SmartMoney Monday: Child care costs

Published: Apr. 22, 2019 at 11:03 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For today’s SmartMoney Monday, we’re going to discuss something many parents struggle with: the high cost of child care.

To give us some tips about child care for parents on a budget is Taylor Kirihara from Bank of Hawaii.

In a nationwide survey, one out of three families are spending 20% or more of their household income on childcare and the average weekly cost for an infant is $211 for day care.

To help offset these costs, people should look into something called a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account or FSA, which can help families save as much as $2,700 a year in 2019, depending on the Plan terms.

Families may also be able to take advantage of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit on their qualified care expenses of $3,000 for one child or $6,000 for two or more children.

Depending on a person’s income levels, this may result in a credit between $600 to $1,050 for families with one child and $1,200 and $2,100 for families with two or more children.

One way to reduce cost is to think outside the traditional child care box. One concept is a baby-sitting co-op, where a group of families share babysitting duties among themselves.

They earn points for sitting and use their points to “pay” for other parents to babysit their children.

You can look into in-home day care where someone comes to your house, which reduces costs, especially if you can get other families with children to participate and pool the costs.

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