Money Saving Tips - Child Care
Child care is part of the daily routine for millions of American families with young children. Working parents rely on child care to enable them to learn the money they need to support their families. However child care is very expensive, especially high quality care. A family in the united States with a 4 year-old child can expect to pay between $3,016 to $9,628 per annum on average. Parents of an infant face even higher average costs of between $3,803 to $13,480 a year. Accredited care escalates the costs even further. This expense often forces families into sacrifices with regards to quality. Put simply if you want quality care, it costs money.
Here are a few money saving tips that might help reduce your child care costs.
- Get family members to babysit
- Get Dad to stay at home with the children
- Work complementary shifts so one parent is always free to look after the children
- Ask for discount from your daycare if you have more than one child ( hey! Ask anyway!)
- Share a nanny or a Babysitter
- Share and swap babysitting duties with friends.
- If your employer offers a Dependent Care Account - a type of Flexible Spending Account, you can salt away up to $5,000 in pre-tax dollars for day care (or elder care). In addition, for child-care expenses you pay with after-tax dollars, you can take the Dependent Care Tax Credit on your tax return. Depending on your income, you can claim 20% to 35% of up to $3,000 in care for one kid ($6,000 for two or more). That could be as little as $600 to $1,200 off your taxes.
- Check if your company or employer has arrangements or offers discounts for child care provider services. Many large companies negotiate discount deals with local child care providers to help their employees.
- See if your local public school provides half-day pre-kindergarten facilities for 4 year olds. These arrangements are usually free and can help reduce your child-care requirements
- Check into Mom's Day Out programs (sponsored by local churches or government)
- Work from home - It may drive you crazy, but many Mom's do this and successfully run internet based business's to supplement their income