yay I earn £2100 per month...

(153 Posts)
CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 11:55:47

into London, better paid job.

Nursery costs for 2= £2400 (£2600 at another)
Travel to work=£146

AIBU to be upset that the only option may be leaving a well paid job because whilst we can just scrape by on DH salary with certainly can't afford for me to pay £450 to work :-(

How do people do it? I'm proud of my job

eminemmerdale Wed 06-Feb-13 11:56:43

Is that before or after tax? <thick>

poppy1973 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:57:48

Would it be cheaper option for you to share child care costs with another family ? or employ a part-time nanny/child minder ??

MegBusset Wed 06-Feb-13 11:59:11

Can you look into cheaper childcare - childminder or au pair? Even if it means you just break even for now.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 11:59:29

after tax, good salary! Unless you have kids in London.

Nannies cost more or the same at best.
I will look in childminders but need space for two in an area with shortages

Caladria Wed 06-Feb-13 11:59:39

Sometimes I think there's a long-term calculation going on - i.e. that even if you're losing in the short term you'll be better off in the long term because of staying in work.

Not much help, I know.

rubyslippers Wed 06-Feb-13 11:59:44

why are you working it out on just your salary?

childcare comes out of both our salaries

but the cost is massive

look at a nanny as it may be better value for 2 kids rather than nursery

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 11:59:52

Au pair not allowed are they for full time work?

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:00:47

ruby, I'm not, I'm working it out on family income; DH salary-£450=not enough to live on.

YorkshireDeb Wed 06-Feb-13 12:01:01

It's insane isn't it! My childcare costs are a lot lower than that but so many people find it's cheaper to stay at home than to pay for childcare. Can't be good for the economy. X

EuroShagmore Wed 06-Feb-13 12:01:03

You need to think about this in the long term. The sums might mean that it is costing you money to work now but you need to think beyond that, imo. If you were to quit your job, how easy would it be to get back into the work force? What pension rights would you lose? What would be the long term effect on your career? How long realistically are you going to have to bear two lots of childcare before one then both foes to school? And would you be happy as a SAHM?

rubyslippers Wed 06-Feb-13 12:01:08

au pairs do a set number of hours and are not meant to do FT childcare

also i wouldn't give them the responsibility

i am looking at the au pair option for when my youngest goes to school

Trills Wed 06-Feb-13 12:02:01

why are you working it out on just your salary?

Because that's where the choice lies - get salary and pay childcare, or don't get salary but also don't pay childcare.

Childcare is a joint cost but it makes sense when deciding whether to be a SAHP to balance the salary of that parent against the childcare costs.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:02:44

euro I seethe long term issues, I agree however we just can't sustain 2 yrs of two pre-schoolers in nursery

I would assume Ruby, because even with both salaries pooled they would be working at a loss which they can't afford to sustain?

rubyslippers Wed 06-Feb-13 12:03:00

oh i see - misunderstood your intial post

It is a drag but i took a very, very long term view which was that once the kids were at school my career and earning potential would still be there

there has been times when i have nearly imploded with the stress of it but i can see the ligth at the end of the tunnel

Piecesofmyheart Wed 06-Feb-13 12:03:03

Do you no longer qualify for child benefit ?
How long before your children start school ?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 12:03:50

Unless there is a possibility for both parents to go part time and share care, which is what we did - worked out well because we both paid less tax as well. But I realise this presupposes two flexible careers and a willing DH which seems to be a hens teeth proposition.

rubyslippers Wed 06-Feb-13 12:04:03

YY - i misunderstood the OP

there isn't an easy or right answer ...
it's very galling to be faced with this

twofalls Wed 06-Feb-13 12:05:25

When will your funding kick in. How old are your dcs?

ceeveebee Wed 06-Feb-13 12:05:43

How many hours of childcare do you need? And how old are your DCs?

A nanny may be cheaper depending on your hours
Are you using childcare vouchers to the max?
Can you and/or DH reduce to 4 days or do 5 days into 4?
Can one of you/DH stagger your working days to reduce hours of childcare needed?
And you will eventually get free 15 hours at least (if its still in place).

amck5700 Wed 06-Feb-13 12:06:41

It's not just London, and not just now. 12 years ago we were paying £600 a month for a childminder for our son - that was using as little as possible depending on OH shifts. When we knew we were expecting No2 the figures just would add up - the Cm would give us a discount for 2nd child but mu OH only earned just over £1k a month as a nurse after tax etc. add travel/work incidentals on and it wasn't worth it. There was no Tax Credit etc back then either. He gave up full time work and looked after the kids. He got a part time job - all day Sunday and 2 evenings, got about £400 a month as he was below tax threashold so we were much better off.

CinnabarRed Wed 06-Feb-13 12:07:15

A nanny to yourself will cost more, for sure. But how about a nanny share?

Viviennemary Wed 06-Feb-13 12:07:18

Would work give you a year off without pay and that would leave you free to decide what would be the best option for you. But look round for alterntives. Shared nanny or childminder.

kitsmummy Wed 06-Feb-13 12:07:51

It's ridiculous but fairly standard these days isn't it? That's why people often have about 4 years between children so they only end up paying one lot of childcare at a time.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:08:25

dcs are 3 months and 2 (summer born)

not possible to go PT (teachers, school leadership)

Narked Wed 06-Feb-13 12:09:52

Can you cut your housing costs? Look into cheaper childcare?

funnymum71 Wed 06-Feb-13 12:10:55

Does your calculation take the childcare vouchers into consideration when they're 3?

