Military families who move frequently know all to well how to uproot and replant their lives in response to PCS orders, but it’s not always easy. One thing remains the same throughout every move, and that’s the need for childcare. Granted, the situation may change over years (home, daycare, school), but there are a few methods to utilize if you’re trying to make a plan for your kiddos.
Find a Nanny, or Do a Nanny Share
One great option is to find a trustworthy, reliable person to watch your kids while you work or get things done at home. Granted, trustworthy and reliable people may be hard to find when you’re in a brand new location and you may or may not speak the language. Do this: network with other moms on base – do they use a nanny? If so, where did they hire them from? Are there any other nannies available at that agency or via that venue?
If not, would she be willing to nanny-share? Nanny sharing is a great option all around if you’re okay with your child not getting one on one attention, and the nanny isn’t taking on more than she can handle. Multiple families may utilize the same nanny, which serves to meet the need, socialize the children, and gets her making more money than she would with just one family.
Employ Yourself as a Stay at Home Mom and a Sitter
Many moms on base find that it’s just as easy for her to watch her kids and employ herself while simultaneously watching other kids. It’s, essentially, one of the best ways to meet two needs at once: your children stay under your care, and you’re simultaneously making money by watching other kids, as well. If employment is your goal, and you’re struggling with finding childcare, consider reaching out to see if any other moms are struggling to find childcare and offer to watch their kids for a fixed price per week.
See if the Base Has Any Daycare Programs
Lastly, if nannying in the home or employing yourself to watch your children simply isn’t an option, then check in with the base to see if they offer or recommend any particular local daycare programs. Oftentimes, depending on the size of the base, daycare programs are offered at the Child Development Center. The fees for this are usually based on the rank of the parent. If space is not available, they can point you in the right direction. Don’t forget to network with other moms on base to see what they do for childcare… socializing your kids all together in one place will help foster friendships that will grow over time.
Finding childcare at your new base can be difficult, but not impossible, when you consider broadening your horizons and thinking outside of the box in terms of possibilities for you and your children.