Re: In (your) home childcare rates?
FWIW, in south Dayton area, we were paying roughly $1000 a month for 1 kid at day care when he was 1 & 2 years old. We switched to a women that watched kids out of her house for $30 a day (or $55 a day now that we have 2), which works out to $610 ($1155) a month.
I would suspect someone working at your house, watching your 4 year old as well as you school age child (for some portion of the day) is going to be the most expensive option of the 3.
There are advantages to all 3, and setbacks.
The day care is more expensive then taking them to a sitter and is generally going to be more structured. However, as we found, the people watching our son in the morning were not the same as the ones in the afternoon and were often not the same people in the room when my wife came to pick them up, so the "how was his day" question was often left unanswered. On the plus side, if one of the day care workers gets sick, there is someone there to fill their place as most will hire floaters to go from room to room and fill in the gaps due to need/vacation/sickness/etc...
We love our sitter, she does work on the ABCs, does artwork projects and anytime the weather is decent, she gets the kids outside as much as possible. I'd imagine the quality of care differs greatly from one person to another, so you'll want to ask around, talk to other people who love their sitter if you know them.
I would expect my at home provider to work on the ABCs, counting, etc... they're also making lunch and in the case of a 4 year old, who is probably only taking (1) 1-2 hour nap, they should be engaged w/ their child pretty much the whole time they are there. To think that they are going to be sitting on their couch all day is foolish. If you want to find somebody on the cheap who will do that, I'm sure they can be found, but a good at home sitter should keep TV viewing to a minimum (a movie could be a treat, perhaps 30 minutes of TV time after a nap or something, but the TV shouldn't be on all day), they should be helping your childs learning and knowledge.
What you don't get in the at home provider is the economy of scale. Watching 2 kids is more work than 1, but watching 6 kids isn't significantly more work than watching 3 kids, which means you can save money b/c their splitting their time working on the same things w/ multiple kids rather than working on the same project w/ just 1 child. The benefit of an at home provider should be obvious, they will have 1 on 1 time with your child and can attend to their every need at the moment presented. If your dealing w/ multiple children, needs are meet as they come up/prioritizes themselves.
the $10 an hour price above seems about right, which is going to translate into roughly $1600 a month depending on how many work days there are in a month. Day care is almost always more expensive than people think at first blush.