By: Charlene Fadirepo
One of the biggest and most surprisingly expensive cost of parenthood is DAYCARE. And if you live in a relatively expensive area like I do (DC metro area) then daycare costs are so pricey –they have to be added as a line item on your budget. We recently decided to put our son in daycare –after a long and deliberate family discussion. We looked at a number of alternatives to the full blown costs of daycare -and I have shared few of those options below:
1) Find a Nanny Share– A nanny share is a great option if you only need partial daycare. Perhaps you only need coverage for mornings or just evenings. This works well if you have a friend or a neighbor with kids near the ages of your kids. You and the other mom(s) coordinate the required coverage of the nanny and then share the overall cost of her care. This is a good way to keep a great nanny around –especially if childcare costs are getting too high.
2) Find a Part Time Nanny– Full time nannies are great since they provide your child with dedicated focused time and attention. But you definitely pay for every penny. I was fortunate enough to hire a part-time nanny for my son for ages 4 months to 15 months. During that period I worked from home about 2 days a week so I could cut costs and care for him. Having a nanny for my son during his infant years was simply wonderful. I enjoyed her company and cherished the focused time and attention for my child.
3)Explore Church/Home Daycare Services– Some large churches offer daycare/christian school for young children. The prices of these services may very but they are a worthy option. Also home daycare are also a option. A word of caution take the time to explore home daycare services. Many of these services are run “under the table” to avoid paying taxes. Steer clear of these kinds of home daycare services. Centers that will cut corners on taxes may cut corners on caring for your child!
4) Explore Part-Time/Drop In Daycare– Some daycare centers provide a range of flexibility with attendance. Some programs are only mornings/part-time and others are only a few days a week. Do your homework and select the best option that works with your schedule and budget.
5) Be Nice to Grandpa/Grandma – Grandparents are a fantastic option for daycare –if you are blessed enough to have parents that will sign up to care for your little one on a regular basis. Be sure to do something special so that they know you appreciate their support. If you can’t give them money each week, try bringing them dinner or helping them out around the house.