8 Ways to Get Cheaper Child Care

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photo by Peajewel

Child care is expensive! I just looked into getting someone to watch my baby while I work and it would cost 75 percent of my salary. At that rate, I might as well not work at all. But I did some more investigating and found some great ideas for Cutting the Cost of Child Care in The New York Times online.


Here are the options they gave for reducing costs, but still getting the dependable care you need for your baby:

1. Shared Care. Get together with one or more other families that have a baby and a schedule similar to yours and share a caregiver.

2. Babysitting Co-ops. Join a large group of parents (around 20) and take turns being the babysitter. This works best for nights out.

3. Child Swapping. The idea here is, "You watch my baby while I get work and errands done today, I'll do the same for you tomorrow."

4. A Mommy Nanny. This is when the person who comes to your house to watch your baby while you're at work, brings her own child along. She doesn't have to worry about child care for her baby so you can pay her less.

5. Bringing Baby to Work. There are 100 companies that let their employees bring their little one to work. If you work at one, you are so lucky!

6. Staggering Work Hours. If you have a partner, one of you can go to work later and come home later so you decrease the hours you need a babysitter.

7. Work from home. Tele-commuting is more popular if you've got a job that allows it.

8. Family. Often (but not always) grandparents will sit for free.

For more details on these child care options, read Cutting the Cost of Child Care.

What's your child care situation? Who watches your baby while you're at work, at the doctors, or at the movies?

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