In September and October, we invited all new and current members of Care.com to enter the Year of Care Giveaway to give their family a chance to win $12,445—the annual cost of child care according to the State of Care Index. We chose one winning family at random and today I’m introducing them to the Care.com community!
Karie Fristoe is a stay-at-home mom who’s a former kindergarten and 1st grade teacher. She and her husband Matthew have three beautiful children: Madilyn, Tegan, and Kambria. And they’ve just won a year of child care from Care.com!
Meet the Fristoe Family
After they had their first child, the Fristoes made the choice to have Karie return to work. As any parent knows, that’s a tough decision.
“After my first,” Karie said, “I went back to work. But almost all of my paycheck went to child care. You’re at work, missing your babies, and not loving what you’re doing.”
Eventually, Karie was able to become a stay-at-home mom, but that didn’t eliminate their family’s need for child care. Each of their three children has different needs and Karie found it tough to juggle the options. Her youngest, little 5-month-old Kambria, isn’t old enough to be out of the house all day. But her other two children are older and were “chomping at the bit” to get out, visit nearby Sea World or go to the zoo. Those simple day trips and playdates seemed out of reach. Karie’s mom pitched in to help with babysitting, but the Fristoes felt they couldn’t turn to their relatives for all of their child care needs.
“I can’t put all my babysitting needs on my mom and didn’t want to go with someone I didn’t know,” Karie said. “I saw an ad for Care.com. I went to the site and found three great caregivers…I so desperately needed to find somebody. I found several different girls, requested their background checks—that was a huge help to me!”
Now, Karie has someone she can trust at home to watch one or two of the kids while she’s able to spend one-on-one time with her other children. Having that extra quality time is so great!
“It’s like I fell in love with my children all over again,” Karie said.
I’m so happy Karie was able to find three babysitters from Care.com. One of them is a mother of six, who Karie says “has even more experience with babies” than she does! Now, with the money she’s won from the Year of Care Giveaway, she plans to use these great babysitters a little more.
“We’ve budgeted in other areas for sitters—they’re not cheap nowadays,” she said. “I’m trying to do as much as I can…Actually getting my kids out of the house and changing pace is great. It’s like heaven, but it’s not cheap. It’s definitely a luxury to afford a babysitter.”
Karie also told us that they plan to put her oldest daughter into preschool for three days a week which will give her a chance to make friends and get a jump start on her education!
We ran the Year of Care Giveaway to bring attention to the high costs of child care. Balancing work, family life, and paying for care can be such a burden. There are so many families out there just like the Fristoes who have to decide whether paying for full-time child care is worth having a second income, make budget decisions based on babysitters, and rely on relatives to help out with care.
How does your family find the right balance between cost and quality care? If you have tips or ideas, I’d love to hear them!