With summer nearing, nearly half of Canadian parents are scrambling to enroll their children in summer camps and full-time childcare. According to Stats Canada, the average cost of childcare ranges vastly in Canada. For example, Montrealers are paying an average of $200.00/month, whereas Torontonians and Vancouverites are paying $1,200/month. Global News and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) suggest these costs are rising faster than inflation.
To help you manage these rising costs here are six tips for choosing childcare:
1. Get creative for a better price
From daycare to personal nannies, there are several options for childcare. If you’re in the process of finding childcare, consider weighing the costs and benefits of each option.Given the costs of full-time care, some parents even decide to stay at home in the early years of parenthood. Since there’s such a wide variety of options, it’s important to do your research to find out what’s best for your family.
2. Ask about early sign-up discounts
Some childcare services offer a discount to parents who sign their kids up early. Ask about early sign-up fees if you’re ahead of the rush.
3. Ask about tax write-offs
If you paid for childcare fees last year, you might be eligible to claim those expenses on your taxes. Ask your tax planner how you can write off your child care expenses to save money.
4. Go the distance for a better price
The laws of supply and demand are evident in the childcare industry. Some parents even face the issue of finding a spot for their child. You might be smart to venture further away from the city for your childcare services. It’s important to find a quality service with a balance between location and affordability. Care.com helps you find childcare in your area.
5. Enroll your kids in camps
Childcare is expensive and unfortunately, it’s unavoidable.
Instead of traditional day-cares or babysitters, try enrolling your child in summer camps. Camps are often designed to be engaging and educational for your child.
6. Save ahead for summer
When your kids are out of school for summer break, the cost of their care will rise significantly. You can offset the seasonal increase by averaging the cost of their childcare per year and putting aside the difference until summer.
With the rising costs of childcare, it’s important to spend time weighing the best options for your family. Whether you’re scrambling to find childcare services or researching the costs of having a child, talk to your financial advisor about budgeting for kids.