Childcare costs- someone talk me through the outrage

(447 Posts)
Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 15:00:54

Is it just me or does it seem a bit grabby of mothers to be getting cross about the change to child care rules?

I thought the rules were being changed to try and encourage people to work. Ie to give them more choice and be option generating aka A. Good. Thing.

But the stay at home mums voice in the media just sounds a bit self important.

Don't misunderstand me, I am entirely on favour of people and families making decisions which suit them. This isn't about that. It's about people being a bit....indulged? Make a choice, stick with it. The more choices which are available the better so if the gvnt can help (a different argument about whether they should) by offering money to assist people go to work, then fab. But don't demand it for making the choice to stay at home.

riskit4abiskit Sun 31-Mar-13 16:45:34

I'm expecting our first and am the chief earner. I am worried about working and still being able to afford childcare for two days a week. (Oh will try to get his days off in week) and work weekends.

Its going to be a nightmare, but others manage so we will too!

I don't care what others do, its up to them and their lifestyle choices. Its human nature to complain about any change, so I'm not sure what you're saying. I'm sure there are plenty of alternative viewpoints argued strongly out there if you look.

BinksToEnlightenment Sun 31-Mar-13 16:52:02

You'll keep more people in work by ensuring they're actually making money through the nursery years. Full time nursery costs 70% of my salary.

gallicgirl Sun 31-Mar-13 16:53:11

But sometimes the SAHP isn't there by choice. My DP has just been made redundant so we can't afford the full time childcare we had when he was working.
I wouldn't expect help for all funding but it would be nice to get some help so 2YO DD could continue in nursery for 1 or 2 days a week and give DP chance to fill in job application forms.
Some parents are full time students or can't work due to disability. That scenario doesn't mean childcare isn't needed. However, they will get no help under this new scheme.

Tee2072 Sun 31-Mar-13 16:54:50

How about the fact that there are no jobs for these people to find? Forget the fact that childcare costs = most people's take home pay.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:25:44

What's my point? I think the fact that (from what I understand) they are creating a ne benefit. And people who aren't getting it are whinging.
And that seems wrong to me. If you make the choice to stay home then you shouldn't have a benefit which is there to get people back into the workforce.
There is state funding available for 2+ year olds and besides, most of them go to bed at 6-7pm so plenty of time to make job applications then.

But not everyone chooses to stay at home. And there are precious few jobs around, this won't make getting them any easier.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:31:53

But nobody is suggesting it is there to help you get a job. That's down to you. It's there to enable people (or help them to) to pay for child care so that once they've successfully applied for a job, they can take it.

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 31-Mar-13 17:34:16

No it isn't grabby of us. U want me to be everything, stay at home but keen on returning to work. If I'm at home how do I do that? I'm told on here I must keep my cv up to date, I must volunteer, I must do whatever the twinset pearls brigade deem I must in order to be appreciated. But without actually having any benefit of childcare as I'm supposed to be happy at home doing my wifely duties. If I'm out ensuring I'm continually developing as apparently my home skills aren't transferable to a cv who is looking after my kids? Dh is naturally a 5 day a week. I'm supposed to have tons of family and friends am I willing to step into this breach? Or what if I'm single parent?

I also get shouted at if I wfh. As how can I be working in any capacity with children around? But equally don't u expect childcare just because u don't know what u want!

The attitudes are contradictory and mostly extremely prejudiced. And those are women.

No wonder the men can't get it effing right when our own sex can't agree either.

jellybeans Sun 31-Mar-13 17:36:06

I think it is all the government put downs to be honest. Such as Clegg with his 1950s comments. Just because he is happy using childcare all day every day doesn't mean everyone is. They should be keeping out of private family decisions not trying to influence them only one way!

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 17:37:46

I think if SAHPs need childcare funding to get back into work then fine but there's going to have to be a system in place where they prove they are actively seeking work during the hours their child is in childcare.
Simalrily if a SAHP has disabilities and needs respite care for their children this would need a cover from note from a medical practitioner before the state will cover childcare.
Other than that I can't see why a SAHP who chooses to stay at home and has no medical reason to need childcare would get state funding for childcare. Seems contradictory to me.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:40:58

I'm sorry, I don't really instant any of that post wishiwasanheiress.

Jelly - would you go so far as to say no funding for childcare then?

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:41:12

Instant? Understand.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 17:43:30

If at home,surely you do not need childcare?

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:43:44

Bit like job seekers, briputhas? hmm

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 17:45:08

Exactly like jobseekers, state funding for childcare while seeking work but only if you're actively seeking work. Not sure what the problem would be with that.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:47:32

O we REALLY think that everyone on job seekers is actively seeking?

OP my point was that there are very few jobs around. And while childcare is so expensive it is very difficult to find a job that pays enough for it to be financially worth getting a job, assuming that I could.

I don't expect to be paid to stay at home but I do expect childcare costs to be less than a potential salary. Otherwise there's no point me looking is there?

PiHigh Sun 31-Mar-13 17:48:25

I don't have any issue with the general idea that SAHM's don't need the childcare and therefore don't need funding for it BUT there are circumstances where it could be funded in such a way as to help people get back into work. It's all very well saying you can have x% of your childcare bill back but how the feck do you afford it for the full month you work before being paid? (Particularly for those living hand to mouth on benefits)

How do those people get to an interview? I guess they have to beg family/friends to look after their dc. I know I couldn't afford a day of emergency rate childcare for every interview it might take to get a job on top of having to save for that first month's worth of childcare (and I'm lucky because I'm in a position where I could save for that sort of thing).

Also from what I understand it's less of a saving for most people than the current voucher scheme (though accessible to everyone).

I think I'd be less outraged that SAHM's don't get it and more outraged at how ineffective it's likely to be at getting people back into work.

You have to prove that you're applying for jobs if you're on JSA.

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 17:49:54

Suzietwo the system is in place to check that people are actively seeking. If you believe that swathes of people up and down the country are commiting benefit fraud by not actually looking for work well then fine, show me your proof please. I believe most people are honest.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:52:34

So the general rhought is it should be available for people seeking work but not for those who choose to be sahm?

I don't think that's what's being said by sahm in media though.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 31-Mar-13 17:53:52

All I know is that 18 years ago, I was entitled to six months maternity leave with very little of it paid at all. There were no child tax credits, nursery vouchers had just been withdrawn and generally people had to save up before they started a family to pay for it.

Where we live there were nursery places for three year olds - 2.5 hours a day; either 9-11.30 or 1-3.30. If you had a autumn baby they were almost four before they were eligible.

With each child I did a half day swap (from about 12 months) with a like minded neighbour so we each had 1/2 day a week of freedom (no family around for either of us). Apart from that we went to church playgroups, the one o'clock club, story time at the library and from about 2.5 our dc had three mornings (2 hour sessions) or three afternoons at a local playgroup in a church hall. I think they cost £15 pw back then.

For the year I went back to work 18 years ago, three days a week, the nursery fees were just over £600 after tax pcm.

There seems to be rather a lot available now compared to 18 years ago when there wasn't even wrap around care.

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 17:54:52

Side note but does anyone know if the childcare portion of CTCs currently available to people on JSA?

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 31-Mar-13 17:56:33

And actually, I think the nursery places and offer of them should attach to the child not to the choices of the mother and having been a sahm and a professional woman - I fully appreciate that sahms need a break from their dc - even if only for 2-3 hour per week. There is huge liberation in going to the loo unaccompanied and the work a sahm puts in shouldn't be underestimated - my easier days way back then were my working days although I gave it all up after a year because I wanted to be with ds full time

float62 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:00:11

I'm kinda with the OP on this one. I believe the newly announced change only applies to families with two working parents who earn too much for tax credit assistance and they can only get back 20% of the first £6,000 of their childcare costs, maximum claim £1,200p.a. Therefore, it's pretty irrelevant to SAHPs who aren't paying out the childcare costs in the first place; how can you ask for a rebate on something you aren't paying? I see the policy more as a panacea for those who may have lost some CHB rather than an attack on SAHMs.

herhonesty Sun 31-Mar-13 18:01:04

Op I sort of agree with you. Sahm do get a pretty good benefit which they seem to forget - economically active people - tax payers covering the costs of their access to the nhs, education, other public goods. I'll get flamed for this!

