What's the Deal: Budgeting for child care

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Having a child is exciting and expensive! Child care costs make up about 18 percent of the overall spending for raising a child.

To make sure you're not caught off guard, budgeting for child care should start even before your bundle of joy arrives.

New parents usually get the nursery, clothing, car seats and strollers ready before baby. And sometimes child care doesn't even cross your mind until it's needed.

Care.com recommends starting to plan as soon as you get the good 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," said Donna Levin, Co-Founder of Care.com.

Your employer may have programs to help find child care. Maybe even subsidize or discount care from certain providers.

"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," said Levin.

Consider a nanny share, where neighbors split the cost of a caregiver, or check out churches and other local nonprofits. They may offer day care for less than the cost of a private child care business.

Another tip is to check with your pediatrician for free product samples.

Also, lose the pricey, just for show shoes. Experts say babies learn to walk faster if they're barefoot.

And always check with other parents for every one who is looking for baby items, there are tons looking to unload them.

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