How Am I Supposed to Make This Work?!

Updated on April 24, 2012
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
46 answers

Since I'm job hunting for the first time in, oh, FOREVER, I'm hung up on one dilemma:


The girls get on the bus at 8:30, they're home by 4pm. Obviously, I have to do something with my son during the day as well.

I really don't want to look for daycares until I know what I'll be making, so I know what my daycare budget is.

Most jobs are 8-5... which clearly won't work for me.

I can't afford to be too picky.

In a perfect world, I'd work some graveyard shift job, so I can stay home with my son during the day (I've done it before, it's hard but do-able)... I'm really overwhelmed right now.

So what do I do? Do I even bother applying to 8-5 jobs? Should I be looking for part time? In what order should I be doing this?

Yes, I'm kind of freaking out. How amI supposed to make this work? I have NO help from friends and family during the day, I might have a few options if I work some overnight shifts.

What should I do? I need a good job, ASAP.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Because my middle child is under 8, she has to have a parent present at the bus stop for pick up/drop off.

Graveyard shift actually pays better on average than 8-5 type jobs.

I'm a jack of all trades, I can very literally do almost anything!

Featured Answers


answers from Dallas on

9 to 5 is the best schedule when you have kids. I'll tell you why.

We're home together all weekend and in the evenings. This way when my kids are at school, I'm at work. I'm there to give them dinner, bath, read a story. I'm there when they wake up in the morning.

I have a sahm that picks my daughter up from school and keeps her until I get off at 5. She is a wonderful 2nd mom to my kids. They aren't missing out on anything. Ask the other moms at school if they keep kids. Ask the teachers if any of the moms babysit. It works out very well.

Also 9-5 jobs, on average, pay better.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I would apply to all of them. Most employers will work with the employees about the schedules after they hire. I think most understand about having children and needing the flexibility.

Are there any neighbors that can walk them to the bus or classmates? Are the girls old enough to be trusted as latch key kids?

I am sorry that you are separated, but will he help pay for daycare so that you can go back to work? Would he be willing to discuss this?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

A friend of mine just got a job at the Boys & Girls club and she gets free childcare. They bus the kids from school to the club, and she will qualify for free programs, summer camp and childcare at work. No childcare costs, plus she is on site and can see her kids at work too. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Albany on

Are you crazy, girl? There IS no more resourceful woman on the PLANET then you!

You WILL make it work, you WILL make things happen. You always do.

In fact, you should be giving "Tough Girl Survivor Guide" seminars, really.

That said, apply at all near school districts for school hour aid jobs.

And don't you EVER lose your spirit.


14 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Find the job, part time full time doesn't matter, then fill in the blanks.

Don't try to figure it all out all at once unless you want to stress yourself.

And listen to what Theresa said!!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


First step - BREATHE!!! BIG DEEP BREATHES!!! Don't panic.

Second step - is your resume together and looks good?
does it showcase your abilities?
does it have key words in what you want to do so that the recruiter will get to see it?

Third step - look on-line at or even to see what is out there that you can do. Then tailor your resume to positions you see open that you feel you can do.

Roman might have to go to day care..I know you don't want that - but that's what might have to that you can keep a roof over your head and food in your belly.

You WILL get through this. WE will get you through this. You are NOT alone.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think your girls are old enough to get to the bus stop (isn't it across the street?) and get home on their own and stay an hour or so until you get home. Then you'd have to figure out daycare for your son. I think the biggest issue is what to do with them over the summer. Most working moms have that issue and its a big one. Before I was working from home, we sent our 2 kids to karate camp and it was $260 per WEEK for the two of them. We lived off freaking Ramen noodles all summer! Here's a thought, check into sales jobs that are flexible and not in the office. Like insurance. You can check with some local agents to see if they will hire you for commission only. You'd have to get your state license (easy enough) but you would be free during the day to sell. Or any other job like that. Even cars? What about 24 hour grocery stores or Walgreens? They even have benefits. I don't know girl but I feel for you. I hope you can figure it out!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

maybe you could work at a preschool? That way you can take him with you. I used to teach preschool and my hours were 9-3 M-F. If you aren't qualified to teach, maybe you could be an aide? Some of the chain preschools (kindercare) have kitchen staff so you could work in the kitchen making all the kids snacks maybe?
Or maybe you could offer to babysit 1 or 2 kids from your home. I don't know if it would be enough money doing that, but it's something and then you wouldn't have to pay for daycare.

