Three Tips For Finding Affordable Childcare
Did you know that the cost of putting two children in childcare exceeds the median annual rent payments in every state? With nearly 11 million American kids under the age of five enrolled in some form of child care every week, this means that day care providers compose a fairly lucrative business. Unfortunately, this business is sustained at a parent’s expense: studies show that about 90% of childcare costs are assumed by moms and dads. If the price of day care is getting you down, consider these cost-effective tips for working parents. Can you save some money while choosing childcare that works for you and your family?
Consider Your Budget
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but many parents are caught off guard by the sheer cost of most childcare options for working parents. In fact, the average family will spend 18% of their total budget on day care, a significant chunk. To choose the best service, you need to determine what you can afford. Calculate what you will need to spend on essentials like housing, food and utilities. Then, see if you can eliminate any unnecessary costs. This should give you a general range of the price you can afford to pay for childcare.
Check Out Local Services
Churches, synagogues, school districts, and even some companies often provide discounted childcare services. Employers with onsite childcare are growing particularly common due to a number of benefits for both the company and the worker: for example, employers with onsite childcare often find that workplace day care programs increase employee retention, promote productivity and reduce absenteeism. Investigate options around you, from local day care centers to nanny services, and compare the benefits and costs of both. In some cases, depending on the number of children you have and the demands of your family’s schedule, the cheapest option could cost you in the long run.
Talk to Your Company
Even if you don’t work for employers with onsite childcare services, your job likely has some options that can help make childcare more affordable. For example, if the company has a flexible spending account available to employees, experts say that parents can often save as much as $2,000 on childcare expenses. Likewise, because the federal government gives tax breaks to parents, the average families may qualify for around $1,200. Talk to your company’s Human Resources Department to ensure that you are taking advantage of all available benefits and aid.
Whether you’re interested in sending your children to a local day care provider or taking advantage of childcare in the workplace, there is a childcare option out there that will work effectively for your family. The costs of this service might be steep, but ensuring that your children are taken care of even when you aren’t around is a powerful benefit. Moreover, by taking care to plan and research your options, you can save a significant amount of money on this common expense. Start investigating childcare services in your area today!