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Child Care Handbook

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Child care, housing, food, and taxes are the four major expenses of working parents. It is important that parents understand and expect that good child care is expensive. Insuring the health, safety and happiness of your child while in child care is extremely important.

While all parents value the service provided, for many the cost of child care will be a serious concern. Be assured that there are some sources of financial assistance available for working parents. Another source of financial assistance for working parents is the federal and state tax credits and deductions. The Internal Revenue Service and New York State can provide you with instructions on how to claim this credit.

Although fees vary greatly, you should expect to spend anywhere from 10% to 35% of your gross income on child care. Financial assistance is available on several levels. There is the public Child Care Subsidy Program, private scholarships, tax credits, sibling discounts and employer assistance programs. Some child care programs offer private scholarships, sliding fee scales, or are willing to negotiate their fees.

Talk with the Referral Specialists for further information concerning these.

Below is some general information concerning the cost of child care services:

  • Infant care is usually more expensive than care for older children.
  • Most day care centers and some family day care homes offer reduced rates for siblings.
  • In-home care is the most expensive form of child care. When you have full time in-home care, you must pay at least minimum wage if the provider works more than 20 hours per week (many in-home providers set their fees well above minimum wage), time and a half for over 40 hours, social security, unemployment tax and workers' compensation.
  • Most child care programs will require a security deposit or registration fee when you register your child.
  • Some programs may have extra fees for materials, transportation, lunches, or late pick-up.
  • Request receipts for all fees paid.
  • Be sure to ask for the Tax ID number for your tax purposes.
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