I do see there is an issue with those actively looking for work, but I don't see why tax payers should fund childcare over and above nursery provision

babybythesea Sun 31-Mar-13 18:02:11

For me part of the problem stems from the fact that it actually is starting to feel that people are being 'forced' into work.
It's sort of being dressed up as choice, but the more you take from families with a SAHP and give to families with two working parents, the harder it is for people to truly have a choice.
It's not necessarily about this latest scheme as I agree in theory if you are at home with a child, then the whole point is you don't need child care.
But in general, politicians harp on about giving people (women) the option to work by providing quality care at affordable rates. But they make it harder and harder to be at home with your own kids and it is starting to feel to me more as though it is about employment stats. I have an MA (in Education) so I'm reasonably well qualified, but I've always worked for charities so I don't get much. Childcare costs before dd was 3 took up most of my salary, but what did improve was the stats - I was working and providing work for her carer, and hey presto, you have two people employed.
DH also works for a charity - not having me in work is tough and barely affordable. Child care costs have helped enable me to go back to work to help finance the family - whether we really wanted that or not.
I listen to politicians on the radio and they go on about providing quality child care and giving people choice. Well, I think I'm quality child care, and I think dd's best interests would have been served by having me home, but all the support is for 'getting me back to work', although the difference has been marginal to be fair.

I hope somewhere in that is something that makes sense. I don't necessarily want something for nothing (although I wouldn't say no!) and I don't begrudge other people wanting to work, but don't make it financially very hard for me to stay at home, make it financially easy for me to work, and then pretend it's all my own choice!

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:02:25

Their is care available for 2+. Free. Not for a fully day but enough for mum to take a piss in peace.

That isn't what is being offered as it is already available and is being extended.

This is specifically for working parents to assist with the cost of child care outside the available free hours. And therefore designed to do exactly what someone up there says - make working a more alias tic choice to more parents.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:06:10

Their?? Fvck me. I deserve to be totally ignored henceforth

Overberries Sun 31-Mar-13 18:08:14

Childcare funding to apply for jobs? When I was applying for a new job, whilst working 4 days a week and paying £1800 pm for 2 DC in childcare, all applications and interview prep was done after work and parent duties in the evenings? Maybe I should have expected some extra help??

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:14:28

I don't understand that babysea. Isn't it right that you earn more by working than you do by not working?


niceguy2 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:14:53

All the 'moaning' is bollocks to be honest and I think more whipped up by the media than anything else.

SAHM's are in the same position before and after the government plans. They are no better/no worse off. They made a conscious choice to be a SAHM rather than work and knew full well they don't get 'paid' for this choice.

They also are typically very fortunate that their OH's earn enough for them to have that choice. Many do not.

I honestly think it's more the media trying to find something negative to say about what otherwise seems like a very sensible policy to me.

What next? Moaning because the government are paying a subsidy to my next door neighbour who has solar panels and I don't?

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 18:15:15

That's a very good point, Overberries. I suppose the argument could be made that WAHPs do get breaks in their working day where they could prepare for interviews, etc. Though if your working day is anything like mine that just wouldn't happen. Mmhh have to think about this a bit more.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:19:02

What's a WAHP? I work full time at home. Am I one?

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 18:21:05

Typo sorry should have been WOHP.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:21:27

Still none the wiser!

BruthasTortoise Sun 31-Mar-13 18:23:08

Work Outside the Home Parent. Sorry I though that was the standard Mumsnet acronym, an I wrong?

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:24:40

Ah. I'm new 'round here

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:25:06

Too busy working wink

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 31-Mar-13 18:28:45

Susietwo, I think the hours of free nursery for over 2s are only for certain demographics, unless I missed a change.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:31:28

I think you're right.

Mostly only for those who really need it...

Although I think preschool is increasingly available for 2 year olds in lots of areas. Kent?

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 18:36:10

don't make it financially very hard for me to stay at home

But how does this make it harder for you to stay at home? The money coming into your household isn't going down, is it?

And for those who are arguing that parents who are looking for work should be given money to pay for childcare, would you extend that to every parent who is looking for work? Because that would be a fuck of a lot of people and cost a fuck of a lot of money.

To my mind, the only valid criticisms of this scheme are that it is not as generous as the childcare voucher scheme was, and benefits people so high up the income scale as to make it obscene that they are accessing a state benefit. If your household income is £300,000 a year, should you really get state help with anything? Especially when people who earn £10,000 a year or less are excluded from it, despite having their tax credits cut. So one group of people earning not much are losing money while another group of people earning THIRTY TIMES (ie not just £30,000 more but THIRTY TIMES more) are being given money. Now that is unfair.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:37:22

Not unfair, but unjust, arguably

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 31-Mar-13 18:41:59

Preschool is available from 2, but I don't think it's free. 15 hours free a week From 3 for all. Kent may have decided on a local variation.

But preschool is for the benefit of the child's learning and development, not the parents' time tabling.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:42:30

Sham Don't pay for childcare what sort of subsidy are they looking for?a break from the kids they chose to have?

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 18:45:54

It's not only unjust but also hypocritcal. It doesn't help low earners who are in work - they are being shafted. Someone who has an earning capacity of £150,000 doesn't need 'help getting back to work' - they just do not face the bars to employment that someone with an earning capacity of £10,000 does. But the latter group are getting less state help while the former group are getting more.

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 18:47:05

So in fact I would say it's not about helping people back into work but a tax break for the wealthy. Funded by cuts to tax credits ie funded by cutting money that previously went to the working poor ie people who actually need it.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:55:04

I'm sympathetic to this argument but don't buy into it completely.

Would you like to see means tested NHS? State schooling?

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 18:59:44

No, because those are the type of benefits that it is in society's interests to provide on a non means-tested basis. I don't think that childcare is. And even if you think that it is, then there are the free hours at age three which are available to everyone. I suppose I especially don't think it should be a state benefit for people who earn, let's not be too coy about this, a fuck of a lot of money, while people who earn thirty times less than them are having their entitlement to this cut. If politicians have decided that they can't afford to support people who earn less than £10,000, why decide that they can afford to support people with a household income thirty times that?

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:03:17

To win votes

Take how few people, proportionately, earn the amount of money you're talking about. And then deduct those who have one stay at home parent. Then deduct those who don't get around to claiming.

And the cost of offering it across the demograph is probably less than the cost of policing it if they don't

Plus, the votes thing

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:06:11

Actually the more I think about it I wonder if all these subsidies actually drive up the costs?surely in a free market the costs of childcare would be what people could pay for it.really do find it hard to understand why the state should help me go to work to earn cash to spend for my family's exclusive benefit.

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 19:09:19

Kind of a shit way to run things though, isn't it - I mean, literally taking money from the working poor to give to the rich.

The SAHM outrage is a red herring - if you're at home you don't need childcare (unless you are arguing that all people who don't work need childcare in order to look for work, which would mean funding childcare for at least 3 million people) but even so you get 15 hours a week once your kid is three.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 31-Mar-13 19:11:04

Because if you are in work you pay taxes, travel costs, are more likely to be self supporting in retirement etc. there are good macroeconomic reasons to encourage people to work

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:12:21

I wish it were a red herring but I've read articles about it in right and left wing media.

