Chapter One: Calculating Your Time-Space Percentage 53
Hours Working When Children Are Not Present
In addition to counting all the hours you spend caring for children, you should also
include all the hours that your home is used for business purposes when the children in
your care are not present. This includes time spent cleaning, cooking, planning activities,
keeping records, interviewing, making phone calls, and doing other activities related to
your business. Don’t count hours spent on general home repairs or maintenance activi
ties, such as cutting the lawn, repairing fixtures, or putting up storm windows.
You may not count the same hours twice. For example, if you clean the house during
the day while the children sleep, you cannot count the cleaning hours because you are
already counting this time as caring for children. You may only count these hours if the
children you care for are not present. For example, if between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
you are preparing breakfast for the children in your care and your spouse is cleaning your
home, you can only count one hour toward your Time percentage. If your spouse did the
cleaning the night before while you were not conducting business activities, then you can
count the time spent doing both tasks.
Keep records showing that you spent these hours on business activities and not on
personal activities. If you spend one hour cleaning after the children leave, count this
hour as business time. If you are cleaning your house in general, count only the time that
is associated with the mess created by your business. Mark on a calendar when you do
these business activities, or make up a weekly schedule that you regularly follow.
Example In addition to the 2,550 hours you spent actually caring for children, you spent 60
hours a month (720 hours a year) on business activities such as cleaning, prepar
ing meals, planning activities, record keeping, meeting parents, and making busi
ness phone calls. You add this to your total business hours for the year and get
3,270 hours, which gives you a Time percentage of 37% (3,270 divided by 8,760
hours [24 hours a day x 365 days = 8,760 hours]).
Step Two: Calculate Your Space Percentage
The Space percentage is how much space you use in your home on a regular basis for your
business. You calculate it by using the following formula:
# square feet of your home
used regularly for business
Total # square feet in your home
= Space percentage
For a room to be counted as child care space, it must be used on a regular basis for your
business. Regular means consistent, customary use. Using a room only occasionally for
business is not regular use. A room doesn’t have to be used every day to be considered
regularly used, but using it once every two weeks probably isn’t regular use. If the chil
dren in your care sleep in your bedroom for an hour a day, count the bedroom as being
regularly used for the business. However, using the bedroom for sick children once a
month would not be regular use.
If there are any rooms in your home that you use exclusively for your business, refer
to the section titled Exclusive-Use Rooms before you calculate your Space percentage.