As we continue to tighten our belts in this economy we look for all kinds of ways to cut back on costs. Since childcare can be a huge portion of most families budgets, it is natural that we look at this category for some cinching. But can we keep a safe environment as an affordable expense? Some parents are creating co-ops, sitter sharing and more. Here are some things you should ask yourself when you are looking to cutback:
- Are there written guidelines. Even in lax situations where friends are exchanging services, you should all know what is expected and what happens when guidellines are not followed.
- Safety measures. Make sure your expectations are made known. Does someone have a pool, does your child know how to swim, are there allergies. Are there enough care givers for the number of children, will there be driving? Don’t leave the care giver unprepared.
- Qualifications. Just because they have kids or have baby sat other kids does not make them qualified to watch your children. Do they have certifications? Are they prepared for emergencies? You should keep in mind what type of legal recourse you have when the unexpected happens. Without guidelines, saftey issues outlined and documented qualifications, you don’t have much recourse. Naturally, in the end, you want to provide for and protect your child.