Clear Filters

Affordable Child Care 101:  Cheap Ways to Afford Child Care in Santa Fe

Child Care SearchParent Resources

20th February 2022

We know parents are on a budget. Between groceries, clothing, and other essentials, it can be hard to find the financial wiggle room for child care. Parents are no strangers to the hunt for affordable child care. Never fear! There are several ways families can explore child care options on a budget, without sacrificing quality care and safety. Here are some cheap ways to afford child care in Santa Fe that will not strain your wallet. 

Apply for State Child Care Assistance

Reach out to the New Mexico Early Childhood Education & Care department for child care assistance or child care vouchers. Their Child Care Assistant Program subsidizes the cost of child care for families at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. This currently translates to $52,400 for a family of four. The subsidy amount varies depending on the child’s age, type of child care needed, the program’s location, and the program’s rating. The application process is easy, and department representatives work closely with families to ensure appropriate coverage. Even if you are not a family of four, there are always options for child care assistance when you reach out to the Education & Care department.

Drop-In Care

Drop-in daycare is typically an option with most daycares. The hours extend into the evening, giving adults time to go out for dinner, catch a movie, or attend a local event. Most drop-in policies require the parents to stay within a certain proximity to the center in case there is an emergency. Drop-in daycare carries several benefits over a traditional babysitting service. There are other children to play with, structured activities with licensed providers, and a break from the usual routine. Many drop-in services have built-in plans at low hourly costs to keep children entertained, safe, and never too far from parents. 

Part-Time Care

Full-time care may be the perfect fit for some parents, but there are part-time alternatives you can consider as well. If you are budgeting or have fluctuating schedules, part-time childcare could fit the bill. Here are some alternative part-time childcare options you can consider! Examples of part-time care include gym child care service options, workplace child care services, or pods. The next time you are at work or stopping off at the gym, ask about child care options, you may be surprised what could fit your budget! Being a gym member and full-time employee often comes with perks, so do not hesitate to ask. Pods can be a great solution, as well. Parents can match their children with others similar to them, and rotate care time among themselves. All of this while also taking off some of the pressure of financial strain.

Small and Large Family Child Care

A family child care home, or FCC, is a type of child care arrangement where providers care for small groups of children in residential buildings. An FCC building could be a house, apartment, or condo unity. FCCs offer more flexible schedules than traditional daycare. FCC programs are ideal but that all depends on how many children are being cared for. The number of infants and toddlers that can be cared for in an FCC is often limited. Specifically, in New Mexico, these limitations can vary from other states. A small family child care service is limited to 5-6 children, while a large is 7-12. They can be more affordable than investing in a full-care center, just make sure all licensing is in order before enrolling.

We love connecting families to affordable child care services in Santa Fe, NM. Wonderschool values building relationships between parents and vetted, high-quality child care professionals that meet your needs and state standards. We know every family has unique needs. We are here to make sure those needs are met, for peace of mind for you and your family. Contact us today for more information or visit our site where our unique search engine can find you the perfect match.