Just some thoughts :) good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Our school recently started offering extended day services (befire and after school care). Do you have that available?

Is there another mom that you can trade childcare with? (Putting the cart before the horse--after you find a job!)

IME, I've always had about a 1 hr commute to and from work, no matter where I've lived in the city, so you need to plan for travel time as well. So 9-5 easily turns into 8-6, and 8-5 turns into 7-6.

YES you *bother* applying fro 8-5 and 9-5 and ALL other jobs you are qualified to do. Now is NOT the time to limit the field of options.

Apply, apply, apply!

Good luck with the job search!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Check with your local YMCA for after school care. In my area, there are YMCA personnel at each school to hang out with the kids and do activities until parents pick them up (before 5:30).

I agree with MzKitty that your girls are old enough to get to the bus stop on their own.

As for your little boy, you'll have to find daycare for him.

I DO NOT suggest graveyard or overnight shifts.

ETA: Graveyard shifts might pay more...but when are you going to actually have time to BE A MOM? I've done it...bleary-eyed and irritable, trying to get my kids to school after my shift. Trying to make sure they have dinner and mommy time before a shift. It SUCKS and I don't recommend it. Normal hours are easier on everyone in the house. Seriously...try getting chores/laundry/activities done on your day off when you're used to sleeping during the day. Just something to think about.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I know how you are feeling - making sure the kids are taken care of seems a job in and of itself!!! My son will be going to all day kindergarten this coming year so instead of taking him to a daycare I know a stay at home mom who not only could use the money but has agreed that ensuring he gets on the bus and then has him hang out at her house with her son for an hour after school would be of help. Do you have a neighbor who could come over to your house to ensure the older ones get to and home from school and would be able to sit with your little one during the day??? Or maybe someone who could just watch the kids for an hour before and a couple hours after school and your little man could go to a daycare. Then the person watching the kids before and after school still have their day to themselves but you know they are all taken care of.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Yes, you apply, and here's why:

1. You exercise that muscle...get in the practice of applying and interviewing. It's not as simple as it sounds and can take a looooooonng time for practiced people to get an offer. Learn what works and what doesn't. Hone your interviewing skills while practicing interacting comfortably among others professionally.

2. Get the ball rolling. You have no idea of what type of opportunity you will finally accept. Project what you want so that it can come back to you. Write down how much money it will take for you to take care of your family. Write down what schedules would work well for you. Your efforts will create your opportunity.

Also, go ahead and look into daycare facilities. You don't have to commit, but you need to know what's out there. The best tiem to do it is when you are not pressed for time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Roanoke on

Find the job first. Apply for anything you are qualified to do. If you try to tailor the job to your life now, you're going to greatly limit the jobs you could get. So, work on the resume/cover letters/applications, then apply, then interview, then work out the rest. It might take a few tries, but you'll find something.

Maybe this is a good chance to fall on your EMT background, in the medical field somewhere?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

In my experience it's not uncommon for 8-5 jobs to be a little more flexible than that. Think 7-4 or 9-6. It never hurts to apply and have that be one of your questions. The gaps from when the kids need to get to school or need to get picked up might be a little tricky without any help from family and friends. I would start asking around. We have a friend who found a little old lady who helps in the morning. She comes over, drinks coffee, helps the kids get ready and then gets them to school. Her fee - free morning breakfast with coffee. She misses her grandkids and has been a real gem. It’s funny what life can provide when you start asking. Also as an aside as you know the stress won't help so try to shelve it to stay positive/upbeat. Sunny dispositions interview better too. :) As far as order I would look at both part time and full time. Good opportunities exist in both worlds and part time can become full time with the right fit. Good luck and many well wishes.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

damn damn damn.
is there no way rob can step up to the plate here?
i guess you might have thought of that one already, eh?
well, i'd apply for good jobs first. don't limit yourself by what you think will *work* for your schedule. go for the best job that suits you the most (and pays the most too, of course.) having a job that doesn't suck will help keep YOU sane, which will benefit your kids too. overnight shifts will drain you and leave you with no resources, i'd avoid that if possible.
the girls' school should have before and after school care at a reasonable cost. check that out first.
once you know the job, hours and pay, you can find something for the little guy. but i think you'll have an easier time finding the right something when you have more info to work with. yes, a daytime daycare might be more expensive than you working at night, but if you're exhausted and zombified during your time with him, it might be well worth it to sacrifice a part of your pay to get him a really good daycare professional.
find the job first.
and it will fall into place.
because you are an Action Figure, you make things happen. you NEVER wait helplessly for things to fall into place for you, you friggin' order it to work and it does!
go forth and triumph, babe.
:) khairete

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

Well, IMO, it depends on what you want to do. Most restaurants run 10am-3/4pm and 4/5/6pm-12am(at the latest, usually). Bars have even later shifts.

