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Child Care

Child care can get very expensive so it's up to the parents to find ways to reduce the costs.

Your children are the most important part of your life, so when it comes to the question of how they are to be cared for, you have to make some major decisions that will affect you and your children. That's why child care is so important. It can be very expensive, but it is a necessity that comes with having children.

As a parent, your children will have to fit into your schedule and you into theirs. Once you decide to have them, your children will dominate every aspect of your lifestyle for many years. You are responsible for their care from the day they are born until they grow old enough to start fending for themselves.

Most working parents plan their budgets around shelter, food, and daily care for their children. Child care can exceed 30, 40, and in some cases up to and over 50% of household earnings. The amount spent depends on the decisions made by parents to ensure their children get the best of care they can afford to pay.

"Children are a great responsibility but they are worth every bit of sacrifice you will ever make for them because their love for you, and your love for them, will endure forever."
~John M. Roberts~

There are ways to reduce the costs of child care. You have to take steps to ensure that the money you are spending is spent in the best possible manner to provide the care you want your child while not breaking the bank. That's why it is important to comparison shop for child care services.

  • The first choice for child care is the most obvious one: Mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles and other close relatives make great child care options. If they have the time, they are usually happy to bring children into their homes, especially if they are retired. And they don't charge as much as regular child care providers.
  • Adjust work schedules: One parent may be able to work days while the other takes a night shift. This may not be the most desirable solution but it can save you a lot of money over time and give each parent one on one quality time with their children.
  • Work from home: Computers and the internet have helped revolutionize the way people communicate and transact business. Some companies will allow their employees to work from home if they can show that they can get the work done there in an efficient manner. You may not be able to work from home every day of the week, but if you are allowed to work two or three days at home during the week, it can save a bundle on child care costs.
  • Au Pair or live in child care provider: An "au pair" is an individual who will take care of your children in return for a place to live and a small salary. Usually from a foreign country, au pairs are young adults who come into the country to work or study. They seek room and board in return for taking care of young children and performing certain domestic services. Many people take in au pairs to give their children the opportunity to learn about other cultures and to learn a foreign language.
  • Workplace daycare: This is a concept that is catching on in many companies. This type of child care is usually low cost or free and it makes employees want to come to work. They feel good about being this close to their children all day and workplace daycares enhance employer/employee relationships.
  • Child care clubs: You may be surprised to find that their are many parents living right in your neighborhood who, like you, want to save money on child care. There may be a child care club close to where you live and if there is none, you may want to talk to other parents about starting one. Child care clubs are set up so parents trade time watching each other's children. Dues may be collected to pay for food and entertainment for the children.
  • Government programs: Most state governments offer programs to help pay daycare expenses for low and middle income families and the federal government offers tax credits of up to $3000 for each of your dependents for day care.
  • Churches And YMCAs: Many churches offer day care for members and non-members alike. They are often less expensive than other sources and give good child care services. YMCA's offer partial day care and full day care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and provide safe, nurturing, and stimulating environments.

To save money on child care, you have to look at all options and keep an open mind to ideas and choices that are available and for those that are best for you and your child.

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