How Do I Afford Daycare For a Second Child?

a mom holding two kids

The high cost of daycare is no joke. Paying for daycare for one child is more than many families can manage.

Add a second child into the mix, and you suddenly have an even bigger problem. Luckily, there are ways to manage the cost of two children in daycare.

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How Do I Afford Daycare for a Second Child?

To manage the cost of daycare for multiple kids, look for daycares that offer discounts for multiple children. Consider switching daycares if the one you already use doesn’t offer this. Another option is to work from home until at least one child is old enough for school.

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The average cost of daycare for a child in the United States is about $1,200 per month. The median income in the United States is $5,725.25 per month. That means the average daycare costs more than 20 percent of a family’s income.

Here are some of the things your family can do to afford child care for multiple kids.

1. Look for Daycares with Multiple Children Discount

babysitter watching two children

The good news is that daycare costs don’t always double when you add a second child into the mix.

Some daycares offer as much as a 25 percent decrease with multiple children.

While the price is still high, it is a significantly easier bill to pay. Ask your daycare if they have this type of discount. It may not be something they advertise.

2. Switch to a Co-Op

Not everyone has the schedule flexibility for a co-op daycare, but it is a financially beneficial way to manage daycare for your children.

The basic model of a co-op is that you share childcare duties with other parents.

You’re usually expected to spend one to two days per week at the co-op. If you don’t have one in your area, consider starting your own.

3. Shop for a New Daycare Provider

You might love your current daycare. Unfortunately, the price may be too high once your second child is born.

Look for other daycare providers with lower rates or offer the discount you need. An in-home daycare provider or even a nanny might be worth the time and effort.

4. Don’t Forget About Taxes

Most parents can recoup some of their money on child care when they file their income taxes. The Child and Dependent Care Credit allows you to take a credit of up to $6,000 if you qualify.

5. Consider a Career Change

Do you love children? While your kids are young, you might consider working as a caregiver.

You can get discounted childcare while also being able to spend time with your kids during the day.

I have known many moms who have gone this route for a few years and then returned to their chosen careers once their kids reached school age.

I also know a couple of moms who fell in love with the daycare environment and continued on that path.

6. Become a Stay-at-home or Work-from-home Parent

Sometimes the answer is that you can’t afford daycare for a second child. Your paycheck might barely cover the cost of daycare if that.

When considering this, don’t look just at the figures on your weekly pay vs. the cost of weekly childcare. Also factor in costs such as:

  • Driving to-and-from work
  • The amount spent on lunches and coffees
  • The cost of extras you need for work, like clothing and shoes

Though I had a professional position that paid fairly well, my husband and I found that we would actually save money if I stayed home.

Many of the stay-at-home moms and dads I know were in a similar situation. For some, it’s a temporary measure. For others, like me, working from home turns into a rewarding and lucrative career.

Related: How Do Single Moms Afford Daycare?

Key Takeaways

Daycare is not easy to afford when you have more than one child. There are some ways to lower the cost, but it’s a struggle for many families.

Do you have any tips on how to afford daycare for more than one child? Drop them in the comments!

Looking for a Good Quality Daycare?

Find an affordable and qualified daycare center that fits your needs.

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