How to Handle Childcare Costs on Any Budget

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If you’re a busy parent then finding good, affordable childcare can be a challenge. On top of needing a babysitter on any given Friday or Saturday evening for date night, regular childcare costs can be difficult for a family to afford. Higher-concentration urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver are known for astronomical childcare costs that can match or even exceed average rent costs.

Recent Canadian statistics show that 54% of parents reported using childcare services for children four years old and under. The national average for childcare costs are approximately $10,000 a year. By no means is this chump change. How can you balance childcare costs and living costs while still living by financially smart choices? You can follow tips for saving money for a rainy day while managing your childcare expenses. Here’s how.

Daycare Alternatives

With childcare costs as high as they are, it only makes sense to look at your income to determine how reasonable it is to spend on daycare. For some professions, it’s possible to arrange for some kind of alternative working arrangement for one or both parents. This might affect pay slightly, but perhaps it is still cheaper than paying for full-time daycare.

For instance, some professions allow people to work from home. It’s a growing trend to work from home since for many it gives them the balance to raise a family while focusing on their career. The number of remote workers has increased tremendously in recent years, though even if you have the flexibility to set up a home office, it might not be the best way to save on childcare costs. Depending on the demands of your job and the needs of your child, it might be more efficient to hire a part-time caregiver for added support without paying the costs of full-time care.

Look for Services Well in Advance

Some areas with a high population of young children and plenty of working parents have daycares that fill up quickly. That’s why it’s important to look for daycare centers early to put your name on a waitlist in time to earn your child a spot once you’re ready to go back to work.

Small and independent at-home daycare centers offer an opportunity to save money in comparison to major, well-known providers. If looking at this option, just be sure you can trust the provider. Look for childcare services that have good reviews and meet all of your local licensing and registration requirements.

Share with Other Parents

Just like carpooling can save you money on transportation, you can team up with other parents in need of childcare to get a rate that works well for everyone. For example, it could be expensive to hire a nanny for just your child, but a nanny’s rate for more than one child shared among parents could be more efficient than paying for childcare.

Planning Matters

Childcare costs are a reality of having your children and a job. Sometimes unexpected costs arise, adding financial stress to our lives. Even so, you still need to be able to provide childcare. To make ends meet between paycheques, short-term online payday loans can give parents some much-needed padding and relief. Childcare costs can be high, but with proper planning and budgeting it’s entirely possible to be smart about your daycare needs and still keep room in the budget for long-term saving.