Top Secrets for Moms on Lowering the Cost of Daycare

Daycare is among the highest baby-related costs because of the high costs of running and maintaining the facility such as resources, utilities, staffing and compliance among others.

However you can still afford the rising cost of daycare by using cheaper options, working two jobs, finding a flexible daycare arrangement, working from home, budgeting, pre-saving, getting help from family & friends and finding a mom friendly job.

Why Daycare Costs are High

Currently, the cost of childcare is generally high, especially in towns where the demand and competition for services are high. While daycare is cheaper compared to hiring a nanny or other in-home care arrangement, the costs are still high.

The main reasons why daycare are high and going up is;

  • The demand for childcare is higher, especially in towns and cities
  • Costs of specialized care offered at daycare is high
  • High operations and utilities costs to run the facility
  • Requirements such as low child ratio needs heavy staffing
  • Implementing health and safety policies for children is costly
  • Needs heavy investment for resources needed for quality services
  • High costs of complying with licensing, accreditation, and regulatory standards

Read: How Much to Pay your Nanny

How Moms can Afford/Lower Daycare Costs

1. Find Cheaper Daycare Options

Enrolling your baby in a cheaper daycare lowers your daycare costs. Generally, in-home daycares are cheaper, than daycare centers. The quality of care is also comparable because the same rules and regulations apply to both.

Also most government or NGO run daycares run subsidized programs that make childcare more affordable to moms. Look around if you area has such and enroll into them instead.

Read: Top Questions to Ask During Daycare Tour

2. Working Two Jobs

To afford the high daycare cost, you need to at least increase your income with more than one income streams. You therefore need to work around your schedule and take two jobs. Find a convenient second job that you can do for supplemental income while still keeping your main job.

Some options of working two jobs include consulting, freelancing, or part-time job. It will be easier if you can use your skills to earn an extra income.

For instance, as a teacher, you can also be a freelance private tutor and charge per hour, do remote teaching or even curriculum design among others. If your work is part-time you can work two separate jobs in a day.

Read: How to Work Two Jobs without Burnout

3. Enroll for Part-time Day Care

You can cut down on the cost of daycare by enrolling for a part time slot . A full engagement with daycare is very expensive and you can bring this cost down by taking your child to daycare only half day.

The most obvious way is limiting the number of days or hours that you are using daycare. Some options on this includes;

  • Engage the daycare only on some days, say three days a week. You do not need daycare for days you are not working. It is an opportunity to save on daycare costs and also spend more time with your baby.
  • Engage daycare only for some hours. If you are working part-time, you have at least half of the day off. You therefore have some hours of the day to watch the baby yourself. Your daycare costs will be lower by the end of the month.

Look around for a daycare that is offering you the part time option. Not all daycares allow you a half day slot or half time. Some daycares will require you to pay for a full day or full month slot even if you only take your child for half a day or some days only.

The option however works well if you are a part-time working mom or have a flexible working schedule.

4. Work from Home & Eliminate Daycare Costs

While it is hard, you can manage to work from home and still care for your baby. Therefore it gives you the option of eliminating daycare costs completely or lowering the cost.

Sometimes on days that your work is intensive, you can use daycare. Overall the daycare costs are significantly reduced.

Ask if you can work fro home. If your current job does not allow such flexibility, you may consider switching employers. A mom-friendly job support you so that you do not have to always use daycare.

Read: Best Mom-friendly Jobs

5. Use Employer Benefits

Some employers offer their employers childcare benefits. They offer to meet the daycare costs of the child up to a certain percentage. Using these benefits will significantly bring down the cost of daycare for you. If your employer offer this, check if you qualify and use the benefits.

6. Find a Job in Childcare to Eliminate Daycare Costs

If it is your profession, work in a job allowing you to work with your baby. For instance you can work for a daycare where you get paid and get a discount.

Some daycares even offer their employees free daycare. In addition, you can watch other kids for a fee as you watch yours at home. Eventually you have minimized your expenses on daycare.

7. Use Families & Friends for Childcare

It takes a village to bring up a child. You need the support of your family and friends to bring up your baby. Their help may be financial or in actual child care services. The latter is even better as it minimizes or eliminates daycare costs.

Some family members such as your mom or sisters or others can be willing to watch your baby. Some friends are willing to watch the baby for you, especially those already at home watching their kids. Look out for this help to bring down the cost of daycare.

While you may not rely on family and friends daily, it will reduce the number of days or hours you have to send your baby to daycare and therefore lower the cost.

Read: How to Ask your Family and Friends for Help in Baby Sitting

8. Cut Down on Expenses and Budget for Daycare

If you don’t have the option of saving on daycare costs, then you can save on other costs and expenses to make up for this difference. You will need to have a periodic budget for your households that includes rent, food, shopping, and vacation among others. In addition, you must strictly adhere to your budget.

You may need to go to the length of limiting the number of times you eat out, go on vacation, or move to a cheaper location among others. The goal is saving up as much as possible to be able to comfortably afford daycare that is allowing you to work.

Read: How to Financially Prepare for Child

9. Start Saving Early for Daycare

You can save upfront for your daycare costs. You can start as early as possible such as when you are trying to conceive. Child care costs are high and having a saved-up amount in advance for this expense will make things easier for you.

Aim to at least have an year of saved up daycare costs. Cumulatively you will keep adding up to this figure that will likely make it easier up until the baby is out of daycare and ready for school

Do a daycare tour well in advance for an estimate to get an idea of how much it will eventually cost you.  

10. Negotiate for Lower Rates

You can try to negotiate for lower rates at your daycare. Book an appointment with the office and discuss the possibility of them lowering the rates for you.

While most daycares will not allow this as they run standards rates some daycares may be considerate and offer a discounted rate for you. This will significantly bring down the costs for you in the long run.

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Working from Home with your Baby

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