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Childcare is expensive; and unfortunately, this is one expense working parents can’t avoid. However, there are ways to cut costs and save money on daycare every month.
1. Work alternating shifts: If you can't afford to pay daycare expenses, and you can't afford to stay home, you do have an option. Rather than work the traditional 9 to 5, talk with your spouse and consider a work schedule that eliminates the need for daycare. One parent can work during the day, while the other parent works evenings, nights, or weekends. It may mean you don't see much of each other, but it will only last a little while, and you'll be able to enjoy each other more when the two of you have time off together.
2. Ask a friend or relative to babysit: Do you have a neighbor, friend, or relative who stays home with their children? If so, ask them to babysit your child. Babysitters generally charge less than daycare facilities. If you really want to save money, swap childcare duties and offer to watch their children on the weekends.
3. Apply for daycare reimbursement: Several companies include childcare reimbursement in their benefits package. It’s all a matter of inquiring about the program and completing the paperwork. Once employers have your paperwork on file, submit daycare expense receipts to your employer, and they’ll reimburse all or a percentage of your daycare expenses.
4. Get a multiple child discount: Some childcare providers are flexible, and if you have more than one child in care, they’re prepared to offer a discounted tuition rate.
5. See if you qualify for government assistance: Single parents and low income families may qualify for government or statewide programs that offer childcare assistance. Contact your local Department of Social Services and inquire about free or low-cost childcare programs.
6. Open your own daycare: If you have the available space – and the patience – start your own home-based daycare center. You’ll be able to stay home with your children, save money on childcare, and earn an income. Contact your state’s childcare licensing department and familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations.You'll save on daycare expenses while bringing in income, and helping others to save on their daycare expenses too.