We've struggled with childcare costs, but now we get 5 x 2.5 hours care for free, its back to making better financial sense to work.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:11:49

thanks for so much advice

-childcare vouchers used, but now reduced in our new jobs (factored in to cost)
-we have no flexibility around ft school hours as we are teachers in leadership -positions, no chance of time off either
-the 15 free hours strangely barely seem to dent private fees the way they -work it out with wrap round and meals

-where to find nanny shares? plus with a young baby?

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 12:11:57

Don't forget when your eldest is 3, you'll get 15 hours free childcare. Does this make any difference?

Might be worth having a look at www.childcare.co.uk for CMs in your area.

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 12:12:26

Cross posts!

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:12:31

housing costs are down to minimum realistic for our family

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 12:12:38

Have you looked at using a CM?

MummytoMog Wed 06-Feb-13 12:13:12

Nanny share if possible. Will be cheaper. Where are you (roughly) in London?

Do you have a room for a live in? Our childcare is much cheaper atm as we offset the low salary with bed and board.

Career break for a year? Our childminder (when we had just DC1) was cheaper than nursery at around £200 a week FT, so both F/T cost about £1600 a month.

MummytoMog Wed 06-Feb-13 12:14:16

Do you want to nanny share with us ;) Nanny share.co.uk or childcare.co.uk both good.

Narked Wed 06-Feb-13 12:15:28

Family? You could pay someone £1,800 a month to look after your DC. Do you have anyone who would consider that as an option?

poorbuthappy Wed 06-Feb-13 12:18:06

This is exactly why I gave up work.
£1800 per month for childcare.

This is now why I am stuck in the awful position of my twins going to school in September and having no clue how to increase our incomings whilst still paying before and after school childcare for 3.
My husband is also management in school which is about to become academy so won't be able to do the "sick" days unless they are in the holidays.

Am I fucked off? Yep.
Sorry rang over. Just be very aware of how difficult it is to get back into earning money even when kids go to school.

belleat40 Wed 06-Feb-13 12:18:26

So it's only for a year until you get funding? Or two years until he/she starts school? It's worth the hit. Just for two years.
What will you earn if you take two years off? What will you earn in two years if you don't?

tethersend Wed 06-Feb-13 12:19:59

Have you approached the head about taking a sabbatical?

That way, you could take a year off and have a job to return to. it's unlikely, but it does happen.

I agree with others that you need to think long term- especially in teaching where it is very hard to get back in at the same level once you leave.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 06-Feb-13 12:21:01

A nanny would come in at about your salary based on an 8 hour working day. As the kids get older it will get easier. Finding a job after 3-4 years out can be really tough

Yorkpud Wed 06-Feb-13 12:21:03

Poor you, I would be gutted. I have always worked at home around the children to avoid childcare costs but I realise I have been lucky to have this option.

Could you condense your hours so you are doing more hours in less days?
A friend of mine works (7-4.30) for 4 days a week (for full time pay), her husband drops kids at nursery and she picks them up.

Or could you work some flexi hours at home at all so you don't have to go in everyday? In which you could use Sat or evenings/ or nap times to work.

ballstoit Wed 06-Feb-13 12:21:57

Are you employed by LA or Academy? SIL is Head of Department in a secondary school, and job & childcare shares with a colleague. I know that's pretty fortunate, but your employer would be on very sticky ground if they refused to consider a job share or part time hours request.

Are those fees term time only? Nurseries are not keen to offer this I know, but can often be persuaded if they have holiday clubs, as they can take lots of extra older children with staff they use for younger ones. Some childminders are also keen on term time only contracts for the same reason.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 06-Feb-13 12:24:49

PM me if you're anywhere near Richmond - I can recommend a childminder there but don't know if they have any availability atm.

Emsmaman Wed 06-Feb-13 12:25:20

Feel your pain. In London my salary only covers childcare and train cost, I wouldn't want to "pay" to work. Saving grace for us is DD's nursery costs reduce at age 2 and again at 3 - the 15 hours doesn't get applied in entirety as it's private but it will help. I don't really know the solution - we are going to wait until DD is older to have a second to avoid exactly the situation you are in. I value working too much to have to give it up.

MsVestibule Wed 06-Feb-13 12:26:20

When you say 'scrape by', have you seriously trimmed the meat from the bones completely, e.g. no alcohol, car (unless your DH needs one for work) pension contributions, Sky, meals out etc? Obviously living without the 'extras' that make life more pleasurable isn't good, but in the long term would be worth it financially. You'd only be living like paupers for 2 or 3 years wink.

If you absolutely can't cut back any further, then the reality is that as you have 2 DCs so close in age (not judging BTW, we do too!), one of you can't afford to work at the moment.

BubaMarra Wed 06-Feb-13 12:26:37

Yes, OP should work it out on just her salary because it makes economic sense. It's the increments and their marginal effects she is interested in, so she needs to figure out what would be the effect of incremental change of action to her total income. It does not mean that OP's DH would not contribute toward childcare costs, it just means that her work would not have any impact on her DH's salary, so that salary stays out of equation.

THERhubarb Wed 06-Feb-13 12:27:20

You are not out of the woods even if you have no childcare. I work from home and I earn around £500 per month. dh earns around £1,400 per month after tax. We regularly spend over this each month.

We regularly switch utilities to get a better deal. We have no Sky or cable supscriptions. We don't buy take-aways or eat out unless it's a special occasion. We sell things on ebay and we are always careful with budgeting, but still we struggle. Dh pays around £80pw on petrol. I have a car for emergencies (we live out in the sticks) which I hardly use but it's necessary for dentist/doctors/orthodontist/picking kids up etc so we have to factor in road tax and insurance.

I've been doing the sums just this morning and I really can't see where we can save. We go over every month by around £250 on average.

I'm now using a weekly meal planner to help me save costs on grocercies and I've cut down on how much I drink, choosing ginger beer instead of wine at the weekends which saves around a tenner a week.

