Saving Money on Child Care
Save money on child care by offering a modest payment or providing another service to a trusted family member in exchange for watching your child. Or form a child-care co-op with your neighbors, classmates, or place of worship. Some commercial child-care centers provide services at a reduced rate based on financial need. Many large schools offer child-care, so see what’s available on your campus.
Set up a flexible spending account if your employer offers one. Through a pre-tax payroll deduction (in an amount you choose), you can set aside money and then draw on the account to pay for child care. Depending on your tax bracket, this can be like getting a 10 or 15 percent—or larger—discount on these expenses.
If you work or are looking for work, and your child is 12 or younger, you may qualify for a tax credit that repays a portion of child-care costs. For more information, go to www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.
If you need child care, contact Child Care Aware (www.childcareaware.org/en/; 1-800-424-2246). They can put you in touch with referral agencies in your community that can provide a list of licensed child care providers.