Table of Contents
Child Care Basics
What Is Your Budget?
Do the Leg Work and Get Recommendations
Interview Potential Candidates
Do a Background Check
Weigh All of the Information for Your Selection
Pay Attention to your Childs Actions and Behaviors Following Someone Else Caring For Them
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Chapter 2: What is Your Budget?
I’m sure that as a parent you are well aware of how expensive it can be to care for your child. Well guess what, if you are looking for a child care provider you should prepare yourself for yet another bill, the only difference is that child care is usually paid weekly.
The following chapter will go over the basics on setting a budget for child care, an average on the costs, as well as some ideas on how you can save money to help with your child care budget.
Figure Out the Expenses
As a parent I am sure that you have already had many headaches in the past that resulted from trying to balance budgets and trying to figure out how to take money from one budget and put it into another. Well the cold hard truth is that child care is not cheap, especially if you want your child to be cared for by a reputable provider. One of the smartest things you can do before you even begin looking for a child care provider is to sit down and figure out exactly what you have to spend each month on child care, or in other words create a budget. If you create a budget before you begin looking for a child care provider you can avoid being crushed by finding the provider of your dreams and then finding out you cannot afford their services.
The following is a brief guide on how to calculate your child care budget and also some ideas on how to save some money.
• Calculate Income
The first thing you need to do is find out what everyone’s monthly income is that will be contributing to the child care. Add all of these monthly incomes together and you will get the number of the total household income. You want to make sure to include all forms of income and not just primary employment, every dollar counts as budgets are very precise.
• Calculate Expenses
After you have calculated what the monthly income of your household is it is time to make a list of all of your expenses for the household and how much each of them is. This list needs to include everything from groceries, to the electric bill, to your morning cup of coffee from Starbucks.
• Figure Out What’s Left Over
After you have calculated the monthly income of your household as well as the monthly expenses of your household you need to subtract the expenses from the income. The remaining money will be the money that you will be able to apply to child care without breaking your budget.
In some cases you may find that there is nothing left over for child care and in fact you are in the hole with your current expenses. If this is the case here are a few examples of things you may need to cut out of your life for a while until you are in a better financial situation.
• Save Whenever You Can
It is smart as a parent to shop whenever you can when items go on sale. Every little dollar adds up and you will be surprised by how much you can save by buying backpacks or sweaters out of season because they go on sale. Sometimes you can even find them for up to 60% off.
• Adjust Your Spending Habits
If you are trying to make a budget for child care it is probably not a good idea to be spending money on things that are not necessary. You have to understand that there is a difference between need and want. For example, child care is a need where as a Starbucks mocha latte is a want.
• Buy Used
You can find some really nice clothes and other things at some second hand stores. Your child grows quite quickly in their early stages and there is really no need to be constantly buying them brand new outfits at expensive retail stores when they will outgrow them in a few months. There is nothing wrong with shopping at second hand stores and some of them have some very nice things.
You will probably have to make many changes in your life if you want to be able to afford services from a reputable child care provider. Did you know that the average cost of in-home child care is about $650 a month and for day care services it will run you right around $1,000 a month? That is quite a bit of money isn’t it? Do not worry, with proper budgeting and with enough searching you will surely find the child care provider that offers everything your child needs at a price you can afford.
Chapter 3: Do the Leg Work and Get Recommendation
As a parent who is looking for child care you cannot expect that a reputable and trustworthy child care provider is just going to fall into your lap. You have to think of the process of finding a child care provider kind of like the process of finding a new job. You can’t just sit around and hope that one will show up. You have to get out on the grind and find what you are looking for. This process will be made much easier if you get recommendations from reliable sources. This will save you from going from care provider to care provider to only be disappointed.
The following chapter will go over the importance of doing the leg work to find a care provider and will also give you some ideas of where to look for recommendations for reputable child care providers.
Get Out There!
Once again, you cannot just sit around and expect the child care provider of your dreams to appear on your doorstep. You will have to do research and acquire recommendations and to be honest with you this process will probably be quite time consuming. The time and effort will be well worth it though because you surely want the best care possible when it comes to your child.
Recommendations are a great place to start but there are certain things you need to look for before listening to a recommendation. For example, you need to find out if the person who made the recommendation reliable. You also want to find out if other people have made the same recommendation. After that you should check to see if the person who made the recommendation had a child that received care from that provider.
It is sad but a true fact that some companies pay people to write review and make recommendations for them. That is why you need to check the credibility of the source of the recommendation.
A great place to look for recommendations is from your friends because they will be likely to provide you with honest recommendations. Another great place to look for recommendations is from your co-workers.
Chances are more than a few of your co-workers have at least one child and they surely have someone that looks after them while they are at work. They will surely know a reputable child care provider because just like you, they want nothing but the best for their child. As well, chances are that if you work together, your pay will be similar, which means the chances of you being able to afford the same child care provider are fair.
There are also staffing agencies and other government services which offer reviews on child care providers. The reviews on government websites are much more likely to be reliable than those found randomly on Google.Other Details
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