Childcare is outrageously expensive today, so much so that you might wonder why you even bother to go to work. What you may not realize is that there are options to help you pay for childcare while you work. In some cases, you won’t have to pay anything at all.
To start off, apply for assistance. If you qualify, there is nothing to be embarrassed about because you are living in poverty even by state standards. Once yo do qualify for assistance, ask about the state voucher program.
State Voucher Program
The state voucher program was created to help parents pay for child care not just when they work, but when they search for work as well. Once you qualify, you will be given a list of providers in your area that are certified or licensed and can accept state vouchers. In some cases the vouchers cover the entire cost of child care. You also might consider become a certified or licensed daycare yourself.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of getting certified or licensed. It does not require a college education and you can do it out of your on home. Though you may have to take some classes that are aimed at teaching yo safety issues and methods by which to become certified or licensed, project TEACH offers grants to cover these classes. For the most part, getting licensed or certified has more to do with elements of your home and your record keeping system than it has to do with you personally.
Make use of employer programs. Many employers today seek to assist employees with child care issues simply because by doing so they can receive tax breaks and ensure that parenting related absences are kept to a minimum. To that end some employers offer a program that allows you to take money fro your paycheck before taxes and add it to a savings account. This account is tax free and may be used to cover things like medical expenses and child care expenses. Budget it wisely because there is the potential to lose the unused funds at the end of the year.
You can also consider trading babysitting shifts with someone, especially if you work at the same place on different shifts. You watch each other’s children so that neither of you has to pay for child care. You might even swap children at work before and after shifts so even travel costs for child care are limited.