By Jeffrey Strain
Child care costs are are one of the most expensive costs associated with going
back to work. Finding ways to cut down on child care costs without sacrificing
quality child care is a top priority for all working parents. Here are a few
ideas that can help trim your child care costs without sacrificing child care
See if your employer has a child care flexible spending account. This is a
special account that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) -
http://www.irs.gov/faqs/faq-kw87.html - created that allows you to set
aside money for child care expenses with pre-tax dollars. You ask your employer
to take out a certain amount of money each month from your paycheck and you can
use this money tax free for child care related expenses.
Inquire if your company has partnerships or offers discounts for certain child
care provider services. some larger companies will sometimes negotiate discount
plans with local child care providers to help offset child care costs.
See if your public school district offers a half day pre-kindergarten program
for 4-year-olds. These programs are usually free and by signing-up your child,
it will reduce your child care needs to a half day from a full day.
Check to see if your employer would be open to flex hours, job sharing or
telecommuting. If so, you may be able to use these to juggle your schedule and
cut your child care costs.
If both you and your spouse work, see if it's possible to arrange your work
schedules so they overlap as little as possible. This will allow you to reduce
the number of hours your child has to spend at child care.
See if there is a relative or good friend that can help with child care.
Consider hiring a nanny and sharing the cost of child care with a few good
friends. This will allow you to pay less individually for child care costs and
the nanny will make more money overall.
For a list of child care resource and referral agencies, you can visit the
Child Care Aware website - http://www.childcareaware.org
- which is a nonprofit organization that helps parents find quality child care
in their communities.
Copyright Jeffrey Strain. He is owner of
http://www.savingadvice.com - a website dedicated to saving you money.