If you’re expecting, start planning for childcare costs – KMOV.com

(CNN) – Childcare is a major expense for many families. It’s also an area where they want to get the very best. Despite that, there are still some areas where families can trim costs.

A recent survey of childcare costs from Care.com found that various options come with various price tags, but all of them cost parents thousands of dollars each year.

The national average weekly rate for a nanny is $488.

For two children in a daycare center, it’s just more than $341 each week.

And for an after school sitter, you’ll spend about $197 per week.

Care.com says one thing often overlooked by parents is a budget plan for childcare expenses. In surveying parents who plan, they found most – 59 percent – don’t plan their childcare spending until after a child arrives, and 38 percent of those asked don’t have a budget plan at all.

Research ahead of time, particularly tapping into networks of family and friends, can help avoid a more rushed and sometimes more costly decision later on.

They also recommend consulting an employer for other options to save, like flex time or any subsidized childcare availability. Parents also can consider a flexible spending account to save thousands of dollars annually on childcare costs.

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