Inexpensive Childcare Ideas
Here are some of the many options that your family might find helpful.
Providing a good childcare environment for kids can be stressful for working parents. With rising childcare costs, it's important to think outside the box.
Relatives: Grandparents, aunts or other close family members can be a great solution if they live in the area. It's a way to reduce costs and strengthen family ties.
Opposite Shifts: If you don't have family near by, working opposite shifts can provide a way of having both parents provide a major role in child care duties. One drawback is that it also reduces time between spouses.
In-home daycare: In-home providers are often less expensive than daycare centers. It can also be a closer simulation to being at home with Mom and Dad.
Before/After-school programs: This can be a good solution for school aged kids. Many of the programs offer intramural sports, crafts and homework help. Some of them are also income based so it can be a convenient and affordable option.
Daycare provider sharing: Sometimes childcare providers give discounts for full time status. Sharing part-time hours with another working mom could also save potential daycare dollars.
Barter: In today's economy, daycare terms are more negotiable than ever. Maybe services can be traded between families to reduce costs. For example, a hairstylist may offer complementary hair cuts fo rth efamily in exchange for reduced child care rates.
Au Pairs: If you have multiple kids, a nanny or au pair may be the most economical option. Part of an au pair's salary is off set by room and board.