As for taking money from poor to give to rich... I say not really. Other make all social welfare means tested or stfu, frankly. Not you per se. Just the argument fails.

Add in all the stuff about rich contribudpting more in tax etc

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:14:07

I can relate to marriedinwhiteagain's posts.
When you put things into a broader context things are way better than before. Tax credits and subsidised childcare haven't been around very long. When I had my first dc, the situation was basically that you paid for your own childcare out of taxed earnings. If you only had, say, £25 a week left over after nursery was paid, but you needed that £25 to pay the bills, then you just sucked it up and got on with it. There is generally far more of a culture of people manipulating the system nowadays to make it work for them- eg working enough to get tax credits but still keeping hours quite low. I'm not saying you can blame people - its the system which is flawed. Also people forget that with longer ML, it's not nearly as long these days that people have to pay childcare, because ML is longer and free hours kick in at age 3, whereas in the past youd be paying childcare from around 12 weeks until almost 5 yrs (yes, i had a September baby so it was literally almost 5 years of full fees- not great planning!)

The SAHM has been whipped up in the media to make it seem that SAHM are somehow being unfairly treated. Apart from the childcare issue (which is ridiculous- a SAHM does not need childcare) there are various calls for the husband of the SAHM to be taxed as if the both of them were earning his wage, so that he pays less tax. It annoys some SAHM that two parents both working and earning a joint income the same as their husband, will get more overall take home pay. What they conveniently forget is that WOHP have far higher outgoings with childcare. They also forget that when they themselves were working before they had kids, they didn't ask to be taxed as one person then.. They were quite happy to

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:15:26

Oops . They were quite happy to take the advantages of separate taxation when it suited them.

Personally I would have no problem with funded childcare to enable a SAHM to go on interview, but I'm not sure how this would work in reality

blueberryupsidedown Sun 31-Mar-13 19:17:57

I am not a SAHM (anymore) and my kids are older and I still think that the government adopted a very strange strategy to communicate these changes.
They said, quote Clegg:
This will be "a boost direct to the pockets of hardworking families" (as if families who decide that one parent is to stay at home to look after the kids are not hard working, lazy, etc)
"And we want to help those families who work hard and want to get on". ERrrr in my experience parents who stay at home to look after their children don't think that they don't work hard.... many sahp find that those years are really hard work....

And the parts of the new policy which really p me up is that if one of the parent earns less than £10,000 a year (earning less than the personal tax allowance, which is due to reach £10,000 by 2015) the family will not have full access to the new system of help for childcare cost, whereas a family with both parents earning up to £150,000 - two parents with a joint income of £299,999.98 would be eligible. Sorry but that makes no sense to me whatsoever. Somebody pinch me. Did they say £300,000 a year? Why on earth do they need support with childcare? We will end up paying for those families to save their money and send their kids to private schools...

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:19:52

I think we all know the answer to that Janey..!

Still works that way for some of us who aren't entitled to maternity pay, on account of being self employed so I fully understand what you and white are saying. I've had two babies since being se

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 19:21:53

^ Other make all social welfare means tested or stfu, frankly

I'm not clear what you mean by this. Do you think the NHS should be means tested? Or that JSA, housing benefit, tax credits etc shouldn't? Surely it is possible to argue that some things should be means tested and other shouldn't?

ReallyTired Sun 31-Mar-13 19:22:15

The new scheme is nowhere near as generous as the old scheme, but is available to more people ie. self employed. My concern with the new system is that sheer complexity and expense of administration. Surely its cheaper just to let a minority of SAHP partners have the vouchers than assess the incomes of two people? What happens when people move in together or relationships break up? How does this apply to step parents?

I feel the SAHM thing is a bit of a red herring. A bigger issue is that parents who are students with a working partner cannot access support. Someone who is short term unemployed or on maternity leave may not want to distrupt childcare arrangments.

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 19:26:30

blueberry - the 'hardworking families' rhetoric has been turned around by this govt. Labour used it in order to sweeten the fact that low earners got a (much-needed in a way that it isn't needed by households earning £300,000 a year) income top-up. What the Tories appear to be doing with the phrase is applying it to people who earn vast amounts of money. It's designed to be a vote-winner to everyone who looked at the proles and got mad about them getting state help.

gallicgirl Sun 31-Mar-13 19:26:35

Ok, to clarify, I said a bit of help while looking for work would be nice, not necessary. However, if and when DP has interviews or is forced to go on training courses, we have no option other than to hope nursery has a space and we can afford to pay or that i'm allowed a day off. Luckily we're in a position where that's likely but a lot of jobseekers wouldn't be. Also luckily, I earn sufficiently that we won't qualify for income based jsa so forced workfare won't be a problem but will those forced onto workfare then be allowed to claim for help with childcare costs as 2 parents are "working"?

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:29:23

I think that the argument about couples earning 300k and claiming it is a bit pointless. Because either you means test all welfare or none, arguably.

Personally I don't really give a crap. I don't care about paying for the poor or the rich via my taxes (and I fall among the most taxed income brackets)

I DO care about people whinging about what it on offer. Because they're pretty lucky to have any of it available.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:29:40

I think in the last 20 yrs or so we have all come to expect a lot of state support.I think this has allowed companies to keep wages artificially low,housing benefit has propped up rents,childcare subsidies propped up nursery fees,really it should be for the most vulnerable and needy.the rest of us should man up and take responsibility fir our families and our choices

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:31:51

Does that make me a socialist ?! shock

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 19:32:39

gallicgirl, jobseekers can get help for costs relating to interviews. And I could be wrong but I don't think the SAHMs belly-aching about this are doing so because of their burning desire to go back to work which has now been thwarted.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:33:09


Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 19:34:24

I don't think it makes you a socialist - confused maybe, but not what I would recognise as a socialist. If you think that no benefits should be means-tested, do you mean that someone earning £100,000 should qualify for housing benefit? Or council tax benefit? Or tax credits?

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 31-Mar-13 19:36:49

I plan to be sahm til dds go to school. Then I'd like to return to work. I don't consider what I did was a career as I did it for £ not love. Therefore happy to return to anything. On this site and in life I find I'm not allowed to want to be a sahm, ie I have to be planning to return to work. I could be out of work for 5yrs. See even I say ' out of work' not a mother! (Doh!) I see on many threads on here an insistence that I keep my cv workable. I should volunteer, I should do it courses. I should basically be out of the house for what would be several mornings a week just to remain potentially employable. Except I would gain no assistance until I was actually searching. Til that point how do I pay for this child care? Or do we assume I have family/friends able to? Or could they without themselves ending up deemed childcare? ( bit woolly there but there were stories at one point so someone else will know the details).

In the past a value from society was put on family life by successive governments, rightly or wrongly. I think it is sad that the value we once held family life in is being eroded. Do I deserve the money? No, but few of us do' deserve' any of the benefits that we actually are given or are entiltled to claim in our system.

Many of those damning a sahms for starting to say hang on a minute just say "but aren't u supposed to be at home?" I don't think this encompasses the shades of grey that occurr in real lives. I don't see it as being one or the other. I see a more blended life. Some of the most surprising elements come from women. Ive seen some very stern stuff on here suggesting i eiteher stay at home and bake cakes or get my lazy ass back at work! As if either of these might be right! And as I said before if women can't encompass the grey that occurs in real lives then why do u think the men in suits can?

As I say, I don't deserve support. However I object to devaluing me so that society no longer values the role of mother at all. And if us women don't stand up for that, why should men?

MrsDimples Sun 31-Mar-13 19:38:26

Suzietwo YABU the new change isn't a 'benefit'.

It will disadvantage people that require childcare, from receiving it, especially those already vulnerable.

