19/07/2010 08:22 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Second Children - An Unnecessary Expense?

A report from insurance company Aviva claims that millions of 'average' two-child families are being forced to cut back working hours as they struggle to afford childcare after having a second baby.

The Aviva COTS (Cost Of The Sibling) study polled over 1,000 parents with two or more children and found that four in 10 families felt it was not financially viable for both parents to work full time after the birth of their second child.

The findings also suggested that nearly half (45%) of parents who don't go back to work after having a second baby take at least five years off - at a potential cost of over £125,000 in lost earnings, and that's before taking into account the extra costs of raising a second child.

And with nearly half of the polled parents saying they felt it was not worth both mum and dad working full time after having a second child, that's a lot of families facing severe financial cut backs.

Many families say that if they returned to work after having a second child, they would be working purely to pay the child-minder, and with annual full-time childcare for two children costing nearly £17,000 a year, it's not surprising that many parents are electing to stay at home or significantly reduce their hours.

But are the findings a true reflection of modern family life? Does a second child have to have such a huge financial impact? Can we not just tighten our belts and lower our expectations? Or does our childcare system and its associated costs need a radical overhaul?

What do you think?