I moved to Missouri to be close to my parents and have them close by to help with daycare. This wasn’t just to save money but also because I did not want strangers raising my children. I don’t think there are many parents that are comfortable leaving their children in the hands of strangers, I know I’m not.
Recently, I was faced with the need to place my children in the hands of a stranger when my mother became ill and my parents were not able to watch them while I was working. Without any other family members or friends in the area that could watch them I had to find a solution fast. The temporary daycare options available were rather limited but I needed daycare before and after school which made it a lot more difficult.
School Provided Care
My daughter is in elementary school and they offer before school and after school care at the school. I have used this option occasionally when I lived in San Diego and it is probably the best option in many cases when you need it for a short period of time or just occasionally. The downside to this type of service is that you will have to spend a lot more time in the morning getting the children ready for school. This also means the kids will need to be up much earlier than they regularly do. When I did this in the past, they would be totally exhausted by the end of the week and started to hate it, who can blame them. This is a good solution in a fix or if you have no other options.
Unfortunately, this service is not available for my son in middle school. This made it not an option for me so I needed to look at more options.
Online Babysitting Services
I don’t call them babysitting services in front of my teenage son, that just wouldn’t be cool. But, there are plenty of these services online and I looked at a lot of them. The one that I liked the most was care.com. What I liked most about care were the reviews from former clients, they had an availability schedule posted, and just a lot of other information that helped me narrow down sitters. Unfortunately, a lot of the schedules are not up to date and a lot of the sitters were not available every day that I needed them. In those cases, I would have needed to find a second babysitter to fill in on those days. This was far from optimal but it was an option.
So what did I decide?
As you can probably already tell, I went with Care. It was really my only option with my middle schooler. The two girls that I hired did a fantastic job of getting my kids to and from school on time and having them complete homework and chores before I got home from work. The kids liked both girls and enjoyed being with them. They weren’t really girls but they were younger than me so…