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Daycare conundrum: Who gets the kids when both parents work?

You and your ex-spouse have always been good about putting your children first, but you've reached a point that has made some daycare decisions difficult. You want your children to stay with those you love and trust, but what are the options?

Since you and your ex-spouse ended up on the same work schedules, the problems became very significant in your life. You don't like the idea of daycares or afterschool programs where your children spend hours a day, but neither of you have anyone in the family who can serve as a babysitter.

What should you do when neither parent is available to watch their children?

Now is a good time to consider mutual friends and professionals. There are a variety of third-party options that help working parents focus on their jobs and know that their children are in good hands.

One option is to hire a nanny together. A nanny, a professional caretaker, may live with you and the other parent on and off, going where the children go. They may even do simple housework and chores, helping you enjoy your time with your children when you are home. If you or your spouse are gone for long periods of time during the day or overnights, then a nanny could be a good option.

Another option is a vetted babysitter. You can each hire your own, but you should do a background check before settling on one. Babysitters normally work from only a few hours a day to up to 12, and they rarely live with the children.

Finally, if you have a mutual friend, consider asking for help. You both trust this person, so they may have a good idea about someone who could serve as a caregiver. Having a third party choose a babysitter or professional for childcare could give you peace of mind and help both parents agree on someone together.

It isn't always easy to work out a daycare plan when you both work, but there are options. 

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