If I had to pay for childcare - well I just couldn't. Only last night I was asking dh how on earth other people manage to get the time off to take their kids to the dentist/orthdontist and the various clubs they go to. dd is signed up for a climbing wall course during half term, I'm taking her and a friend because it's presumed that as I work from home I can do that. How on earth would I have managed if I didn't?

Is there anyone who manages to have money in the bank still at the end of every month?

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 12:30:07

Do you own your house - could you switch to interest only for a couple of years? Can your DH reduce his hours a little?

We had similar, but cuoldn't reduce the mortgage at the time, and we just had to swallow it and go into debt a little bit. Long term gain was more important for us personally, and I couldn't leave my job at the time.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:33:50

ms V
-no sky etc
-no mobile contracts
-1 old banger car (commutes, less to run than train costs)
-no main phone line
-no meals out
-all hand me down/ second hand clothes
-utilities etc kept an eye for cost
-no debt payments apart from mortgage to play with

could go on but you get the idea! Been like this since we met in order to buy (cheaper than renting)

I'm NE London

I'd LOVE term time only fees but there is no interest here for nurseries to provide it.

I'm doing lots of sums right now, which is why I'm taking a while...

forevergreek Wed 06-Feb-13 12:34:47

As your in teaching I'm assuming it's term time only?

Many childminders ( and some nannies ) offer term time only contacts. So if you work if out over the year you shouldnt be at a loss. The main people who offer this are those with their own school age children

What about a nanny with own child. Generally a reduction in hourly fee in exchange for bringing their child with them. Find someone with similar age child and they have a permenant playmate too.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:35:15

Just rung a friend, she says a CM near my school charges £6.50 p/h so on the same hours a CM is more!

NotHerRealname Wed 06-Feb-13 12:35:59

Have I misunderstood? Is your Dh earning 450 per month? Why can't he stay at home and you work then?

Apologies if I have misread.

CinnabarRed Wed 06-Feb-13 12:37:33

NotHerRealName makes a very good point.

forevergreek Wed 06-Feb-13 12:38:18

As an idea , a nanny without child is approx £12.50 gross ph, based on 10 hr day that's £125 a day

Nanny with child might accept £10 gross ph. £100 a day

Saving you £125 a week/ £500 a month

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 12:38:41

Presumably because her DH earns more.

(but would be a good point otherwise)

titchy Wed 06-Feb-13 12:40:28

Presumably with a 3 month old you're on ML, so you don't need to go back to work till September, by which time your oldest will be just 3. So oldest will start school September 2014, so you have one year of struggle, then it starts to be OK. In fact as you're both teachers you could take your oldest out of nursery next July, leaving you 10 months of being £450 a month short.

Go interest only for a year? Save like mad now?

I do think it's worth going back, you get your pension conts paid for a start.

Trills Wed 06-Feb-13 12:40:32

Have I misunderstood? Is your Dh earning 450 per month? Why can't he stay at home and you work then?

You've misunderstood.

I assume you mean this sentence
ruby, I'm not, I'm working it out on family income; DH salary-£450=not enough to live on.

DH's salary minus 450 per month is not enough to live on.

Because childcare costs her salary PLUS £450.

So if she worked all of the extra income would be taken up with childcare costs, and they would still have to use some of DH's income for childcare. They would be worse off overall.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:40:38

DH earns a little more and has better opportunity for promotion right now, in family interests it would be my job that went.

forever geek, I'm on childcare.co.uk and £13-15 has been quoted so far for a nanny. I am looking though....

cassell Wed 06-Feb-13 12:40:46

Have you investigated all the nursery options, I know north London is more expensive but here in zone 2 SE London a full time place at ds1's nursery costs about £890 for an under 2 and a bit less over 2. I would have thought you'd be able to find something at about £1000 a month each and ask about a sibling discount (we'll get a 10% discount on ds1's fees when ds2 starts) which might help. Perhaps look at nurseries on your/dh's commute to work/near work (assuming not central if you're driving to work) to see if there are more affordable options.

CinnabarRed Wed 06-Feb-13 12:41:03

But if her DH earns £450, and she earns £2,100 then clearly she earns more than he does.

OP, are you entitled to claim any tax credits by working?

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:42:19

titchy- I'm determined to find a way. So far I've worked out working 3 days would bring me to only £200 over my salary, I don't know if work will say yes but it's option 1 so far.

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 12:42:41

Cinnabar - her DH doesn't earn £450.

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 12:43:21

ha, xposts - there you go.

shrinkingnora Wed 06-Feb-13 12:43:56

Most childminders in this area charge less for siblings so it would be worth checking that. I pay 30% less for first sibling and 50% less for second sibling. I have also used term time only with the childminder - she found someone with older children who wanted holiday time only.

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:44:21


the range here is from about 2100 for both (but awful place) to £2900 for both. The £2400 one is were I'd be happy to leave them without crying all day but with some discount! I've viewed all 15 nurseries near enough!!!

cinnabar, entitled to nowt, good salaries, just mega childcare

MortifiedAdams Wed 06-Feb-13 12:45:48

Some CMs offer discount on more kids. My DM charges X for the youngest child and 1/2 of X for any other kids in tge same family.

Also, term time only CMs may split the costs equally so you pay them 12 months but use a lot less and charged term time.

LoopsInHoops Wed 06-Feb-13 12:47:05

Have you thought about international school positions?

