Childcare costs are a concern for anyone who wants to have a family and return to work, whether out of financial necessity or to keep a career going. You want or need to go to work but can’t take your precious bundle with you. Of course, nobody at the office would forgive you for having a screaming child at your desk and changing nappies on the photocopier. Childcare cost isn’t the only factor in the decision to return to work but for many it is the make or break issue. Here are 7 Smart Ways to Cut Childcare Costs.
1. Hire a Student
Why not put an advert on the local college website or on the pin board asking for a babysitter. Students have a lot of spare time on their hands and are always after some extra cash. Ask at reception where the childcare department is as students will be grateful for some work experience and will be helping you out too. You could also look at hiring a live in au pair. This may sound odd to include as a way to cut childcare costs but if you have more than one child, it can work out cheaper than paying multiple day care fees. Plus, it gives you pretty much round the clock childcare as well as all the additional help around the home.
2. Juggle Your Rotas
Some companies will be happy to let you rearrange your work hours so you can get home to look after your children. If you and your partner can both jiggle your schedules you will find you can cut childcare cost by being home more.
One brilliant way to cut childcare cost is to ask family members if they have a few free afternoons. Mums and Dads love spending time with their Grandchildren so why not make it a regular thing? You also have the added benefit that you can trust them to look after your little ones. This would save you the trouble of interviewing potential babysitters and nannys. You could always pay them a little for their travel expenses or even drop the kids off at Granny’s. This would still be cheaper than hired help.
4. Start a Business
Many people who have children start a business where they can juggle family life and work. If you can start a business which you operate from home you will be able to be in both places at once. This will completely cut out childcare costs and you will be earning money if your business is successful.
5. Work from Home
Remove the necessity for childcare cost by finding a new job where you can work from home. So many jobs are now able to be done remotely and more companies are open to the benefits of having home-based employees. If you are ever particularly busy with your workload you could always ask a family member or friend to help you out with childcare. You could even enrol your little ones into a day care centre for one or two of the days if you are really busy.
6. Swap and Share with Friends
Why not offer to have your friend’s and family’s children for free when they need a hand and they should return the favour. You may find that your friend is in the same position as you when it comes to childcare. You might be able to work out a regular pattern and move around both your rotas to fit in childcare and work.
7. Someone Stays Home
Gone are the days when only Mum stays at home. There’s an increase in house husbands and it no longer has a stigma. This option certainly cuts childcare costs but it might also remove a family income. You will need to weigh up loss of income against childcare costs saved.
Day Care, baby sitting and pre-school fees are a major portion of many a family budget but these 7 Smart Ways to Cut Childcare Cost should indicate that it is possible to have a career and a family. Please feel free to write any ways which you have managed to reduce childcare costs. Can you help others save money with your different ideas?
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