I'm still trying to work work out how I'll find the time to fit in a job interview when I have no childcare . . . . hmm

ReallyTired Sun 31-Mar-13 19:39:04

"I DO care about people whinging about what it on offer. Because they're pretty lucky to have any of it available. "

Nobody likes cuts being dressed up as an improvement.

Many people are whinging because its a cut compared with the old system. The old system allowed parents to pay for childcare of school aged children where as the new vouchers do not. Most parents get less help than they did with the old system and understandably some people are upset.

I think that all these subsidises have pushed up the cost of childcare, particularly for over threes.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:39:49

Heh. Don't worry. I'm not serious. And I'm not motivated enough to be confused either

babybythesea Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:14

OK, back (without a child climbing on me) to try and explain.

I'm starting from the view that politicians always talk about 'choice' - the choice to return to work etc. Especially for women.

DH does a fairly low paid job although above NMW.
I also do a fairly low paid job, and one, more than that, with unpredictable hours. Some weeks I earn nothing so we get free childcare for those weeks when I'm not in work. Other weeks I work more hours than are covered by the govt so we pay out more for the childcare which leaves me not very much take home cash. So pay can be pretty poor. Without govt support for childcare, I wouldn't be able to afford to work at all which is I fully understand what they are trying to avoid.
However, even with govt support, we were only marginally better off. It;s just that the margin was important in terms of our financial survival.

I listened to a politician talking as though the only issue was access to good quality childcare and this annoyed me. I am good quality child care - I'm dd's mother. I wanted to stay at home but we couldn't afford it. The govt money didn't fully cover childcare costs so we still had to do the extra on occasion, but then we ended up costing them money on the weeks I didn't work and didn't need it.

I just think there has to be a better system although i don't know what it is. I got a bit fed up listening to this chap pontificating about good quality child care and choice for women and thought "I am good quality care - why not give a portion of that money directly to me? That would cut your cost, and give us about the same amount of take home money at the end, and that would be a true choice for me ie not working in order to look after dd." And it wouldn't cost the govt as much in terms of supporting me (although admin might end up costing them - I get that!). I just felt that it wouldn't look as good. I'd not come up as employed on his stats, and neither would the person then being paid to look after dd. It wasn't so much about looking for free handouts, as I fully appreciate we chose to have dd.

It is more that you can only really have that choice, as far as I can see, if your DH earns a decent salary. If not, you have to work, and the support is there for that but not there to help you raise your own child. Admit it and don't tell me I am choosing to work! It;s about the wording. Women who want the choice don't always have it but that cuts both ways - sometimes it's hard to get back to work and if you want to that should be facilitated, but sometimes it's just as hard to stay home when you honestly think that would be best - that's not taken into account in all their pontificating.

Hope that's clearer.

MrsDimples Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:19

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

lljkk Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:47

All I know is that 18 years ago...

My thoughts exactly. Some of you don't know you're born.

My take on it is:
When govt. spending is being cut everywhere else it makes sense to restrict subsidised childcare to only families with all adults in active work. The current system is grossly unfair, the new one is much smaller subsidy on avg. but available to a lot more families than the current set up. I gather it's a painful loss for some, but can't understand why they have made such a loud & public noise when so many (vast majority) of us never had their privileges, anyway.

Old system(s), new system: We got and will get nothing from either. I am a SAHM looking hard for work, too, but nothing in either system to help me. Some of you don't know you're born.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:42:47


Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 19:42:51

Ignore it all, wishiwas. If you made life choices around what everyone else said you should do, you'd never leave your bloody bed. And then you'd have people rounding on you for doing that. Mothers get it in the neck whatever they do - I was talking about this with a friend recently and we both said we were glad that we had boys because men's choices are just not scrutinised in the same way that women's are and so selfish as it might be we know that our kids will have an easier ride in lots of ways than they would if they had been girls. For eg you never hear the phrases "Working father" or "Career man" - it is just assumed that a man can work and have children. There is no question of "choice" (poisoned chalice that that phrase is in this context). And if a man does do his fair share of bringing up his own children, then he is lionised - for eg at work if a bloke leaves early to go and watch a nativity play then everyone clucks at how devoted he is, whereas if a woman does it then she's a slacker - I've seen it happen, and it's wrong.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:44:51

I agree with the point that it's not like all these SAHM are itching to get back into the workplace. It's more the case that their situation is not worse, it's just that it's improved for some other groups, which makes you wonder whether it's the politics of envy. It's not something they need to use themselves, as they don't need childcare, so why resent other people who do need it?
The other issue some are up in arms about is the tapering off of CB is their husband is a HR tax payer - but again; this isn't a SAHM issue per as as it applies to all HR tax payers not just those who happen to have a non working spouse

I think the whole SAHM issue has been whipped up and is backfiring badly. Particularly as the woman who's hit the media for speaking out against Cameron is a former barrister- turned- SAHM who wants her husband to be taxed as if the two of them were earning his salary. I think we can safely assume that she earned a good salary in her former career, and as I say, wasn't asking the inland revenue to tax her as an appendage to her husband back then! Its a simple case of someone who has made a life choice (and no problem with that- entirely up to her and her dh ) but expects to move the tax goal posts to suit her circumstances

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 19:46:12

Wallison - I agree w you. Mothers do get it in the neck. I also wonder how much of that comes from our own sense of guilt (which seems to appear in the delivery suite) and attempts to diminish it by looking to others

I also wholeheartedly agree w the comments on this thread about finding your own way. Different things work for different families. Finding what works for you is the most important part.

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 19:57:28

I think it comes from living in a patriarchal society, really. I would hesitate to blame other women for it, because they are only acting and thinking within that context.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 20:23:12

Wow another thread on this.... grin

Don't think I have the energy for another debate on it. But from experience on this subject on MN it always leaves me feeling there are some that simply feel entitled to it...

I will sit back and watch to see if this thread ends any differently!

MrsDimples. Read your comment before MN deleted it. Was there really any need for that comment? confused

jellybeans Sun 31-Mar-13 20:24:11

Some people seem to group 'all these SAHM' together. Not all SAHP are the same.

I think low income families should get childcare help but not those on 300K. I personally would prefer a system where a payment (similar to Child Benefit) is given for all families to choose whether to offset the cost of both working part time or one staying at home OR to use towards childcare. For the many WOHM who would wish to SAH (such as the poster above) it could help them do so and for the SAHP who want to work it would help them. Of course the government would not want that as it would give too much choice and they know many more women/ men would chose to stay home and care for their own child which is the choice they don't want many to have.

'Op I sort of agree with you. Sahm do get a pretty good benefit which they seem to forget - economically active people - tax payers covering the costs of their access to the nhs, education, other public goods. I'll get flamed for this!'

^^These sorts of posts seem a little ignorant and bitter to me. For some families, such as my own, more income (and therefore tax) can be paid by one parent staying home. If the other parent works away/long hours etc. a person at home is a necessity. The above suggests that all those not earning enough to pay tax, who receives more tax credits back etc or unpaid carers/workers are freeloaders off other taxpayers! Hmmmm... What if they have private healthcare and home educate? You can't group everyone together. A welfare state is not about who deserves what but about help at the point of need. No-one chooses to get cancer or be ill etc.

What many SAHP are fed up about lately is the way the government treats them and devalues them. Not that they are envious about lower/middle paid people receiving help with childcare. But for me it doesn't matter, the other governments were just as bad and I still made the best decision for my family. They are not the best people to take advice from in my opinion anyhow!

jellybeans Sun 31-Mar-13 20:26:12

'I agree with the point that it's not like all these SAHM are itching to get back into the workplace. It's more the case that their situation is not worse, it's just that it's improved for some other groups, which makes you wonder whether it's the politics of envy. It's not something they need to use themselves, as they don't need childcare, so why resent other people who do need it? '

Why do you group all SAHM together?

