After School Care : Some Helpful Tips
So you’re ready to start the school years. While in some respects it promises to be easier than the early child care dilemmas you may have navigated, after school child care can also be a tricky area ( yep, not what you wanted to hear ! ).
Demand is high and places are limited. And that’s why many parents look to other options. To find great after school child care, why not think outside the square? A babysitter, nanny or even a shared arrangement with family members or friends might be just the solution you need.
Family and friends
Family and friends are often the first point of call when looking for after school child care. Ask around to see if there is anyone who might be interested. You might be surprised who responds.
Look to other parents
Once you have started school and have got to know the other parents, you might even suggest sharing the care. Perhaps you could look after a few kids one afternoon a week, with each parent having a dedicated day. It’s certainly an option when money is tight and one that many parents find easy and convenient.
Hire a babysitter – or two
For those without available friends or family members, a babysitter is often the first option for after school care, but if you’re having trouble finding someone who is regularly available on the days you need, why not split the job. You may have more luck finding two people who are available for a few shifts each, and as a bonus, there could be a backup should one of them ever be unavailable.
University students can sometimes be a good option here. Just be sure to check references, and outline the exact nature of the role. If you do need someone to pick up the kids after school for instance, you may need someone older who has their own car.
For a more qualified level of child care, especially for multiple children, you may want to consider hiring a nanny. Just be aware that as soon as you hire anyone on a permanent basis (even if they are part-time) you are legally an employer, so you will need to deduct tax, and ideally have a contract.
Of course, whichever path you choose for after school child care, it’s worth keeping your options open, and remaining flexible. You might have thought you’d only ever be comfortable with grandparent support for instance, only to find a great nanny who is affordable, professional and an asset to the whole family.