6 Ways Work-at-Home Parents Can Find Temporary Childcare
No doubt working at home with kids is a challenge. Here are six ways you can find temporary childcare when you need it.
Thanks to COVID, more people than ever are working from home. Some of us will return to an office, but many will continue to work from home even after COVID is no longer a factor in where and how we do our jobs.
Arguably the toughest challenge for a work-at-home parent is balancing the responsibilities within the home, including child care and managing work tasks.
Huffington Post writer and mother Melanie McKinnon says: “Balancing work and family is a physically staggering and emotionally exhaustive undertaking. With every new and exciting opportunity comes a whole host of different positive and negative responsibilities. I’ve found I must maintain strict boundaries in order to delicately balance each highly important area of my life, and it’s a struggle.”
Many parents choose to work at home to avoid the expense of daycare. Still, there are days when having someone to help with childcare duties will prove more effective for everybody.
Below are six ways work-at-home parents can find temporary childcare. These options would typically not be permanent or long-term solutions, but they would provide respite during a busy day and could lead to a few hours per week of peaceful and quiet work.
1. Swap days with another work-at-home parent.
Connect with other work-at-home parents in your community, consider starting a Facebook group, and swap days with other parents. Perhaps you will watch Billy on Thursday afternoons while your neighbor watches your daughter Sally on Monday mornings.
The benefits abound. You receive free childcare, and hopefully your child has a fun play-date.
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2. Hire a high school student who requires volunteer hours.
Most high schools require their students to complete a specified number of volunteer hours prior to graduation.
Consider putting up a poster at your local school’s guidance office requesting for a few days of childcare in exchange for their volunteer hours.
3. Trade services.
Are you skilled in cutting hair, or do you have the ability to change the oil in a car? Perhaps you have a closet full of clothes that could use a new home?
Whatever your skill set, consider trading your services for another’s baby-sitting services. Make sure that the exchange is fair. For example, trade a hair-cut every eight weeks for four hours of childcare every eight weeks.
4. Make use of close family members.
If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have parents, in-laws, or siblings living nearby, consider requesting that they come and help for a few hours per month. Depending on your relationship with your family and their availability, you may be able to get more or less free childcare.
Make sure you are always show appreciation and are generous with them as well.
5. Drop your children off at a local community or church group.
There are some local community and church groups that provide free childcare.
Depending on the age of your children and what is available in your area, you may be able to arrange for weekly free childcare, keeping in mind that you may need to keep your schedule open or be willing to work at a local coffee shop.
6. Use the gym’s childcare for work.
If you are a member of a gym that offers free childcare, consider using their services while you work. Even if you spend 30 minutes exercising and one hour working, you will still be maximizing the money you have already spent. Many gyms now have areas with couches and Wi-Fi where you can comfortably and quietly work.
As always, make sure that you trust the people you leave your children with and know they are qualified and capable.
The face of the working world has changed, and as the work-at-home industry grows, the challenges faced by the workforce will increase, too. Hopefully, with some creative thinking, we can problem solve together and find new solutions to the unique issues surrounding the work-at-home workforce.
Reviewed July 2021
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