Thursday, October 5, 2017
Shop around for childcare. Don’t settle on the first place you find without checking out at least two or three other day cares. Ask co-workers, friends, and relatives for recommendations on quality childcare in your area. You may be able to find a less expensive environment that still provides all the features you’re looking for in a childcare facility.
For example, consider a co-op, home-based daycare, community center, church or an organization such as the YMCA. These options are often less expensive than franchised childcare centers. It’s important, however, that you do the proper due diligence to be sure you’re choosing a safe place for your child.
Use your employer’s flexible spending account. If your employer offers one, you can deposit up to $5,000 pre-tax dollars into a flexible spending account. You don’t save on childcare directly, but you can save up to 40% in taxes by maxing out the FSA depending on your tax rates. Keep in mind you have to use all the funds by the end of the year – which will be easy for some families.
Take advantage of the child are tax credit. You still have options if your employer doesn’t offer a flexible spending account or if your family spends more than $5,000 a year on childcare. You can take advantage of the credit as long as the child is under age 13 and you include the federal tax ID number for the childcare provider. The credit, as Freedom Debt Relief reviews, allows families to save up to $3,000 on childcare for one child and up to $6,000 for childcare for multiple children.
Explore your options for financial assistance. Scholarships and government assistance are other options for reducing the cost of childcare. Ask the director at your childcare center about any discounts or scholarships that may be available for families. Families earning less than 200% of the poverty line may qualify for assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Care. If your family doesn’t qualify for assistance based on income, Freedom Debt Relief reviews the Child Care Aware program as an option to get information about other programs that may be available for you, according to Freedom Debt Relief reviews.
Get help from friends and family. You may be able to avoid paying the expensive price tag on childcare by getting help from friends and family. If you’re unable to pay a lot of money, you may be able to do a service or task for them in exchange for childcare services. Consider paying for part-time childcare and having a trusted friend or relative care for your child a couple of days a week.
In two-income households, it’s common for childcare to almost devour one of the paychecks. In some cases, it may make more financial sense for one parent to stay at home with the children, especially with multiple children. Freedom Debt Relief reviews found a free Decision Making Tool from ChildCareWare that helps families decide whether it’s more beneficial for one parent to stay at home rather than go back to work.