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Dealing with child care costs

One of the expenses a parent will often have is child care costs. While a parent may want to spend all of their time with their children, this often isn't possible. After all, income has to come into a household somehow.

Child care costs can be quite high. In fact, they sometimes end up being one of the biggest expenditures a household makes. The high amounts that child care can cost sometimes catch parents off guard. In a Care.com survey, around 75 percent of respondent families reported being overwhelmed or surprised by child care costs.

Meeting child care costs can sometimes be a challenging thing, particularly for divorced parents who hold custodial rights to their children. There are, however, things that may be able to help parents with such costs. We will be going over some of these things today.

One thing that may be able to help is doing careful research about child care options prior to selecting one. There are many different child care options out there, such as home day care providers, day care centers, nannies and non-traditional methods. Doing careful research can help a parent figure out which option makes the most sense cost-wise given their circumstances and, additionally, can help them determine which option is the one most appropriate for their kids.

Another thing parents may want to look into in their child care research is whether their income level would qualify them for any subsidized care options. Such options could reduce child care costs substantially.

Sometimes, a parent will have child care help options available to them through their employer. Some examples of things employers sometimes make available to their employees are on-site day cares, child care reimbursements and flexible spending accounts for child care.

Also, a parent may be able to claim tax credits in relation to child care costs.

For divorced parents who have custody of their children, another source of help for child care costs can be child support. Child care costs are one of the things that can be a factor in the determination of child support amounts. Attorneys can help divorced custodial parents fight for fair child support arrangements that take into account all relevant child-related costs.

Source: DailyFinance, "Creative Ways to Reduce the Cost of Child Care," Michele Lerner, Aug. 13, 2014

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