The following is a guest post that covers a topic that all single moms face at one time or another. There will always be a need for childcare solutions. I’m sure that after reading this article you will find something that fits your situation. The article is a bit dated but it is still relevant. Enjoy!
Samantha Gregory, Editor
Daycare Solutions For Single Parents
By Kim Kelly
It’s 2009, the new year has arrived and he economy is steadily tanking. This year a big concern for parents in general, but a bigger one for single parents who not have the luxury of that second income, and extra hand to help juggle the kids. When daycare takes a large chunk of change out of that our one income, it really requires single parents to find creative solutions. Yet quality of care still has to remain a top focus while we cut the daycare costs as much as possible.
Here are just some of my ideas to help you think through what works for you and your family:
1. When available, having a relative watch our children is always a key choice. Often it is an affordable choice as well. A relative will help for FREE at times, or for a lower fee than a daycare facility or in-home Nanny would cost.
2. Trade daycare services with another single parent. For example, if you work at night and your single parent friend works during the day there is a wonderful solution to keeping each other’s children and often for Free, or for the price of diapers and meals/snacks.
3. Start a neighborhood block, or apartment coop with other parents that are in need of finding quality and cheap daycare solutions. This is a great way of trading time that requires you to work in the Coop on assigned days, nights or weekends as part of your payment to use the services. Often your coop would charge a nominal fee for costs to keep the coop running and provide meals, books, and supplies.
4. If at all possible, telecommuting to work is another possibility. But, often this positions are hard to find this arrangement especially in our economy today. However, software sales, healthcare sales positions often have positions that have employees working from a home office due to the territory they cover and the travel involved in this position.
5. Working part-time or job sharing can be found in some positions today. For example, Microsoft often had over the years receptionist job sharing positions where one would work mornings and the other would work afternoons. This way a full shift is covered but with two people job sharing the duties. Ask your employer if this is a possibility. You don’t know until you ask.
6. As you know, the daycare facilities run the ladder in prices and services they offer. Often your State will have subsidized programs, as well as larger employers will have subsidized daycare facilities where they pay a portion of your costs. A very nice perk. Research is required to find the facilities who offer well rounded programs depending on your income.
7. In home Nannies are also a possibility but affording in-home care is often very expensive. Check into local churches who have a large population of immigrant members. You might get lucky and find a wonderful Nanny from such countries as Russia who once taught school before coming to the United States. I have been very fortunate when my children were school age to find the best Nannies through this solution.
8. Network, network, and network. Tell everyone you know you are looking for help. You would be surprised who knows who. And in this economy more and more highly skilled people are out of work and looking for a change. Don’t be shy or too proud to ask for help. You will be amazed at how many people will reach out to you with ideas, and solutions.
Good luck in this very important search. I know you will be creative and find just the right solution that meets your specific needs.
Kim Kelly is the Editor in Chief; Founder & Publisher of My Crew Magazine http://www.mycrewmagazine.com a FREE online lifestyle magazine for single parents. Kim can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org