How to Save on Child Care

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Child care services are a large expense that families face each month. With rates rising every year, parents often are forced to make household budget cuts or change jobs due to the cost. Daycare is becoming unaffordable for working families as many are paying up to 40% of their annual income to cover the expense. However, this does not mean you can’t save on child care.

Daycare costs should not be more than 10% of a household’s budget, according to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With that in mind, 2018 average monthly cost was between $9,000 and $9,600 in 2018, which would mean the household income should be a minimum of $90,000.00 to support 1 child. Unfortunately, the average household income in the US for 2018 is only $62,175. Families are actively looking for ways to save on child care.

WAYS TO SAVE ON CHILD CARE EXPENSES

1. Use a Flex Spending Account

Dependent costs can be deposited to an account through your employer. The amount will be deducted pretax which saves you money. You can deposit up to $5,000. These funds must be used before the end of the year or they will be lost.

When using a Flex Spending account, please note that you are not eligible for the dependent care tax credit. You must choose which savings is best for your financial situation.

2. Use a Home-based Provider

Caregivers who work out of their own homes generally charge less for services. Many parents choose this option because it offers more individualized attention due to the smaller number of children in attendance. Check with your local area to see what is available. You can also use databases like SitterCity.com and Care.com to locate a provider.

3. Adjust Your Schedule  to save on child care!

Speak with your employer or HR representative and see if you can adjust your schedule to either different hours, decreased hours or added flexibility to work from home in order to lower the burden on your expenses.

Many employers are becoming more flexible to meet the needs of their employees to retain talent. If you’re not lucky to have an accommodating employer, looking for a different job may be an option.

4. Ask a Family Member to Help

Living close to relatives can be a blessing. Grandma and Grandpa may be a great option to not only save money but it also creates an opportunity for quality bonding time. If you aren’t lucky enough to live near family, you could consider sending your child to their home for a week or two as a kiddie vacation.

Friends may also step in and watch your kids at a lowered rate. Some of our Friends are as close as family and the kids will enjoy bonding with the ones they love.

Choose the option that fits your needs best!

Remember, don’t stress too much, the kids won’t be little forever and eventually this expense will go away. The most important thing is that they are loved.

This is not legal, financial or professional advice. Please consult a legal, financial or professional advisor for your specific situation.