CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - As students gear up to head back to school, childcare is on a lot of parent's minds.
According to marketwatch.com, North Carolina parents spend more than 17% of their salaries on childcare, while South Carolinians spend about 12%.
We found four ways parents can save some money on childcare.
First, care.com suggests coordinating a childcare or nanny share.
If you have kids and your friends or family members have kids, hire one nanny and split the cost. Typically, nannies or babysitters charge per-child, but if the children are in one home it could end up costing less.
Next, check nonprofit childcare options.
Local YMCA's, churches, and Jewish community centers may have daycare or afterschool programs. Because they are non-profit facilities, they are eligible for state and federal funds - and extra funding can allow for lower costs to parents.
For parents with lower incomes who may need a little more help with childcare costs, research state's childcare assistance program.
In North Carolina, the funds vary from county to county, and parents have to check with the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Education to find out how to qualify.
Last, parents should check with their employer to find out if they offer a dependent care flexible spending account or FSA.
Financial expert Joseph Roseman explains what it is and how it can save it can save money.
"Childcare FSA is strictly for childcare expenses… If your income was $100,000 as a couple and you had $5,000 that you're putting into this flexible spending account for childcare than that actually comes off the top of your income," said Roseman.
This means the money in the account is not taxed.
The dependent care FSA is for children under the age of 13 or for those dependents who may have a disability. Click here for more on dependent care FSA.
Roseman said if you choose this option, make sure to use all of it before the year ends or will you lose it.