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 12:47:37

Cecelia have you checked out the CMs? We have had two excellent CMs via Childcare.co.uk and you may be able to find one who will offer term-time only / discounts for siblings.

forevergreek Wed 06-Feb-13 12:48:22

£15 is fairly high

Just go onto nannyjob and place an add yourself for what you can afford a week. To make people interested in lower salary you can offer all school holidays off for example/ accept a nanny bringing own child etc etc

£500 gross a week is a low nanny wage but if you are offering 12 weeks off ( fully paid) then it might appeal to someone ( maybe someone with family abroad who wants to travel home for the summer etc)

CeceliaStrange Wed 06-Feb-13 12:48:24

I'm just rung a parent who I know who is a local childminder, very few in area but have 2 numbers

ballstoit Wed 06-Feb-13 12:49:19

Could you or DH work through the summer holidays to increase income (Clearly wouldn't cover the whole year, but would help?

For example The Challenge Network, are looking for youth and community leaders for their summer schemes and pay up to £1840 for a 3 week scheme. (www.the-challenge.org/jobs). Or if you have friends with school age children, they might be really chuffed for one of you to be their 'nanny' in school holidays?

MarshaBrady Wed 06-Feb-13 12:49:26

Nanny share is usually the best bet.

MsVestibule Wed 06-Feb-13 12:51:48

Fair enough, Cecilia. I just asked because some people's idea of scraping by is not the same as mine! I'm looking at you, DH.

The only options I can think of are:
1. Cheaper childcare. Not related to the financial side of things at all, but if I was looking for childcare for two little ones, I'd prefer a childminder as it would mean they would spend more time together. In a nursery, they'd probably be in different classes all day every day.


2. It might seem a bit extreme, but if you can't persuade your mortgage company to reduce your payments to interest only, could you extend your mortgage by £10-£15k to cover your additional outgoings for the next three years? Not sure if you're allowed to do that, though.

It's taken ages to type this on my iPod, so sorry if I'vd cross posted with everyone!

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 12:53:59

OK, I don't know if this is near you, but here's a CM in Camden just to show you it's possible!

She's got an Outstanding Ofsted rating and does term time only as specifically looks after teachers' DCs.

What borough are you & your workplace in?

When I lived in London, our CM was on my way to work, not near our house. (She was great, worth travelling for!)

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 12:55:47

YY to interest-only mortgage btw. I did this while studying, made a massive difference.

Also, if you're on Mat leave, your mortgage provider may give you a mortgage holiday, so you simply don't pay at all for 6 months or whatever.

I did this when I was on Mat leave and it was great.

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Feb-13 12:57:30

au pair, OK live in but costs £700 pcm

go on find a bay sitter/gumtree, get a nice and well referenced young girl, alot of my mates have FT nannies from EE for £1500 pcm

Nanny share?

titchy Wed 06-Feb-13 12:57:37

Presumably with a 3 month old you're on ML, so you don't need to go back to work till September, by which time your oldest will be just 3. So oldest will start school September 2014, so you have one year of struggle, then it starts to be OK. In fact as you're both teachers you could take your oldest out of nursery next July, leaving you 10 months of being £450 a month short.

Go interest only for a year? Save like mad now?

I do think it's worth going back, you get your pension conts paid for a start.

MustafaCake Wed 06-Feb-13 12:58:02

I feel your pain Cecelia. We are also in London on what I think are 2 decent salaries.

We had to have a 4 year gap between our children because we simply could not afford to have 2 kids in nursery at the same time.

Even with 1 in nursery and 1 in before/after school club it's a bit of a struggle.

Hope you can sort something out so you can keep your job as it's so difficult to find work when you've had time out.

ceeveebee Wed 06-Feb-13 13:00:52

£15 per hour is silly money even for London. Unless its a nanny share in which case each family pays half (or whatever proportion)

I pay £12 ph to my nanny who looks after my 14 mo twins. SW London

If you go back to work in July will you get paid full pay for the summer holidays? Then can save that up and at least fund the first few months of losses!

I think a term time only nanny (a mother of school age DCs) might be an option especially if you are happy for her to bring her DCs in the morning and afternoons.

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 13:05:07

Would term-time only make it viable? In your shoes I would definitely explore this. Here are a couple more, again just to show it's possible.

A nanny offering term-time only for example Not sure where she is exactly, somewhere in North London.

Another nanny offering term-time only (she looks about 12 but claims to be 27!)

Why not contact all the CMs and Nannies in your area who look decent form that website and ask them if they do term time only contracts?

CailinRua Wed 06-Feb-13 13:10:37

Have you thought of requesting a career break? Schools are very good at granting these now and I know lots of teacher friends who have taken career breaks, varying from one to five years. This would mean you could stay home with your children until they are both nursery/school which would only mean after school care.

littlemrssleepy Wed 06-Feb-13 13:16:25

OP - beware of this "DH earns a little more and has better opportunity for promotion right now, in family interests it would be my job that went."

At the point I went on mat leave with my DS, DH and I earned equally between us what he now earns himself. About half way through my mat leave DH was offered a promotion and like you, we thought it was in the family interest as it made childcare easier, and a I got a job working 4 days a week closer to help so I could do nursery runs and have a slightly less stressful / senior job.

We then had a DD, moved area which meant I left my job (DH commutes to London still) and at the moment I do not work (well trying to set up my own business so should get off mumsnet

Our gross income is therefore the same, but because we no longer benefit from my tax free allowance and proportion of basic rate tax we pay £12000 (TWELVE THOUSAND!!) a year more in tax. And have lost our child benefit.

We are lucky that DH earns a good salary and therefore am not complaining as such - but wish we had thought it through properly before deciding it was in the family interest or my sanity's interest.

So, be careful if your DH is a higher tax rate payer as every £1000 he earns is only worth £600 after tax, let along pension and NI. You would be much better to make use of both of your tax free allowance / basic rate tax.

