Finding the Best Child Care | SmartGuy

Finding the Best Child Care

Child Care - In Home

Finding a child care is one of the most critical decisions in the life of a parent.  Having someone other than themselves look after their child can be heart-wrenching and emotional.  Finding a quality child care is not only important, but it also helps to make the difficult task of leaving your child with a caregiver.  Checking the day care out with the state licensing authority and visiting a center before signing up for care can help you know that the center is a reputable one and that your child will be safe and well cared for while there.

Once you have chosen a fabulous child care center, then you'll need to figure out how to pay for the service.  Some child care assistance is available, but you'll need to qualify for many subsidized programs. The state assistance programs usually provide help based on the family income.  The payments can be as little as one dollar and up to nearly full price.  If your income falls below certain levels, then the care may even be free. Getting more information about the programs that you are qualified for can be as easy as asking your potential child care for the listings in your area or doing a search on the Internet.

Child care assistance can be from the care center as well as other human service agencies. Full and partial scholarships are usually available if you inquire about them.  If you are working with a small child care, you may even work out a barter-type arrangement with a skill you have to offer the child care such as, landscaping and lawn care or snow plowing.  These are services that can be expensive for the daycare.  It never hurts to ask about all options including a barter system.  Also, ask if your caregiver gives a discount for paying monthly or early.  Even a percentage off the total fees can help when trying to pay for everything.

The costs associated with full time day care are high and without subsidy, there are few discounts usually available.  At tax time, however, this changes.  With the child care tax credit, you can claim twenty to thirty-five percent of your child care expenses and it is based on your gross income.  There is a chart to check your income and to compare it to the percentage that is available for your family.  In order to qualify for this credit, your child care must also qualify as a proper provider.  While you can use a family provider, you must have their tax identification number to file your taxes with the tax credit in it. The family daycare can be a true family member that is related to you or just one run from a persons home.  As long as the tax identification number is valid, it doesn't matter what type of day care provider you choose.  Even though you have to wait until it is refund time, getting any percentage back from using the child care tax credit is worth the wait.

Child Care has become more necessary today because parents now usually need to work to make ends meet.  Daycare is needed for it to be possible for the parents to work until the child is of school age and can access different care options.  Looking into financial assistance and using the tax credit option on your taxes can help by defraying costs for this important service. Visiting and checking out the credentials of the staff and the licensing of the center is a good way to make sure that you are leaving your child in capable and loving hands.