12 Budget-Friendly Ways to Save on Child Care

August 21, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

12 Budget-Friendly Ways to Save on Child Care

When it comes to finding a service that you can afford, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice what’s important to you or your family. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of things to consider that will help cut the cost of child care in half.

1. Start Now

The earlier you begin looking for a childcare service the better. Day care slots tend to fill up fast and you don’t want to be left with options that don’t meet your needs or fit your family’s budget. If you’re looking for child care for the upcoming school year, anywhere from the end of June to the beginning of August is a great time to start your search.

2. Do Your Research

Weigh various options to find the best prices. In most states, center-based child care is more expensive than home-based child care. Religious-based childcare centers can be the least expensive option, which may be a great way to save if it’s an option that works for your family. Before you make a decision, look into at least one center-based option and one home-based option to see which one makes the most sense financially.

3. Consider Sick Days

The majority of daycare centers require you to pick up your kid if he or she is sick, which means you’ll probably have to cash in one of your sick days, too. This is one of the advantages of hiring a nanny, as they’ll likely care for your kids when he or she is ill.

4. Weigh Vacation Days

Find out if the childcare service you’re considering offers unpaid vacation days. That means that you won’t have to pay for a day that your child does not show up. This is an important factor to consider if you’re planning a trip this year.

5. Think About Unpaid Holidays

A number of childcare services charge families on days that they’re closed for a holiday. Be sure to ask about the holiday schedule to find out how many of these days will cost you money and factor those into your yearly budget.

6. The Sibling Discount

Finally, there’s a financial benefit to having more than one kid. Always inquire about a sibling discount if you’re sending your kids to the same service. Doing so could result in a big percentage off your yearly rate.

7. Flexible Spending Account

Find out if your workplace offers an FSA for dependent care. You’ll be able to fund the account with up to $5,000 per year of pre-tax income, which will lower the amount of taxes you owe for the year and give you a bigger budget to work with.

8. Child and Dependent Care Credit

Find out if you can claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit on your federal income tax return. The bracket is available for up to $3,000 in qualifying child care expenses for one child and up to $6,000 for two or more children.

9. Have a Conversation with HR

Your company might offer child care benefits that you’re unaware of. Before you make your decision, sit down with someone from HR who can fill you in on options for working parents.

10. Play Around with Schedules

Some services allow you to pay for certain days rather than the entire week. If you’re someone who works from home every so often, don’t pay for five days when you can be paying for four. Instead, find a service that will allow you to pay by the day.

11. Share Child Care

If you can’t afford it on your own, sharing childcare services is a great way to save. Team up with friends and look into hiring a nanny who wouldn’t mind looking after a whole group of little ones. 

12. Ask for Help

If you have family members or friends who are always offering to watch your kids, take them up on it. Employing people you know is one of the best ways to save on child care. If you’re lucky, promising them precious time with your little one will be all the compensation they’ll need.

Don’t let the cost of child care scare you out of finding the right one for you.

Keep these money-saving tips in mind and you’ll be able to find an affordable service that will ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your kids.

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