Choosing the right childcare for you and your family
It’s that time of year again where we have to start thinking about the daily grind of juggling making lunches, school drops off and after school activities. The diaries are back out trying to schedule everything in!
There are so many childcare options out there it can be daunting deciding which one will work best for you and your family.
A full-time nanny might be the right solution if you work full-time. Nannies provide one-to-one care in your own home. This means your child will get lots of attention and stimulation. Children also have a greater sense of security and familiarity as they are in their home surrounded by their own toys.
If your children are in primary school or beyond maybe a part-time childminder might be the best solution. If your mornings in the office start early or you can’t leave the office early enough to pick them up, a childminder will alleviate this stress. They can also help with homework and prepare meals and take the children to and from after school activities.
Another option would be an Au Pair. Generally, au pairs attend school either in the mornings or afternoons so an au pair might be a good fit for your needs. Within this au pairs can either be ‘live-in’ or ‘live-out’.
Time for yourself is really important. For some, it may be an hour in the gym in the evenings or a walk. In this case, a babysitter would be the best option for ad hoc hours during the week.
Sometimes things happen and you need a last-minute sitter. Maybe the childminder has called in sick or the babysitter has cancelled at the last minute.
Here are some tips for managing your childcare:
Preparation is key
There’s nothing more stressful than getting up in the morning to find you have no bread to make sandwiches for lunch boxes or your child’s football jersey is not washed and they have a big match that day. The key to a smooth morning is planning with military precision! Consider making lunches the night before or getting the children to make their own lunches if they are big enough.
Rise early and be consistent
That extra 10 minutes in bed is blissful but you will pay for it as the morning stress levels rise! Try to get up half an hour before everyone else to allow a few minutes for yourself. Even if it’s just to have a shower or a coffee on your own. Mentally you will be more ready for the day ahead.
Get a notice board
Between playdates, matches, birthday parties, swimming lessons and everything else that children do outside of school a notice board is an absolute must to keep track of everything. Whiteboards are particularly good as you can update and change them easily. It also helps your childminder keep track of everything when you’re not there.
Consider what your needs are
Your children’s routine will change over the years and your childcare needs will also have to change to accommodate this. Take time to consider whether you need full-time care, or maybe you just need afterschool care. By being very specific in determining your needs, you can potentially save yourself a lot of money and stress. We have compiled a list of questions you should ask any potential childcarer here
Do a practice run with all new childminders
Take the time to go through your children’s daily routine with your childminder. Show them where the schools are, where their after-school activities are. It is worth writing this down and having it as a guide for your childminder.
SureSitter has all of the above options covered. Register today and find your perfect sitter.
Revenue has produced a helpful guide to registering as an employer which you may find useful:
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