As the economy worsens and parents find themselves short on funds, more and more families are pulling young children out of daycare.
Enrollment at some child-care centers is falling, and nanny agencies are reporting mounting layoffs as families cut child-care costs, which rival mortgage payments in many households. An October online survey by the women’s website BettyConfidential.com found that 12% of 100-plus parents who responded are cutting child care. Source
Today’s Latchkey Kids
Parents are making hard decisions, such as letting children as young as 6 years old be home alone, at least for an hour or two after school. (Not to mention the fact that many schools are cutting latchkey programs as they begin to cut costs).
This may sound absurd, but today’s latchkey kids have cell phones to keep them in constant contact with their parents. This is quite different from the resources that were available to kids in the 1980s.
Check out this story of a former latchkey kid.
If you are considering leaving your child at home while you work, be sure to read How To Make Sure Latchkey Kids Are Safe.
Grandparents To The Rescue
Parents are also taking advantage of the services of grandparents.
This can be a very advantageous arrangement, as long as the grandparents are willing and able. When grandparents provide childcare, it can strengthen family bonds and give children a strong sense of belonging and history.
Now, not all grandparents who are able are also willing to watch grandchildren. Many want to remain actively retired and not actively parenting. This can cause resentment from adult children who feel their parents are being selfish.
Tag Team Parenting
Some parents are arranging schedules to allow for tag team parenting. Of course you need employers who are willing to accommodate such a schedule. The other drawback is that the parental relationship can suffer if the parents rarely spend time together.
Finally, many parents are finding work-at-home jobs. That way, there is always someone in the home with the kids, even if they are working.
If none of these options is possible, parents can look into less expensive childcare options such as home-based childcare services, rather than center-based daycare centers.
Here are some other ways to cut your childcare costs.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.