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How do parents survive financially with expensive child care costs eating up most of the paycheck, even though both parents may be working full time? Some families work out an arrangement between them to keep child care costs at a minimum, such as working alternating shifts, or one parent working just part time. This option may not work for everyone, and there are other ways to keep child care costs more manageable if you don抰 have friends and family close by. Sometimes a neighbor can help out by watching the children for you, which works out even better if they have children of their own that are about the same age. The more the merrier, right?  
According to the United States Census Bureau, mothers on average pay from $73-114 per week for child care costs. This is a significant amount when it is an ongoing expense until the child enters school age, and then care must still be provided the rest of the time if parents are not home. After school programs if available are a good option and fees are very reasonable. Child care costs can even be as high as $700-800 per month if more than one child needs care. As I mentioned earlier, a way to save on child care costs is to enlist the help grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, and neighbors, who are all possible child care provider options if they are nearby. A regular babysitter may also be more appropriate for younger children and infants, and as the children get older, child care facilities or preschool could be a better option. Of course significant child care costs can be incurred for child care provided in these types of settings, unless it is Head Start or other government funded program, which is income based and applicants must meet financial limitations in order to qualify.
There are ways to save on child care costs if you need to. Work out a different schedule with your spouse or partner, or perhaps an older child in the home can cover for a while until an adult is home. Adjusting work schedules may also be an option, so that less will have to be spent on child care costs. With the money saved, the parents could take a nice retreat at least once a month, for a weekend or so, and stay at a lavish hotel and eat strawberries dipped in chocolate and champagne. It抯 just crazy what parents have to pay for child care costs ?a small fortune! That抯 why some parents choose to work at home or not work at all, until the child reaches school age to save on outrageous child care costs.

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