BlueberryHill Wed 06-Feb-13 13:18:56

Watching with interest, I have 2 yo twins and a 6 yo, I couldn't square the circle and am in the same position as another poster earlier on.

TheSecondComing Wed 06-Feb-13 13:29:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KatherineKrupnik Wed 06-Feb-13 13:32:29

Can you earn the extra £450 through tutoring etc?

MummytoMog Wed 06-Feb-13 13:44:25

We pay our lovely (although temporary) nanny £350 a week for 8am-7pm [before I get flamed, she suggested £300 and we had to barter her up]. She is saving up and so having somewhere to live basically cost free means that she can save most of her salary so it works out well for her. If you pop an advert on childcare.co.uk saying what you can afford to pay and the hours you need, then I'm sure you will get at least a few people interested.

FWIW, our nanny is actually a qualified teacher, so not compromising on quality of care in my opinion. Tax and National Insurance is pretty minimal on this amount.

Squeakygate Wed 06-Feb-13 14:21:26

I was going to suggest tutoring

MistyB Wed 06-Feb-13 14:52:31

It is a difficult decision especially if you would go back to work without hesitation if cost were not an issue. It is harder but not impossible to get back into the job market after a break but a break will have an impact on your career and and the family dynamic.

A financial advisor may be able to help negotiate some flexibility in your mortgage.

Do either of you work near home? There may be a local parent at your school who needs a morning / after school nanny who could look after your children during the day. A childminder may also be able to do this and only cover school hours.

Think about how much your total shortfall will be and how you can bridge it, loan (perhaps from the bank or parents), extra income (marking, tutoring, holiday courses, adult evening classes, could you rent a room out for a year, a Monday to Friday commuter perhaps, could you rent your house out in the summer?

Good luck!!

MummytoKatie Wed 06-Feb-13 15:28:51

Some nurseries also do term time only (or at least August off) as a lot of people who work in nurseries have school age kids so want the summer hols off.

Investigate the 15 hours thing - some are better than others and it is the costs post the 15 hours that count.

Remember you will be better off than most once your eldest goes to school as you won't be shelling g out for holiday clubs so it is only one year you have the nightmare for.

Agree with the others about returning for last week of summer term (could you get a family member to come and stay for that week?) so you can get paid for the summer.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 06-Feb-13 15:29:04

Why doesn't your DH stay home with the children?....

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 15:42:33

Oh FGS, why can't people read the thread.

garlicblocks Wed 06-Feb-13 16:01:20

You might get some Child Tax Credit. Also Child Benefit? They might help make a dent in the deficit. Two-year-olds will qualify for up to 15hrs free nursery (I think) from Sept this year.

Of course you shouldn't turn down a better job because you can't afford it, at least not before cutting every possible corner. I had no idea how cheaply I can live until I had to! In London, you can find quite a lot for free and have access to shared resources, so your lives don't have to become pathetically small even without spare funds.

Please do explore some of the lateral thinking on this thread, too. Good ideas!

25sunshine Wed 06-Feb-13 16:01:33

You say you are both teachers - have you thought about exploiting the fact that you could cope with term-time childcare only? Maybe it's worth exploring whether you can leverage off that - i.e. work with someone (a childcare professional or someone else you trust) who has children at school and is their main carer and is therefore not able to have a 'normal' full time job because of holiday and after school childcare commitments. You could end up with something very affordable (because you'd only be paying for the amount of time that you really need), which, at the same time would be earning potential for someone who has ended up being the stay at home carer - so they would be highly motivated. Could be a win-win...

titchy Wed 06-Feb-13 16:03:19

Right so go back in July and get paid for August. That should just about cover the shortfall till January. So you'll need to find 6 months times £450 which £2700. Between now and then can you save say £10 a week on your food bill - that would only then leave you £2000 short which you could possibly chuck on overdraft. Or tutor? Or take in ironing?!

elvisola Wed 06-Feb-13 16:05:12

Definitely try childminders, I am a bit out of the way for you (N.London borders) but currently look after siblings and charge £70 per day for both children £1400 a month term time only. No charge during holidays.

Worth making a few calls.

Is the nursery fee for 52 weeks, or term time only? If it's term time only then your actual monthly cost over the course of the year would be lower, and you can still collect vouchers during months when you use less/no childcare, so that would bring it down further.

I do sympathise though - this is the main reason my 4.5 yo DS is still an only! We're just doing the maths now for number 2, and they don't look great. After school and holiday care really adds up, even when they go to school. sad

noUggscuse Wed 06-Feb-13 16:59:59

Do either of your employers offer childcare vouchers? That helps pay for childcare out of your salary pre tax. A massive help.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 06-Feb-13 17:00:11

Term time nanny.
My sis has one-nanny has dc so works well for her. I think it's nicer than a ft nursery as well, for babies.
Don't give up your career if it is important to you.
You may never get it back.

Collaborate Wed 06-Feb-13 17:00:49

Wasn't there a thread recently slating the government for relaxing the staff-child ratio for nurderies? Isn't that like saying that because they make Rolls Royces, all our cars must be as safe and as lavishly appointed?

I agree that child care should be made more affordable.

Even £1,000 a month per child sounds extortionate.

Oblomov Wed 06-Feb-13 17:23:04

OP has not responded about the interest only mortgage. why?
And her dh is in management so is on a good salary. as is she. Their combined income is very good.
So, I appreciate that this is tough, but it is for a very very short time, only ONE year, as we have agrred, that she is on mat leave now, and come sept, oldest gets funding.
So, I'm sorry but I really can't see that this is a huge problem. It is just a short term one, for those that choose to have 2 children very close together.
Soe people have a big age gap, others very close. but each has its pro's and cons.

