Day Care Costs Don’t Have to Send You to the Poorhouse
Congratulations! You’ve just had a baby. But you need to get back to work and the mounting pressure of wondering what you’re going to pay in day care costs is causing you to lose sleep. But it needn’t be so. Keep in mind that your baby continues to grow and in about 4 years your day care costs will begin declining as your child enters school.
As more time is spent in school and after school activities, less time will be spent in day care. Even though it is a small percentage, child care expenses are deductible off your taxes. Other ways to combat day care costs include rearranging your work schedule if at all possible, sharing child care with your spouse or partner, and finding a telecommute job so you can stay at home. Relatives or family friends can often help out. High school or college students are also a source worth looking into. If you live near a large college, it may be profitable for you to place an ad in the newspaper, and if you have the space, considering offering a trade of room and board for child care. Of course not all of these options apply to everyone, but these ideas can lead to brainstorming and solutions can follow.
Day care costs depend primarily on where you reside, the type of day care you need and how often you’ll need it, and how old your baby is. The biggest factor in determining day care costs is your location. But most of us are not willing to change where we live, so let’s take a look at some of the other factors. Your baby’s age is also not a variable factor, but it can be a consideration when deciding how much time to have him spend in day care.
You might want to consider that the more time your child spends in day care each week, the better the quality of that care should be. That does not necessarily mean that a family day care provider will have better prices but lower quality care and the reverse is also true of larger day care centers. Day care costs are solely dependent on the provider and the rates that the market in your area can bear. Day care centers are not as expensive as nannies; in-home care can be less expensive than a day care center. Day care costs are going to impact your income no matter which type you choose. But quality definitely differs in that a small, unlicensed family day care provider may in fact give more individualized attention than a larger facility if that provider has a genuine love of children. One does not have to have a bachelor’s degree to love children.
On the other hand, a larger licensed day care center may provide a more structured educational environment, and have more children for your child to interact with, but based on your location this may not be any more expensive than some of your other options.
Military personnel (activateddeployed only) can file for financial aid for day care costs;
The over 850 locations nationwide of CCR&R (Child Care Resource and Referral) can also help with determining which type of child care is best for you and the day care costs involved.