Your Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Sharing Family Care

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Social and Personal Benefits

  • A shared child care environment can help your child learn to socialize with other children, to share, and to be flexible. Kids who spend time with a variety of other kids and adults tend to be more well-rounded people.
  • Often, both you and your children will make lifelong friends of the other kids and adults with whom you share.
  • Elders and adults with disabilities can benefit from the company of others.
  • People caring for adult family members can benefit from a supportive community of others in the same situation.
  • Sharing pet care is fun for the dogs, makes them better behaved, and provides a great opportunity to be neighborly.

Environmental Benefits

  • If you're at home alone with your child, you're using utilities and other resources; if you share with even one other family you'll be halving the resources used. And when multiple households share child care, even more resources are saved.
  • Combining shopping and errands for a number of elders or people with disabilities reduces driving.

Financial Benefits

  • A live-in nanny can cost $600 per week, plus health insurance benefits and taxes. If you invite even one other child into your home to share day care, you can reduce the cost significantly.
  • If you share an hourly child care worker with one other family, you'll cut your costs—including health benefits and taxes—in half, and you can do the math on what it will mean to share with more than one other family. (But watch out for state and local laws limiting how many children can be cared for together before child care regulations kick in.) The same is true if you hire a caregiver for an adult family member.
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