If both you and your spouse are busy working parents, managing this aspect of parenting can be very expensive. So here are some tips to tackle the high cost of childcare.
By May Chiam
At SaveMoney.my, we know that the fabric of Malaysian society is comprised of families, and whatever your particular family situation, growing little ones are surely at the heart of your familial institution. Although we often romanticise and idealise childhood and parenthood, from a purely fiscal perspective, children cost a lot of money. Little bodies need food for nourishment and little brains need education for learning. Most importantly, little ones need constant supervision. If both you and your spouse are busy working parents, managing this aspect of parenting can be very expensive.
Cutting down on childcare costs
As a new working parent, you are probably shocked by the high cost of childcare. Budgeting childcare can be a financial nightmare, especially if you haven’t already devised a cost plan. In this guide, we assume all costs for 1 child between the ages of 1 – 6. In these trying times, both parents working is not uncommon; if you have the luxury of being (or having) a stay-at-home parent, consider yourself part of the privileged few. But worry not, we have a few handy tips for all you stressed-out parents out there who want to know how to save money on childcare!
Find a relative
We concede that this option is obvious. A doting grandparent or loving aunt/uncle is preferable to an unrelated babysitter, since you can repay them with your undying gratitude instead of money. Ingratiate yourself with a beloved aunt or sister with good childcare skills, or drop the little ones off at grandma and grandpa’s house after kindergarten/pre-school. To lessen the burden of a trusted family member while they attend to the needs of your little one, why not plan a week’s worth of after-school activities to keep them occupied; this also helps to implement structure in your children’s lives. As recompense for taking care of your children, you might want to treat your family babysitter to a weekend getaway or meal every once in a while. Monthly, this will cost you RM0 for childcare/food and perhaps RM100 for those dinners you have to buy. Annually, at around RM1,200, childcare via relative is pretty darn cheap!
Make use of office daycare centre
If you work for a big company, chances are they have a childcare or daycare centre of some sort. Budget 2013 actually gives incentives to Malaysian employers when they provide childcare services for their employees. If you work in a small office, perhaps you could liaise with the offices next door to form a communal childcare facility. Better yet, if the childcare centre is at or near your office, you can always pop in from time to time to check on your kids!
If you’re lucky, you work for a company that has good corporate rates with several kindergartens-cum-daycares. Of course, figure out first whether these rates are actually beneficial to you, by factoring in, amongst others, the location of the centre and the actual rates of the childcare with the discount.
Split your working shifts
Another cost-effective form of childcare is DIY. Between you and your spouse, split up your working shifts so one of you is always supervising the children after school. If you can work flexitime, certainly choose to do so. If you have an empathetic boss, you can always negotiate an arrangement to work from home on certain days of the week. Likewise, your spouse can do the same, so each of you can cover for the other when s/he works.
To most parents, community centres are a last resort. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, your residential area may have a community centre that offers cheap childcare services. However, SaveMoney.my advises that you check out its reputation and reliability before you happily drop off your precious tots. Community centres have the added convenience of proximity, thereby cutting down on transportation costs.
Stay tuned next week for more tips in our guide!
May Chiam is an Investigative Journalist at SaveMoney.my, an online consumer advice portal which aims to help Malaysians save money through smart (and most of the time painless) savings in their daily banking, technology, and lifestyle spending habits.
Source Article from http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2013/12/04/how-to-save-money-on-childcare/
How to save money on childcare
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results