When you are trying to squeeze every last possible cent out of your budget, it is very easy to decide that you are going to cut back on child care. Whether you have kids in full-time daycare, or just get an occasional babysitter for a night out, child care is expensive. However, money spent on child care is often a good investment.
Breaks Make Good ParentsIt is hard to be with your children all the time. It wears your body and your souls. Time away from your children helps you appreciate them, and helps you be a better parent.
Save Money - Shop Without Your KidsI'm sure you have suspected this: for some trips, you'll save enough by leaving the kids at home to pay the babysitter and still put some money in the bank. This is especially true for any big purchases. Several years back, I had to buy a car because our family was poised to physically outgrow our old car. My husband was deployed, but there was no way I was schlepping three toddlers car shopping with me. I spent a lot of money on babysitting that summer, but I also got a great deal on the right car for us.
It's Good For Your KidsI'm sure that some people disagree, but I believe that kids benefit from being exposed to different caregivers. Over the years, my children have spent a little bit of time in daycare, a lot of time with babysitters, and also attended preschool. Each experience has broadened my children's experience and given them a variety of perspectives. Plus, they have learned to be flexible and adapt to a wide variety of situations.
Obviously, there must be some balance in the equation. You can't spend all your money on childcare, and you probably shouldn't be dumping your kids off with other carers all the time. However, there are big benefits to making room in your budget for babysitting. Everyone can benefit, in their heart AND in their pocketbook.