Hospitals have different shifts, I know several people who answer phones or do data entry from 7pm-3am. That could work for you.

Otherwise, you are going to have to look into care for the kids before school. It's got to be hard, I'm sure. I would just keep an open mind to most possibilities and you will know when the right option is presented.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Factory jobs usually have a graveyard shift, and usually pay much better than a daytime desk job, unless you have a bachelors in something special.
I'd definitely look for sitters first and see if you can find someone flexible enough to deal with whatever shift you do finally decide to take on.
A private sitter will be much less expensive than daycare in most instances.
Don't discount the fact that Dad should also be partly responsible in paying for babysitting.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Hi R., First of all try not to freak yourself out. Everything else has worked out, this will too. Put out there what you want/need to happen. Positive thoughts, see it happening. I know it sounds like hogwash to some, but it really works. Make a Vision Board.
There is no reason that you can't have everything you want.
I need to make my vision board. I have been thinking about it alot. We limit ourselves by our own negative, what if thinking. We all do it, it is human nature. We as mom's/women are constantly worrying. We need to stop and stand on our FAITH.
God does not want us to fail. His plans for us are GREAT! Better than we could ever imagine. We just have to get out of our own way sometimes and let Him take over.
R., you got this!! It will all work out. Have faith!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Emmy is in before and after and it's not to bad. ussually they have discounts for multiple kids. If not maybe a local retiree or babysitter for the girls? If not daycare maybe the same local daycare or retiree to watch Roman?

I say don't worry but keep and eye out for all options and prices and hours and keep a spreadsheet of the care available for the 2 or 3 sittuations most likely. (9-5, 8-5, night shift). Find the job and then work it out before accepting their offer.
Do you have local relatives to wath the kids for even a day a week to cut down some costs? Maybe a friend whose kids go to the same school as the girls is looknig to pick up a little extra money and they could get the girls on and off the bus, or maybe they J. want playmates for their kids. That would take care one option. .
Also I agree on church daycares. I'm not practicing and am not really for a lot of what they teach but their programs are great for toddlers and also its not like they're teaching much to toddlers if your against it, also if you are a diferent religion you could J. use it as a tool to explain the diference when they get bigger

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would look for care options and jobs concurrently. You may not be able to put down a deposit on anywhere til you know what your hours and pay will be, but I'm assuming there's a goal salary so work with that. Know the options in your area, who has more slots, etc. Further if your income is likely to be lower, you can also explore options like subsidized daycare. For the girls, are there afterschool activities they could be in or aftercare? I know that's more money, but that's what we used when SD was little. She went from the end of her school day to the multipurpose room where there was someone to watch her, give her a snack, oversee homework, etc. We didn't have to pick her up til 6, which allowed DH to work a 9-5 as a single dad.

People are also sometimes willing to help out if they know that it's temporary. I'd take a few days off for my sister if she needed daycare but it wasn't ready yet. A friend of ours watched DD for a week or two when she was born early and my leave ran out before her slot was open.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would look into your local park district for "Early Bird" drop off programs, they are typially very affoardable and you can drop off your older two early in they morning, then drop off your youngest at a day care/preschool program - church programs are often very inexpensive and have the older two in after care with the park district as well. In addition I suggest your youngest is near your workplace if at all possible. Apply for every job that will work for you and allow you to support your family, the rest will fall into place.

BTW many large companies these days work with day cares and have "in house" day care programs as part of the benefits; I would look into that as well.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Rachael - what types of jobs are you looking for? What are your skills? Knowing that, we might be able to suggest some ways to get around the typical 9-5.

