Congratulations on being the lucky winner and recipient of life’s one-plus-one free offer! Life is full of unexpected surprises.
Whether your twins were planned or a surprise, after the celebration, the planning commences.
Planning amid a twin pregnancy can feel daunting, yet planning for postpartum can save time, stress, and even money.
One primary postpartum planning aspect is childcare. Deciding on the care your babies will receive takes trust, time, and research.
Let us help you save some time, gain your trust, and help support your family so that you can make the best childcare decision for you.
How much does daycare for twins cost?
Childcare costs greatly vary on where you are located; however, on average daycare for twins ranges from $ 1,200 – to $ 2,000 a month. Many centers offer incentive programs or discounts based on enrolling multiple children to ease the pressure on the budget. Alternatives to traditional daycare include; Nanny, Au Pair, Church or Non-Profit Childcare, Family/Relative care, or even Babysitting Co-Ops.
Daycare Costs for Twins
Daycare costs for twins consist of many influencing factors and how you piece together your childcare experience. Daycare will become a deciding component of your budget and your schedule.
Daycare costs will vary based on the frequency of care, location, and availability. Daycare on average daycare for twins will cost about $26,000 the first year.
Average Cost per Month
On average, daycare for twins will range from $1,200 to $1,200 a month. In some areas discounts and scholarships are available to benefit families with twins.
Factors that influence childcare costs are location, support system, services available, and budget.
Where do you live? Rural or City? Do you have family around, does your employer offer childcare stipends? What is your budget? What type of care is the best fit for your family?
These factors directly influence the price you pay for daycare and revolve around the size, quality, and location of the care you are looking for.
Location is one of the largest influencing factors of daycare costs, if you reside in a place in which the cost of living is inflated, daycare tuition will also be inflated. The biggest factors are rural and city living.
On average rural daycare costs can range from $ 1,200 to $ 2,000 a month while the cost of daycare in the city is double.
- Rural Cost: $1,200 – $2,000/month
- City Cost: $2,000 – $4,000/month
Center Vs Homebased Daycare
Are you looking for a center or a home-based daycare? Both provide quality care; however, the cost of care at a center is on average $600 more per month than an in-home daycare provider.
A center provides schedule and security but sacrifices more personalized care. In-Home care is very dependent on one or two people and could lead to more inconveniences in scheduling.
- Center Cost: $2,000/Month
- In-Home Cost: $1,400/Month
Size/Quality of Care
An increase in center size means an increase in daycare costs with a possible decrease in quality care. Centers provide a rich social environment for children and stability in scheduling, but they sacrifice small classroom sizes, personalized care, and lower operating costs.
Number of Staff
Daycare centers with a larger amount of staff will ultimately be more expensive due to logistics of operating costs; however, they will have smaller adult-child ratios making care more personalized and class sizes smaller while getting rich social engagement for your little ones.
Age of Children
The ages of your twins will also affect the price you pay for care. On average toddlers are $ 1,000 – $ 2,000 more a year than school-aged children while infants are $ 2,000 – $ 3,000 more than school-aged children a year.
- Infants + $2,000 – $3,000 a year
- Toddlers + $1,000 – $2,000 a year
Daycare Sibling Discount
Most daycare centers offer a 5% – 10% monthly sibling discount for twins. Many discounts are modest, but every little bit counts. In contrast, some centers charge double for twins due to having limited space or staff services available.
Scholarships and financial aid are procurable for families with twins. Household, income, and special circumstances will also bring further discounts and financial assistance.
Daycare Alternatives for Twins
Daycare may not be the right fit for your growing family. There are plenty of other alternatives that could be a better fit financially, logistically, and emotionally.
Family & Friends
Family and friends are a great resource and support system for families with twins. Call in reinforcements, and trade childcare services with friends and family. As they say, it takes a village to raise children.
In many instances, there is little to no cost involved, and you can leave your children feeling secure and familiar with a known loved one in your home or theirs.
Family and friends are also a great supplemental care option, they can assist you during daycare off-hours, date nights, or even business travel. Do not hesitate to ask for help and set boundaries!
In many cases hiring a nanny is a more affordable alternative to daycare and is usually the most preferred for families with twins. Nannies offer personalized in-home care that focuses on your family’s needs.
While the children are in their home, they can grow, develop, and flourish in their familiar environment while engaging with a skilled childcare provider.
On average, nannies are paid by the hour, and each family will have to create their own contract and pay rate based on scheduling and childcare needs.
A nanny share is another cost-effective option if the nanny cares for your family and others at the same time, allowing the hourly cost to be shared among families.
In-home daycares are also a popular alternative to traditional daycare centers. They offer social-emotional growth and bonding in a more intimate and personalized setting.
In-home daycares on average are more affordable than traditional daycare centers; however, they don’t offer as much scheduling stability and have less availability.
Live-In Nanny/ Au Pair
A live-in nanny or au pair will be a childcare provider that lives with the family, which can help curb finances and the childcare bill. In this instance, you will need to set up a realistic work schedule with reasonable time off for your hire as well as provide a private place for the nanny to live and sleep.
This situation can potentially become complicated trying to balance work and home. It can work great for dual working parents with consistent scheduling and the space to provide privacy for the nanny.
Work from Home
Work from home doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If possible, you can engage in a hybrid model of work, trade childcare shifts with your spouse/partner, or work more flexible hours. Working from home will allow you to be more involved in your children’s care.
Unfortunately, not everyone can work from home; if financially applicable, some families will cut hours back to part-time or one spouse will stay home with the twins.
Babysitting co-ops is a community-based childcare network made of multiple families exchanging childcare for one another without any money being exchanged; instead, the childcare is the currency.
A babysitting co-op is a great option for part-time or occasional childcare needs. This option is less desirable due to the lack of flexibility for families that need full-time care. All families involved need to provide care for other members’ children and participate in co-op.
YMCA childcare strives to break down financial barriers to quality experiences, childcare, and services. They provide before and after school care for Y members as well as supplemental early childhood learning and programs. Summer camps are also an option for older children.
The Y can be a support system for families in need of care and an option to provide occasional or part-time care. The cost of care will vary by income, household, and special circumstances.
In addition to daycare centers and nanny services, local churches may have childcare programs available. Due to the non-profit nature of these church-based daycare centers, they are usually much more affordable.
Church-based daycare offers quality care, lower class sizes, and consistency. Church-based care will be faith-based, and the cost will depend on the location of services provided.
Do you Get Double Paid Parental Leave for Twins?
In many instances Yes! Because you are having twins, the leave requirement is typically double the 8 weeks, meaning that the leave time for twins will be 16 weeks. Unfortunately, the US is the only industrialized country that does not offer paid leave.
Some companies and employers will offer no additional paid parental leave, and in comparison, some will be very generous offering up to 35 weeks of paid leave. The average leave time in the US is 10 weeks of unpaid leave.
What are the Age Limits for Daycare?
Daycares often serve pre-school-aged children under 6 years old. Daycare may group classes together based on age or developmental stage. Some daycare facilities may offer after-school care for elementary-age children; however, it is becoming less and less common to do so.
To be honest, having twins can get financially challenging, so get creative! Make choices that are right for your family, your budget, and your childcare needs. Beyond logistics and finances, there is trust, care, and stability wrapped into your childcare experience.
All of these moving parts will keep you level-headed and support your decision. Many more childcare options are becoming readily available, and parents are working together!
Having twins might mean double the daycare, but it also means double the happiness – making it all priceless!
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.