You want your children to be in good hands while you’re at work, but finding affordable daycare that doesn’t leave you wondering about their safety isn’t always easy. If you work full time, and you can’t rely on family members for childcare, your day care costs can rival college tuition rates. Fortunately, cheap daycare is available if you know how to do your homework. Here are a few tips to help you find reputable yet affordable daycare services you can trust.
With more people going back to work to support their families, day care slots fill up quickly. It’s best to start your search for daycare at least six months before you’ll actually need it, especially if you live in a large city. Starting early can help ensure you have access to the best daycare prices before they become unavailable.
Understandably, the popularity of nanny agencies has dwindled since Internet-based daycare resources became widely available. Now virtually everyone has access to comprehensive sites that help match parents with the best caregivers. From the comfort of your own home, you can research and compare various daycare prices and options for your entire region. Web searches and online services also help you find reviews, verify identities and check references. Using your computer to screen companies and individuals puts you in the driver’s seat and gets you to your destination faster.
The cost of daycare depends on many factors, and one of them is competition. Because more people are turning to daycare as a way of earning a living, the cost of daycare has fallen in some areas. Increased caregiver competition in your area can result in cheap daycare services for you. If you live in an area where you have many daycare options available, be sure to check all of them before settling.
Online reviews can be valuable sources of information, but don’t forget to ask people you know and trust who may have had first-hand experience with a local provider. If your family members, neighbors and friends don’t have any recommendations, ask your pediatrician, your pharmacist, your children’s teachers, your church or community leaders and other parents for advice.
If your budget is tight, you may qualify for low income child care programs. Childcare vouchers, discounted or free services and other resources may be available if you meet certain income requirements. Check your local government agencies for a list of programs that offer assistance.
Finding affordable child care is important, but it’s even more important that your children are safe and properly cared for while you aren’t with them. After you have narrowed your childcare options to several top candidates, visit each facility or provider, and interview the caregivers in authority. A comfortable price that doesn’t destroy your budget is great, but knowing that your little ones will be kept safe and treated with kindness is priceless.