For most parents, the day is bound to come when your maternity/paternity leave ends and you have to head back into the office. But, what happens then? Who is going to watch your baby? What options do you have for childcare? It doesn’t matter if you are pregnant, just had a baby, or your child is a few years old and you’re heading back into the workforce, you’re going to need daycare help. We’ve put together a list of some of the best childcare options for families, so you can start making an adjustment and find what’s right for you.
This is probably the most common type of childcare that people opt for when heading back to work. One of the biggest downfalls of daycare is the cost -- Daycare averages $950 a month for one child. Although it’s expensive, this is the most reliable form of daycare. You never have to worry about the daycare calling out sick and you can rest assured knowing that they are licensed in CPR and childhood education.
- Cost: Average $950/ month
- Con: Many daycares don’t offer services for infants
This is different from regular daycare in that the daycare is a private establishment, usually taking place in a private home. Although this option is a little less expensive than the standard daycare, you need to do a lot of background checking on your own. Home daycare is very flexible in working with individual needs and are more personable and welcoming.
- Pro: Nurturing and homelike atmosphere
- Con: Closed on Holidays and vacations - Less reliable than regular Daycare
Starting to become the most popular option for parents, especially if you have more than one child as this option becomes most cost effective. This is one of the safest and most convenient options, as your child gets to be watched in their own home. This is perfect for those families that have some flexibility in their schedule, as the nanny may call out sick and/or take a vacation. Perfect for those with families that can work from home part time or even work in public service; like police, firefighters, nurses, etc. because this is the most flexible form of childcare.
- Cost: Average $2,500/month
- Pro: Flexible with schedule
- Con: Not as reliable, children aren’t socialized with other kids as frequently
This is like adding another member to your family. An au pair is an amazing experience for children, as they bond with the same individual as they grow. Au Pair’s usually live in with the family and are can stay in the US for up to 2 years. This is perfect for families who wish for their children to become bilingual and learn about other cultures. It is costly, but for a good reason, as this is their only mean of income and they are available to you 24 hours a day.
- Cost: Average $12,000-$15,000/year
- Pro: Gaining a member of the family
- Con: Must have a room available for the Au Pair to live with you
This is the most ideal situation, if someone else is watching your child. But, since it’s family you can also feel like you are imposing - This care is free and most family members won’t accept payment. But, you can rest assured as your child will be watched by someone you trust and know they have the same values as you. But, be aware that some of your parenting techniques may fall on deaf ears, as grandparents and aunt and uncles have also more than likely raised children and “know what’s best”.
- Pro: Special Bond with a family member
- Con: May cause family tension
Whatever option you find best suited for your lifestyle, make sure you do your research and reference checks. Ask around for personal references and give yourself time to make sure you’ve found the right fit. Going back to work isn’t easy, so make sure you make it as stressless as possible.