Childcare costs can be a major expense for many parents who work outside the home during the day. Employing the expertise of a childcare center or private nanny can easily take a large chunk out of an average household budget. Childcare expenses do not have to break the bank, and costs can easily be slashed by using a few simple methods. Here is a look at how you can reduce your childcare costs with common sense.

SEE: Top 8 Ways To Stick To Your Budget


Comparison Shopping
Comparison shopping can help you determine the average price of childcare in your area and will allow you to make the best choice for your family. Don't just search for the cheapest daycare center in your area. Take into consideration the services that each childcare center offers and the quality of each location's facilities and staff. The safety and well-being of your child is of the utmost importance. It is vital to make sure you weigh your choices heavily before making a decision on a childcare center.

Ask Around
If you want an accurate review of any particular childcare center, all you need to do is ask other parents in your area. You will receive an onslaught of information such as their child's favorite teacher. They'll probably even tell you which childcare centers to avoid at all costs. Additionally, parents can often tell you where you can get the best deal on daycare as well. Rely on the first-hand experience of others to determine if a daycare center is right for your child.

Multiple-Child Discount
One discount that many childcare centers offer is a multiple-child discount. This is something that many childcare centers offer to parents who have enrolled multiple children in one particular childcare program. This discount provides a decreased tuition rate for parents who have enrolled two or more of their children in the daycare program. The multiple-child discount generally saves around 15%, but each establishment is different.

Part-Time and Full-Time Childcare
Something that can save your family serious money on childcare is enrolling part time, rather than on a full-time basis. If you do not work Monday through Friday, and only work certain weekdays, part-time childcare could be a feasible option. Additionally, if you are able to reduce the number of days of childcare your child needs per week by coordinating your schedule, you may be able to slash your daycare costs considerably. Prior to enrolling, see if part-time childcare is an option offered. Opting in part-time childcare could slash up to 40% or more off of your childcare costs.

Employee Discount
Some family-oriented businesses offer their employees a money-saving perk by offering discounts on childcare. Often the discount is through a company selected childcare center. It is beneficial to ask your employer if it offers an employee discount on any local childcare centers or if the company plans to in the future. Some businesses even have an on-site daycare center that you can utilize.

SEE: 5 Ways To Save On Child Care Costs

The Bottom Line
Don't let childcare costs weigh down your family budget. Instead, find ways to save money on daycare costs with common sense. It is important to note that consumers should not just jump on the cheapest daycare center available. Weigh cost with other factors such as quality ratings, cleanliness of the facility, services that the center offers to parents and children, and feedback from other parents. Set up a tour and ask questions to determine which childcare center is right for your child.

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