Did you know that the average household spends roughly $233,610 to raise a child to age 17? Unfortunately, that amount simply isn’t feasible for many households, causing families to search for affordable childcare to save money on typical child costs.
The most significant costs to parents often include daycare, medical care and food expenses. Are these common child care costs seriously damaging your family’s budget? We’ve compiled a helpful guide to show you how you could save money by cutting down on these common expenses.
Childcare expenses are one of the most significant expenses that parents pay for their children. In fact, an estimated 72% of parents are budgeting a minimum of 10% of their income toward daycare expenses. Additionally, more than half of parents pay more than $10,000 annually toward child and infant daycare.
The Child Tax Credit helps lower some costs, but usually doesn’t cover the full amount of these expenses. If you have a full-time job, it may be hard to figure out what to do. While finding affordable childcare can seem impossible, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce expenses related to child and infant childcare.
First, it helps to understand some factors that can impact the amount you’re paying for nearby daycare. These factors include:
- The type of childcare you need: What type of daycare do you need? Do you need childcare for an older child, an infant, or a child with special needs? These factors may play a significant role in childcare expenses. For example, infant childcare tends to be more expensive than daycare for older children.
- What your daycare includes: While it may be tempting to enroll in the nearest daycare, it’s important to consider the daycare’s features when considering potential costs. Childcare centers that include extra services, such as meals, pick-up and drop-off services, and educational services can be more expensive.
- Reputation and desirability: The location, size, and features of a daycare help determine its cost to parents, because these childcare centers may be more desirable than their competitors. Additionally, daycares that have solid reputations or have been operating for a long time can be more expensive than a newer childcare center.
It can feel daunting to find childcare that doesn’t break your budget, but there are several ways you can reduce your daycare-related expenses. So if you’re looking for affordable childcare, consider the following:
- Low-income assistance programs: Depending on the state and county you live in, low-income assistance programs may be available to you. While these options aren’t always available and income guidelines may vary by location or program, it’s worth taking the extra time to see what you might qualify for.
- Shop around: Don’t settle for the nearest daycare simply because it’s convenient. Shop around and compare multiple childcare centers in your area. If you find a daycare that’s much more affordable, but a bit further away, it may be worth making it work.
Consider hiring a nanny: A nanny may be a better choice if you have multiple children. Instead of paying high costs for each child, most nannies are paid for their time, not the number of kids you have. There are several websites you can use to find a nanny in your area, such as Care.com.