The same posters seem to have very strong opinions on others choices on these threads!

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:36:23

How would it work then, for people to be given some sort of financial assistance to actively choose not to work? hmm

Of course economically the govt wants people to work. It feels like it's almost become a dirty word - work. How would it work any other way? I'm genuinely interested in people's ideas about how the economy would function without incentivising people to work! God knows, we've had various govt policies over recent years which have acted as enough of a DISincentive and look where that's landed us

The thing is, people get very het up, thinking this is about devaluing SAHP - it's not. Its a perfectly valid choice if you can afford it and want to do it.

The other thing this debate always makes me think is that really we're all getting sidetracked by the SAHM/ WOHM issue when actually a far more valid debate would be GOOD parenting and POOR parenting. There are many different ways to parent well- you can work or not work and be a damn good parent. Which are the type of family which are FAR more likely to end up costing the state a hell of a lot more? We all know the answer to that- the product of poor or neglectful parenting is far more costly. Nothing to do with whether the parents are working or not. It just strikes me as ironic because whether we're WOHM or SAHM, all of us on here are no doubt doing a damn good job of parenting.

Suzietwo Sun 31-Mar-13 20:40:03

Sorry for repeating thread... blush

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 20:51:32

Actually, I personally think that the biggest way of incentivising people to work is to pay them a proper living wage. All of this tinkering with tax credits and the like has come about because employers are not paying people enough for them to house, clothe and feed their families while paying for childcare. Raise the minimum wage and let those employers who cannot run their businesses without the state subsidising their employees go to the ground - they aren't viable businesses anyway, if they need the state to help their employees in this way. Fuck it - if we're going to have capitalism, at least let it be proper capitalism, where businesses sink or swim in a proper undistorted market.

Oh yes and stop the state from keeping house prices high as well, which would also go some way to solving the problem of employees' living costs being so high that they need state help.

jellybeans Sun 31-Mar-13 20:55:14

'How would it work then, for people to be given some sort of financial assistance to actively choose not to work?'

That isn't what I was saying (if you are referring to my post?) My preference would be to bring back CB for all and increase it substantially. After all its value has not risen as it should have in recent years. That way people can decide for themselves. Then we all get more of a choice. Surely that is good? It wouldn't cost that much more. If some statistics are to be believed 60% of mothers would rather combine part time work with parenting under school age children. Only 20% would rather be full time workers or stay home parents. So surely the government should be looking at the majority and with these new childcare rules they wouldn't be helping all those mums who work part time or for low pay but focusing on what only a low number of parents want. No coincidence that many of the leaders wives fit this category.

Every family is different. Some people both work part time. Others both work full time and pay someone else to do the childcare or use family. Others still have one person work and the other do their own childcare. Whoever chooses to work and earn the money is not the point; it is the family income. It could be one parent or both earning. One parent deciding to do childcare because it suits their family best is not 'actively choosing not to work' but taking care of their own child while the other parent works-there is tax being paid by the family!

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:59:53

Oh I whole heartedly agree- the NMW should be a higher- certainly at a level where a person is significantly better off in a job than not. And that needs to take into account the fringe benefits which people often lose when they earn over a certain amount. Tax credits were a crap idea in that they incentivise people to work a bit, but not much!

I don't think this addresses the specific issue of couples who choose to have a SAHP though, because even if NMW were raised, you would still have the issue of the SAHP dropping their overall household income when they stop working. And tbh that seems to be the nub of the issue here: families who choose that this is what they want, which is fine, but then resent the drop in income and lack of (as much) access to childcare (which they don't need anyway!)

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:00:29

That was agreeing with Wallison btw about NMW

Bridgetbidet Sun 31-Mar-13 21:01:05

I don't think that the current system promotes choice. It simply forces people back to work.

I work 3 days a week and monthly after childcare I have about £500 left. I also get a £500 subsidy for my childcare.

It's stupid that I would be given that £500 to pay someone else to somebody else to look after my children but if I decided to stay home I would receive no help. If I was to stay home and still given that £500 a month subsidy to me directly to spend I would be receiving exactly the same income and the government would be paying exactly the same amount but I would be at home with my child and my job would be freed up for someone else who needs it. I would love to be able to do that, the subsidy should be there to enable childcare by yourself, not just by a professional provider.

If I threw my husband out the state would support me to stay at home and bring up my children, but because I have a partner I would be given no support and we would have to rely solely on his salary which is impossible so I am forced back into work.

There's no 'improving choice' about it - it's all about forcing people in to work, no help is offered to people who want to stay at home. The state will pay for professional childcare, but not for a married mother to stay at home with her child.

It's extremely unfair, I feel really discriminated against that single women are seen as needing to care for their children but those in a relationship aren't.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 21:05:34

"All I know is that 18 years ago, I was entitled to six months maternity leave with very little of it paid at all. There were no child tax credits, nursery vouchers had just been withdrawn and generally people had to save up before they started a family to pay for it"

Thankfully there are still many that do save for children and then only have the number they can afford. Sadly many dont and then blame the big bad government when they dont get as much money or perks as they want.

The state doesnt need to value SAHP's, they are not adding to the pot yet taking from it and you choose to be a parent for your own reasons not for the states benefit.

Many believe they should be paid to stay home (many actually are by tax credits) and others believe they should have tax breaks on childcare despite not actually working to pay tax anyway. Others believe that they cannot work as their partner does so they cant possibly be expected to do so as well. Choosing to have an adult not work is a luxury, you either save up for it orensure the other partner can cover all the costs, the state should not pay for lifestyle choices. Benefits should be those for those truly in hard times not because an adult doesnt want to work or cant possibly let little Johnnie attend nursery.

Working should pay and so if tax breaks mean more work then that can only be good for the ecomomy and our future children. Girls should be bought up with the knowledge they can parent and work hand in hand and that they dont have to find a rich husband and stay home. We encourage education so it should be used.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:09:21

Well ideally I'd like CB to be universal (we've lost it) but the country can't afford it, so it's not going to happen.
I completely disagree with lumping a partner with their spouse for taxation purposes. Individual taxation was hard won and is an important principle. Of course, each family unit can decide how they want to share work, home and caring responsibilities, and mums and dads usually do operate as a supportive partnership- but you don't need to be taxed as an individual to do that

Someone on another thread made a pertinent point: families with just one earner were allowed to treat that income as if it were earned by two of them, to gain financial advantage, why shouldnt dual income families be allowed the same advantage- ie my income should be taxed as if two people have earned it, and ditto for my DH. In other words, 2 earners would be taxed as 4 people earning! It may sound ridiculous but it's a logical conclusion isn't it?!

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:11:26

That should be IF families with one earner...

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 21:15:54

That was me Janey. And in my opinion a lot of the arguments n the discriminated against/SAHP should get childcare are illogical and don't have cost considerations in mind. For industry which impacts the Gov purse....

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:24:03

Erm the country can afford for rich pensioners to have benefits they don't need , enable families earning the same and more along with double tax allowances to keep their CB and rich families up to 300k to get help with childcare so really there is no excuse for CB not to be universal.

The fact is many children need and want to be with their mothers in the early years,sahm will have paid tax all their lives,are often supporting/enabling a spouse to pay a shed load of tax often at 40% and often don't want to be a sahm for long.Nothing is being done to help these families who need help however the gov seems only too happy to help the rich and the grey vote instead.

More importantly on this very important issue nobody looks at the needs of children first.

jellybeans Sun 31-Mar-13 21:26:39

Good points Kazooblue

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:32:50

Kazoo- you are not going to agree on this issue because you believe that children need to be with their mothers. That's fine as a personal belief, but not all parents feel the same. Whether you can relate to that or not, it's just how it is

I also find the hypocrisy about the high earning issue rather distasteful. It seems to be SAHM with off husbands who are most up in arms. People only lose CB completely if the income is over 50k which is high by most peoples standards. And these SAHM who were previously putting into the coffers in their pre- children careers- why did they not offer to be taxed as one with their husband back then? Why do they want a change in policy as soon as their individual situation changes?

