A Mom Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding the Right Childcare

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 

Part-time/full-time daycare

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.
 
 
 

Babysitters

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.
 
 
 

Mother’s Helpers

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.
 
 
 

Nannies

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.”
 
 
 

Childcare Co-ops

These are groups of people, oftentimes neighbors, who take turns watching each others’ kids in lieu of paying for childcare.
 
 
 

College Students

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
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  • Use sites like Care.com and Nannies4Hire.com to find quality caregivers who’ve had background checks, references and reviews.
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  • Find caregivers with a long-standing reputation in your community by asking around at school, church or neighborhood associations.
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  • Have a friend or relative who has a childcare provider they love? Ask for a referral.
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  • Ask about and establish transportation arrangements before hiring caregivers.
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  • Consider your child’s special needs, if applicable, and ensure that your caregiver can handle these.
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  • 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.
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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.

 

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Heather Allard

Heather Allard is a mom of three kids + one big rescue dog. She's a wellness buff, an essential oil educator with dōTERRA, and a self-professed “entrepreneur to the core”.
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25 Comments

  1. Amanda Armstrong

    The great news is there are more resources for parents to find what works for them. One of the best recommendations for a childcare provider usually comes from family and friends you trust. You will see there are more options online to find babysitters your friends know and trust – to help guide you in the right direction. Parents can start a network for free with their friends at and connect with the sitters they know, trust, and hire. Then post a job, whether one-time or recurring to a network of trusted sitters… and get back to taking care of life!

    Reply
  2. Eryn Wiedner

    We have another useful tool: The Canada Child Care Directory is a free resource for parents looking for childcare across Canada. We`re adding new providers weekly so be sure to check back.

    Reply
  3. Rae

    We found our new nanny for our newest (10 weeks, the rest are school age) through Care.com – couldn’t be happier. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Lisa

    Heather you’re a mindreader! My parents & mother-in-law have been minding our son since I decided to really develop my blog and bring it to fruition. That’s been about 15 months (3 since launch) which so incredible of them. But now I think my folks would like their retirement back 🙂 and Otis needs a change. Also I’m teetering on the brink of nervous exhaustion every time I add an item to my mental to-do list that I can’t get to. Thanks for the kick in the butt and laying out the options. You seriously rock! Lisa x

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      You’re so welcome, Lisa! I’m so glad it helped. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment.

      Heather

      Reply
  5. Andrea Pokorny

    My youngest was two in June and other than a couple hours one evening with his Auntie, he has never had any child-care.

    I’m so hesitant to leave my kids with babysitters. We have no family nearby and we are fairly new to our community.

    I realize the importance and would likely get a ton more accomplished if I had a nanny — for even just a couple hours a day.

    I’ve looked into Care.com (but not the nanny one — thanks for that resource). I never decided to pay for the service at Care.com because it looked to me more like a subscription I have to sign up for. Their pricing is rather odd.

    Ideally, some day I will get busy and find the help I need.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Andrea,
      I have three kids (5, 8 and 11) and except for a brief stint with a college grad student (before my son was born), have never had regular care for my children.

      That said, now that all three of my kids are in school, I am amazed at how much I can get done in the three hours before I pick up my son at half-day pre-K. I finally have some solid time to work on business – and maybe more importantly, some ME TIME. 🙂

      If I had to do all over again, I would definitely find some part-time care for my kids (probably a nanny-share or college student) in home so I could work with full-attention while they were being cared for with full-attention. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!
      Heather

      Reply
  6. Candi

    Thanks for the great post. We are here to help with your needs, whether it be a babysitter, nanny, housekeeper, tutor, pet sitter, elderly companion or other misc. care at Nannies4hire.com and Care4hire.com.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Thanks for your help, Candi! I really appreciate your input and the fabulous worksheet you created for The Mogul Mom.

      Reply
  7. Tracy

    Having an au pair is also another option. It’s less expensive than a nanny but isn’t for everyone. You need to have the space and the right mindset. It was a great experience for our family and definitely worth looking into.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Oooh, that’s right Tracy! One of my best friends had an au pair and LOVED her. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Tracey Ceurvels

    This is a great topic for working moms, especially those of us who work at home because it’s not easy to divide “work time” from “family time.” I never had a nanny; I enjoyed taking care of my daughter all along. But now that she’s 3 she goes to nursery school and it’s a win-win for both of us, because I have time to work and she can play with her peers. But I love that there are so many options available now, from sharing a nanny to babysitting co-ops. It’s an important topic to those of us working from our home office, i.e. dining room table.

    Reply
  9. Tracy O'Connor

    I started out taking my youngest two to a parents day out program run by a local church twice a week, five hours a day. It’s amazing how much you can get done with eight solid hours of uninterrupted time. The PDO I chose had a great reputation, affordable rates and kept the children happy & busy with crafts, games, songs and plenty of playtime. It was win-win for the entire family.

    I highly recommend this route to mothers of older toddlers who are planning on making a transition back to work as their kids enter preK/K. It’s enough time to take on a few clients or projects and get your foot back in the door without having to make an abrupt transition.

    Another suggestion I’d have is to clarify tax arrangements with caregivers, particularly with private sitters/nannies. A good friend of mine ran into a situation where her sitter declined to provide tax information as she wasn’t planning on reporting income to the IRS so my friend could not tax advantage of the child care tax credit. I won’t make any judgements about anyone’s arrangements, but do urge parents to get on the same page with their caregivers at the beginning to avoid uncomfortable misunderstandings come tax time.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Great info and advice, Tracy! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Reply

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