Have you punched this into the search in lately? You're certainly not alone. Now more than ever, most families consist of two working parents, many of which are now working from home. Life is busier than ever, which is why childcare is in heavy demand.
And contrary to popular belief, childcare is not just for parents who work the typical 9-5. There's an uptick in the demand for childcare for those working part-time or less, because the demands of keeping up with your kids, meals, cleaning, errands, etc... is a fully workload all its own. By the time your responsibilities have been tackled, there are another pile of them on deck waiting for you.
The right childcare provider can help you manage your household, enrich your kids’ lives, and free up your time to spend more quality time with your family.
But then what kind of childcare do you need? How can you choose the best option for your family? What exactly can they take on for you? In this article, we’ll dive into the various types of childcare and what you should consider when searching for childcare near you.
Why Do You Need ChildCare?
This may seem like an obvious question, but when you're in the weeds of research and decision making, coming back to your "why" can really help you stay focused, and find the right resource.
Parents are finding that childcare offers two main benefits: (a) it gives them the peace of mind that their kids are safe while Mom or Dad are working, and (b) it offers enrichment for their children’s development, something even higher of a priority following quarantine. High quality childcare covers your kids’ basic needs and keeps them entertained and engaged. You can typically expect childcare providers to support your kids throughout the workday, whether in-home or at a special facility.
This allows busy parents such as yourself the flexibility to go to work, run errands, and provide for their family. This frees up your time and energy to raise your children and devote special time to them. While you are taking care of your responsibilities, your children have a safe place with a supportive nanny or babysitter, who often also provides educational and enrichment activities for the little ones.
What ChildCare Options Are There?
Because childcare needs are on the rise, there are now multiple options for your consideration. Before searching for childcare near you, decide how much coverage and which services you really need.
Do you need someone to watch your kids the entire workday? Are you hoping to have tutoring along with the childcare? Do you have pre-school children who need special supervision and care?
As you whittle things down, here are the some of the types of childcare you may consider:
Typically used for very young children, a daycare provides full-service supervision, care, and enrichment for your little ones. They will be in a group with other children throughout the day, and you pick them up after you get off work. True to their name, daycares are usually open during the day, which means they’re not ideal if you work odd hours. Daycares do however come with an increased risk of hygiene and attention issues because your child is usually one of many the daycare staff is watching.
Despite the name, a babysitter can watch children of all ages for short periods while you are out of the house. If you work odd hours and have children who require supervision, a babysitter can be a good choice. Babysitters may also provide light tutoring and activities for your children, but are not typically career childcare providers. More importantly, many babysitters are short-term only, meaning they're only available a few hours per week, or up until another responsibility arises with school or work. They are often teenagers or young adults who have their own responsibilities, and you may not be able to book the same babysitter consistently.
Choosing a nanny for your childcare needs often provides the most well rounded experience. Nannies are often career childcare providers, and highly qualified caregivers with degrees in education and/or nursing.
Nannies can also help manage your household, which means they are an ideal choice if you work from home. You can lean on the nanny to make sure essential chores and errands get done, while knowing they're providing the essential support and care for your children. Depending on the type of nanny you choose, you may be able to get someone who provides childcare, household management, and education/enrichment all in one. It takes a village right?
In popular culture, nannies are often portrayed as a live-in babysitter/housekeeper. That is certainly an option, and you can look for a nanny who is willing to live in your home and care for your children while you are managing your tasks. However, you can also book a live-out nanny to stay in your home for limited hours. This may be a good option if you have children of various ages, and/or if you’d prefer not to have someone living with you.
How to Choose the Right ChildCare for Your Family
When looking for childcare near you, consider your needs, budget, and comfort level. Hiring your neighbor’s teen daughter to watch your kids while you go to the movies is one thing. Hiring someone to provide consistent, professional childcare on a regular basis is entirely another.
Most daycares are professionally reviewed and regulated, but it’s worth it to research your options. Is the facility staffed sufficiently to watch multiple kids? Do they provide enrichment to the children, or will your little one be bored to tears? Do they adhere to safety and hygiene standards?
If you’re concerned about leaving your child at a facility, or if you have kids who are too old for daycare but too young to be home without adult supervision, a nanny is the perfect choice.
A more flexible choice is an in-house nanny who may or may not live with you. Depending on your needs, you may want someone with nursing experience, educational skills, or household management proficiencies. This piece of the process can be expedited by leveraging tools that can help match you with the best person.
Resources to find childcare near you
Choosing the best childcare for your family takes time and research. While it’s worth it to do your homework, keep in mind that there is a lot that goes into finding the right solution, and more importantly, managing that solution long term. Here's how Happiest Nanny can help:
What is Happiest Nanny? HappiestNanny.com is the newest online solution for finding and managing your family's nanny care. We've combined the best qualities of nanny agencies, and online platforms into the most ideal childcare management solution for parents in 2021.
"Happiest Nanny makes the finding, interviewing, hiring, paying and ongoing management of a nanny a breeze. Our family couldn't be happier. I also enjoy knowing all employment requirements, legalities, taxes, and insurances are taken care of by Happiest Nanny which saves me time and protects my family." Check out this review here.
Why it was founded: The Happiest Nanny team launched the new-age childcare management solution in early 2021. As a group of parents, with kids ranging from infant to young adulthood, the team had experienced a wide range of childcare challenges over the last several years. In addition, the team also saw various issues in the space for the nannies themselves, who were not experiencing the benefits and job security that many other career fields provide.
So we set out on a mission to bring all of the best factors in childcare management into one solution- a fast and easy platform experience designed for modern parents, combined with the white-glove concierge and support experience an agency typically provides. With all of the necessary administrative tools and services provided by Happiest Nanny, we're able to ensure the best possible experience and security for both the nanny, and family users.
"Really happy with how easy this system is to use and I have used so many other sites to find a nanny, Au pair etc. I love that I have a one- stop shop to pay my nanny, manage their tasks for the kids and the house and do payroll/ taxes - couldn’t be happier with this platform and my nanny loves it too!!" Check out this review here.
How can it make your life easier: The comprehensive platform takes all of the stress out of the childcare management process. Families are able to create a free profile, which can be used to post your family childcare needs. From there, Happiest Nanny's unique intelligent algorithm will pair you with the best matched childcare providers, so you can find the right person, faster.
Once matched, you'll have access to a suite of tools to help streamline the hiring process such as; communication & video chat (so you never have to share your personal contact info), free background checks, auto-documentation, and more. After hiring your nanny, we handle all of the admin work, like payroll processing, legal & compliance, state taxes, disability insurance, and more! That's right- it's fully managed by us. Plus, you'll have additional resources within the platform to help make things even easier when it comes to time tracking, pay approval, purchases for your children (coming soon), and more! Lastly, you'll have access to our US-based human support team who is available to help with any of your needs, provide coaching, mediation if needed, and a ton more
"Happiest Nanny made the process of finding and employing a nanny much less painful. I feel secure knowing that I have all of my ducks in a row: documentation made and ready for reference, insurance, time-tracking, and payment handled. The fact that I don't have to track time, calculate how much I owe, pay, and keep track for my records is amazing." Check out this review here.
Choosing the best childcare for your family takes time and research. Here at Happiest Nanny, we built a platform to make finding childcare a breeze- so get started for free today!