Childcare can be expensive, but it's not impossible to get around some of the financial pitfalls. Here are some ways to lessen the financial burden of childcare, so that you can spend more time working and less time worrying:
Grandparents will do anything to spend just a few more hours with a child. The added bonus is that they're free. Hiring them may give you a tax break at the end of the year, though it may not cover the entire cost. Regardless, you're not technically employing them if you only cover the cost of the essentials. Use this measure freely. Grandparents have years of experience in child rearing.
Enlist the Services of Friends
Friends may not always be there to pick up the tab, but close friends may not mind watching your child for a few hours each week. Many will do it for free. Those who don't will generally accept small payments under the table. Don't wear out your welcome, but take advantage of the offers while you still can.
Depending on your location and the age of your child, you may be entitled to free childcare. Take advantage of this for as long as you can, as it has all the perks of paid childcare without the enormous costs associated with it. Ask your local state department for a list of childcare facilities in your area, and figure out which one best suits your need in terms of hours.
Changing your work hours could drastically reduce your childcare costs, as working later may not require you to enlist the services of a childcare facility for more than a few hours per day. Manipulating your hours may also give you the freedom to spend more time with your child, which is an important aspect of child rearing.
Talk to your tax specialist about how to claim deductions on childcare expenses from the previous year. This puts money back in your pocket, money that you can allocate to future expenses for your child.