Do You Offer Overnight Child Care?

A parent in your family child care program asks you if you will care for her child overnight Sunday. You’ve never offered overnight care before.

What should you do before agreeing to this?

First, you are not required to offer care whenever a parent wants it. Some child care providers would refuse because their weekend time is too important to them. They want to spend time with their family and rest.

Before providing overnight care you should make sure your child care license allows you to do so. In some states, the child care license lists the hours of care and any change needs to be approved by the licensor.

You should also check with your business liability insurance agent to find out if your policy covers you when providing overnight care. Some policies may only cover you for the specific hours of care listed on the policy.

What Should You Charge?

You are free to set your own rates for overnight care. In my opinion, your fee should be much more than your normal rate because of the scarcity of such care and the inconvenience to you. Some providers charge time and a half or double their normal rate. You can call this your “non-standard hour” rate or your “overtime” rate. If the parent wants overnight care on a regular basis you may want to give them a slight discount for multiple days.

Providers who serve military families sometimes care for children 24 hours a day during parent deployments. During these special circumstances their rates are usually not significantly higher.

Tax Consequences
There are a few tax benefits for providing overnight care. You can count all of the hours the child is
in your home as part of your Time-Space Percentage.

If a child arrives at 5pm on Sunday and stays over until your normal daycare hours begin at 7am on Monday, you can count the extra 14 hours.

If you serve food to the child (dinner, snack, etc.) you can count this as a business expense, regardless of whether or not you are reimbursed by the Food Program.

If the child sleeps in a room that is not otherwise regularly used by your business, and the overnight care happens every week, you could count this bedroom as “regularly used” when calculating your Time-Space Percentage.

Tom Copeland –

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Categories: Contracts & Policies, Record Keeping & Taxes, Time-Space Percentage

2 replies

  1. I just found out this week that home-based childcare facilities are unable to participate in the “School Readiness Tax Credit” as an employee because we are unable to present a “W-2” for the 2017 tax year. I have had my home-based childcare for just over 42 years and the IRS has always required me to submit a “Schedule C” to report my earnings; not a “W-2.”

    I have met ALL criteria for the School Readiness Tax Credit (Participating in Step Up To Quality, Education, Training hours, Years of experience), except producing a “W-2.” Is this discrimination to home-based childcare facilities, or is this perfectly correct?

  2. It’s definitely discrimination. Family child care is not included in this tax credit, unfortunately. The only way you could be eligible is if you formed a corporation and the corporation hired you as its employee and issued you a W-2. But, I don’t believe doing is worth it because of the many downsides of being a corporation

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