Just a quick Q, the nanny rates of 12.50ph gross, is there an employers NI contribution etc.. on top of this rate? I've been caught out here in Canada, and while I paid $15ph gross, it cost me over $17ph by the time I added in other employer costs to the govt. Interested as we may be moving to London soon and will need to look at childcare options.

I agree with others who say to look long term, and juggle where you can to stay in work. I can do it easily now as childcare is very cheap here, but we will be scrimping on a London move for sure.

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 18:00:59

Oblomov - I wondered that. Its the obvious solution to me, and what many people have to do with preschool aged kids.

poorbuthappy Wed 06-Feb-13 18:43:51

When we asked about going onto interest only mortgage in 2008 Nationwide told us if we had 50% equity in the house we could.

Whilst half of MN apparently have paid their mortgages off by the time they are 25 wink there are a lot of people who haven't.

So I would be extremely surprised if many mortgage companies offer the option.

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 19:01:33

I think some do it for a short term, ours certainly does.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 06-Feb-13 19:13:48

A nanny or CM may be cheaper but it cant have come as that much as a surprise that childcare for two in london would be very expensive but children come with costs.

Was your older child at a nursery before you started maternity leave? Could you discuss it with them? DH is a teacher. The nursery we use doesn't officially do term time only contracts, but we approached them when i went back to work after DS2 and because we'd used them since DS1 was a baby we came to an arrangement that we only use (and pay) for half the usual amount of childcare in the school holidays. So we pay for 4 days in term time, and 2 in the holidays which helps finances considerably.

fufulina Wed 06-Feb-13 19:23:00

I've just employed a nanny with ten years experience on £11 gross per hour, forty hours a week (over four days). It works out at £2090 per month, including all employers NI and what not. We're in n4. She's great.

forevergreek Wed 06-Feb-13 19:25:55

her royal notness - gross includes employee tax but not employer ni contributions. but that isnt too big.

so a £450 net nanny wage is approx £590 gross, and £60 ni. so a £ 650 total cost a week would be £450 take home to nanny. average london nanny working 10 hrs a day london is around £500 net per week.

Tw1nkle Wed 06-Feb-13 19:26:37

Could your hubby not be a SAHD?

GiveoverGove Wed 06-Feb-13 19:27:04

YANBU -that sucks.

TheMightyLois Wed 06-Feb-13 19:27:27

Tw1nkle - OPs DH is the higher earner.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 06-Feb-13 19:34:37

I agree with Oblomov it is only for a year. It is the reason we have a big gap between ours.

cherrypez Wed 06-Feb-13 19:45:36

Hi, I'm a teacher with 4 DCs in childcare (3 primary aged in wraparound care, 1 full time nursery). I only manage with Working Tax Credit help with childcare costs (single parent). I feel your pain sad

Not sure if anybody mentioned this but have you applied to be an examiner? On mat leave you could make a substantial amount of money over the summer and spread that out over the ten or so months you will struggle for.

RubyrooUK Wed 06-Feb-13 19:50:32

I am also in NE London, OP. The nurseries around here would charge you between 1700-2100 per month for a baby and toddler. This is obviously very expensive anyway but less than was mentioned by you in your original post.

I'm in the same position - going back to work later this year with two children both at nursery age, one a very pricey baby. No hope of part time. No family help.

Would the above costs be do-able? I'm taking the view that until DS1 goes to school, we will be broke but at least I will keep working and hopefully that will be a boost long term.

ChristmasJubilee Wed 06-Feb-13 19:52:12

We extended the terms of our mortgage by 6 years to have ds3 so paying less each month.

Bearbehind Wed 06-Feb-13 19:53:49

Switching to an interest only mortgage might not be a long term enough solution as banks tend not to sllow this for any length of time and I'd be very careful about taking a payment holiday on your mortgage. There are some lenders who mark this as missed payments, even though it has been previously agreed, and you then find your credit rating is shot to bits.

takeaway2 Wed 06-Feb-13 20:08:09

I hear you. We have 2 kids, one just started reception in September. The other one turned 2 in September which means 3 years more of nursery fees. I went back to work when they were 6 months old so I spent 1.5 years paying 2 lots of fees. At its peak it made no sense. My husband's income paid for the fees and because of his commute we still had to pay for petrol. A full tank every 4 days. Plus lunch.

Then he got made redundant. And we slashed nursery down to 3 days (to enable him to set him his own business). Our ISAs were used, we meal planned, stopped eating out etc etc.

It's v difficult. It still is because although his business is doing well, as he's self employed, it's not stable so there are months when he doesn't pay himself and months when it's not so bad.

I'm just counting down the months till my dd turns 3 and then we can get the 15 hr (if they don't cancel it or tell us we earn too much?) and we can breathe slightly easier.

I hear you.

ImperialBlether Wed 06-Feb-13 20:16:00

There is no way I would pay to go to work.

OP, I know you want to keep your career but surely you'd be able to go back to it? I'm in the same career, so I know I could.

Could you do childminding yourself if there's a shortage in your area? I'd do that and stay at home with my kids with no childcare costs. Oh and do it for teachers, too, and don't charge in the holidays - you'll be the most popular childminder around!

SocialClimber Wed 06-Feb-13 20:18:54

I'm another one that says "look at the bigger picture". It's one thing if you physically couldn't afford to go back to work, if you couldn't survive, I get that. But I saw the massive expense that we had paying childcare as a short term thing. Yes it was a massive pain in the arse at the time.

If I'd have given up my job, I would never have got one like it again.