But like everyone else, I agree that you apply to everything out there and see what falls into your lap. Don't worry yet about part versus full time. If you see something you're qualified for, apply. Before/after care for your girls will be easy to find (hopefully!). And if you find a great job during the day, there are always daycare options for your son that will help you bring in good money for your family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

First calm down, second pick up the phone call your Daughters school ask if they know of any mom's who do before and after school care. They won't be able to give you names but if they know of any they can pass your name and number along. Usually you get great leads because the school staff won't just pass your name along to anyone. Second check out in your area you can always find great providers. You really should find care before you find a job. It takes a while to find the right fit and someone dependable. Does your daughter have before and after care offered at her school? Don't rule out your local YMCA either some provide care for school age children. When you interview for your son's care ask if the provider would be willing to watch your Daugher when schools not in session (snow days, summer vacation ect..) Make sure everything is in place then finding a job won't seem so overwhelming. Also it looks better if you have things in line to a future employer. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

If the girls are in school, find out if they have any before-school and after-school care there, so you can drop them off early and pick them up when they are done.

If you do part-time, you will still need to arrange child care for your youngest but many places will expect you to pay for full-time, 5 days a week, in order to keep the spot, regardless of what your work schedule is. Another option is someone like a nanny or trusted babysitter who can watch your son at home when you are working and be there for when your girls come home.

One step at will be okay. Job search and research child care options at the same time so if you do find something, you can start right away because you already have child care arrangements in place.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Before you decide what kind of job to look for you need to check out daycares and see how much you are looking at for your son and possibly afterschool care for the girls. I know where my kids went all day was $125 and after school was $65 and before and after was $85. Per kid and you got a discount if you had at least two but not much. So you need to look at cost before you decide what kind of job you want to look at. If you did over nights you would be exhosted when you got home and then trying to take care of a little one you would not get enough sleep I don't think and would get burnt out quickly! Not trying to discurage you but something you do need to think about. I know how hard it is go have to leave your kids it's not fun.

Good luck and God Bless!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I would say that while many jobs are 8-5 there are also many that start at 9 as well. If I were you I would check with a temp agency...I am hearing more and more that they are responsible for hiring full time employees at a lower level-like receptionist. My friend just did this and got a 3 day a week job as a receptionist with 9-3 for the hours. My husband works for one of the largest companies in the country and this is also how they hire admins.
You may also want to check with stores like Kohls. A friend of mine worked overnight there doing inventory and was home in time to get the kids on the bus.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Have you thought about providing care for other kids? That way you can keep your son w/ you and make money too. I know you've said your house is small, but you can go to someones home.
I did that when my middle son was 6 months. And there were times when I brought the kids home to my house to get a few things done. Just a thought, you can make some pretty good money doing that!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Most schools have an 'early drop off' program (in our area it starts at 6am) and afterschool care (in our area goes to 6pm).

In addition there are before and afterschool programs (like YMCA, Community Centers, church based, and private) that you drop the kids off in the morning and they bus the kids to the school in the morning, and bus the kids to the program in the afternoon. The program teachers are the ones who are responsible to hand off and to pick up while the parents work.

A good starting place would be your childrens' school... since the office will know both the school's own programs as well as which POPULAR private programs provide transportation to and from the school.

Nightwork is another good option... you sleep while the kids are in school (of course, getting the sick call from the nurse is problematic, but sick kids are problematic, period!). Many night shift workers I know STILL use either beforeschool programs (come home, get the kids up and fed and dropped off at the early program and go to bed, then pick up yourself afterschool, or vice versa, kids up and fed and dropped off, then the afterschool program so you never have to worry about oversleeping).

These programs range a LOT in cost. YMCA, for example, is free to almost free IF AND ONLY IF you qualify. If you don't qualify (in our area!!! prices are different in every area!!!), in our area it's $100 a month membership fee, and $800 per month for the before and afterschool program PER kid (300 mornings, 500 afternoons), plus $50 per half day (early dismissals, parent teacher conferences, etc.), and $100 per full day for no-school-days.

MYSELF... I'd go talk to the school, find out what programs are available, look into fees, and then go start looking for work. Why? Because it really changes what kinds of jobs you can afford to work. The care is there, but wages and hours are important to know, so you can subtract the hours in your mind (to find out what you'll 'actually' be making after childcare costs AND to know what programs you qualify for reduced fees. An extra $500 a month is a job to NOT get if it bumps you over the income level, and makes you lose $300 a month ($800 in childcare).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

P/t office, or something in retail might be the best fit. Retail might offer the flexibility you need. Before and after childcare might cost you more money.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I was in the same position a few months back. I ran across an ad that sounded like me. But the pay and time off had to be just right or it would not be worth it. I included my minimum salary requirement and my yearly days off request in the first email right along with my resume. I figured that if that scared them, that they wouldn't call me in to interview. Long story short, I got the job. They liked that I was upfront about what I needed, it showed a go-get'em attitude.

