How to Find Quality + Affordable Child Care
It’s one of the most stressful things I’ve done as an adult. Finding quality and affordable child care is HARD! Whether you’re looking for a little ‘me time’, need full-time care because of work or fall somewhere in between (raises hand), it’s difficult to find someone you can trust to watch your child. As my freelancing business has started to pick up, I’ve realized that my two day a week, for 3 hours each day, child care options isn’t going to cut it.
I recognize that I need something more because I don’t want to be tied to my computer every time my son goes down to sleep. Or if I am tied to my computer, I want it to be because I’m learning something new, intentionally planning my capsule wardrobe or something of the like. Heck, I’d even appreciate some screen-free time with my honey!
The Mom Guilt is Real
Even though I know I want and need to find a child care options that offer more days or longer hours, there is also a fair amount of mom guilt associated with moving him. It sucks!
Compound that feeling of guilt with trying to find something affordable and of quality, and you’re essentially looking for a needle in a haystack. Or at least that is what it feels like in the process. I’ve realized in my quest to find quality and affordable child care that I may have to get creative.
Of course, there are a lot of AMAZING child care providers out there, but some of them can get quite expensive. I would love to send Grayson to a Montessori program, but that’s just not in the budget.
Because I’ve been working to solve this very real need I have, I figured it might be helpful to share some of the options I’ve considered with you guys! Below you’ll find my list of affordable and quality child care options that you can explore in your area.
Creative + Affordable Childcare Options
This one is actually a very affordable option! Each of my local churches offers a different program. They range from 2 days a week to 5 days a week, and cost between $120-$180 per month. You read that right. Per month. This is by far, the most affordable option I’ve found, and the people working there are great.
You don’t have to be a member of the local church to take advantage of their child care services.
At Home Daycares
This is a great option if you’re on the fence about childcare in general. However, the best way to find this option is through someone you know. This is an option I’m considering, but only because the woman is a member of my local MOMs Club chapter, and several of the women have used her services and had great experiences. Costs will range here, but she offers drop in rates at $45 per day, $150 per week for part time care or $200 per week for full time (7A-6P) care.
So, MOMs Club doesn’t actually offer child care, but it’s a great place to learn about child care options. Some of the women may run daycares out of their homes and many will have children in child care, or have babysitters that they love. This is how I’ve found out about many of the options on this list I’ve created.
It’s so important to talk to and get to know other moms in your area. Why? Because they have been in your shoes, they know the struggle of finding quality child care, and can help you with the vetting process.
Moms Morning Out + Kids Day Out
Some churches offer more robust child care programs (meaning 3-4 days a week), while some offer a 1-2 day a week option. These are typically your Mom’s Morning Out (MMO) and your Kids Day Out (KDO) programs. They are typically 1-2 days a week and for about 2-3 hours a day.
This is what we currently do. It’s super affordable, about $120 a month, and it gives me an opportunity to get some stuff done for work or around the house. If they average 6-8 days a month that they operate, then your looking at about $3.50-$5 per hour for child care. You’re not going to find a much better price.
Swap Hours or Days
If you’re a member of a MOMs Club, or know other moms in your area, you may want to suggest swapping hours/days for watching the kids. This way, one of your watches the kids for a few hours on Monday, and the other Watches the kids for a few hours on Wednesday. You guys can do whatever works for you. It’s totally customizable based on the needs of who ever wants to participate.
Not all of us live near or are close to family, but if you do live near family and you’re close with them, they might be an option for child care? Particularly if you have a relative that is retired. I typically use family for date nights or special occasions because to have family over the house everyday or multiple times a week would be a lot for me and them, but it’s definitely an option to explore.
Care.com is a great website that helps connect caregivers with people that need care services. You can create a profile, specify your needs and meet qualified caregivers. I’ve used Care.com on both sides of the fence, meaning, I’ve created a profile as a caregiver and used it to find childcare.
Care.com does a background check on caregivers, from there the vetting process is really us to you. You interview and determine who is going to be a fit for you. This isn’t always the most in expensive option, but it’s an option nonetheless that you can consider. Many caregivers may even have reviews from people that have previously used their services.
I realize that many of these options are for part-time child care and don’t meet the needs of a full-time working mom or dad, but if you’re a stay-at-home-mom looking for a few hours to get some work done or caught up with things around the house, these are great options.
If you’re a worn out mom looking for a little extra help, I get it. It’s okay to want, look and ask for help! If you’re a mom in need of a little extra help, share this post and show other mamas out there that it’s okay to want help and it’s not something to feel guilty about.