Marcheline Wed 06-Feb-13 20:21:34

I'm in the same sort of position. I don't earn as much as you but we have a 3 year old and DD2 will hopefully be born in the next couple of weeks. I'm about to go on mat leave and hope to be able to go back to work towards the end of the year, but I have no idea how we'll manage to find childcare. We're not in London anymore so costs aren't as high but I reckon we'll end up paying a couple of hundred quid a month over my salary, for childcare.

No help really, just sympathy.

ImperialBlether Wed 06-Feb-13 20:21:51

But the OP isn't in that type of job, SocialClimber. She's a teacher and there will always be jobs.

Why should she spend more than she earns to go to work when her children are tiny? It doesn't make any sense. Yes, if you had a specialist job that very few people did that allowed you to come home fresh enough to spend time with the kids, but teaching is absolutely knackering and to pay to have to do it is just crazy, in my opinion.

raisah Wed 06-Feb-13 20:22:38

My childcare costs £1350 per month for 4 days a week plus £200 travel into London. I use Childminder who is v good & offers one to one care & variety of activities that a nursery couldn't offer. She is brilliant.

BumBiscuits Wed 06-Feb-13 20:47:45

What about relocating to an area where housing/childcare are cheaper?

SocialClimber Wed 06-Feb-13 21:11:02

Yes, the job in question would be a deciding factor, I agree. I only spoke from my own experience in that I would never get another job like mine again, so for the short term it was worth forking out a fortune.

If the OP thinks it would be fairly easy to get another job, of course it would make more sense to take a career break. I suppose it comes down to whether the OP wants that break, or wants to be in a job she is proud of and loves. Quite unfair really.

RattyRoland Wed 06-Feb-13 21:34:33

Yabu. You chose to have two children so close in age that they would both need full time childcare at the same time, making it financially unviable for you to work until they reach school age.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I'm not sure why anyone expects the state to fund childcare, how would that be fair to those without children?

MummytoMog Wed 06-Feb-13 21:38:41

I don't see why anyone who doesn't have children should be looked after in their old age, when my children will be paying for it.

Of course I don't, but that's about as sensible an argument as you just made there Ratty.

Iggly Wed 06-Feb-13 21:39:29

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I'm not sure why anyone expects the state to fund childcare, how would that be fair to those without children?

That's a bizarre argument. People have different needs at different times, some of which the state does/doesn't help with.

ceeveebee Wed 06-Feb-13 21:53:37

Most posters have suggested ways to reduce costs or increase income - I didn't see anyone suggesting that the state should subsidise the cost?

Morloth Wed 06-Feb-13 23:06:29

I hope you work it out OP.

It really is a bugger and is one of the reasons we have such a big gap. Couldn't afford to pay childcare costs for both of them at the same time.

FrontLoader Thu 07-Feb-13 00:03:18

I am in NE London and know a (qualified, experienced) nanny who charges £10 per hour and might be interested in term time only (she has a school-ages child herself). Pm me if you want her contact details!

TackyChristmastreedelivery Thu 07-Feb-13 00:24:26

Have you thought about dumping London and moving to another city? Education management is surely nationwide?

Not that I have a clue - but I do know a nursery in York would cost about £1000 - £1600 for both children, depending on location and what have you.

I also know some families who commute to London to work. York to Kings Cross is 1hr 5omin, Leeds to KingsX is about 1hr 30.

It all sucks. For sure.

forevergreek Thu 07-Feb-13 07:04:47

Front loader -that's very likely to be £10 net per hour, not gross

janey68 Thu 07-Feb-13 07:16:15

Its tough, but what you're facing is the reality for many parents.

The only sensible thing is to take the long term view. You say you are both in senior jobs in teaching- well, if you give up work now, you'll probably struggle to get even a basic grade teaching Job in a few years as its hard to get into and you'll be out of the loop. Plus you're losing out on your pension.

You must had known when you had 2 children close together that their nursery care would overlap a lot. Not a criticism btw- Because frankly, even if youd left a 4 yr gap like many working parents, to get one in school before next one in nursery, you'd still be paying the same costs overall- just spreading it over a longer period. So there's no right or wrong way- you're taking the financial hit now, in a condensed period of time. Having said that, your 15 hours free care will help, and again, I think you need to look at the bigger picture. My work colleagues with older children never got those sort of perks and just had to manage.

It's a tought time and I think people like you genuinely are the 'squeezed middle'- and it's frustrating Because lots of people would probably assume you and your dh are rolling in it because on paper your salaries are good- but what many people don't realise is that when you have to pay all your bills and childcare yourself, you can end up worse off than people on lower incomes

Anyway- I would definitely hang on in there, you would so regret jacking in a good career for the sake of the next couple of years

CrossAndPregnant Thu 07-Feb-13 07:29:28

I actually think that those with out children might end up with more money in their pockets if women with young children were helped back to work through subsidies or tax breaks.

If a woman works then she pays out lots of her income in tax. She then pays a nursery, childminder or nanny who in their turn pay tax on their income. If she doesnt work then no tax at all gets paid. She may then lose skills and confidence after years out of the workplace and either not return to work or return at a lower level hence paying less tax. There is also the question of contribution her work will make to the wider economy by increasing the profits of the company for whom she works.

It is only when the woman does a non specialist job and her gross income would be less than the gross income of the childcare provider that economically speaking you could say she would be best employed at home.

None of this of course if to say that women who want to shouldn't stay home with their kids!

I think allowing nannys to be self employed would be a good start. The lower NI contributions could make all the difference for people with two or more children needing care and the government would still be picking up plenty of tax along the way.

CrossAndPregnant Thu 07-Feb-13 07:34:23

Sorry the above was a reply to MummyToMogs comment. Good luck OP!

CrossAndPregnant Thu 07-Feb-13 07:39:37

That should have said the comment made by Ratty. Sorry I am obviously not fully awake yet.

