Choosing Child Care

you can decide who is caring for your children, it's important to know your options.  We'd like to take the opportunity to offer some explanations.  See our table at the bottom of this page for a quick and easy Cost Analysis.'s How much does child care cost? is another great place to start too!

What type of care are you looking for?

We find many parents on babysitter/nanny sites today don't know about all the different child care options available to parents only because all the information isn't necessarily in one place to compare them!  Are you looking for a true nanny or just babysitter for which qualifications are not regulated, small or large, licensed in-home child care site which are regulated, or a formal licensed child care facility which is also regulated.

A having true nanny can be fabulous!  She's there to take the kids on playdates, the museum, the park, work on educational activities, potty train, and the list goes on.  She's dedicated to your family and children.  She may take on laundry, personal assistant duties, or other housekeeper services.  However, many people don't realize all of the benefits of a quality, small in-home child care can be just as, if not more fabulous.

Family Values Daycare and Learning Place is a small, licensed in-home daycare site regulated by the State of California and it's our goal to keep child/adult ratios low.  This is very important to us.  Even though according to our license we can have eight children, we prefer to have five or less in our care at any given time.  This is actually one of the best benefits of a small, in-home daycare.  Children spending all day with an adult doesn't allow them to practice the social skills needed to deal with other children that are important to character formation.  As a former credentialed teacher, I'd be the first one to say school is for learning and education.  But I can also not deny that children need to take part in the learning to relate to others their own age that formal school provides that home school can't.  With a small, in-home daycare we can care for enough children that they may always have another to play with in order to learn and practice the social skills necessary to live in the modern world.  However, there are not a large number of children so we can still give each one quality time and not let things get out of control.

Children in a low ratio daycare also gain a sense of respect for others in care.  This is especially important for only-children or children in a family with a large span of years be tween the younger and older children.  It helps to foster a sense of community/empathy between children of different ages and backgrounds that is necessary to developing respect of other points of view.

Additionally, regulated care must submit to yearly CPR Training, First Aid Training, Preventive Health Training, Live Scan Fingerprinting, California State Child Care Orientation, TB Testing, Background Checks, and Home Safety Inspections.

  In-Home Nanny
 Licensed Child care (daycare center or family child care)
 Required Current CPR Training
 No Yes
 Required Current First Aid Training
 No Yes
 Required Preventative Health Training
 No Yes
 Required Current TB test
 No Yes
 Required Current Background Check
 No Yes
 Required Current Fingerprints
 No Yes
 Required Current Pass of State Safety Qualifications
 No Yes

What is affordable for your family?

Cost of a nanny/in-home babysitter

The State of California Tax Law is very clear that if you pay a person such as a nanny or housekeeper (not a service company like Merrymaids) to work in your home, then you are responsible for paying employer taxes on the money paid to these individuals as a "domestic employee".  Employing a nanny from 7am-5pm leaving you time to get to and from work everyday is a minimum total of 50 hours a week.  The minimum wage has now gone up to $10.50 per hour (note some cities like San Francisco is $14 an hour). estimates the rate to pay an entry level nanny (no prior experience) nanny for one child in the Fairfield/Suisun City/Vacaville area ranges from $12 to $13 per hour.  To hire a nanny for one child with 10 years experience estimates the hourly payment should range $15.50 to $16.50 per hour for our area. suggests to roughly add $1 per hour more for each additional child in the nanny's care., a company that specializes in nanny taxes, estimates as the employer of the nanny you can expect to pay at least an additional $45.30 a week in employer taxes for a total of $565.30 a week ($10.40 per hour X 50 hours per week + $45.30 employer taxes).  At the end of the year you should be able to write off $11.54 of the weekly $45.30 employer taxes.  If you pay minimum wage ($9 per hour), you'll pay $489.94 each week for a 50 hour a week scenario and $39.94 of which is your employer taxes.  Plus, you, as the employer are responsible for also providing all craft supplies, meals, outings, and furnishing an automobile/city transit fees or compensating the nanny for the use of her car and transportation/added insurance expenses.

Licensed Regulated Care
At a small or large, in-home child care site, or a formal child care facility no one family carries the burden of all operating costs.  Almost like a nanny share, it's cheaper when the costs are spread between several families.  What your invoice says is all you owe; meals, snacks, and crafts are all included with no extra taxes and no healthcare costs either.  For us the $200 weekly charged for one child for 10 hours each day includes all of those things and outings/field trips costing $10 or less per child.  Plus you earn a $600 for one child full time and $1,200 tax deduction on your federal taxes for two children in full-time care.

Cost Analysis Table

 In-Home Nanny Licensed Child care for 1 child estimate (daycare center or family child care)
10hour work day 5x a week CA min wage $11per hr (50hrs a week) 1 child $605 $200
Household employer taxes (required by federal law) +$39.94 +$0
Meals and snacks for Children and Nanny +Min $40 +$0
Household Expenses (electricity, water, etc) +Min $10 +$0
Car expenses (gas, extra insurance, maintenance) for nanny to use (or pay her to use her car) +Min $10 +$0
Craft/Educational Materials Costs +Min $5 +$0
Outing Costs +Varies from $5-$20 depending on the outing +Typically no cost (we pay up to $10 per child at no additional cost)
Child Care Tax Credit when filing yearly taxes (-$600yrly)
Min Full-time nanny total cost per week 1 child
 =Min $703.40 after the $600 Child Care Tax Credit is figured in
$714.94 out of pocket before C
hild Care Tax Credit
 =$188.46 after the $600 Child Care Tax Credit is figured in
-$5 early pick up credit for full time care
$175-$200 out of pocket before C
hild Care Tax Credit
Min Full-time nanny total cost per week 2 children paying $12 an hour Min $756.86 after CCTC
$779.94 before CCTC
 $376.92 after CCTC
$400 before CCTC
Other Considerations for Cost
  Health Care for Nanny
  Provide a Car for Nanny No