Balancing between income and child care expenses can be difficult. This is as a result of the rising cost of childcare and parents often find themselves struggling to afford care for their children while working. It is exciting to let you know there are options you can consider when trying to save money. Tips to help you find affordable child care that can be of assistance to you are discussed below.

Budget: Figuring out your budget is very important as you would with most financial goals and savings necessities. You can discover you can afford a particular thing you thought you couldn’t afford if you take an inventory of the amount coming in and the amount going out. If you do this before going to look for childcare options, your confidence would be increased as to know exactly where you stand. 

Check into Dependent Care Account Options: You also have the opportunity to check with you employer so as to have a knowledge if you can open a tax free dependent care account. You should have this option if your employer similarly offers a flexible spending account. With a dependent care account, you can set up to $5,000 aside tax-free and utilize it to pay for camp, preschool, and daycare.

Child Care Tax Credit – When you pay for childcare out of pocket, you can itemize up to $3,000 per child in those expenses per year on your taxes. This tax credit caps at $6,000 per family.

Utilize Family Resources – Do you have family nearby? Try asking to see if anyone is available to assist in childcare! Grandparents don’t often mind!

Au Pair Services – Au pair programs are when you can host a foreign national for a year. Au pair participants will study while in the US, while also providing childcare. Your au pair would live with you during the scheduled year and take care of your children, while you provide room and board and a stipend in return.

Speak to Your Employer: Benefits to help working parents afford childcare are offered by some companies and this would definitely not hurt to consult your HR and find out if it is available in your company.

On-Site Company Child Care: On-site childcare to help their employees is offered these days by lot of companies. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity if you work with such companies because they are offered for low to no-cost care

Child Care Share: Consider starting a childcare share if you have other parents that are in similar situation as you are. Each parent would participate by providing care for the other parent’s children during their days off and vice versa with child care share.

Check into Non-Profit Help: low-cost childcare options are offered by some local programs like YMCA or a church. You should definitely check this out.

Work From Home – If your job allows it, try requesting to work remotely. You can save money not only on child care by having your kid stay home with you, but you can also save on gas and other expenses. Even if this option isn’t available full time, perhaps you can work several days at the office and then several days at home. It doesn’t hurt to ask your employer if this is an option for you.

Hire a Teen or College Student – If you need care during the summer or after-school, consider hiring a responsible teen or college student. This can be a great option for both you and the teen/college student since you save money and they make extra cash while they’re still in school.

At-Home Daycare: Checking in to a home run childcare services is another great idea for your childcare. They are usually on the lower price and you have added benefits of your child being more family-style environment. Make sure the home care has the entire license before taking your child there. You can also ask for references. 

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