WorriedMary Thu 07-Feb-13 09:40:07

Also wondering if you can relocate.
There are some lovely parts of the country up north where housing and childcare cost less. And I am guessing that although Teaching salaries are less outside London that it's offset by the cheaper cost of living.

I have definitely had my eyes opened by reading threads on Mumsnet about the cost of living/ childcare in the south.

I'm a childminder up north who charges £3.50 an hour all in and offers term time only places, because it suits my family - as I only have to work a few days in the hols and get to spend time with my lovely boys. smile

Have you called any CM to ask about term time only? Or would you prefer a nursery?
Try your Family Information Service at your LA for a list of CM. You could also find one close to work so that you aren't paying for the commute.

witchface Thu 07-Feb-13 10:04:46

Be wary of thinking you can take a break. When I came back from mat leave i halved my hours. At the time there was no problem in putting your hours back up. Now times have changed and they have flat out refused to increase my hours.

MummytoMog Thu 07-Feb-13 10:24:49

In my experience with childcare, if you don't ask, you don't get. We had a childminder who was happy to work flexible hours, ranging from full time to no time at all, with us only paying for the time we used. The downside was that sometimes she wasn't free, but everybody told us we would never find an arrangement like that. Not only have we found it, but several of our friends have managed to make similar arrangements with CMs who for whatever reason don't want another mindee full time, but don't mind having the odd day or week here and there.

So I bet you could find a term time only nanny or CM if you advertised or rang around local CMs. Or a nannyshare with a family with older kids, where it would work out really well if you didn't use the nanny during holidays...

FellatioNels0n Thu 07-Feb-13 12:24:06

This is exactly why, if you have a reasonably well paid partner, and you do not qualify for WTT or subsidised childcare it is quite often completely counter-productive to bother to go to work at all, unless you are in the higher tax bracket, all things considered.

Reasonably affluent MC mums often get knocked for being lazy, kept women but the reality is that working is just not worth the hassle unless you have a job you love so much you'd gladly do it for pennies, or even pay for the privilege or you hate being in your children's company all day.

LessMissAbs Thu 07-Feb-13 12:31:50

YANBU OP. Its ridiculous, who wants to live in a country which provides such a standard of living for young, clever women? And what country actively creates a situation where young, clever women are deterred from having children by effectively having their wages wiped out?

That said, I'd do the job as a sort of temporary loss leader and hope to improve your circumstances by one of the options discussed above in the near future eg moving out of London, 4 days a week, different childcare provision.

But I'd definately keep my hand in in the job if I were you. Its too good an opportunity in the present economic climate to turn down and you might be promoted/earn more in a couple of years, whereas if you SAH, you might not even get such a good job and forever be trapped in low pay/no promotion.

janey68 Thu 07-Feb-13 15:03:12

I agree. Someone said upthread that you'll be able to return
To teaching no problem after a few years out... Well, I'm
Not so sure. My niece completed her post grad teaching qualification last summer ( with a good degree in her subject) and has only just found a temporary position, since sept she has done supply work.

I also know teachers who are struggling to get even classroom
Assistant posts after a few years out. Unless you are highly specialised and in a shortage subject I would think very carefully before giving up. I'm not in teaching but in a similar position in that a few years out would effectively put me out of the running for decent jobs. I feel your pain op as we were in your position but I don't regret keeping on working as I could be sitting at home or 'under employed' and bored out of my skull now if I'd given up

CeceliaStrange Thu 07-Feb-13 16:14:12

I'm the OP and I thought I'd update. This morning I went to the children's centre to find the lovely girl who works there upset as her job's going in April (as is most the centre), she was saying how she can't afford to go back to a private nursery for work as she has a son 1 month younger than mine who she takes to work at the moment. Private nursery pays less than it charges in fees! She said she was thinking of nannying a go if she could find a family who'd let her take her son, but said this may be impossible.

We've come to an agreement!

CeceliaStrange Thu 07-Feb-13 16:14:39

and thank you to all who tried to help!

CeceliaStrange Thu 07-Feb-13 16:19:02

Just for those who asked I would struggle to get back into work, although I'm a teacher I haven't taught my own class in years, I've been in a leadership/ SEN role. I'd end up unattractive to employ as a CT as I'd earn highly on the scale with no recent experience of things like the new literacy and numeracy and unattractive to employ as a leader with no recent experience, especially in SEN as here are huge changes afoot over the next few years. I would be a bit unemployable potentially after a few years.

BeCool Thu 07-Feb-13 16:20:06

I am in London (central) - my CM is £200 for one child, but she gives me a discount on the 2nd. Oldest is now in school & has separate after school care but when CM has both (in holidays) she charges £300 pw.

Keep looking? It's very tough I know. I have a bigger age gap but then it means the pain is drawn out longer

BeCool Thu 07-Feb-13 16:21:02

ah result!
well done

garlicblocks Thu 07-Feb-13 16:26:09

Oh, that was lucky! Well, for the pair of you anyway smile Hurrah!

Enjoy your new job!

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 07-Feb-13 17:22:27

Serendipity! Love it! smile

that's great,I really hope it works out for all of you sounds like a perfect solution

Xmasbaby11 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:15:22

It is awful and my heart goes out to you. Our situation will be similar when we (hopefully) have DC2. If we were younger I would go for a bigger gap, but I'm 37.

I'm sorry, there is no easy answer.

Mumblepot26 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:33:39

OP I earn same as you ave 2 DDs and live in London. We have a nanny share with another family and I pay 1080 per month, gross.

Boomerwang Thu 07-Feb-13 22:43:56

I feel for you. My brother and sister in law paid something like £40 a day for their two kids.

It's £50 a MONTH here in Sweden.

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