After care at the school is usually quite reasonable and they do homework with the kids. Plus, they cater to working schedules, so you can drop the kids off early and pick them up later than most daycares. So look into that option for the girls.

For your son, find a great at-home daycare that is state licensed and has a few kids your son's age. Even better if it's close to your job and you can drop in to see him on your lunch breaks. The At-home will be less expensive and usually a little more flexible.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Call around to local daycares. Sometimes daycares will pick children up from school and keep them until Mom is done with work. The schools around me all have a before and after school program for kids the kids need to be picked up by 5:30 PM. But you will need a place for them to go when school is not in session. What will you do with them summers, winter and spring break and days off for teachers conventions, ect.
Contact Social Services and ask about daycare assistance.

Most working Mom's work 1st shift (8-5) because that is when daycares are open. Even though the area where I live was built and grew on paper mills that had rotating shifts, most daycares do not offer any other shifts than 1st.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Depending on what your vocation is, I would suggest a 9 AM - 3 PM position. You might also go on line and see if there are any companies in your area (where you would qualify for a job), that have daycare facilities on site.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Oh R....I know how hard this is.

First of all you want to start applying for jobs. Any job. Get used to applying and interviewing.

In the meantime, start looking for daycares. Can you get state assistance? Or will child support cover daycare?

Can you do daycare? Are you willing to have other kids in your home? Then you can still get the older two on and off the bus, and you don't have to pay for Roman at a daycare. The plus is, he's over two. So at least in MD that would get you a cheaper rate. In my area, $150 a week.

Or...there are lots of places here that do before and after care. There is a Tae Kwon Do place that opens at 6 and closes at 9pm. They take the kids to and from school, plus they get "free" classes 5 days a week. Or in-home daycares will do before and after sometimes. My sitter won't, so not always. Or can you find a college kid who goes to school at night? Try We did that last fall and found a nanny who was willing to do $250 a week for 3 kids...but that included a could probably get cheaper if you look.

Don't get down - this WILL work out. You are a strong woman who stands up for more than I am able to. Your kids are very blessed to have YOU for their mom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

You just do...slow down and since it sounds like your first priority is to make some money, find any job.

Somehow the daycare will work its way into the mix. When you receive that call that says, "You got the job", ask for your schedule.

I am in Vegas and there are very few options for a 24/7 daycare. Take a day job if necessary. R-Ruby suggested the after school programs, not a bad idea. Start calling sitters and the school and have everything lined up and ready to go.

I have stand by ice skating coaches loaded into my phone if my daughters coach is not able to make it to practice, do the same. There is no reason you shouldn't have a few options lined up.

Best will do fine.

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answers from Washington DC on

If you have any temp agencies nearby, I'd suggest contacting one or two. They work with all kinds of schedules, and can place you somewhere that fits your need for flexibility. That could get you through the first stage, until you feel like you're back on your feet. Good luck! Sorry about your job. :(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

I'm so with you. IT is very overwhelming and i dont know what order to do things in either. Its very hard with kids. And trying to make everything work.



answers from Albuquerque on

I will be in the same boat soon. I have one toddler and one on the way. By the time baby #2 is here, my daughter will be nearly school aged. I will have to work within 6 months of graduating school before I start racking up interest on loans. Right now I am schooling online but the online job industry is non-existent! If you figure out how to make it work PLEASE share!



answers from Norfolk on

watch two kids in your home during the day that are your sons age so he has play mates. charge 150 each.


answers from Detroit on

Hello R.,

I would seek out companies like the one I worked for and call around to inquire about the fax number and fax my resume and follow up with all the companies. I wold not even call to inquire if they were hiring, I would just fax the resume and that way they will put it on file even if they are not hiring.

