According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost to raise a child to the age of 17 in an average of $233,610 for a middle income household.
This is not including the cost of college.
There are various ways to help with paying to raise your child over the years of their life.
Here are eight ways to get financial help for childcare costs
When someone watched your kids while you’re searching for a job, you can apply for child and dependent care credit.
This allows you to claim up to $3,000 per year to have someone watch your child. If there are more than one child, you can claim up to $6,000.
This will help you to lower your tax bill by thousands, up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for multiple children. It can be claimed when you file your taxes.
This latest deduction can’t be claimed until 2021 taxes are filed in 2022.
Keep good track of childcare expenses to file a Form 2441 and get those claims.
Another way to get the most for your child’s expenses is to fully collect on the Child Tax Credits.
This made it so children under the age of 6 are eligible for $3,600 refunds and children between 6 and 17 are eligible for $3,000. This made each child eligible for $1,600 more than before.
Families have been receiving they payments monthly from July until December, and there’s still time for non-filers to get the money before the last payment in December.
Low income employees can also receive Earned Income Tax Credit, which allows those with lower wages to claim up to $6,600 depending on wages and number of children.
If the number is larger than what’s owed, you will get a refund.
Every state also offers childcare subsidy programs with money funded by the federal government.
The programs are to help low income workers care for their children while they work or go to school.
Eligibility varies by state, so be sure to check with your state’s eligibility requirements.
Early head start and head start is for children ages 3-5 years old before starting school.
These programs offer childcare, support for families, and educate children developmentally before they go to kindergarten.
These are federally funded programs available in most places.
Consideration is given to children with disabilities, in foster care, homeless children, and families with certain forms of public assistance.
To find out if you qualify, contact your nearest head-start.
State funded prekindergarten is also an option which helps children ages 3-5 focus on early education.
Many programs are low cost or free and run part of the day or for full days. There are around 400 across the country.
Employers offer plans that put part of an employees paycheck toward childcare costs with untaxed dollars.
Up to $10,500 can be set aside per year to help pay for childcare expenses.
Military families also have a way to get extra support for childcare.
Many providers of childcare offer military discounts and a program called Child Care Aware of America offers help.
Check with your specific branch of service to see what is offered.
Related: Free universal child care in New York: Lawmakers consider state program
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