Smart Ways to Save on Child Care Costs

The expenses and tax complications that come with hiring a nanny were reason enough for me to take my son to day care instead.

Kids at daycare with daycare associate in masks
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The high price of child care is all too familiar to my family. The monthly cost of care for our toddler usually tops $1,000 and is second only to our mortgage payment. More than 70% of parents spend at least 10% of their income on child care, and more than half spend at least $10,000 per year, according to

The coronavirus pandemic has added to the strain on working parents. Some have struggled to afford care following cuts in their pay or hours. Others have changed care providers or juggled job responsibilities and child care duties when schools and day care centers closed because of COVID-19. Parents have even left the workforce to care for their kids, removing care expenses from their budgets but losing income.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.