Childcare Tips from the Pros

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Sheila Marcelo is the founder and CEO ofCare.com a service that helps busy parents find good help--from pet sitters to nannies. A working mom herself, Sheila knows the angst moms go through when trying to find coverage for a night off let alone full time care. First Sheila and I talked numbers. Did you know nearly 12 million children under age 5 are in some type of regular child care each week? And that the average child care fees for one infant range from $3,800 to $13,500 a year. (According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies).

Sheila offered up some money saving alternatives for moms to think about before the summer is over:

1. Form a Babysitting Coop. You get free babysitting in return for providing child care for others.
2. Hire a relative. Parents should still plan to pay a fee, but it can be much less when a family member is willing and able to help out.
3. Team up with neighboring parents and share a sitter!
4. Readjust Schedule/Work from Home.
5. Many school districts now offer pre-kindergarten courses for four-year-olds that are free or have a small charge.

Next I asked Sheila, if you don'??t have a choice and both parents are working, what'??s the best way to negotiate a reasonable rate with your babysitter?

  • Use the babysitter calculator at Care.com to find out rates in your area.
  • Be upfront when hiring, let your babysitter know your price range so that there are no surprises.

Where can parents find day care listings?

Thanks for this important information Sheila!

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