Once I get my foot in the door I would inquire about working my job from home. Until then you may have to work a night shift job if that is the only time that family and friends can help out.



answers from Atlanta on

Every school here has a before and after school program for working parents (or whoever wants to use them). They usually start at 6:30am and run until 6:30 pm, so you're covered for drop off and pick up. Most are very reasonable in price and offer homework assistance, snacks, lots of playground time, etc. Depending on the school, there are even classes offered in some of them like dance, martial arts, tennis, golf or team sports. Right now at my oldest son's school, their after-care program is $12 a day, which is actually on the high end for around here. At the school we hope he gets to attend next year, it's $25 per week and they have even more special classes. Last year it was $30 per week at the public elementary pre-k where he went.

If you have a young child who isn't in elementary yet, check out NAEYC accredited child care centers that operate on a sliding scale. Many are really fantastic preschools and they receive money from the state and federal government to supplement parents who can't afford the entire bill. You take them your pay stub, and they calculate your cost. I used to test preschool kids in many of these daycare centers and preschools near here for a curriculum company, and I was amazed at how nice so many of them are. Also look for YWCA and YMCA childcare centers. They are usually nice and very affordable.



answers from Denver on

Not EVERY school has an after-school program. Mine does not. My children go to school at different times and get out at different times. I want to work when they are in school. Then there is always summer breaks. I also have no help from family and I have no friends as I am extremely shy. There are inexpensive day care places, some that will even take your children to school and pick them up. If you work overnight, when will you sleep? I know this sounds all over the place. These questions are all getting jumbled in my brain as I have been struggling with this situation as well. Check out some work-at-home jobs. and are a couple I know are legit.



answers from Norfolk on

I have been on the opposite foot. My baby sitter had an emergency surgery and had to close her daycare. I had a week to find a new sitter. I was already working and didn't have any vacation time to spend to look. I started with craigslist and found a great sitter (until she backed out of the verbal contract we had, but that's a different story). We are now back with the "old" sitter when the other one backed out of the commitment.

Look for both at the same time. Personally, I prefer an in home daycare but do your homework on them. Check their facebook page, google them, etc. Most importantly, trust your gut. I have read several of your posts and you seem like your gut leads you and is trustworthy. Talk to several people about daycare, don't go with the first one. Most home daycares are more flexible with hours. If you find one within your school district, you can change the paperwork at the school so the sitter can pick up your daughters from school/bus stop.

Good luck... It's hard



answers from Washington DC on

I haven't read the responses, but have you looked at whether your older children's school has before and after programs? There is usually a fee, but it would help you in order to have an 8-5 job. Also, I would start looking at daycare programs while you job hunt (even though you don't know your salary) because many have wait lists, or not-so-immediate openings. At least you will know the price ranges and quality available in your area, and not feel rushed to choose. Another thing to look at - if you choose a daycare in your school district, that particular center may have before and after care where your older children are picked up and dropped off from the bus at the center. Very convenient to have all of your children in one place :) And most centers are 6:30am or 7am - 6pm, so you have time on either end to get there for drop-off/pick-up in time.

It sounds as if 8-5 is the most convenient and stable in terms of child care options, as long as you can make it work with your older kids. Working other shifts may be a little unstable since you would always be relying on others for help. Just a thought :)

Also, since you don't want to spend an arm and a leg in child care - daycare centers that are located in churches tend to be a little less expensive than private centers.



answers from Sacramento on

I had the same problem a few years back. I got a job thru the county being a care provider for elderly and disabled people. I could schedule work when I could work - between the hours of 8:30-3:00. I had two people I cared for - one I worked mon-wed-fri, the other tue and thurs. I always made sure things were set up at their houses so that if I had to miss a day, they still had everything available. it worked out really well. if you think you could deal with care providing, it's a workable option.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Many schools have an early drop off option for working parents. And there are many after school programs. Our district will bus the kids either home or to their after school program so I won't need to pick him up until 6 pm. If you went with a nanny, she could care for your son plus meet the girls at the bus stop and take care of them until you got home.



answers from Oklahoma City on

You find a child care situation that you can afford or go get paperwork to fill out for child care assistance. They may even help you while you are looking if you go through the employment office programs.

Once you realize how all the other working mom's do it you'll be just fine to go to work.

You drop your kids off at child care on your way to work and they take the kiddo's to school and pick them up.

One thing you may need to do is research and find out which centers will pick up from your school.

You can get a complete list of licensed child care businesses from your local child care licensing agency, or online from them too.

That way you can start by calling each one and asking if they go to your children's school and if they have openings for your ages. If they don't that's okay, they may have some later when you have a job.

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