When it comes to day care, it’s safe to say the price tag associated with this expense has become increasingly high. Day care is an expensive cost for parents, and yet, the value, importance, and assistance it provides to families explains why this service is in such high demand. Day care offers invaluable help and support to families, not to mention, providing children with an ability to develop their social skills, make new friends, establish new skill sets, and improve their vocabulary as they’re required to converse regularly within day care.
What the Statistics Have to Say
As Market Watch’s article reveals, the money families spend on childcare is increasingly growing. “Parents across the country spent $9,000 to $9,600 annually for one child’s day care in 2017, up roughly 7.5% on the year, according to Child Care Aware of America’s study of national average costs” (2019).
Furthermore, the astounding amount of income that single-parent households in the United States are putting towards day care fees reflects the unaffordable prices of the service.
“Child-care costs can eat up 37% of a single parent’s household income… In every region, however, child-care costs are roughly double the price of a year’s tuition to an in-state public university” (2019).
The same is true for parents outside of the United States. In Australia, prices continue to rise, placing increasing pressure on parents and a greater financial strain on their budget.
A recent Productivity Commission report revealed day care fees are outpacing the cost of living (2019). The report found poorer families are investing more of their income than those families from a higher socio-economic background.
Furthermore, the report revealed that “…the proportion of people not working because child care is too expensive or they can’t find a spot continues to creep up each year” (2019).
How to Save on Day Care
Thus, it’s clear that day care is becoming a largely unaffordable and inaccessible investment for parents. This applies particularly to single-parent households as well as poorer families.
Considering the statistics, it’s not unlikely that the majority of parents have struggled with day care fees at some point. So how can you save money on your day care to ensure the service is an effective, affordable, and worthwhile investment for both you and your child?
- Undertake Your Own Research
Research is fundamental to ensuring you choose the right day care for you and your children’s needs. Things to consider when selecting a day care include its location to your home, its rates and prices, the professionalism and expertise of its staff, as well as the overarching values, activities, practices, and learning methods that the day care employs. By understanding these factors, you’re far more likely to choose a day care that suits both your budget and your expectations of what this service should deliver.
- Understand Your Government’s Subsidies for Day care Expenses
Each government will have its policies when it comes to subsidies for day care costs as well as social support services. Understanding what your government offers, and ensuring you make the most of this financial support, is key to saving money on your day care. For example, in Australia, the Child Care Subsidy you’re entitled to will depend on your family’s income and the hours of activity you and your partner do, as well as the hourly rate cap determined by the type of approved childcare you rely on and your child’s age. Based on this example, it’s clear that government financial support and the amount you can receive will be specific to the country you live in and their policies. The key here is to understand all the support options your government offers and how to make the most of them.
- Consider Alternative Options
While day care may seem like the only option out there, there are plenty of alternatives on offer. Considering investing in a nanny to take care of your child may be far more affordable and valuable for you and your children. Choosing a nanny rather than day care is an increasingly attractive option for many parents and families, and with good reason. Nannies promise undivided attention, professional experience, and individually-designed activities to suit the needs and personality of your child. Plus, on many occasions, a nanny proves to be the more affordable choice. Day care can be an unnecessarily expensive option, which is why hiring a nanny may be more beneficial for you, your children, and your wallet. Smiles all round!
We believe everyone deserves to experience all the joys, rewards, and learning that day care offers. By following the simple steps we’ve outlined, we’re sure you can begin to save money on day care to ensure it remains an affordable and accessible service. While your child’s wellbeing, growth, and development is your priority, it’s also ours.
By ensuring day care is appealing to parents, regardless of their socio-economic status and financial situation, all children can benefit from the learning opportunities and social development that day care enables. We think that’s something worth writing about.
Let us know your tips and tricks on how you’ve saved money on day care in the comments section below. We’re always open to new ideas and are sure you have some amazing suggestions due to your very own personal experiences!