One of the biggest challenges many moms face if they choose to return to work is finding affordable and trustworthy day care for their little one. Choosing a daycare is a huge decision—it’s where your child will learn, grow, develop and be taken care of on a regular basis. Some daycares will run $1,000 per month or more, but luckily there are other options that are just as good and not as spendy.
Types of daycare There are three main types of daycares.
Daycare centres are professional, experienced, dedicated and expensive. Pros of daycare centres include your child interacting with other kids of the same age, following a curriculum program and being watched by highly trained caregivers.
In-home daycares are typically much less expensive than traditional daycare centres. They’re a great way to go if you’re on a tight budget. In-home daycares have less children than traditional centres and given that they are in a private residence, your child may feel more “at home.” Do your research and get to know the in-home provider before making this decision.
Nannies come to your home—ideal for young children who work best in their own environment. Though a nanny may seem more costly upfront, they typically are a “package deal”; in addition to watching your child, they’ll clean your house and cook meals.
Ways to save Always do your research.
Ask a family member if they can watch your child once per week. Repay them by watching their kids or house while they go out of town, pet sitting or inviting them over for dinner on a regular basis.
Ask your job if you can work from home once a week. Many jobs are becoming increasingly flexible thanks to the use of technology. It’s always worth it to ask.
Hire a group nanny. A group nanny watches two families at a time instead of one.
Swap care with other moms. This only works if you’re able to work a flexible schedule. Ask another mom to trade days on watching each other’s kids. This allows you both time to work and get errands run without spending a dime.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ with her husband daughter. She covers topics on crib mattresses, personal finance and travel.