Family Daycare and Paid Leave


Nicole Brekelbaum


Once you come across a dedicated daycare provider you begin to understand that working in the child care field is a labor of love and certainly not labor for monetary gain. According to Magda Martinez, UNM Career Works , "Providers earn $12,058 per year, on average, and seldom receive benefits or paid leave." Family daycare providers who work from home are usually the ones most greatly affected by the absence of paid leave. Most are self-employed and work alone having to devise ways to balance work and personal time.

Nationwide, providers are encouraged to take charge of their professional development and attain certain minimum standards in the area of caregiver training. Classes are offered at local child care associations, non-profit organizations and national seminars and conferences. Most training classes are held after work hours but there are a few professional organizations that host training classes during the work week.

Some family daycare providers with a vested interest in their professional development are finding it necessary to create a daycare policy that allocates, on average, three days paid leave annually for child care training. The arrangement is such that parents pay the providers salary for three days and then search for a substitute caregiver to provide temporary care. This arrangement is not as easy as it sounds. Parents are usually reluctant to pay daycare providers for their personal leaves, and providers in an attempt to remain competitive, compromise their professional development and work year round.

Today family daycare is the most affordable childcare option available to parents. Research has shown time and time again that its low prices and affordability gives parents a huge price break. Is it therefore unreasonable for family daycare providers to request paid leave for three days in the year?

This is a sensitive issue that affects both parents and daycare providers. Parents who use family daycare need to be aware of this issue. Do what feels most comfortable for you and your child. You may find that having to pay for three days of training may not be such a bad idea, given that your daycare provider is one of your childs most important influencers.


Nicole Brekelbaum is a published author, the director of Young Achievers Inc. in Pflugerville, Texas, and founder of Pflugerville Childcare Online. Visit her companys website at http://www.youngachieversinc.com.




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