Finding childcare is difficult for anyone, but when you’re in college it can be especially difficult. Chances are you have an erratic schedule, five classes today but then you have another class tomorrow evening. If you’re a single Mom, this makes things extra challenging. On top of going to class and studying, you have a child to raise. So, what do you do? No worries, here are ten options for finding childcare while you’re in college.
Top 10 Options for Childcare When You’re in College.
Childcare during the Day
- Campus Daycare-Some colleges offer an on site daycare for staff and students. Contact your school and see what they have to offer. Go and visit the daycare and make sure you ask a lot of questions. Make a return visit with your child and see if they feel comfortable. This is one of the most common solutions for college students when it comes to childcare.
- Youth Centers-Research youth centers in your area and see if any of them have an all day program that your child can attend.
- Hire a Sitter-Okay, I know what you’re thinking, I don’t have the money to pay a sitter. However, this could be worth your while. In addition to caring for your kids, ask your sitter to do some light housekeeping (keeping the kitchen clean, vacuuming, picking up) and meal prep (chopping veggies, keeping an eye on the crockpot, or mixing up a casserole). This way, you will come home to a cleaner home and dinner will be ready to throw in the oven.
More Ideas for Childcare During the Day.
4. Park District-During the summer, many park districts have programs for kids to attend.
5. Other Students-If you know other students who have kids and have classes opposite of you, consider taking turns watching each others kids for a few hours once or twice a week. You can also do this during times when studying is really stressful like mid-terms and finals.
Childcare at Night.
- 6. 24 hour Daycares-Some daycares run 24 hours due to parents having to work all kinds of shifts. This is an option for your child until you are out of class in the evening/at night to go pick them up.
7. Grandparents-If you are lucky to have your parents around, you can see if your child can stay with them in the evenings.
8. Roomates-If you have one or more roommates, see if they will take off some of your part of the rent if you will pay them to watch your child in the evenings. This may be a little cheaper than hiring a sitter, as it is only for a few hours compared to all day.
9. Friends-Round up a stable of friends who are willing to watch your child at night while you are in class. This way, if something comes up you will have backup via a group compared to just one or two friends.
10. Hire through Care.com or Sittercity-If you decide to hire online, make sure you do a thorough background check and also a driving records check. You want to make sure you are leaving your child in the best care possible. If you have any funny feelings, trust your gut and move on.
Juggling college and kids is a commendable thing. There are lots of resources for you to find good childcare while you are in class. With a plan in place and a good support system, you will be able to concentrate on what’s important and still be able to spend time with the most important human in your life.