Anyway, I'm not interested in going down the SAHM v WOHM route. It always ends badly. Great if you feel it's right for your family, but it doesn't make it right for all.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:35:07

The fact it's clear 2 very rich men who were packed off to boarding school and have wives with lucrative careers and the use of nannies really know buggar all regarding what your average mother and more importantly child wants or needs.

The stress filled working life for the majority of mothers and children is a world away from that experienced by Samcam and her high class handbags.

Tories couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:35:55

Ps just to clarify- I didn't mean to sound like children don't need their mums- of course they do, and their dads! It's just that many families do not subscribe to the view that children up to a certain age can only be cared for 100% by their mother. Fine if that's what suits, but other ways are equally good for other families

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:37:42

Erm families keep CB up to 100k joint. If 50k is high then all families should lose it and families on 300k should most certainly not have help with childcare.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:41:30

Oh and it goes both ways Janey.I think you'll find the maj of women want to be with their dc but get no help to do so.Just because you didn't want to be with your dc doesn't mean others feel the same.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:42:53

Families up to 100k will only keep CB if both working, and frankly with childcare costs they could still end up no better off than the SAHM with a 50k earning husband. The only way a 100k couple could NOT be paying a shed load of childcare would be if they're getting it free from grandma and frankly you can't base legislation on personal family decisions. Some adults are given free childcare, house deposits and god knows what. It doesn't make it unfair that most people don't though . Having paid nursery fees out of taxed income for many years i don't begrudge WOHP from childcare help.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:43:44

And I love being with my children thanks kazoo, so need need for the superior snidey comments. They're great company.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:45:13

NO need for the snidey comments. They don't add anything to the argument- they just highlight that you can't get your head round the fact that some mums enjoy working and
Being a mum kazoo

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:47:59

Erm don't kids start school at 4,many families I know also do shift work and do indeed have grandparents and sorry on a 100k with 2 tax allowances you most certainly don't deserve CB more than a family on 50k.hmm

My sister earns double joint what we earn and has no childcare costs for her 4 year olds.She's keeping CB,we're losing it-ridiculosly unfair.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:50:20

And you can't get your head round the idea that the majority of mums if asked would prefer to be with their dc in the early years.

Just because you didn't want to doesn't mean others shouldn't be helped to do so.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 21:50:30

I see this is going down the usual route (bash the Gov, unfair society, benefits to £100k joint income etc,) but I am genuinely interested in your view on this Kazoo. I would like to understand.  How would you change the system and taking into account the economy how could the Gov make this financially sustainable...

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:51:11

Well why be envious of your free loading sister? Your husband is on a good income. No point being envious just because some people are on higher. And frankly I'd feel I was taking the piss earning good money and using a relative as a free childminder.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:52:15

I can totally get my head round it kazoo. I just don't see why they should be given financial perks for it

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:54:03

For a start get rid of benefits for rich pensioners,reverse their help for rich millionaires,stop wasting money on help for rich families with childcare.....

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 21:58:36

50k-60k is not a lot at all when you factor in the single tax allowance,40%,high mortgage,loss of CB etc.

My sister is lovely and thinks the CB changes are outrageous (as does just about everybody bar wallpaper boy).

Failedhippy Sun 31-Mar-13 22:00:29

As is the norm with benefits, people WILL take advantage and 'seek' work but are paid for child are while doing so but not really be actively looking! Our childcare bill is eye watering...oh if only I was a 'single parent' then it would be funded. Joke really seeing as from what I've heard alot of (unethical) married/ co-habiting couples claim tax credits as single parents and are paid to go to work....absolutely disgusting.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:00:40

Ah the politics of envy then kazoo?
Take it away from them and give to poor SAHM kazoo with her 50k
husband ... Yeap I can really see the attraction of that policy !!

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:03:50

Envy errr no,anger at blatant unfairness,ill thought out ridiculous policies yes.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:10:32

You really believe that would cover the increased benefits bill? I am logical but I need something more substantial to be able agree with your position. Because ultimately we would be paying for someones life choice. Financially it has to be ecconomically logical. So far (on all threads i have read) I have yet to hear a strong financially sound argument for providing those benefits. How would this help us out of the mess we are in?

I also agree with the poster that said as adults we should consider the financial cost before we have children. I believe it's a parents responsibility to bring up that child and provide for it financially. It's unfair to expect society to pay the cost. I think society (tax) is there to help those in most financial need not those that choose a lifestyle.

Again this is all stuff that's has been said before by me and others... Not sure there will ever be agreement on this subject.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:12:46

No there won't Little as the need for childcare could be seen as a lifestyle choice.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:15:07

I dont think you're going to get an answer that adds up littlechick grin

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:17:10

Those in most need will be on a lot less than £50k and I am sure their concerns will be above and beyond the childcare argument.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:19:19

I always hope for one but I never do Janey sad. I really want to keep an open mind but I need those logical answers.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:22:47

I'm sure they could think of something that would begin to help but they don't,far too busy keeping the grey vote and millionaires happy which is why we shall all enjoy the next few decades the Tories spend in oblivion totally unelectable.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 22:26:59

We dont need to pay people to stay at home and raise children, why on earth should we? We all make lifestyle choices, its down to ourselves to pay for them.

The country and world economy is in dire straights and people want to be paid to stay at home! Being a parent is not a job, its a choice. One that many choose and still work to support that choice.

Instead of being thankful that we have maternity pay and rights, people want their cake and eat it. A salary for becoming a parent, god forbid we go back to an era when people paid for their own children.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:31:02

Not not paid to stay at home just helped to do what the vast maj of mothers/children want for a short period of time

On the other hand you're right having children is a lifestyle choice so maybe if families aren't going to be helped parents should save for childcare before having children.It's hardly a secret that childcare is another expense.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 22:32:31

Ahhn so you domt want payment just help? Nanny, au pair, nursery?

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:33:53

This is what confuses me. How do you know what's in place is wrong if you don't have ideas for improvement? Labour have already indicated that they wouldn't change a lot of the policies (not just this) now in place because of the economy. they are only jumping on the issues that create a buzz in the press. They haven't actually said anything about their intentions. So counting on that card may prove to be disappointing. UKIP, are jumping on th SAHP band wagon bEcause the Gov stamped on their Europian ticket a few months ago but no one takes them seriously anyway! Not sure where the LD sits but not sure their sure where they sit right now.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:34:07

Nope help to enable what the vast maj of women and children want.

CB and tax allowance transfer would help for a start.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:36:18

Labour,not being funny but they're not exactly the party of policies full stop at the moment.

We'll just have to listen nearer the time,I wouldn't write Ukip off just yet though.

Wallison Sun 31-Mar-13 22:37:10

So you do want money then, kazooblue?

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 22:41:54

So its only women that want to not work. The poor dads dont get a choice, their wives dictate they will go to work to ensure they dont have too. It seems only women miss their children, dads can work all the hours god sends with no impact on the kids.

Women fought hard to be treated the same as men, to hand over tax allowances would take us back to the dark ages. What happens when a woman goes back to work, shes happy to work for BR tax as her husband now has her allowance or will she want her cake and eat it and take it back.

If your partner earns over the income for CB, no childcare costs or commuting etc for the other adult then state money is very much not needed. If you need extra money then work around each other so no childcare is needed but dont expect to be handed you as you dont want to work. The economy would come to a grinding hault if all women chose that.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:42:04

Ah UKIP, with their fabulous racist and disablist policies... Wonderful... hmm

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:45:51

If CB which many wealthy dual income families are keeping,an equal footing on tax allowances so 60k single income is the same as 60k dual is wanting money yes. How about a WFA like wealthy pensioners get?

