Neighbors/Parent Swap: I know many parents who swap childcare. I’ve done this with a friend as does my sister. This is perfect for a few hours to run errands or have a date night!
Pros: No cost, trust of friend or family member. Kids are able to play with their friends as well!
Cons: You will have to work around each other’s schedules. May not be reliable for every day work needs. Just depends on the situation, if you and your friend work different schedules, you may be able to work this out!
Dropping children off with family members: Grandmas, aunts, uncles, sisters, cousins, whoever it may be! I also heard of two sisters who shared the money, literally. One sister worked, the other cared for the children and they split 50/50. Sounds perfect to me! And works especially well if one family member wants to work and the other would like to stay home & If you have a close enough friend you may even be able to work it out with them. I would just consider a contract in case things get messy. You may also find family members willing to split the duties. Our friend had a preemie baby and was unable to take her to daycare. Her mom watched the baby 2 days, her mother-in-law 2 and a niece the last day. This is a great option if someone doesn’t have to ability to watch your child full time.
Pros: Usually no cost, children are comfortable with one on one attention and family members.
Cons: Must drop off children before work, pick them up. Family members may not always adhere to your rules. There may not be a structured schedule (for those who like that).
How to find family child care: Talk to your family. You cannot assume that your mother wants to watch your children. I have heard a lot of grandmother’s mention that they really did not want to care for their grandchildren, but did not want to say no. Let your family members know it’s ok if they do not want to as well. I know all situations are different, but communication is key in this scenario. You will also need to discuss the kind of discipline you would like your children to receive. Especially if this is a continuous care situation. Sometimes we assume our parents will do the same as we do or vice versa.