If there's one topic of conversation that's likely to bind parents together, childcare. How difficult it is to find, how much it costs, and of what level of quality it is. With more and more families requiring two incomes to cover their expenses, and more women wanting to continue on their career paths after having children, childcare is a hot topic.
Finding affordable, quality childcare is not always easy. Availability and reliability has long been a problem. The other problem is that new moms don’t always know what they’re looking for.
Essentially, parents want the same thing – their children to be safe and happy in an environment that is fun, educational and nurturing. It’s also important to think about the type of care your child needs.
To do this, take into consideration your child’s temperament, likes, dislikes, health, interests, behaviour, social interaction and need for individualised attention. You must also, of course, take your own budget into consideration. You may feel that your child would do better with other members of the family supporting like grandma or an auntie. Or you might want a live in support who could also help around the house. Other parents would prefer the social interactions that come from going to a creche - but costs for these could get really high - especially for centres in high demand. Always look to get recommendations from other parents and be open to change if things don't seem to be working.
How much will childcare cost me?
The truth is that it all depends on what choice you make. Childcare via family members could be absolutely free or just be a token cost of the movement to your or their home. For live-in or live-out nannies - the cost is dependent on the area you live and the level of experience of the individual. Always endeavour to get background checks done wherever possible and vet all references provided to you regarding previous employers. You want to be very thorough!
The cost of creches vary widely and are dependent on a number of factors - location; and facilities on offer. If you happen to live in an area where availability of childcare is low and demand is high, you will pay more. You should also explore whether the creche needs to be close to work or close to home - if there are quite a number days you might not go into the office - you would probably be better off getting a location close to home.