Some kind of help for the huge number of mothers up and down the country who are kept apart from dc they want to be with in the formative years.

The gov are creative when they want to be so pretty sure they could think of something.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:46:06

Where would the money come from though? We borrowed £120billion on top of all the taxes collected last year just to keep pace with our benefits / social care system. This would increase. Not sure cutting a few benefits to those you consider rich will gt anywhere near that.

I am confidently writing UKIP off right now. When chips are down they won't get anywhere near.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:48:39

Happy many dual income families with no childcare costs are on double what many single income families are on and are keeping CB. Families on up to 300k are going to be getting gov help.Sorry you can't say it's ok for one and not the other.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:49:25

Janey I know... grin

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 22:50:07

It would be a start Little and don't forget any help would go back into the economy.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:54:03

60k single income isn't the same as two people earning 30k thought thats the point. The single earner family have another adult who could contribute if they choose. The dual earners haven't- they are already earning as much as they can. And like we keep saying, there are additional costs to dual income families. Unless of course they use relatives for free childcare. But you cannot legislate against family members gifting their time and money .
Tbh you just sound like you have an incredible chip on your shoulder
kazoo, and it really doesnt make sense Because by your own admission you're doing what you want. You just want more money from the tax payer to do it! It's like Laura perrins (the woman who challenged Cameron in the tax issue). Works as a barrister, merrily pays tax as an individual, then decides she wants to be a SAHM and wants the rules to change to suit her! Thing is, I think it's backfiring big style on SAHM as its painting them all as being entitled.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:55:08

How would benefit the economy more than giving it to working parents? Economically we are better off with this system.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 22:56:27

If its a start where is the rest of the money going to come from?

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 31-Mar-13 23:01:53

Kazooblue - ^an equal footing on tax allowances so 60k single income is the same as 60k dual is wanting money.

Presumably you'd be happy for an equal footing on working hours too then, in the interests of fairness? So the single earner would be required to work as many contracted hours as the 2 full time WOHP?

Personally I would be in favour of any benefits being calculated on total family income minus what it costs to earn that income (i.e. childcare costs would be subtracted to calculate the final total).

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:04:19

No Janey you sound like you have a chip Janey,a big one.

Of some reason you resent women having help to be with their children.

From the age of 4 children are in school.The maj of my friends work and not one uses childcare when their dc are at school bar the odd hour at after school club.They cm for each other,some work shifts,some part time,some use grandparents,aunts etc.Parents these days are creative.

50-60k singe income is a struggle.With the loss of CB,40% and only one tax allowance we're ££££££ worse off tan 2 x 30k.If you live in a high rent/mortgage area it's v tight,my dp has to cycle miles to work.I've only been out of work fir 5 years and career down the pan,would have to retrain which we can't afford,would need a second car which we can't afford etc.

All I do was have 5 years off to be with my children which they needed and wanted.hmm

This gov is anti children and anti family.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 23:04:50

permanent. Good point on working hours. Never considered in that way..

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:08:13

Permanently many workers on 60k are doing waaaay more hours than somebody on 30k or under.My dp has to be there whatever the hour when a project is released,takes work home etc,works late.You do whatever it takes over contracted hours or you don't have a job.Your salary means you don't get overtime if you are paid to manage.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 31-Mar-13 23:08:21

Hi kazoo

How vast is the vast majority of mothers you mention who would like to stay home with pre school children? What about fathers - how small is the minority there?

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 23:09:09

Yes, exactly permanently exhausted, great point about working hours. . The point is, these people dont want a level playing field when it comes to the crunch!

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:10:51

"These people" hmm

Mothers,fathers < shrugs>

Do fathers want to be with their dc as much?I don't know.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 23:11:00

Plenty of people on 30 k work way over contracted hours too. How simplistic to think that someone on bigger bucks is always working twice the hours... In fact in many jobs it's when you get to the really big money that you can afford to sit back and relax a bit more

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 31-Mar-13 23:13:24

Kazoo - in some cases, maybe, but not "waaaay" more hours than 2 people each on 30K Which was the point, wasn't it.

And thankyou for the patronising explanation about what a salary means. I earn one myself and my contract states that I must work the hours it takes in order for me to do my job, but a minimum of full time. And ditto for my husband.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 23:14:48

Kazoo, seems very unfair. You need your husband to work all those hours away from his chidren yet you want the state to pay you to be with them. If it means so much to you to be with them why do you need payment?

Permnent has it spot on, you want the tax benefits of a working couple for it to be fairer so you need to work like those families in the interests of fairness.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 23:15:58

Permanently many workers on 60k are doing waaaay more hours than somebody on 30k or under

That must be an assumption you are making that someone on £30K doesn't do similar hours to someone on more pay. The more you earn the more responsibility, expectation and pressure not always more hours.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:16:12

Not in my p's line of work.We've been together 22 years.The more he earns,the more hours he does.In management your ability to be there whatever is what you are pad for.

Also many second earners my be part time,still getting the full tax allowance but only working a couple of days a week.

sweetkitty Sun 31-Mar-13 23:20:12

What about a single parents earning 60k and paying childcare? How is it fair that they lose CB yet next door a couple are earning 100k and are keeping it?

Both families are paying childcare, both have all adults working at the maximum.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 23:21:06

If you could get exactly the same salary and hours your husband works would you go full time and allow him to be the SAHP if he wanted to swap?

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:21:57

Happy oh I'll be working the system.I will go back to work and I will get my tax allowance even if I don't work much over it.Kind of silly though I'll pay no tax but get help with 3 x dc in childcare.

Obviously I've got to retrain and find transport first<was that a pig flying>?

Oh and re dp he isn't want to be at home for those formative years as much as I did.Yes he does uber hours but he is at the top of his field,tip top cv and well thought of.Don't think he's done so bad.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 23:22:48

Single working parents should receive more childcare support. That's different to childcare for SAHP.

janey68 Sun 31-Mar-13 23:24:12

Sweet kitty- in the single parent scenario there is still another parent to that child who can work and should be contributing to the joint expense of childcare. And yes, I know some fathers don't always want to cough up, but the principle is still the same. Its not the tax payers responsibility to do what the father should be doing.

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 31-Mar-13 23:24:25

^Don't think he's done so bad.

And yet still you whinge about tax free income.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:25:36

Little yes if I had a decent career and was at his level however I'm not.

solveproblem Sun 31-Mar-13 23:26:37

Kazoo, if you think it's unfair then get a job and enjoy the tax allowance.

If you don't think it's worth it then dont do it.

Is it really worth it having one person working all hours if the day, never seeing their children, to enable the other parent to stay at home?

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:26:57

"And yet you still whinge about tax free income"hmm

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:32:00

Solve when we had our children one of us had to take a back seat,it was me.My career has ended,his has taken off. He has been enabled to put everything into his career.Before we had children I even supported him financially whist he did his Masters and other exams.We are a unit and support each other.

I would love to get back into work but it isn't that easy paying to retrain,childcare,fund a second car etc.It will happen but will take some juggling.Not sure how we'll finance it though.

Kazooblue Sun 31-Mar-13 23:35:59

Facilities to help women/men back into work should be there.Most of us don't have much time out.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 31-Mar-13 23:38:25

Kazoo, both DH and I are still in career jobs, we each see the DCs more than your DH does by the sounds of it, though less of course than you do.

There are choices we all make about work and families, and they aren't easy choices, and any choice involves giving something else up. But the playing field on individual taxation hasn't changed in the timeline of my choices or yours (though CB has of course) and it's absolutely been a factor in our career decisions.

