How to keep up with rising daycare costs
Most new families have financial stress over paying the mortgage and car payments, but that’s not all. The cost of traditional daycare as risen so much, it’s almost like paying for a second house! Recent data suggests that on average, infant / toddler daycare costs are upwards of $10,000 per child, and some suburban areas can reach $20,000 per year. These rates suggest full time center-based care, as opposed to part time or paying a babysitter. It’s generally more expensive the younger the child, because of the required attention and specific needs. Many facilities offer different tiers, programs, food and amenities that impact overall cost. These days, more millennial mothers are opting to go back to work sooner, as opposed to their parents and grandparents generation. So, what’s the best move these days?
The best advice we can give is to be as prepared as possible. Most families have 9 months of “prep time”, allowing for research, interviews and a detailed cost analysis to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child (and wallet). For some parents, fulltime “center-based” care is just too expensive to swing. The good news is that new parents are figuring out how creative ways to “stretch a dollar”, and making it work for their unique situation.
Here are some great tips that will help you save money, without compromising care:
Talk to your employer about working from home
Employers are becoming increasingly more flexible with WFH (work from home) options, which may allow you to watch your child while you work, or at a minimum decrease the overall need for external. Be upfront with your manager, and position it as a short term or a few days a week to start and see how it goes.
Hire a shared home-based resource
Chances are your friends, siblings and neighbors are trying to solve for the same financial problems. Team up with people you trust and hire a single caregiver or babysitter with a trusted trusted reputation to watch several children. This will help cut costs, but can also help with social development in a more calm and controlled environment. You can rotate daycare at different homes, and can work together as a team to coordinate rides and meals. Team work makes the dream work!
Ask family and friends for help
Your biggest supporters are the people that are closest to you; don’t be afraid to ask them for help! One of the happiest moments in one’s life is when they become a grandparent. Usually at this point in life grandparents are slowing down with work and nearly retirement, and watching over loved ones can bring them joy and create a sense of purpose. If other family members live nearby and have flexible schedules, see if they would be willing to help as well.