DEAR HARRIETTE: I am fortunate enough to work from home, and I am able to be with my 2-year-old son. I love having my son with me throughout the day, but as of late, he has become a little tornado, destroying everything in sight, and it has become a distraction. I am not able to get any work done. I think I may need to hire a part-time nanny because I need to get my work done. What do you think is a feasible rate to pay a nanny for a part-time baby-sitting job? -- Having Second Thoughts, Syracuse, N.Y.
DEAR HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS: Two-year-olds are extremely active and do need constant attention. I caution you to stop thinking of your son in negative terms, like "a little tornado," because that superimposes negative thoughts on him. Instead, continue your line of thinking as to how you can support him and yourself at the same time.
You have a few options. Check out pricing for day care facilities in your area, everything from a traditional organization to a church-run facility to a mom-and-pop in your neighborhood. Sometimes neighbors -- with credentials -- baby-sit for small groups of children, and that may be the most affordable option. You can also investigate nannies, or someone who can come to your home and be with your child as well as take the child out to the park, etc. The fees vary widely, but generally the group drop-off business is more affordable than one-on-one. I read a report from your area that suggests that in-home child care would cost approximately $150 per week. See childcaresolutionscny.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/the-high-cost-of-child-care-what-does-child-care-cost-in-cny/ for more details. In general, hourly sitters cost $10-$20 per hour.