Being unemployed has ramifications that are far-reaching in your life, especially if you have children. As a working parent, childcare is a necessary part of life, but it is an expensive financial investment. If you lost your job, you likely cancelled your childcare after a period of time and will need to make new arrangements, or perhaps you didn’t have children before you stopped working and now you have a little one to think about if you land a new position. There are a huge amount of options for childcare here in Polk County, but depending on your individual circumstances some choices might be better than others.
So, how do you go about choosing childcare when it’s time to head back into the workforce?
Consider the age of your child(ren). If you have a brand new baby and are just starting out in your parenting journey, choosing someone to take care of your precious bundle can be very hard. Traditional “daycare” settings are usually very professional, and many of our larger churches here in the Lakeland area offer private child enrichment centers with infant-level classrooms. The downside to these are that they can be costly, and they tend to have a long waiting list. A good secondary option is to find an in-home or private, babysitter or nanny. Having someone come to your home, or taking your child to someone’s home each day, gives them an intimate, one-to-one care environment and is a great option for new moms. However, if you have older kids who aren’t quite as dependent as a newborn and are already of school age, there are lots of day camps, after school programs etc. at churches, YMCA locations, and other organizations that not only offer supervision for your kids, but also homework help, activities and socialization opportunities, and more.
Consider the cost. If you’re just starting a new job, the cost of your childcare choice is probably an important one, especially if you’re on a limited budget at first. Private childcare centers and babysitters are definitely going to cost more, whereas larger options and public daycares tend to have lower prices and more financial aid opportunities for those who qualify. If you just don’t feel that those are the best choices for your family though, you could consider talking to family members, friends, and even your spouse about coming up with a childcare schedule that costs little or nothing, and will help you get your finances back on track before committing to monthly tuition or paying a nanny.
Evaluate the work situation. Depending on the job, sometimes you can request that some of your hours be worked from home, or you could request early morning or late afternoon/evening hours to work around your children’s schedules and alleviate the need for childcare. If you can go into work early and be done before your kids get out of school, or if you can go in late after your spouse or a family member comes home to take care of your baby, then you not only save the money of third party childcare, but you also end up getting to spend time with your kids which is also important.
Regardless of what you choose, it’s truly wonderful to live in a community where you have so many options for your family. Still at home on the hunt for a new position? We are ready to help you. We have new openings up on our site on a regular basis, and you can apply right there on the page! Want more information about a position, or want to get your resume in our hands for upcoming jobs? Give us a call or stop by one of our locations in Lakeland, Lake Wales, or Winter Haven.