Tips for Saving Money on Childcare

Childcare is important for all parents who work full time. However, cutting back on this expense can be hard, and one should not compromise on quality to get a better deal. There are some proven methods to save money on childcare, and these will help many families keep their kids safe for less.

Relatives

The first thing that you can do when trying to save money on childcare is to ask your relatives. Not only grandmas are willing to look after children, but younger nieces and nephews as well. They will know your child better than anyone, and if they need some pocket money, they will surely sacrifice some hours of their free time to stay at your house. Speak to their parents first and ask them about the idea. They will know the teenagers better than you and will let you know if the kids are capable and willing to help you out.

Child care swap

If you work part time or only on weekdays or weekends, you can swap time with your neighbors or relatives as well. It will not cost you any money, and if you are free on the weekends when other people are working, you can take out their kids to the park together with yours. That means that you trade your free time to other people’s, and your kids can make long term friendships at the same time. You can ask neighbors or your colleagues who work a different shift and live close to you to see if anyone else is looking to save money on childcare.

Tax rebates

The government offers tax breaks and childcare tax benefits for families if both the parents (or a single parent) work full time. This will enable people to get back to work after having a child, and this scheme can help people manage their budgets better. Although the tax credit only covers 35 percent of the costs, it can still save a substantial amount of money over a year. For full details on tax rebates and childcare tax benefits, you might find reading the below article useful. http://www.ehow.com/how_2191060_decide-whether-use-dependent-care.html

Charities

In case you need to work and cannot afford a babysitter or a nursery, it is a good idea to look around the neighborhood’s community centers and churches to see if there are any free or discounted childcare options offered by charities. The list of charities offering childcare can be found on the local government website, or you can simply ask your local church. Although many of the programs are only for kids older than four and last for a few hours, you will save money while the kids are there.

saving money on childcare

Childcare vouchers

There are many employers in the United States offering discounted childcare or tax-free vouchers. This will mean that you save money and are able to do your job without having to worry about the quality of care. Your HR department can also help you calculate your child-care tax credit amount. Usually, the higher your joint income is the lower the benefit is.

Working from home

If your employer does not offer any childcare benefits or vouchers, you might want to ask for home working arrangements. Not all employers will be happy with this solution, and you need to offer them a way of checking your productivity while working from home. Most employers do not believe that people get the job done while their kids are around, so you need to prove them wrong. You can start with one day a week and extend your work from home schedule once you have proven that it does not affect your productivity.

Extra activities

When children are old enough, it is often best to keep them engaged in extracurricular and other educational activities after school. While this may not save money, it will provide educational and other opportunities for your child.

Employer benefits and nurseries

You can ask your employer if they have a scheme or will consider sending a part of your salary to the childcare provider directly, so you do not pay tax on this benefit. Workplace nurseries usually offer a tax break. If you have any on site, you should use the service.

Compare prices

Before deciding which childcare provider or babysitter to use, you should shop around. There are some comparison sites on the internet to help you do this. You also need to decide which one is the most cost-effective option; nurseries, day-care centers, au pair hosting or babysitters. List the cost of all the pros and cons of the different solutions to make an informed decision.

Learn about child care and child care providers:

  • http://childcareaware.org/

Sites for locating childcare and other care providers:

  • http://www.care4hire.com/babysitters/
  • http://www.care.com/visitor/captureSitterSearch.do
  • http://sitter.com/

Avoid paying extra

Sometimes, different slots and days are more expensive than others when it comes to childcare. For example, you will be asked to pay about 50 percent more after 3 o’ clock, and evenings can be very expensive, just like weekends. You can ask your employer to change your working schedule, or if this is impossible, you might ask your colleagues if they wanted to swap your shift. Although you might lose your pay enhancement, you will make a saving on childcare cost.

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