Saving on Sitters: Creative Child Care Solutions for a Tough Economy

Option 2: Hire a Hybrid Caregiver

How it works
Lately, many parents have been exploring the "combination caregiver," a hybrid babysitter/housekeeper that costs less than hiring two separate employees. The hybrid caregiver focuses on tending to the children, but also spends time cleaning up the home—beyond the typical mess made by the kids. This can include vacuuming, dusting, making all the beds, doing laundry, folding clothes, cleaning bathrooms, etc.

What to do
Never assume that a current caregiver can "become" a hybrid. All it would mean is that you're dumping extra work on her and completely changing the job expectations that she signed on for. Instead, it's better to hire a new, willing caregiver to make the hybrid arrangement work out.

In your job posting, be very clear about what the expectation is and what types of housekeeping tasks the caregiver would be responsible for. Make sure you pay fairly to compensate the caregiver for the additional workload.

Remember, the more time a caregiver spends tending to your home, the less time she can spend tending to your children, so think carefully about whether this option would be a good one for your family.

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