Parents need access to child care to work and provide for their families. Unfortunately, quality daycare is not always affordable. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, the yearly cost of full time daycare is as high as $15,895 for an infant and $11,680 for a four-year-old. So when money is tight, finding ways to save on child care is important. Here are a few ideas.
Consider a Home Daycare Program
A home daycare can usually charge less than a center-based child care program because the provider does the lesson planning, cleaning, meal preparation and other child care related tasks herself, so there is no employee overhead. And since home daycare providers operate inside of their homes, there are no additional building fees to pay.
But when choosing a home daycare for a child, do it with care; not all states require the providers to be trained or licensed.
Ask for Sibling Discounts
Having more than one child enrolled in a daycare program can break the bank. For this reason, some daycare centers offer sibling discounts. Even if giving discounts is not a common practice in a particular child care center, ask for one anyway. More than likely, the center will knock off a few bucks just to keep the children enrolled.
Switch to Part Time or Relative Care
If there is a spouse or other relative who can care for a kid during the work week, switch to part time daycare, and let the relative care for the child on the days he does not attend daycare.
Finding a close relative such as a grandparent to care for a child on a full time basis is also a great way to reduce the cost of daycare. Grandma’s finger painting techniques may not be as refined as a professional child care provider, but as a trusted relative, she can provide a safe, nurturing environment for a youngster.
Look Into Government Child Care Subsidy Programs
Government child care subsidy programs are designed to help low income and single parent households save money on daycare. These programs base the amount of money parents pay for child care on their total household incomes.
To find out what types of child care subsidy programs are available in the area, contact the local Department of Human Services.
Quality child care is vital for working families, but sometimes the cost can be overwhelming. So to ease the burden, consider a home daycare, request sibling discounts, ask relatives to pitch in, switch to part-time care, or look into child care subsidy programs.