Working at Home & Childcare
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Working at Home & Childcare
I work at home, and my husband and I are planning on advertising for someone
to provide child care for my infant son. A friend of my sister told her that
if I have that kind of arrangement, I will have to file for "S" corporation
and must be responsible for the provider's workers comp and SSI since this
person will be working in my place of employment (which is my home). Does
anyone know anything about this? Has
anyone gone through this situation? Whom should I consult, in terms of
professional advice? Thanks!
No you don't have to become an "S" corporation. You just register with the
Feds and the state to get an employer ID. But legally you will have to pay
employer's side social security and medicare, as well as some state payroll
taxes (disability, and some others), and collect SS and Medicare from your
care giver. (Some of the state taxes are employee-paid but you can elect to
pay them yourself if you wish--they aren't very much.) You aren't obligated
to withhold income taxes. Any accountant can give you the details. We've
been doing this for over 6 years now. They keep making it easier for
household employers: you pay all the federal taxes using Schedule H with
your regular 1040, and there's something similar you can elect to do for the
state taxes but you still have to report the worker's income quarterly.
Note: some of the things I said above in regards to streamlining the process
only hold for wages up to a certain amount per year but the limit is fairly
generous--something like $12,000.
Regarding worker's comp: many homeowners insurance policies include worker's
comp for employees in your home. Getting your own worker's comp insurance
certificate is a big pain and requires a large amount of money up front (which
you would probably never owe in premiums in your case).
I think that technically, your friend is correct. Call or go by Bananas to
get this information. They should have information on all the regulations
(and advice on how to search for and select an in-home care provider). Even
if you are not employed at home, you are supposed to provide SSI, etc.
However, in my search last year, I found almost no in-home care providers
wanted to be employed in this manner, but prefer to be paid "under the table"
so to speak. But since your employment is in your home it may be important
to do it all above board. It is possible to find nannies who choose the
other payment arrangement, but the pool is certainly more
limited. Good luck!!!
Should I get a babysitter?
Personally I found it wonderful to be near the baby and able to continue
nursing regularly. Unfortunately I also found it very difficult to work.
The baby is just too attractive to me and I can't stay focused on my work for
very long. It's also tempting to maybe put in a load of laundry, etc., which
eats at the working time. I believe that it can be effectively done, but not
by me. I don't have the personal discipline. A seperate room where you can
close the door is very helpful.
I was able to find a couple of different sitters over the last year for our
baby. Banana's has some referrals, but I found that most wanted more hours
than they indicated initially. You might be able to find someone who is
already working the other three days a week. You should check Banana's
"split share" file. These are called in by parents who are trying to fill in
the week for their sitter so that they don't lose them to full time work.
The two people I hired were 10/hr. There are people out there who work for
less as well as more.
I wish you the best of luck. There are good people out there.
We had a student who came to our house and took care of our son while I
worked at home. We advertised in the Daily Cal. We also considered placing
an ad through the student employment office on campus but never did. If I
were to do it again, I'd advertise in the Daily Planet. Warning: students
aren't the most reliable but they're the least expensive and it may be easier
to match their schedule to yours, especially if you live pretty near campus.
I agree that it would be difficult to get any work done with your crawling
little one (having attempted that myself!) You could hire a part time
nanny/babysitter for those two days. There are lots of announcements on this
post regarding nannies /babysitters. You can also check the Neighborhood
Parents Network monthly newsletter listings (P.O. Box 8597, Berkeley, CA
94707, 510-527-6667, subscription is $35 per year, $20 for 6 mos.). Nannies
have a range of prices. Ours was $9 per hour for one child, which is
mid-range. It's great that relatives can pitch in for three days a week. If
you have the option of cutting back to working three days instead of
full-time I would give that a lot of thought. The infant and toddler years
are wonderful and also very brief. I cannot imagine you'll ever regret
having sacrificed a bit financially for those two days week if that is what
you decide to do. On the otherhand, there are some wonderful nannies out
there too, so if you go that route I suggest looking for someone you really
feel great about. Good luck!
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