If you’re in the process of trying to save money or repair your credit while ensuring that your child has adequate care while you’re at work, then you may be wondering how you can save on childcare expenses.  You may be feeling especially stressed if you’re a single parent.  In fact, according to Care.com’s 2019 Cost of Care survey, upwards of 40% of families are spending more than 15% of their income on care.  So stress around childcare is a real thing.

The good news is that you have many options available to you.  In this article, we’re going to explain how you can start saving on childcare expenses, which can add up quickly and create a major financial burden. 

Below are 5 ways to start saving on child care expenses

Use a Flexible Spending Account or FSA

Do you have a flexible spending account through your employer? If so, you can put aside pre-tax money from your paycheck into a dedicated account for child care. While FSAs typically have contribution limits, the amount of money that you can contribute will assist you greatly. 

Research Local Churches

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Even if your family isn’t religious, you may be able to benefit from low-cost childcare offered by a church in your community. Since churches run their daycare programs as part of their ministries, they can charge lower rates and follow more relaxed guidelines.

Talk to Your HR Department

You may be surprised to discover that many companies offer benefits related to child care. Your employer may offer a dependent care account or discounts to some local daycare providers. In addition, you can try asking other employees if they would also benefit from childcare. If enough employees are interested, you may be able to petition your employer to offer an on-site option. 

Ask for a Sibling or Referral Discount

Do you have more than one child in daycare? Will another one of your children be entering daycare soon? If so, you may want to consider asking your childcare provider for a sibling discount, which can help you save some extra dollars. If you don’t have multiple children, then you may want to consider asking about referrals. For example, if you can convince other parents to use the childcare provider, then you deserve a referral discount as a “thank you”.

Ask for a More Flexible Schedule

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You may be able to avoid or reduce childcare costs by asking your employer if you can have a more flexible schedule that sometimes allows you to work from home or a remote, child-friendly office. These days, many employers understand that their workers sometimes struggle to balance their work and personal lives, so they’ll likely be understanding. 

There are creative ways to save money on childcare

Childcare is very expensive.  Finding creative ways to save money each month is key.  Above are five simple ways you can begin to save money and start to tackle this financial challenge.