Received Friday, August 22, 2008. - Perspective & Opinion
Hello, I have never posted here, so I hope I'm doing this right. I would like some advice from childcare providers regarding pay. I have a very sweet lady who provides daycare out of her home, and she keeps my son for me whenever I ask. This isn't very often at all, but if I have a field trip for another one of my boys, she never turns down my request for help. My three sons love her and she is incredible with kids.
The problem is that I feel I am underpaying her. I pay her the rate she charges, but I really feel awful about it because I would happily pay her twice her going rate. In the past I have overpaid her, but then I feel bad, like maybe she thinks I'm tipping her and is feeling insulted about it. I have great admiration and respect for her, but truth be told, we're not friends. I am very shy and I don't know how to broach this subject with her. I have heard other moms say that she doesn't need the money, she just does this as something she enjoys, which is why she charges so little. But I feel terrible paying so little, especially because she always helps no matter how short the notice is (i.e. I can call her on Tuesday to see if she can keep baby on Friday).
I know this probably sounds like a dumb concern, but it stresses me out every time I go to pay her. How can I address the issue without offending her, or should I just shut up and pay what she asks, even though I don't think it's fair to her?