By April Lewis-Parks
Did you know that most parents end up spending between $15,000 and $30,000 each year for child care expenses? In most American cities, parents can end up spending more than $30,000 for a full time nanny or two children attending a high-quality day care center.
Even those well-planned date nights can add up if you take into account paying a sitter for 4 to 5 additional hours. But just because it costs doesn’t mean that you are stuck paying the price, here are some great tips to practice that can help you lower you child care costs.
Don’t Settle, Compare
When it comes to looking for a respectable day care service, you don’t want to just settle for anything, but you do want to have options. Research, research, research. Check with family, friends, and co-workers to see what schools best worked for them and their children. Compare the services that each one of them offers. Just because a service costs more doesn’t mean that they offer the better quality of overall services. Make sure before you make your final decision, you have at least five options to choose from.
Join or Start a Babysitting Co-op
This is a great way to find other parents in your neighborhood with children your child’s age. You can learn creative parenting techniques from and share funny stories with those who are in your co-op. The one thing to keep in mind when joining or creating a cop-op is to remember that each member in the group must be comfortable with the other adults in the group parenting style while trusting that if they were watching your children they will keep them safe.
Don’t Be Afraid to Barter Your Services
If you really like a baby sitting service, but the price is too much, speak with the director of the pre-school to see if they need any part time assistance. If you have a special skill like fundraising or event planning you may be able to cut money off of your child’s tuition. You may find that the skills you already have may come in helpful to the facility in which your child attends.
Explore Charitable and Non-Profit Options
There are quite a few local governments that offer publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs for 4 year olds. This program can decrease the amount of money that you will have to pay for a regular child care service. Keep in mind that child care given by non-profit organizations like the YMCA or local churches tend to be less expensive than their for-profit counterparts.
April Lewis-Parks has more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector, she is a certified financial counselor, and a consumer affairs advocate. As the director of education and public relations for Consolidated Credit she is dedicated to generating awareness about personal finance issues and acts as their consumer affairs advocate. As host the of MissMoneyBee.com, she promotes financial education and offers timely and informative personal finance articles to educate the public. April’s promotional efforts can be seen in past issues of the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday, Consumer Reports, the Business Journals, Money Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, among others. Connect with April on Google+.