7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Child Care

January 01, 2022

Let’s face it – child care costs can be a huge burden for many families. Although the cost varies in different parts of the country, child care costs still cause a strain on some families’ income. If you are struggling to raise money for child care, especially during the pandemic, you should definitely consider other options that can help you cut back on the costs.

Here, I highlight other child care options that might interest you. Keep reading!

  1. Seek subsidies from local resources

You don’t need to carry the burden alone. There are several funding options from the federal and state governments that can help reduce the cost of child care. Thanks to the Obama administration that emphasized the need for better child care assistance, many families can now enjoy certain levels of child care subsidy. The requirements usually vary with families, hence, I recommend you check local resources in your state to see what you can claim or any nearby government-funded child care center.

  1. Ask your employer or university for help

Employees may enjoy some benefits that cover all or part of the child care cost. Be sure to check with your employer early on to compare your options before choosing a caregiver. This benefit also extends to some students. Don’t be quick to dismiss the idea. Check with your university to see if child care subsidies are for faculty only. You may be lucky to learn that students can participate in the offer too. Give it a try.

  1. Compare prices in different centers

Another easy way to reduce the cost of child care is to carefully compare prices around your neighborhood. I understand that you already have a center in mind but that center might charge more than others for many legit reasons. Start by searching for up to 5 good centers near you and then carefully compare them based on their services, your personal reasons, and the prices. At the end of the day, you will be choosing one that offers the best services for your needs at the best possible price.

  1. Find student nannies/babysitters

Typically, most students have flexible schedules that allow them to take part-time jobs. Since adult caregivers charge more than you can afford to spare at the moment, it is smart to find students in your neighborhood who are willing to take on babysitting jobs. With the right person, this will be a win-win for everybody because you get to pay less while the student gets to make extra bucks. It is important to keep an eye out for a responsible student. You cannot leave your children under the care of a stranger just to cut costs.

  1. Let your friends and family help

Family and friends make child care very easy. You should totally consider this option if you have friends and family nearby. Instead of paying so much for a caregiver, a friend can help you take care of your child while you are busy. Although this won’t be free in all cases, you are better off knowing that the cost won’t come close to what you would pay a professional.

  1. Teach older siblings to care for younger ones

For families with older children, you may explore the option of leaving younger children under the care of older children. Let me quickly add that this option is not the best form of child care. In fact, it may not be available to everyone because some states have laws stipulating the age to leave children by themselves. However, generally, I guess it will do no harm to leave your kid under the care of your 14-year old. Quick advice – don’t look at the age only. Be sure the 14-year old is indeed capable of watching over the younger sibling before committing such task to them. Please do due diligence before exploring this option.

  1. Try child care co-op with another family

Do you know you can pay less for child care by cooperating with other parents? Yes, I know you don’t have the time to start your own daycare. Here is what I mean. First, you can find another parent with a different shift from yours and you both get to take turns looking after the children. Second, you can find other parents who are willing to use the same babysitter. This way, you get to split the cost with the parents.

Parting thought…

While important and helpful, I must admit that child care can be a source of financial burden to some families, especially during the pandemic. Of the aforementioned options, I hope you find a few suitable options that will help you reduce the cost of child care. Good luck!

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