Childcare can present many problems for working parents. Finding a safe, reliable, and affordable place to send your kids each day may not be easy. For those living in smaller areas, there may be limitations in daycare options. Because finding appropriate care is so important, it certainly can help to plan ahead and have a backup plan if things go wrong.
Here are 5 tips for finding child care you can trust and afford:
How to Not Go Broke Affording Childcare 1 of 6
5 tips for finding child care you can trust and afford...
Explore All Your Options 2 of 6
Whether there are multiple child care centers in your area or just a handful, you should check out several for comparisons before making a decision. Not all daycares are alike or cost the same. Safety should be your first concern and compatibility with your schedule and budget should also be a top priority. If school environments are not possible, check into private sitters and interview a few in person. You should also check with family and close friends. If they are not able to do it, they may know someone who can help with daily care. Parents that stay at home on a full time basis may also be willing to keep your kids for reasonable costs to earn some extra cash.
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Inquire About Assistance Programs 3 of 6
If you have a few school options but find it difficult to afford the costs, check with your local community resource center to find programs that offer financial help. Depending on your situation and income level, you may qualify for subsidized help at a quality daycare that participates in the program or with private sitters. Paying for one child's daily care can be expensive and if you have multiple children, financial assistance may be a necessity. You should also check in with your human resource representative at work as you may be able to participate in a flex spending program to cover your child's daily care costs.
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Split the Costs 4 of 6
Check in with your fellow parent friends and family members who are also in need of care. You may be able to hire a sitter for less cost if there are several kids in need of care. You may also be able to organize a system with other families to switch out days for care between each other so you have reliable care without the cost.
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Consider Work Options 5 of 6
Some companies are more flexible about child care issues than others. Find out if there are flexible hours where you can work at home when you do not have child care. You may also have opportunities for day care sponsored by your employer on-site or close by. If you are new at your job, you may not be aware of what your employer has to offer.
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Review Stay at Home Potential 6 of 6
If child care is too costly or not available to meet your needs, consider having one parent stay home on a permanent basis. This will require a review of income and expenses to ensure the loss of one income will work out for the family. In some cases, parents find their income only covers the cost of their child care which isn't always the logical approach.
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