How to Better Afford Childcare

Posted on: 21 August 2017

Childcare can be expensive for many families, especially if you have several children who will need such care, if you need all-day care for children not yet in school, or if you want to send your child to a childcare facility that includes preschool learning and education. However, there are ways to save on childcare costs, some of which you may not have considered. Note a few of those here, so you know that proper childcare will fit into your family's budget.

Look at hidden costs

When choosing a childcare facility, you need to consider all of their hidden costs, and note if there is any room for negotiating these charges, or having them eliminated altogether. For example, a preschool may provide supplies like pencils and notebook paper, but you might be able to buy these for your child much more cheaply than the amount being charged by the day-care centre. Many such centres also charge for snacks, milk, and other food items, so note if you can have your child bring items from home. This can also be a more affordable option for many families, and can lower those childcare costs.

Note your own costs

The enrolment fees you pay for a childcare facility are not the only costs involved; for example, note how far such a centre is from your home or office, as an added distance means more mileage on your car and more money for fuel. If a facility will close at a certain hour or doesn't open until a specific time, your boss may be generous and allow you to leave work early or come in later, but note if this means a loss of salary, medical benefits, loss of sick time or vacation time, and the like. Consider all the expenses involved in having your child or children stay at a certain facility; you may then realize that a closer facility that costs just a little bit more than one located several kilometres away is actually cheaper for you in the long run.

Government assistance

There is often government assistance available that helps to offset childcare costs; some programs may be limited to those of a certain income, whereas others may be rebates for any and all parents, up to a certain percentage of what you pay for such care. Be sure you've checked all such programs for assistance and have done the math on what your final costs would be, once you receive your rebate or credit or other such payment.

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Child care after school

In some ways, it gets even harder to find child care for your kids when they start school. Not many jobs allow you to do school pick-ups and drop-offs each day and my job definitely requires more time in the office than that. Many parents find innovative solutions to make it all work, but other parents seem to really struggle with finding a great solution that works for them and the kids. That's why I thought I'd start a blog where parents and child care gurus could swap tips on the best ways to organise child care for school aged children.

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