When it comes to child care, the services can be expensive. Unfortunately, it’s not an area where you can afford to cut corners. Nothing comes before your child’s well-being, but that doesn’t stop you from needing to work or attend school. Fortunately, if you’re looking for ways to lower the cost, there are some options available.
1. Finding a Care Option that Meets Your Finances
Supporting your family is a huge responsibility. Most of the time, working hours are longer than school hours, meaning there will be times when your child needs to be cared for until they’re old enough to be home on their own.
You may need child care in the morning and after work. If your child is school-age, then you have the option of an early drop-off. Some daycare centers offer deals, especially if you’re dropping off more than one child. College students studying early childhood development look for jobs as nannies. If you can set aside the budget, your child will get the personalized attention they need.
2. Registering for After School Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities
Schools often offer after-school programs, where your child can spend a few hours while you finish work for the day. As your child will already be in an academic setting, it is also an excellent time for them to get their homework done so that you can enjoy your evening together when you get home.
As well as general after-school programs, there are extracurricular activities. Joining a club, starting a sport, or embracing a creative field is excellent for overall child development while giving them a hobby and helping them gain much-needed confidence.
3. Accepting Help from Loved Ones
If after-school programs or extracurricular activities are unrealistic for your situation, it may be time to turn to loved ones for support. It’s very common for family members to step in when necessary. 81% of all guardians are family members, so there’s no reason to feel guilty or embarrassed over the situation. Asking for help is never comfortable, but you probably have friends or family members that would happily watch your child. Think of people in your life with children of a similar age to your own, especially if they’re already close to your kid. After all, if they had to choose between being around people they don’t know well or spending a few hours with their cousins or friends, it’s pretty apparent which they’d pick.
Whoever you choose to look after your child while you’re at work should know if you’ll likely be home late. Your commute will probably mean sitting in traffic for a while as the roads become flooded with other people driving to school and work. All of the vehicles in America collectively travel trillions of miles every month, and while you’re rushing to pick up your child, it can feel like all those cars are on the road at once.
4. Considering Child Care for Special Events
Sometimes you only need child care for a night or a few days for an event like a wedding. Unfortunately, most weddings will happen when kids are out of school for the summer, as only 5% of weddings occur in the winter. If you cannot bring your child to the event, consider hiring a babysitter or getting a family member to stay in the hotel room.
Being able to afford child care can feel impossible, but if you’re mindful of the options available and plan, you’ll be able to plan your finances around having someone you trust to watch your child. Additionally, you can help them devote the time they’re not with you to their overall development by having them join an after-school program or extracurricular activity or leaving them with a nanny or family member that can give them personalized attention.