Here’s a statement virtually no one will argue with – childcare is expensive.
You’re not the only one feeling the squeeze either, as UK residents we’re paying some of the highest childcare costs in the world. In fact, according to a survey by Daycare Trust and Save the Children, a quarter of parents reported being falling into debt partly because of child care costs. Fortunately, there is plenty that can be done if this happens to you. Debt management help and advice could help you to cope with these costs.
When you consider this fact alongside research findings that suggest new parents almost exclusively want to spend more time with the little ones they’ve welcomed to the world, it’s little wonder that working from home is high on people’s lifestyle wish lists.
We’ll walk you through our 6 top ways to make money as a stay-at-home-parent.
1. Embrace your creative side
Now, you might have already considered the well-trodden paths that masses of people have taken already when it comes to creativity – but don’t be too quick to throw the idea to the wind.
A lot of creativity isn’t about what you do – it’s about how you let the world know about what you do.
There are 7 billion people that make up your potential market, if you could offer your creative talents to everyone you’d be a millionaire overnight (although you would have a lot of orders to fulfil).
So, there are two things to think about here. Firstly, what can you do? Secondly, how can you market what you do? Find a platform that suits you – there are lots of Etsy style selling sites if creative crafts are your thing – as well as Depop and similar if you’re more clothing focused – tech does well on eBay… or maybe classified sites are ideal?
2. Sell your skills online
Have you got a flair for writing? Maybe you’ve got awesome coding skills – or can knock out a world-class logo in no time at all?
Design, writing and coding are some of the most popular skills you’ll find on freelance sites such as Fiverr, People Per Hour and Upwork – and they’re all skills that can delivered from the comfort of your home office, desk or dining table.
The beauty of freelance work over more traditional work-from-home positions is the time flexibility. As long as you deliver your goods on time, it doesn’t matter to the client whether you’re working 9-5, or sticking to baby’s schedule and opting to work at 3am or during nap time…
3. Looking after other people’s children
This suggestion is firmly in the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ camp in relation to childminding costs, but the fact of the matter is, there are lots of people who need good quality childcare.
Relatively recent changes in the law mean being a childminder is a lot more difficult than just offering to look after people’s children – but the hoops that you need to jump through are reflected in the amount of money you’ll bring in.
You need to be registered with your local authority and Ofsted before you can begin – and you’ll also need an enhanced criminal records bureau check (now referred to as an ‘enhanced disclosure and barring service’ check) – to make sure you don’t have any criminal convictions that prevent you working with children.
The local authority will explain the more intricate rules around the numbers and ages of children you can look after – but if you want practice for bringing up your own little one, there’s little better than being paid to have a house full of other people’s children!
4. Teach English
Unless you’re a teacher reading this you’re probably thinking you’re not able to teach English – and while you might be right about formal teaching, that’s not the only kind out there.
There are thousands upon thousands of people who are falling over themselves to find native English speakers to practice their skills on. English is still the language of business around the world – so people of all ages, especially those from countries with lots of export business like China and India, want and need to hone their language.
There are formalised teaching websites available – like italki.com – but a lot of people opt to advertise on freelance sites and teach over Skype.
Oh and don’t worry, you don’t have to have any knowledge of the person’s native language, students will tend to be coming to you with a reasonable level of English to begin with – with your role being more about tone, pronunciation and cultural understanding.
5. Become a ‘VA’
Virtual assistants – or ‘VAs’ occupy a really important role in the internet business world.
The term virtual assistant is a little vague – and, in line with that, the role could encompass any number of tasks, from data entry, social media management, email monitoring, diary organisation – and much, much more!
There are many different levels of VA available – and often people in developing countries charge a very low hourly rate. You’ll probably want to charge more – but you’re likely to have native English speaking and the UK time zone firmly in your favour.
Again, sites like Upwork and People Per Hour are a great place to start with this – although that said, if there’s a particular industry you’re familiar or confident within, checking out some relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, as well as industry specific forums could be a good first step!
6. Talk about work from home opportunities
This is a bit of a curve-ball for people who are thinking about becoming self-employed through their little one’s younger years – but you shouldn’t discount talking to your current employer about adapting your role to suit working from home.
Of course, it depends on your industry and role – but where possible it makes a lot of sense for the company in question. Studies show that employees who work from home report higher levels of job satisfaction and greater productivity – leading to greater staff retention.
If it’s something you know would be new to your company – why not suggest working for a while on an agreed trial basis? You would have to be honest about how it’s working for you – but with more and more companies looking to offer positions that are based at home, it’s definitely worth a try if you’re a fan of your role.