There’s a lot of preparation surrounding the arrival of a child. Expecting means there are rooms to be painted, doctors to be found and constantly visited, IKEA furniture to be built, and baby books to be read. All of these tasks require very simple steps that have probably been previously outlined. But what happens after the nursery is painted and the crib is built? Unlike most countries, the United States doesn’t offer much support to parents who are in dire need of childcare solutions. Parents must go back to work and kids must learn, play, and socialize. I’ve put together a list of ten childcare resources I trust, in hopes they’ll be of some value to struggling parents. 

#1 Childcare Aware of America 

This is a national, membership-based, nonprofit organization working to advance affordability, accessibility, development, and learning. Their website has great resources and tools to help parents find childcare centers in each state. You can access listings of licensed childcare centers, as well as family childcare centers.

#2 Wanafamily  

My friendship with the founder of this business may make me biased, but this is one company that’s truly changing the game. Wanafamily connects different families in the same neighborhoods who want to trade off babysitting responsibilities. You take my kids Monday night, and I’ll return the favor by taking yours on Wednesdays. The model is a powerful community builder, allowing both kids and parents to create long-lasting friendships. 

#3 Nanny agencies 

Although hiring a personal nanny may not be the most affordable option, it is the best option for some parents who prefer not to take their children to daycare or a center before age one or two. This is also a good alternative for families on waitlists. Just be sure that the agencies you look at are members of national or international organizations, such as the International Nanny Association.

#4 Caregiving Listing Sites

There are plenty of online sites dedicated to helping you find the best caregiver for you and your family. While care.com is my favorite, Urbansitter, SitterCity, and GoNannies come in close. Remember to have a list of questions ready before you interview a sitter, and do your research!

#5 Co-ops

Co-ops are a great opportunity for parents to get involved in a co-education program in return for childcare. It’s an especially good option if your work schedule is flexible, or if you work part-time. This also allows you to be close to your child. If you are in California, make sure to check out this website for listings in your city.

#6 Nanny sharing 

Two families may coordinate and share a nanny to take care of the two kids. It’s a cost-effective option as well as favorable for children so they get to socialize. However, it can be difficult to find a good fit, especially because of scheduling. 

#7 Companies with on-site childcare

Some forward-thinking companies offer on-site childcare, childcare benefits, flexible work, or remote work. As you’re expecting, you may look into transitioning to one of those companies first, as they are a huge support for working families and have family-friendly policies in place that will impact your life considerably. Check out this Fortune 100 Companies that offer on-site childcare.

#8 Local Message Boards or Facebook Groups

Very often parents that are members of Facebook Groups focusing on parenting will be referring nannies, asking, or offering recommendations. Of course, with every candidate, make sure you ask for references and do the homework of calling at least 3 past references. For background checks, you can refer them to Trustline.

#9 Coworking with on-site childcare

Many parents work from home, and although that is a huge benefit in terms of having flexibility and proximity to the child (especially when nursing), it’s not always easy to work at home with an infant. The coworking industry is on the rise globally, and with that growth comes the niches of coworking. So why not have coworking with on-site childcare? If you are in the L.A. area, you should check out the latest space we’ve opened in Glendale.

At Collab&Play, we are constantly striving for ways to better our outreach and service. What resources have you used in the past in order to find childcare solutions? Please make sure to comment below if you have other resources that you tap into!