- January 8, 2008 at 1:17 am #255038LissKeymaster
Where the money goes
Before you can budget, you need to know where the money is going.
“The top five expenses for working families are housing, child care,
health insurance, food and clothing,” says Yasmina Vinci, executive
director of the National Association of Child Care Resource &
Referral Agencies in Washington, D.C
Child care, ranked the second-highest cost, consumes an average 9
America’s working families’ monthly income, according to a study
the Urban Institute last year.
The harsh reality is that the cost of child care is directly related
“Parents have less money when their children are young, and that’s
costs for care are so high,” says Vinci. “Even so, this is not the
cut corners. Our children are an important investment. We know that 90
percent of the brain’s development takes place before age 5.”
What’s a mom to do?
Examine carefully all your options. Weigh safety, kindness and
attitudes of caregivers, ratio of children to teachers and the
factor when making your decision. Visit several centers before
child. Do your research and be flexible to maximize savings.
Talk to local experts
Find and talk to your local child-care specialists. Child-Care
Awareness is a
nonprofit initiative that helps parents find quality care in their
communities. This organization will help you sort out your options,
cost to the quality. Plus, they’ll help determine whether you qualify
government subsidies or other financial grants if your income is
Talk to your employer
Many companies offer a flexible spending account for dependent care.
spending accounts allow you to deduct up to $5,000 in pretax dollars
from your paychecks. You can withdraw this money to pay for licensed
Your employer may have a partnership with a day-care facility that
discounted rates to its employees. Again, quality before cost
sure you’re comfortable with your child’s care.
More employers are offering flexible scheduling. Ask about flexible
job-sharing or telecommuting. Arrange your work schedule to alternate
your spouse’s or relative’s to reduce the amount of time your child
to spend in daycare.
Do you know a co-worker with similar backgrounds and parenting styles?
Perhaps you can split the cost of home child care.
Take the pre-K initiative
If your public school district offers a half-day pre-K program for
4-year-olds, enroll your child. It’s free and reduces child-care
Another pre-K initiative, Head Start, offers early learning child-
100-percent poverty level and special-needs children. They often have
working collaboration with child-care facilities for additional hours.
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