Do you reduce your hours of operation for your family child care business during the summer?
Are you thinking about expanding your hours of care for children in the evening or on weekends starting in the fall?
Before you expand your hours you should take the following steps:
- Check with your licensing worker to make sure you are not in violation of any licensing rules. Some states forbid providers from caring for children beyond a specific number of hours in a day. Some states post the hours of operation on a provider’s license. In this situation, if you change your hours you want to update your license. Failing to update your license can create a problem if you are audited and claiming hours not covered by your license.
- Check with your business liability insurance agent to make sure your policy covers you for your expanded hours or days. It may not cost you any additional expense.
- Check to see if your expanded evening or weekend hours would be in violation of local zoning or homeowner’s association rules.
Other than these possible restrictions, you are free to set your own hours and change them whenever you want.
You may want to reduce your summer hours to have more personal time. Some providers only provide care in the mornings during the summer.
You may decide to no longer provide care on Fridays, or close earlier in the day.
You can reduce your hours and keep your same rate. It’s all up to you.
If you either expand or reduce your hours you will need to change your written contract and get parents to sign the new agreement. You can cross out the old hours, write in the new hours and have the parents and you initial the change. Or you can rewrite the paragraph in your contract concerning hours, staple it to your contract and have both parties sign it. Or you can type out a new contract to sign.
If you do reduce your hours it will have an effect on your taxes. Reducing your hours will lower your Time-Space Percentage and doing so will lower the business deductions for your house expenses. I’ve written an article about this: “The Consequences of Reduced Summer Hours.”
But, don’t make your decision about whether to reduce your hours dependent on the tax consequences. If you want to work less, do so! Enjoy life. Providers work too hard as it is.
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com