For many parents, it may not be financially possible to stay home with the kids full-time. Often, both parents have to work just to keep those little mouths fed. And as we know, child care isn’t cheap. Now for the good news: you don’t necessarily have to blow your whole budget on hired help. Check out these options for price breaks on child care.
The neighborhood co-op.
Do you know other parents in the area with young children? Start a neighborhood co-op.
These usually include five or six families with regularly scheduled shifts, with each family using their home as a location. The arrangement may require a little flexibility; you’ll likely need to take a turn watching the kids during the week.
The nanny share.
With a nanny share, multiple families hire one professional to watch their kids. Children receive more one-on-one attention than child-care centers but can still socialize with other kids. And unlike traditional centers with rigid hours, nanny shares can often be tailored to meet the scheduling demands of parents.
The child care tax credit.
Did you know that the government offers tax breaks for child care? With the credit, you may be able to itemize up to $3,000 of expenses per child, per year (with a $6,000 annual cap per family). So while day care may be expensive, you may be able to recoup some of it. Be sure to check with a tax advisor for your personal tax situation.