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Daycare Costs, Don’t Pay For What You Don’t Need

Daycare costs, may be expensive and it may seem like you’ll never lower your costs, but there are options to help you lower your daycare costs.  A paycheck is an immediate necessity and for many single moms your paychecks barely cover the cost of daycare. But what happens when you put in your full week of work and, after you pay the day care provider you find out there is no money left?

It doesn’t make any difference how old your children are, unless they are old enough to be left alone while you work you have to find dependable daycare for your child to keep your job. Even if the kids go to school full time, someone has to be available to care for the kids on the days when classes are not in session because of holidays, teacher training or school breaks. On top of that, school children pass around colds and other illnesses that keep them out of school.

If you don’t have any money left after you pay for your daycare, consider how you use your daycare, there could be ways to lower your daycare costs. You could be adding to the bill considerably without even realizing it. Here are a couple items to help you lower daycare costs


You pay for most daycare at an hourly rate. That means that you are paying for more hours than you actually work. Look for a daycare center that is close to your place of employment so that you are not paying for commute time in addition to your work hours.

If a daycare provider can’t be found near your place of employment, at least make sure the location is close to the route you take everyday. This will also cut down on the gas you use on your daily trip, leaving more money in your pocket on payday.


Single moms find it’s a lot quicker to run errands immediately after work while the child is in daycare. After a long day of work it’s so much easier doing the shopping and having the car serviced without having the kids in tow. By the end of the week the time spent running those errands can really add up.

Pay attention to the additional time spent running errands after work. Multiply the hours by the per hour rate you’re paying for day care and decide if the luxury is worth the price. If it takes 2 hours to buy the groceries, that’s two hours of added day care expense that you really don’t need to pay for.

Daycare Resources for Single Moms

Being a single mom presents many challenges, but one of the biggest is finding someone to watch the kids while you’re at work. Traditional daycare can be like a second mortgage in some cities, and daycare center philosophies can vary from center to center and when you’re struggling to make ends meet as it is, that just isn’t an option. If working from home isn’t an option either, there are other places to look for daycare or babysitting resources.

The best way to look for affordable daycare resources is to network with other single moms in your community. You’re not the only single mother in town – and you’re definitely not the only one looking for daycare. Check your community newspapers or bulletin boards at the grocery store (or other stores) for postings. There may be a childcare co-op in place where mothers trade off babysitting responsibilities. If there’s not, you could start one. Offer to trade daycare services with mothers who work different schedules than you. For example, you might find a single mom who works nights, but could watch your kids during the day in exchange for you watching her kids at night.

Another great place to look for daycare help is on a nearby college campus. If you have an extra room in your house, you could offer it to a live-in babysitter. There are plenty of undergrad and grad students looking for places to stay. He/she could watch your children while you’re at work in exchange for room and board. Of course, this option would require careful screening and selection. If you don’t have an extra room in the house, or are uncomfortable with a roommate, you might be able to find a college or grad student willing to babysit for a fair price. Check with the college’s child psychology or education programs for reference.

If you need help finding affordable daycare resources, check with the “Child Care and Development Fund” for low-income financial assistance. NACCRRA (National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies) is also a great resource. Don’t forget to apply for childcare grants-you can find them on the internet by searching “daycare grants for single moms”. There are many grants of this nature available to struggling single mothers.

When looking for good daycare resources, always check the daycare center philosophy and always remember to ask for referrals and to make sure you’re comfortable with the person or people who will be watching your children. In the end, that’s the most important thing.

Cut Down On Daycare Costs With Daycare Grants!

Single moms face many challenges, and one of the biggest is finding adequate and affordable daycare for their children. Daycare grants for single moms can help bridge that gap. Daycare grants for single mothers are offered in a variety of places, and it takes some patience — and perhaps a lot of paperwork! — to learn if you qualify.

Here are a few good places to start:

Start with DHS. You should always begin with your local Department of Human Services. This is the place where you can find all sorts of assistance, from food stamps to college funds to welfare. If there is a daycare grant available through the government for people in your unique situation, DHS will probably know about it. At the very least, they will have resources to point you in many different directions. Start there, and if you don’t find what you need, continue to the following resources.

Head Start. If your child is old enough to attend a Head Start program, it might not cost you a dime to send them there. They will receive all the benefits of daycare but also get the added bonus of learning quite a bit before they are ready to go to a regular school. That can give them a huge educational boost when the time is right. Contact your local school district to find out more.

Churches and Private Programs. Many churches and private schools offer extended hours for preschool, and some of them offer daycare services. You might have to fill out a financial aid form and prove why you can’t afford to pay the cost of daycare in order to be eligible. The rules vary from one organization to another, so if you are turned down by one, don’t let that stop you…simply prepare to apply for another one.

Your College or University. If you are a college of university student, you might be eligible for special grants that pay for daycare for your children. Some colleges offer daycare centers and watch over your children free of charge while you attend classes. Some offer cash grants, while others funnel the money to the daycare provider of your choice. Check with your admissions office, particularly the non-traditional student office, and find out what is available to you.

Offer Daycare Assistance. Many daycare facilities, especially those run by private schools or churches, will lower the cost if you are willing to volunteer with outings, paperwork, and the like. Decide what you can offer in exchange and be prepared to talk about it when you sign up for grant assistance.