Saving money on childcare
Guest post by Kate from Handmade Cooperative
The logistics of children and work can be difficult, not to mention expensive and inflexible. Many families turn to grandparents for help with childcare, but relying on relatives can be a heavy burden on the family. Instead, have you ever considered child sharing with a friend?
Like me, you probably have several friends who have children about the same age as yours. And being friends, there will be a person who has similar values and parenting techniques. If your friend doesn’t live too far from you, why not arrange your part time work days to be complementary. When you are at work, the children stay at your friend’s house and are cared for by someone you know and trust in a home environment. On your days off, you take care of her children in your home. What a great arrangement.
I have been sharing the care of my preschool aged children with my friend for three years and we really benefit from the child sharing arrangement. It is as flexible as we want it it be. The children become great friends – like twins – and learn more from one another than they do from adults. Plus, the children are entertained by their playmates, which makes them less dependent on mum. They get the benefit of a whole new range of values and experiences.And it’s free!
Of course, there are disadvantages. It really is like having twins, so the children do tend to share illnesses amongst themselves and you need to be super organised to coordinate outings with double the number of children. You also have to double up on the baby stuff, like high chairs and car seats. There is also the added complication of finding care for your children when your friend goes on holidays or becomes sick. But overall the benefits to your family outweigh the difficulties and if you and your friend treat each other as friends, instead of child care, you will always be able to arrange a happy environment for your children.
This is a guest post by Kate from Handmade Cooperative, a showcase bringing you the very best in Australian handmade.