What to do when childcare costs too much?

When I had my babies, I tried desperately to be a stay at home mum.

I cried when I put my baby (then 11 months) into childcare, but I didn’t have a choice.

Back then I wished there was some way that I could either be a stay at home mum, or if I couldn’t do that, I could employ a nanny so my child didn’t have to leave the house on those cold, blustery Canberra mornings to attend childcare.

But it didn’t happen and I eventually enrolled him to a nearby centre. And by enroll, I mean I had his name down on a long waiting list at five different centres and then just out of luck he was accepted shortly before I returned to work, and not on the days that I wanted anyway.

The one major benefit of childcare, however, was that he was able to socialise with other little children his age. This was something I wasn’t able to provide him at home… or was it?

If only I had heard of Caresquare.

Proudly sponsored by Caresquare

What if you had childcare that was affordable and flexible to the days you need? Your child and a couple of his closest friends could be looked after from the comfort of home. Not only that, you had your own nanny to help around the home.

Caresquare is starting to make this a reality. Launched only in late March 2016, there are already 150 families registered to use the site across the capital cities, including Canberra.

Caresquare specialises in shared care, or ‘nanny share’, where two or more families share the cost of a nanny. It was created for working parents who require affordable, high quality childcare, but may not be able to afford, or find a vacancy in a centre. It is an alternative to childcare in a centre, where a nanny or educator comes into the home and cares for your precious ones and other children who live nearby.


Caresquare doesn’t just match you with families nearby, they match you according to your ‘compatibility’ with other families, based on distance, similarity in schedules, type of care required, vaccination status plus more. You are returned a percentage score of your suitability with other families. You can decide to chat and meet, or simply wait for the next match.

Caresquare explains that with shared care, this can all happen for as little as $7.93/hr per child in a four-child share. So for say, 8 hours of care, you can have your own share (and nanny) for around $63.44 a day.

“But is the nanny qualified and experienced?”, I hear you ask. This is my first question when I looked into Caresquare. The answer is absolutely yes. All nannys registered with Caresquare must meet strict eligibility criteria such as:

(i) minimum of two years experience (and referee checks);

(ii) a Certificate III in Children’s Services (or similar);

(iii) Working with Children Check (iv) Police Check;

(v) First Aid, CPR, Asthma and Anaphylaxis; and

(vi) valid Driver’s Licence.

I remember when I was returning to work and my friends and I looked into using a nanny share as we were all gobsmacked by the cost of childcare centres. But with all of us living in different suburbs (Braddon, Casey and Bruce), it just simply wasn’t going to happen. What we needed was Caresquare to match us with other like minded families in our neighborhood.

I think this could be a totally new way to experience childcare. If you are interested in finding out more about Caresquare in Canberra, Melbourne or Sydney, visit their website at

Have you used a nanny share arrangement before?

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About Lauren Jackman (161 Articles)
Lauren Jackman is the author of Canberra Mummy. A self-confessed perfectionist, Lauren writes about the truth about pregnancy and parenting for perfectionist mummies. Lauren is a mum, wife, author, runner and a not a bad cook