Childcare costs hit new heights. How you can save $5,000 a year

Childcare costs are approaching the level of college tuition in some parts of the country, but this fall your employer might offer you a way to save.

Say hello to the dependent care flexible spending arrangement or FSA. This account allows you to save up to $5,000 each year per household on a pretax basis.

Assuming your child is under age 13, you can use the money to cover daycare and before- or after-school care expenses, as well as care at home.

Nearly 9 out of 10 large companies offer dependent care FSAs to their workers, according to the National Business Group on Health, a trade association that represents large employers.

The dependent care FSA can take the sting out of the rising cost of childcare, which continues to climb annually.

The national average cost of care for one child is about $9,000, according to Child Care Aware of America.

See below for the least affordable states for center-based infant care in 2017.

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