Let me be completely transparent… the one thing that scares me about becoming a parent is simple. It’s not taking care of a new human being, my life completely changing, figuring out a new schedule, standing in a new role in my life… nope, none of that.
It’s literally childcare from the ages of 0-3 or 4 years old. The cost. The people they hire. The atmosphere. Everything about it worries me. I am completely terrified about having to find one, need one, and the quality of care and attention they provide.
There are so many stories in the news about how horrible people are to the children and children in most cases can’t talk or they come home with bruises/wounds and the parents weren’t notified. Like the post here, whew chillay!
It’s a lot to consider and manage in order for your little one to be/feel safe and you to be able to focus without worry/concern at work.
Here are some suggestions for alternatives to daycare.
Some first-time and veteran parents have it made. They don’t have to think much about the quality of childcare and sometimes not even the cost.
A parent, sibling, or family friend can watch the child while the parent is working. Of course, this is the best and most inexpensive option. For other parents, that’s just not a viable option.
Have/find a flexible and/or family-friendly job. Nowadays, parents are looking for jobs that offer them a chance to work from home for part of the week or work from home altogether. This option definitely cuts down on childcare costs as well.
Stay-at-home altogether, not work at all. While this may work for some two-parent homes, it wouldn’t be a viable option for single parents.
Become an entrepreneur by starting your own business from home. That’s an idea that can definitely lead to financial independence and family goals of being able to care for your own children.
There’s also nannies, au pairs, nanny shares, recommendations from family and friends, and finally, taking turns with the other parent.
There are some parents that work from home or have their own businesses, but they still choose to send their children to daycare.
Now, we are back at square one… considering the costs and quality of daycares.
The cost of daycare/childcare, they are interchangeable to me, is going to always be what I call, another mortgage payment. If you are a homeowner, you’ll be paying two mortgages; one for your home and the other for proper care of your small children.
While I believe that good and decent childcare is very important, the knock to the budget for a first-time parent can be jarring. Story here.
Ah, the quality of the daycare you choose is more important than the cost in some cases. Or rather, they could go hand in hand b/c they are relative.
The quality of daycare refers to the teacher to child ratio, the curriculum they may have, the care they provide, meals, the caliber of teachers. The cleanliness of the facility. The times they are open and close. Cost for one vs multiple kids.
Checking out the certifications and licenses of the teachers/facility. The reviews/references they have received from former or current parents. Safety policies, such as how they handle certain things. Have they been in the news lately or ever? How often are teachers in training? How often do the teachers reach out to you?
Can you check-in; call or drop by when you want? How many times? Can you log-in on a site and see your child when you want? Are there cameras in all classrooms? Who controls them?
All of these things are important to know and review with the director/manager when searching for a daycare.
Doing a trial run is suggested as well. Story here. This is a way to get a walkthrough, see things, and feel if anything is not quite right. If there’s a feeling, go with that and don’t look back!
Childcare is a necessary “evil” for some parents especially if they cannot manage to make the alternatives work for them.
While going to work without worrying about your child is the goal, that’s possible with a little research, prayer, faith, and money on your part.
My suggestion is to move through all the options available and choose the best one for your family and budget b/c it’s too important to gloss over or not give it your best efforts.
I hope that children will be safe, parents will be able to focus, and daycares will function as they should or better, which means everyone wins! Problem is… it may cost more than you think, but our children are worth it. ❤
Is there anything that I left out? Would you like to share what worked for you? Comment below.