Affordable child care is a must in this day and age, especially since most households must have two incomes. In order for most parents to work, they must have affordable child care. However, sometimes it seems as though you’re spending the majority of your wages just to pay for child care.
It can be a vicious cycle at times.
Although it can be difficult to find child care that doesn’t require most of your wages, it’s not impossible. The following ideas may help you find a more affordable child care option than you currently have.
Split the Cost of a Nanny
If you know someone else in need of affordable child care, you may be able to split the cost of a nanny. This is known as a nanny-share, and it involves two of more families sharing one nanny. This could mean that each family gets a nanny on different days of the week, or it could involve the nanny watching both family’s children at the same time. Either way, splitting the cost of a nanny will usually result in more affordable child care for both families and a slightly higher wage for the nanny.
This may not work well for some families, but it’s still an option. If you have a trusted friend or family member with children, consider taking turns watching each other’s children. If you both work full-time jobs, you may only be able to take turns watching each other’s children a few hours each day, but it can still cut down on child care costs. If you work from 7 AM to 3PM and your sister works from 10 AM to 6PM, for instance, she could watch the children in the morning, and you could watch the children at night. That would only leave five hours that both of your children would need child care each day.
Some college students have somewhat flexible schedules. You could post a notice at your local college or leave word with a college professor that you’re in need of affordable child care. You may luck out and find a college student who’s heading toward a child care or teaching career that’s willing to give you a lower rate than local daycare centers.
Opt For In-home Child Care
Traditional daycare centers are generally more expensive than smaller home-based daycare centers. These larger daycare centers have much higher costs, meaning that they must charge more. Individuals who run home-based daycare businesses, however, have less costs and are also able to care for their own children while they work. Because of this, they are usually able to charge a little less.
Consider a Live-in
Although it would seems as if a live-in nanny would actually be more expensive, in some cases it’s a more affordable child care option. You may be able to pay a discounted rate to a child care provider, if you give them a place to live for free. Just make sure that your child care provider has a private space and their own bathroom, if possible. You should, however, still pay them a reasonable hourly wage.