are you managing your childcare? Is that your job? Well, you’re paying caregivers by the hour, you need to know what and who you are paying.
It’s a little bit awkward.
When people work for you, it pays to build a relationship in trust and confidence. There are times when you need that nanny, au pair, or daycare provider you trust with your child to go the extra mile.
The most professional usually know how to run their â€œbusiness.â€ They follow a code of ethics and performance standards behind any certification they hold.
But, much of the help you have comes through family or word-of-mouth. If you’re going to have records on performance that you can submit for tax benefits or reimbursement, you have to opt for a system more reliable than paperwork.
It can be a little awkward to require reporting procedures of people you know, but if you are clear about the process and the need, it should hold your relationship together.
Getting the time right. With a record of time and attendance, you can pay accurately for the work done with no more guessing about time in and out.
According to Payscale, child care center workers earn $7.88 to $14.99/hour. That means overtime is $10.00 to $20.35. Considering regional and demographic differences, there can be big variations on the low and high end.
If your child is in a daycare business situation, you can expect the proprietor to track hours and issue payroll.
But, if the provider is working for you, you need some tool to track the hours when you may be paying well more than the $9.00 median wage.
Processing payroll. If the caregiver works for you, it’s to your advantage to pay through a formal payroll system.
You have the right to income tax credits if you are eligible for the IRS Child and Dependent Care provisions. But, you need the detail to support the claim.
According to a blog for Clockspot.com, â€œEvery week you beg, plead and cajole your staff into filling out their timesheets accurately and on time. When you finally do receive their time (usually late), you then have the pleasure of spending hours compiling the data into Excel (or whatever software you use for payroll).â€
But, if you’re running your own modest independent childcare business, you have business and compliance obligations to keep an accurate payroll.
Building data. With more accurate records, you can better understand your costs and outcomes. For example, the numbers may surprise you if they tell you that the cost of childcare is higher than the income you are earning.
Information on overtime alone may make you reschedule your day or rethink the value of the specific provider.
With a cloud-based time clock, providers can report from any internet accessible platform: smartphone, laptop, or tablet. That mobility reduces complaints and resistance.
It also gives you real-time access to information on attendance and work hours. And, if the business is yours, you can monitor remote workers across locations.
Managing childcare providers
According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, â€œWhether by choice or by necessity, balancing the competing demands of work and child care is one of the most challenging undertakings that a family can have.â€
In one scenario, you pay a relative to basically babysit with out-of-pocket dollars that neither of you report as taxable.
In another, you pay a daycare provider comes to your home or takes the child to their home. If you want to claim these expenses for tax credit, you may want to monitor the hours to corroborate the provider’s report and substantiate your tax credit claim.
Finally, if you own or manage a small, growing, or large daycare center, you need a hi-tech solution that completes payroll report, monitors hours, overtime, P/T, and leaves as well as gathers data and identifies needs.
Michael F. Carroll
Title: Freelance writer at OutreachMama
Mike is a freelance contributor to OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.