College is a smart decision for your, and your children’s futures. By going to college, you’re opening yourself up to more opportunities and better jobs in the future. One of the biggest concerns parents face when making the decision to go to school is what to do about childcare. Childcare can be expensive, hard to find, or difficult to obtain. Parents do have options when it comes to childcare during college! Here are a few ideas for childcare!
Daycare can be expensive, but it is still an option to enroll your child in daycare while you’re attending classes. In some cases, if you qualify, you may be able to receive daycare assistance, which pays for a portion of daycare expenses for working or enrolled-in-college adults. These daycares can be great for your child too, promoting socialization among peers and helping your child learn to play well with others.
Home daycares might be less expensive than traditional daycares, but they may be more difficult to find. These daycares are smaller, run out of the owners home, and may be more willing to accommodate any special needs your child (or your schedule) may have. Some home daycares may be able to accept daycare assistance as well, if they are registered with the state.
Some schools have on-site daycares available for students. These daycares are often run in a similar fashion as traditional daycares, however, admission is limited only to children of students who attend the college. These daycares usually involve the typical daycare fees, however, some on-site daycares are able to accept childcare assistance.
Family Members & Friends
Family members and friends might be helpful when it comes to figuring out childcare while you’re in school. Some family members or friends may be willing to watch your children for free, or relatively cheap. If your friends have children, you may even be able to trade childcare. If you qualify for daycare assistance, your family members can apply as an “approved provider” and be paid in portion, by your state for caring for your children.
There are plenty of parents that are trying to go to school. Make an effort to connect with these parents. You might able to arrange alternating schedules to cover childcare. For example, if parent A only has classes Mondays and Wednesdays, while your classes are only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Parent C only has classes on Fridays, you could work out a schedule between the three of you to cover all needed childcare hours and ensure each parent is able to make it to the classes they need.
Distance courses are becoming more and more popular, especially among parents going to college. The majority of these courses are able to be completed completely or near-completely online, making it possible for parents to work at their own pace without worrying about daycare arrangements everyday. Parents may need to arrange childcare on days they need to take proctored exams on campus, however, it is a lot easier to arrange childcare once in a while, rather than every day!