Alternatives To Daycare
Many parents consider daycare alternatives to help balance their work and family life. Rates for childcare vary from city to city and can cost between $250 to $1000 per month depending on the age of the child. There are some simple alternatives that parents can use to help reduce their daycare cost.
The old saying of it taking a village to raise a family still holds true. Grandparents or other family members make the best babysitters, but avoid placing too many demands on them or they may feel like you are taking advantage of their generosity. Many parents can also find childcare resources right in their neighborhoods.
Other parents may be willing to form a daycare co-op or a child swap program. In exchange for watching their kids for an hour or a day, they might be willing to watch yours at another time. The children will likely entertain themselves with a playmate that is close to their age, making your job as supervisor easier. Additionally, a neighbor's high-school-aged daughter may be available as an inexpensive babysitter.
Your employer may be able to provide options, like working from home or alternative scheduling, to help reduce your overall daycare expenses. Many daycare centers offer half-day options. Some larger companies even offer childcare assistance programs or discounts at local daycare centers.
Look into your town's school system once your child reaches 4-years old. Some schools offer half-day head-start or pre-kindergarten programs, which reduce the need for daycare and give a child an advantage in their schooling.