For mom entrepreneurs, the decision to hire a childcare provider is one that comes with some big financial and emotional strings attached. We often forgo any help with the kids because of the cost and the guilt.
But before letting your pursestrings or heartstrings rule out child care, consider how much you will boost your productivity if you don’t have to constantly toggle between your tasks and your little ones.
Racheal Cook, founder of Richmond, Virginia-based The Yogipreneur LLC, hired a child caregiver and never looked back.
“For the entire first year of my now 18-month old twins’ lives, I didn’t have any childcare aside from myself and my husband. I couldn’t stand the thought of missing all the firsts and not getting to enjoy these first precious years,” she said. “Having a nanny for 15 hours a week usually runs me about $600 a month, but for a solution that I’m the most comfortable with, it’s worth every penny.”
If you’re like Rachael and would love to take the leap and find a childcare provider, here are some options to meet every budget and comfort level.
Finding the Right Childcare
Types of child care
Depending on how much you work, you may want to consider day care. You can choose from part-time or full-time daycare depending on the number of hours you work and the type of work you do.
If this is your first foray into childcare, start off slowly with part-time care and then switch to full-time care when you feel more comfortable.
In addition to the traditional methods of locating a babysitter, the Web has taken it to a new (read: easier) level. Care.com is a virtual marketplace of caregivers where you can access candidates’ pictures, locations, descriptions, rates, and background information.
These are the tweens and teens who are “babysitters in training”. They can help you around the house with both childcare and household tasks, usually while you’re at home with them, and are an affordable option for mom entrepreneurs on a tight budget.
A step up from babysitters, nannies are a great choice for many mom entrepreneurs, and with sites like Care.com and Nannies4Hire.com, it’s easier than ever to find the perfect nanny for your family.
Does having a nanny sound too expensive for you? Think again.
‘The economic downturn has everyone looking to cut costs whenever possible, so the concept of ‘nanny sharing’ has grown in popularity this year,” says Nannies4Hire President, Candi Wingate. “There are several ‘nanny sharing’ scenarios, including having one nanny watch kids from several families simultaneously or having one nanny work part-time for two different families, spending a few days with each family. These options help reduce costs, while still providing the benefits of having a nanny.”
These are groups of people, oftentimes neighbors, who take turns watching each others’ kids in lieu of paying for childcare.
Scope our your local colleges and universities to find college students who might be a perfect caregiver for your family, especially those majoring in education, medicine or nursing.
How to choose the right childcare for your family
- Download our nifty “How to Recruit, Interview + Hire a Nanny” worksheet courtesy of Nannies4Hire.com founder Candi Wingate
- Use sites like Care.com and Nannies4Hire.com to find quality caregivers who’ve had background checks, references and reviews.
- Find caregivers with a long-standing reputation in your community by asking around at school, church or neighborhood associations.
- Have a friend or relative who has a childcare provider they love? Ask for a referral.
- Ask about and establish transportation arrangements before hiring caregivers.
- Consider your child’s special needs, if applicable, and ensure that your caregiver can handle these.
- Make sure the caregiver is someone who has the type of qualities you require. Don’t settle just because you’re in a hurry to find someone.
By following these steps, you will find the right childcare for your family, the kind that suits both your budget and your heart.
What kind of childcare are you looking for? Share with us in the comments.