One of the most significant expenses for families with children is childcare costs.
According to a recent report from the US Department of Agriculture, the average yearly cost for childcare for children under the age of 5 was roughly $10,500 in 2022.
If you’re like many parents, you may be looking for ways to cut down on childcare expenses. Luckily, there are many strategies that can help reduce this expense and make it more affordable.
Here are 9 ways to potentially save money on daycare costs:
Shop Around & Compare Rates
Don’t settle for the first daycare facility you come across. You might be overpaying and not even know it!
Instead, compare prices at different daycare facilities to get the most bang for your buck. Ask about discounts for multiple children or extended care hours.
Many daycares and childcare facilities offer discounts for families with multiple children, allowing parents to save considerable amounts of money.
Ask About Referral Programs
Some daycare providers have referral programs that reward existing members who refer new families with discounts or free services. You may be able to score a discount by having a friend or family member sign up along with you.
Ask your daycare about any such programs they may offer so that you can maximize your savings by referring friends and family.
If you know another family with children, consider teaming up and splitting childcare costs between the two families. This could save you money on daycare fees as well as provide some much-needed relief from care duties.
Look Into Tax Credits
Find out whether you may be able to claim any tax credits related to daycare expenses, such as the Child and Dependent Care Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). These can reduce your tax liability and may provide a significant savings.
Consider Part-Time Daycare
If you don’t need full-time care, consider part-time options. These can include things such as shared nannies or babysitters who offer drop-in services on an occasional basis.
Take Advantage of Employer Benefits
Some companies might offer child care assistance and subsidies for employees. Check with your company’s human resources department to see if they have any programs that could benefit you financially.
Lean On Family
If you have relatives or friends who are willing to help out with childcare, ask them if they would be willing to do so on a regular basis in exchange for a reduced rate.
If your direct relatives are unable to help, they still may know of a babysitter or nanny that they can refer to you.
Many school districts offer free or low-cost after-school programs that can provide care until parents get home from work each day. These programs often include activities and educational support, which can make them an excellent alternative to traditional daycare.
Consider Government Assistance Programs
Depending on your income level and family situation, there may be federal or state assistance available to help offset the costs of childcare.
By taking advantage of some of these strategies, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars each month on daycare expenses. With some research and a bit of creativity, it is possible to find affordable solutions that fit your family’s needs.