Family or Friend Caring for Child in Your Home (Full-time): Pretty self-explanatory. Some friends are willing to babysit for a decreased amount. I have a friend who will do $30.00 for an entire day. Family members may do it for free.
Pros: Still in your home with decreased cost. Personal interaction, may be willing to do what a nanny does if they have education and training. You know them well and trust may be increased.
Cons: Some family members who babysit for free don’t listen to the parents. They assume since they’re doing you a favor it’s not necessary. May not have all special skills and education of a nanny.
How to find: Ask your family and friends, see who may be willing to help. Often times you may have mom friends who are willing to help out. They might be looking to make a little extra money, but not want to work the 9-5. This may allow them to bring their own children or run errands with your kids in tow. Just make sure you are OK with this and check their car for correct car seats or give them yours, or buy an extra.
Asking Friends to Help Out (for occasional care): Just this week I had a volunteer interview and one of my husband’s friends was able to watch our son for a few hours. He may have been the least likely person to ask, but once my husband mentioned him I knew it could work (our regular sitter is out of town). He did very well! He has healthcare experience and was willing to babysit for free! Score!
Pros: Are usually willing to help out last minute and often babysit for free.
Cons: May not have as much experience as a regular sitter, and can usually only sit for short periods, not on a regular basis.
How to find a sitter friend: Just ask! Some friends are willing to help out and some are not. Just make sure if your child has any special conditions that they know or you explain items they may not be aware of.