Childcare for freelancing professionals can be tricky. We discuss options that can help you and your family.
As a freelancer, your life needs to be flexible. Work can arrive in your inbox at short notice and with tight deadlines, and routines do not always go to plan. Sometimes you can have too much work to handle, and at other times you can have too little. Freelancing can be a highly rewarding way to work, however parents who choose to freelance also need to choose childcare that suits their working style.
Many translation professionals choose to work from home as freelancers, because they want to spend more time with their children, but some form of childcare is usually still required. A translation professional who has tried to work from home while caring for a young child at the same time will know the challenges that this raises. A baby may not sleep at that perfect time you pre-arranged your Skype meeting for, and parents can be torn between their working demands and the affection that is demanded by their little ones.
Freelancers need to consider their childcare options, but not all early childhood settings operate with flexible hours. Most have long waiting lists and require permanent bookings with fixed days and times. This may be suitable for parents who work the same shifts every week, but this is not the routine of a freelancing professional. Freelancers often find themselves stuck for care that is as flexible as they are.
Flexible Care Options
Depending on the community that you live in, you may be able to access occasional child care which is designed to support parents with flexible schedules. Some may require you to make a booking a week or two in advance, while others will let you phone in early each morning. Talk to the director of your local occasional childcare centre and ask if they can assist you with your child care needs.
Many freelancers rely on family and friends to care for their children, especially if they are located in the same suburb. If this option is not available to your family, try meeting other parents who can assist with a flexible childcare schedule. Another family may be only too pleased to care for your children when they are not working themselves, in exchange for you caring for their children when you are not working.
A nanny or au pair is most certainly the most flexible and personal option for childcare, however it can be more expensive. Your family will need to decide if the additional cost will be worth it, while also exploring ways to reduce nanny costs. International travellers will often be willing to assist families for a reduced rate, because of the cultural experience you can provide them. Childcare options for freelancers are available, and you will need to choose the right one to suit your family’s needs.