Childcare is a huge expense and a terrible burden on many working families. With just one child in daycare, a family will spend almost $1000 a month. With multiple children, the cost only gets worse with few daycare facilities offering substantial multiple child discounts. Most will offer a discount of around 10 percent for the second child which is helpful but not significant.
If you are struggling with a huge bill for daycare, you are probably constantly thinking about that day when your child enters the school system and your pocketbook can take a break. Until that time hits, there are some ways that you can save on your daycare costs. Take a look at a few of the ways.
Working Split Shifts
If working a split shift is a possibility, it is a great one. One spouse working 8 to 4 while another works 4 to 12 can be tough but it can save a lot of money. If you have multiple children to take care of the effort is particularly worthwhile. When you are talking about $2000 a month or more, extreme steps must sometimes be taken.
The reality of a split shift lifestyle can be tough but remember, there will always be days off to catch up with your spouse. The benefit is the huge money savings and the fact that your children will always be with a parent. If you are familiar with daycare you will also realize one extra benefit, your child will be sick less. Daycares are breeding grounds for things like stomach flus and strep. It will be nice to be away from that.
Shop For A Better Price
If you call a few daycares, you start seeing a pattern. Most of them are about the same price. It might lead you to believe that it is a waste of time to shop around for daycare but this is not the truth.
The fact is that you can definitely save a bit of money by shopping around. Most of the time it will not be huge but every bit counts and you might just luck out. Case in point from my personal life. Three kids in daycare at one point and you can imagine the cost. We were able to find a daycare that offered a 20 percent discount for multiple kids and that discount was off of every one of them. Huge savings.
Point is, although it might seem pointless at times, it is worth it to shop around.
Take Advantage Of Your Church
Are you a member of a church? If so, you probably have a great source of inexpensive daycare.
Inquire about the cost of daycare with your church. It will probably be substantially lower than the cost of commercial daycare.
Churches support their communities with a number of benefits and for a working family, this could be a big one.
Go To Part Time Daycare
One last option is to simply go part time. If you can split up your work shifts or work from home a few days a week, you could possibly save 40 percent or more on your daycare from only sending them part time.
A daycare will often offer part time hours in several formats. You can only go a certain number of days a week or you can only go for a certain amount of hours in a day.
The easiest solution is to take a few days off of daycare and either work from home or find a family member to watch your children.
Part time hours might be effective if you and your partner have split shifts that overlap slightly. Send your kiddo or kiddos to daycare for just a few hours a day, 7 to 12 for example.
If you decide to go the part time route, your hours will need to be stable. Daycares need to plan their staff schedules so they will not let you switch the days and the hours every week.
Many employers offer free daycare to their employees. Sound too good to be true? It is not. This is fairly common if you work in the healthcare field but other companies are coming on board in an attempt to attract qualified employees in a tight market.
Space Those Kids Out
Okay, this one requires a little thought in advance but it is still worth mentioning.
Having more than one kid in daycare can ruin your finances. $2000 a month or more in childcare is a tough nill to swallow for most families.
When your child reaches 5 years of age though, they will enter the school system and go into kindergarten. Free daycare at last. Some school systems even offer pre kindergarten at the age of 4.
By spacing your children out 4 or 5 years apart, you can cut down on the monthly payments of daycare. Yes it requires some thought and planning but if you have not had your kids yet, it is worth some thought.
As a side benefit, once they get into the college years, it will also make it easier to help them pay for higher education.