If you think childcare fees are out of this planet, you’re not crazy—you’re correct! And, with more families than ever having both parents working, the need for child care will continue to rise.
Raising children is costly, and one of the most significant expenditures that parents must bear is child care. Every year, Americans spend over $42 billion on early care and education, which equates to almost $500 per month.
How Much Does Daycare Cost on Average?
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average yearly cost of childcare varies from $5,400 to $24,240, depending on region and child age (EPI).
According to the institution, childcare also accounts for a significant amount of a family’s yearly revenue. To make matters worse, many families pay for childcare out of pocket, which is inflated in part by the low caregiver-to-child ratio.
According to the EPI, daycare for a 4-year-old in Ohio costs $7,895 per year, while baby care costs $9,697 per year, which is 3.1 percent more costly than rent in that state. Planning ahead of time for these might help you prevent new baby debt.
In New York, the prices for child and newborn care rise considerably to $12,258 and $15,394, respectively. California is also expensive, with yearly daycare costing $11,475 and newborn care costing $16,945 per year.
Keep in mind that these are merely the anticipated expenses for one child’s daycare. When a family has more than one kid, their daycare expenditures might more than double.
How Do Daycare Expenses Fit Into Your Budget?
It goes without saying, but any childcare option you choose must be financially feasible. In case of a severe shortage of money, there is always the opportunity to choose the best small personal loans, but still, you first need to think about how to save and use your finances efficiently.
Making budget cutbacks is, of course, a terrific approach to help free up additional income. However, keep in mind that they must be permanent budget cutbacks in order to be effective. And by “permanent,” it means “for as long as you have children who need child care.”
So, where do you get the money? If you know you’re going to have a kid, you and your partner should start thinking about career choices. If you decide to work outside the house, start saving for child care just as you would for delivery costs. Make a few trials runs in your budget to evaluate what much will work for you and your family.
Start looking for daily methods to economize, such as cutting less on eating out and using the drive-thru. Reduce your family’s dining out to once a week, or even twice a month, and see how much money you can save. What about subscription services you no longer use? For example, a gym membership, a subscription to a food magazine, and a wine of the month club.
Saving Money for Child Care
Prepare yourself for sticker shock. According to Care.com research, the average cost of daycare in America is $9,589 per year, while the average cost of in-home care (such as a nanny) is $28,354 per year.
So, the key issue here is whether or not it is feasible to save money on childcare costs. It’s certainly worth a go! Check with the childcare facility of your choice to see if they offer any grants or scholarships. It never hurts to inquire!
Depending on your income and filing status, you may also be eligible for tax savings for child care. Your childcare expenses may be tax deductible! If you need additional information, speak with a reputable tax professional.
Some workplaces even provide Dependent Care FSAs, which allow you to deduct money from each paycheck (pre-tax!) for child care expenses. Of course, there are certain limitations, so check with your company to see what they have to offer. It’s a terrific alternative for getting a little discount on a previously planned-for cost.
The good news is that the cost varies according to your child’s age. So, even if you’re paying a lot of money on daycare for your darling infant right now, your daycare fees will most certainly reduce once they’re a toddler on the run.
If you have more than one kid, some daycares may even offer you a discount. Check with your (or your spouse’s) employment first. They may provide a business discount on nearby daycares.
How to Cut Costs on Child Care
These tips can help you save on daycare, babysitter, or caregiver expenditures by using a little creativity and flexibility, making inexpensive child care a reality.
Enlist the Assistance of Friends and Relatives
Relative care is the simplest approach to lower your child care expenditures if you have relatives nearby. And, although you should always offer to compensate them, the cost will almost certainly be a lot lower than what you’d spend at a childcare facility or for a nanny.
Another advantage? Flexibility. A family member may be able to accommodate your schedule, but a contract provider may demand extra expenses. To minimize misunderstandings or wounded emotions, make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to caring, address issues as they occur, discuss health and safety guidelines, and offer some type of recompense, even if they decline the money.
Consider in-home Child Care or Family Child Care
A family day care, in which a caregiver cares for children in their own home, is frequently a more cost-effective option than full-time nannies or daycare facilities. Home daycares, like commercial daycare facilities, must adhere to stringent state licensing requirements in order to operate.
In-home daycare providers should follow the same safety procedures that you use at home (gated stairways, guards on windows, fluff-free bedding in cribs). The home should be clean and child-safe, with a spotless kitchen and bathroom, as well as an enclosed outside play area.
Inquire With Your HR about Extra Reimbursements and Perks
If you haven’t done, ask your HR manager about any benefits or reimbursements the firm provides that you may have overlooked when you originally took the position.
Educational support, pre-tax transportation plans, adoption assistance, and gym memberships (some of which include child care) are all methods to save money. They may have even negotiated a discount with a nanny placement agency.
Finally, keep in mind that you will not be paying exorbitant childcare costs for the rest of your life. This is only a phase that will pass. Your children will be in school before you realize it. When you don’t have to pay for child care each month, you could even feel like you earned a raise!
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