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Parents with two children forced to reduce their hours or give up work to save on childcare costs


Millions of 'average' two-child families are being forced to cut their working hours as they struggle to cover the cost of childcare, according to new research from Aviva.

The study found 57% of people who reduce their hours or don’t return to work after the birth of their first child, do so to spend more time with their new baby – the main reason given for staying at home. This changes with the second child, with financial factors being the single biggest influence (39%).

Almost half (45%) of the parents who don’t return to work after their second child are taking at least five years off work. These five years potentially cost over £125,000 in lost earnings, even before taking into account the additional cost of supporting the second child.

The Aviva COTS (Cost Of The Sibling) study, which interviewed over 1,000 parents with two or more children, found four in 10 families feel it is not worth both parents working full time after the birth of their second child.

Two children is currently the most common family size in the UK, but with full-time childcare for two children costing nearly £17,000 a year, many of these families say they would be working purely to pay the childminder. As a result, they have decided that at least one parent should cut their hours or give up work.

Louise Colley, head of protection marketing for Aviva said: "As any parent will know, children have a huge financial impact on a family – and this can sometimes mean double trouble when a sibling comes along, This is why protecting the family is so important, perhaps even more so when there are more mouths to feed.

"If a parent gives up work this often means the family needs to tighten its belt financially. Unfortunately, as a result, life insurance can be overlooked, but the consequences of having no cover in place can be huge – especially for a family already relying on just one income. Should the worst happen, having to return to work to generate an income and cover childcare costs could be a tremendous strain."