If you have more than one child who needs child care, the expense can get overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to save. If you are a parent of multiple children, take a look at these ideas:
1. Find one multiple-age child care centre
When trying to pick a child care centre for your children, you will find a range of options. While some focus exclusively on preschool kids or infants, others takes kids of all ages. Choose one child care centre that will take all of your kids.
That saves on petrol, time and energy, and some centres even offer discounts to families who enroll multiple kids.
2. Consider sharing a nanny with another large family
If child care rates are too expensive in your area, consider asking another mum or dad of multiples if he or she would like to share a nanny with you. When split between two or more parents, the cost of a nanny can become fairly reasonable.
If you have an extra room in your home, you can save even more money by offsetting some of the nanny's wages with free room and board.
3. Don't forget the tax rebate
If you choose a qualifying daycare, you can get a tax rebate for a portion of your expenses. The rebate is worth half of your expenses up to a total of $7,500 per child. Before choosing any daycare centre or before hiring a nanny, make sure that option qualifies you for the rebate, and remember to claim it when tax time rolls around.
4. Ask your human resources department for help
Many employers understand how hard it can be for parents to afford child care, and because of that, they are often willing to offer help, extra time off or even on-site child care centres. Talk with your human resources department about your child care concerns and see if they offer any help.
There is even a chance that they may consider opening an onsite child care centre if enough people approach them.
5. Mix and match child care options
Instead of putting your kids in full time child care, explore a few creative options. For example, have a grandparent pick up the kids at lunch -- that way you only have to pay for half time care, but the grandparent doesn't have to commit to providing full time care.
Alternatively, change your schedules so you don't need as much child care. For example, work some evenings when your partner is at home to provide care but take off a few afternoons so you don't have to pay for child care during those times.