INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Having a child is exciting but expensive. Experts say budgeting for child care should start even before your baby arrives.
Child care costs make up about 18 percent of the overall spending for raising a child.
New parents usually get the nursery, clothing, car seats and strollers ready before the baby, and sometimes child care doesn’t even cross some minds until it’s needed.
Care.com suggests you plan for child care as soon as you receive the news.
“The moment you find out that you’re expecting and you’re gonna have a new bundle of joy, you should definitely start to budget. So depending on the type of care and your options and what you can afford, there are some great things that you can do. One of the first things that we recommend is that you stop off and talk to your employer,” Donna Levin, Co-Founder Care.com.
In addition, your employer may have programs to help find child care.
“Infant care tends to be much more expensive, the great news is the cost of care goes down as your child gets older. But for a newborn baby, if you’re considering child care, a child care center, its going to be costly because of the ration of teacher to infant, is much lower,” Levin said.
Levin also suggests splitting the cost of a caregiver with neighbors or checking out churches and other local nonprofits.
CNN contributed to this report.