Find Affordable Babysitters and Daycare

We all love to spend our time with our children, but many of us work or need some time away. For this, we need daycare or a babysitter at an affordable price. How can we find affordable caretakers? You may need to be creative for some of your daycare needs.

Find a Support Group

Several years ago, I read Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. (I don’t recommend this book.) The author moved to each place to find a job and a place to live on minimum wages. She went to every place without a community of support and, thus, “failed” to get by. From the many times I moved, I always found a support group with a local congregation of my church. I had friends and support within a few weeks of moving to a new place. What a blessing—but one I had to look for.

So look for support groups among churches, neighborhood groups, library groups, and other local organizations in your area. You’ll need to ask around, but it’s worth it to create a support network for you and your children, whether you’ve lived somewhere for a week or a decade. From this support group, you can find affordable daycare with others you trust.

Vet a Babysitter or Daycare

Before you trust anyone with your child, do your own research on that person. Any person, including close relatives, can be abusive or extremely neglectful. Listen to your gut about this person, even if they appear likeable. LIKEABILITY IS NOT TRUSTWORTHINESS as predator expert Anna Salter emphasizes. Often a mother’s instinct is correct. If you’ve noticed your instinct has been off in the past, have someone help guide you. Check the sex offender registry, social media profiles, and google their names. Also pay attention to reports from adults and children about the potential babysitter. If possible, ensure two people are watching your children. Take extra caution with infants and toddlers.

Your best defense is having open communication lines with your child open and teaching them what is and is not appropriate.

For more information, I suggest reading Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators by Dr. Leigh Baker and Predators… by Anna C. Salter.

Relatives and Friends

Never overlook free options for daycare from trusted family and friends. Usually this only works for small amounts of time of daycare. If you have a regular job, you can alternate care with several people so no one burns out. Make it like multiple play dates.

Trade Babysitting

While my husband attended college, we lived in married student housing so I knew many other student moms. Two of these student moms traded babysitting while the other one attended class. They mutually benefitted without having to pay a dime. They forged a friendship and trusted the other to babysit. You can try this arrangement with someone you know from the support network you’ve built.

Alternate Schedules with Dad

Some parents alternate their schedules so one of them is always watching their child. Even some separated couples do this too. One may work weekends and the other works during the week. Or work days and the other works evenings. Sometimes, this only needs to be a temporary circumstance.

Find a Job with a Daycare

Some parents apply for jobs that have free or discounted daycare on site. My local community center offers free babysitting for employees. Even though they may not pay well, employees can save quite a bit on daycare. You may choose to work at an actual daycare and get discounted rates. Others start their own daycare in their home.

Community Resources

Sometimes you can’t do it on your own with multiple bills and you need to apply for head start, go to a crisis daycare, or get help paying bills. You may check into your local YWCA or other community group. Look to see if you qualify for government daycare assistance too. You can find out at your local welfare office.

Hire Someone You Know

You may be able to hire someone you know for less than what it would cost at a normal daycare. You may pay them less than minimum wage or a little more. Chances are, it’s cheaper.

Good Luck!

Now you have a chance to go on a date or go to the doctor and feel okay leaving your child with someone else. We all need breaks and then we can come back refreshed to care for our children.

Suggested Reading

Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators by Dr. Leigh Baker

Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders by Anna C. Salter

Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

I'm a crazy redhead. I have three hyperactive boys and a wonderful husband. I earned my BA in English Language from BYU. I grew up in Southeastern Utah in the middle of nowhere. I now reside by a big lake in Utah.
Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

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