Childcare should not break the bank -- unfortunately for many homes in the United States, it does just that. While many financial planners say that a family should not spend more than 10% of their income on childcare yearly, in some areas of the country that is just not possible. Many states out east, for example, have childcare institutions that charge as much yearly as it would cost to send those same children to college paying out-of-state tuition. What is a middle-class family to do?
There are a few ways to cut back on child care costs, including the following:
Don't Work Outside the Home
One way to save money on daycare is for one parent to simply not work. This is not an option for single-parent homes, but sometimes when comparing the cost of daycare to the income of a parent, it just doesn't add up. Being a stay-at-home parent may not seem glamorous or fun, but it can ensure that you know that your child is being taken care of properly. It may be difficult to leave a career that one has worked for, but the fact of the matter is that, in the world today, there are many careers that can be maintained from the home.
Church-Based Child Care
Religion in general is not as popular as it once was; however, in order to save money on childcare, you and your family may want to start filling the pews on Sunday mornings. There are many religions that offer cheap childcare as part of their ministry. Look into churches in your area for more information on childcare services. Some religions do not require you to be a member of their faith, while others do.
Have Children Close Together
If you and your significant other know that you want to have or adopt up to a certain number of children, it may save you money to do so sooner rather than later. Many daycare centers offer a discount for having more than one child in the program. While this will increase your overall costs (since there is more than one child to feed and clothe), you may find that sacrificing a lot for a short number of years is easier than dragging out the process. Discuss your family plans and run the numbers with your partner. You may find that the cost savings will help to increase your desire to be a parent of multiple toddlers.