Child care solutions?
How do you juggle work with the demands of raising children? On top of that, how do parents (especially single parents) keep up with the cost child care?
Here are a few options that you may want to look into while searching for child care.
Flex Spending Account (FSA)
Does your job offer a flex spending account? If so, this is a great way to set aside money pre-tax for child care costs. The FSA covers most expenses for child care, nannies, babysitters, summer day camp, and preschool.
Check to see if your child care expenses are eligible. Make sure that you only set aside the amount you will use. You will lose any money that you don’t use at the end of the year.
Child Care assistance
Do you qualify for state child care assistance? If you’re in Utah, you will apply at the Division of Workforce Services (DWS).
If you qualify, a portion of your child care costs will be paid each month. You can also see if a family member or friend will qualify for payments through this program.
On campus child care
If you are a student, check into on campus child care. It is often less expensive than other options and near your classes.
Higher Education Success Stipend Program HESSP
If you’re a college student and a Utah resident, check into the Higher Education Success Stipend Program (HESSP) and see if you qualify for this work study assistance grant.
The purpose of this grant is not purely for child care, but may help you off set the costs if you qualify. It was designed to help bridge the gap between “financially needy students resources and the cost of attendance at a Utah Post secondary institution…”
See if your school participates. I would also encourage you to look into other grants and financial aid.
Summer child care
If you have school age children, your child care needs may change once they’re out of school for the summer. If this is the case, check out Summer Child Care for Working Parents.
Child Care options
- Look into child care assistance or other financial options.
- Search child care here: Care About Childcare
- Look into After School Programs online or at your child’s school.
- Trade child care with a neighbor or friend if you work opposite schedules.
- Check into an au-pair for older children.
- If your kids are in school during the day, see if there’s a teen in the neighborhood who can watch your kids after school.
- In home day care may be less expensive than large child care centers
- Child care centers may have more convenient hours and be more reliable than relying on one person.
- If you have several children, look into the costs of a nanny.
- If you were going to pay someone to do light housekeeping or dog sitting, see if a nanny would also help with these things. It might end up saving you some money in the long run.
- See if it would work out to share a nanny with a relative or friend. Hire one nanny to watch both of your kids.
Only you can figure out what’s best for your family. Look into as many options as possible and figure out how you can make it work.
What are some child care solutions that have worked for your situation? What do you do for child care throughout the year?