Child Care for Homeschoolers: Options for Working Moms
If you’re just starting out on your working homeschool mom journey, you’ve probably Googled child care for homeschoolers. And it’s definitely something that’s important to consider!
When we know our kids are safe while we’re working, it frees us up to do the things we need to (and want to) do. And it just means one less thing to worry about in our busy days!
In this post I’m going to look at some child care options for working homeschool moms. Even if they’re not all possible or viable for you, I hope that they will give you a starting point to find out what works for you and your family.
Child Care for Homeschoolers within the Homeschool Community
You may be able to find child care within your homeschool community. And it’s a great place to start, because other homeschool moms will get what it’s like!
If you’ve found a group of homeschoolers who you get along with, and who you feel are your people, you can start enquiring about or putting forward some options.
Drop Your Kids at a Co-op
Homeschool co-ops are becoming more and more popular. And they’re a great option for working homeschool moms.
There are loads of different types to choose from. So you really need to find one that feels right and suits your time, educational views, pocket etc.
Word of mouth or Facebook groups are going to be a good resource to find what you’re looking for. And don’t be shy to ask lots and lots of questions!
Bec from How I Homeschool, has an in-depth post about everything you might need to know about homeschool co-ops. She even has some ideas for starting your own, which is also a cool idea!
Do Swap Days with other Homeschool Families
Child care for homeschoolers is great when it can be shared and reciprocated! And what better way to do this than with other working homeschool moms and their kids!
If you’ve found a homeschool mom who you trust and who trusts you, why not do swap days? This could take on many different forms, but let me give you an example of what this could look like…
Let’s say, your friend goes to the office on Wednesdays and Fridays. And you need to have undisturbed meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So you take her kids when she works, and she takes your kids when you have meetings.
In order for this to work successfully, here are some things to keep in mind…
- Make sure the swaps are 100% reciprocal. It’s easy for resentment to build up when one mom is doing more caring than the other.
- Decide on your reciprocal swap right away by organizing each day at the same time. In this way, it will remain a fair relationship on both sides.
- Be on time to pick up your kids. It makes scheduling so much more effective. And we know how important time management is for us working homeschool moms!
- Pack clothes and snacks for your children. Then she doesn’t have to worry about your kids getting dirty or food preferences. It just makes it a bit easier for the other mom.
- Try and be as organized as possible. It will make the whole time smoother and more enjoyable for everyone!
Older Homeschooling Kids Can Provide Child Care for Homeschoolers
Another fantastic option is to hire older homeschooled kids to look after your younger ones. Homeschooled kids can be a great fit for lots of reasons.
- They understand what it’s like to be homeschooled. This is a great jumping off point to build solid, trusting relationships.
- I’ve found that often homeschooled kids are used to interacting and socializing with lots of different ages, such as younger siblings or grandparents. This also makes for good relationship building!
- Homeschoolers generally have flexible schedules. So it might be easier to find a time that works for both of you.
- And the flexibility extends to their learning too. If they’re older, they can work independently and take their work with them too!
Child Care for Homeschoolers outside the Homeschool Community
If you’re like me, then you don’t have a tight-knit homeschooling community. But it’s ok! There are options for us too!
It might take a bit more figuring out. And maybe a bit more explanation if people are unfamiliar with homeschooling.
Find Child Care at your Gym or Church
If you need a few hours to do some work or have a meeting, then you could enquire if your gym or church have options. And if they don’t, you could make a suggestion that they do!
As the working world becomes more flexible, more of these types of options are becoming available! And I feel that people are generally more open to living a life that has less clear-cut divisions for work, learning and parenting.
Once again, be sure that you feel comfortable leaving your kids there. Get some references or talk to moms you know what have used the services before.
College Kids can Provide Child Care for Homeschoolers
If you live in a college town, then you could also have a great resource for child care. College kids, especially those who are further along in their studies, can have a lot of flexibility in their schedules.
It’s also common for students to work during their studies. It’s a time when they need to earn money, want to gain working experience and also want to learn some skills that they can transfer to other jobs.
College students who are studying teaching or something in education, are going to jump at the chance to work with kids! And they’re going to be training to teach kids, which is great for you as a parent!
Be sure to get references from candidates you’re considering. And that you know what the going rate is to pay and how many hours they can work. You’re employing someone after all.
Search for Child Care Online
There are lots of websites that can help you find child care. Healthline put together a good list of sites to find child care. And they chose them with certain criteria, that are really important.
- They looked at parent reviews. I know that we don’t always trust them. But when there are a lot, I think it’s a pretty good indicator of the quality of the site and options.
- Different types of services were also considered. This is important for working homeschool moms, who might not need a date night babysitter but something more specific.
- Reputation, fees and technology also played a role in who they chose.
- Lastly, they made sure that each website did a thorough background check. It’s always a good idea to double check this, if you can.
Apart from companies like this, there are also Facebook groups that can point you in the right direction.
Keep it in the Family
If you’re lucky enough to have a supportive family member that lives near you, then this is also a wonderful option. It also comes with the added benefit of children forging strong relationships with their relatives.
I would just suggest being sure that your family member can actually offer you this option.
- Can they afford to look after your children? Do they need some type of compensation?
- Are they fit and able enough to do so?
- Will they be willing to homeschool your kids? Can you provide them with some guidance on how to do this?
- Do they believe in homeschooling like you do? Are you on the same educational page?
If you have a spouse or partner, you could also split the homeschooling with them. Dividing your schedules in to night and day, could be a way to juggle working and homeschooling.
Just be sure that there are open lines of communication in your relationship. I say this from experience. You both need to be honest about what you need and when you need it. Or else resentment can quickly build up!
Take Your Kids to Work
I know a few working homeschool moms who have taken their kids to work. Sometimes, it’s the only option! And it can absolutely work with some planning.
- First be sure that your work will allow it.
- Be upfront with your children about boundaries of time and space.
- Pack lots of snacks!
- Bring things that will keep your children occupied. I say, use screens if you need to!
- Have a place where your kids can have a lie down, if they need it.
- And take them out for run around a few times during the day.
Final Thoughts on Child Care for Homeschoolers
Finding child care is such a personal thing. Much like being a working homeschool mom is! Everyone’s situation is different and there is no good or bad childcare.
You need to find what works for you and your family. I would just say to be open to things that are less traditional or that you’re unfamiliar with.
As always, if you need to chat about child care or anything else related to being a working homeschool mom, please book in a session with me! I would love to support you on this journey.