LittleChickpea Sun 31-Mar-13 23:43:26

Working parents are also a joint unit. They too support each other as all families do. My DF and I work long hours and we both travel but we make it work and have quality family time too.

The reason I believe it's a choice is simple. If I were to quit now and choose to be a SAHP for 5 years I would know that would end my career. So to do that I would want to ensure we had enough savings and my DF salary covered all our financial needs as a family. There is also the pension issue. I wouldn't be counting on the state considering by 2030 they will be nearly twice as many pensioners are we have now and fewer tax payers.

MummytoKatie Mon 01-Apr-13 00:02:37

We do have help staying home with children when they are tiny though - statutory maternity pay is now paid for 9 months. (And I think MA is too although I don't know for sure as it is outside my experience.)

Ok it's not enormous but it is a surprisingly high proportion when you compare it to 35 hours a week on NMW.

jellybeans Mon 01-Apr-13 00:14:11

Janey, you keep saying, ' these people' and speaking for all SAHP.. That would be like me saying, 'these WOHM...' Everybody is different, please don't make assumptions about all SAHM.

Majority of people are glad if people make choices that work for them and their DC whether that is work or SAH.

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 00:27:26

Sorry should have clarified - 'these people' is not referring to SAHM as a
whole group; I refer to the people who have chosen to stay at home but want tax policy to change to suit their circumstances. I completely agree that many SAHM are happy with their choice and dont expect some sort of special treatment because of their choice

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 09:44:20

I get the impression that these arguments are all well rehearsed and you've had them many times before.


Is kazoo ReAlLy arguing that (a) her dearest wish is to stay home with her children until the age of 4 and all mothers should want to do so because its so necessary for proper child development; and (b) she'd like financial donations from the gvnt to buy child care to look after her children for a few hours a day?



LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 10:54:18

Suzie. I cant speak for Kazoo But that's very much the overriding thyme from most of those (historic threads) that want the benefits for SAHP....

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 11:04:20

I think any help with childcare is a brilliant thing.

I dont really understand why kazooblue wants wages for sahms if has such an extremely high household income, which is higher than most households in the uk.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Apr-13 11:12:33


Yes well debated, as in at least 2 threads a week since announcement was made.
Very heated debate, lots of name calling.
You can be forgiven if new, otherwise very boring as going over and over and over the same comments from exactly the same people as previously.
Had to say something, as can't believe there's yet another thread. sad

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 11:12:35

It's a bit sad really though.

The availability of welfare has stopped people taking responsibility for themselves.

Decisions of this nature involve a multitude of factors, including a mature assessment of the financial implications of one decision over another.

So much of what I've read below is about trying to equalise that element to make the decision making process easier. Why don't people want to take responsibity any more?

Also, I note certain posters a rather prolific on here. Suggesting (a) ample time away from their charges which could be spent on something more enterprising (b) no need for additional state funded child care; and (c) that perhaps they aren't as enamoured with their life choices as they seem to be saying they are.

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 11:13:52

Yes more than, I am new.

I presume the irritation over another thread is that it results in unkindness. I have noticed a lot of that on mumsnet, generally. It is not a welcoming place.

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 11:18:37

Even though ot costs the government in childcare they do it as it helps people help themselves. Helping with childcare for a bit means both parents stay in work, and contribute to the economy either through taxes or through providing a valuable service.

Additionally often if both parents are woh then they are working hard as they are doing 2 jobs, and have no one to help them, whereas if you have an sahm you only have the house/children as your role.

I think any help with childcare costs is a great idea, and hope one day it will be stated funded like some of the other countries.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Apr-13 11:22:50


It is ok apart from anything that plays wohp's against sahp's/ reverse.
It is an emotive subject and everybody has their own tale. One straight yes its fair or no its not fair doesn't exist as there are always exceptions to the rule.

An example.

Ok suppose there was a general consensus that sahm's shouldn't receive subsidised childcare.
There are probably several scenarios where this could be seen detrimental to a particular section of sahm's.

Those attending job interviews, who have no other help for baby sitting / childcare.
Those children where it is deemed by professionals to benefit socially from access to childcare, for their well being.

There's 2 scenarios already. There are just as many arguments for and against and people get upset when their point seems valid and others don't just disagree but find their point unworthy. Hence, bun fight and thread ends up being nasty. With much angst directed at the OP.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 01-Apr-13 11:39:34

"Solve when we had our children one of us had to take a back seat,it was me.My career has ended,his has taken off. He has been enabled to put everything into his career.Before we had children I even supported him financially whist he did his Masters and other exams.We are a unit and support each other.

I would love to get back into work but it isn't that easy paying to retrain,childcare,fund a second car etc.It will happen but will take some juggling.Not sure how we'll finance it though."

Kazoo, if i had not read any of your other posts, from the above it would seem that you settled for stayng home and would actually like to work. However that doesnt tie in with your other posts that mums need to sacrifce the early years for the sake of their chikdren and get paid for it by the state.

All the reasons you state re getting back to work are reasons why women return after maternity leave. Taking yeas out of the job market makes it so much harder to return as employers want recent experience. Thats why some only have one or two childreas childcare is expensive.

We all make our own choices, its then down to us to finance them rather than moan that the state wont or doesnt value the choices we make.

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 11:47:47

That was kind of my point earlier, morethan, when I was talking about WOHP who get free childcare from relatives. That's been raised by several posters as a 'reason' against helping WOHP with childcare. My point is that you will always find individual cases that dont 'fit ' policy, but you cannot tweak legislation to allow for every individual circumstance. Yes, it might seem 'unfair' that a fairly high earning couple get free childcare from granny and get to keep their CB, but families are free to give of their time - you can't legislate against that ( no personal axe to grind here as we always paid full childcare out of our net income)

Your point about people needing childcare for interviews... Well, again, there are all sorts of parallel circumstances. One that springs to mind when you are a WOHP is when you take your second (or third) maternity leave. You usually have to continue to pay childcare for dc1 even though you're not on full wage (or any wage). When I went on second ML, we had to weigh up whether to pay full fees to nursery to keep dds place
open (even though I was home and didn't need nursery) or risk giving the place up, save a few thousand pounds but perhaps not getting it back later.

Those are the sort of tough decisions we all have to make. Sometimes you need to make a short term sacrifice (such as organising childcare for an interview) for the sake of long term gain.

This seems to me the core of the issue. People need to make decisions and accept that every situation has pros and cons. The thing which I find most distasteful in the media stuff on this is the self serving nature of some of the people quoted- eg the barrister turned SAHM who wants to rewrite the tax rules to suit her circumstances now. I wonder whether all these SAHM with well off husbands will still be clamouring to be taxed as one person if they start to earn again? I bet if they start a little part time job and don't earn much theyll be quite happy to remain as one, but the moment they earn more or step back into full time work, they'll have a sudden urge to be taxed individually grin

Sorry but policies don't work like that. The govt doesn't tweak legislation to suit individuals at whatever point they happen to be in their life

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 12:02:29

More than- sounds like mumsnet Neds to grow up

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 12:15:36

Janey- my view precisely. People need to take responsibility, accept people are in different circumstances and have different things available to them, and make mature decisions based on an assessment of the pros and cons. Not look to blame someone.

Pigsmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 12:20:01

Spend £6000 on childcare out of your own pocket and get a reduction of £1200. The fact that this offer has only been extended to to working parents seems to have caused a big drama. I think the government should extend this "generous" offer to anyone wanting to purchase £6000 on childcare to make it fairer.

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 12:20:11

The bottom line is: we all have pressure points, they just aren't all the same as each others.

The SAHM wanting to get back to work might think 'shit! How do i solve the problem of childcare to go on interview?'
For me as a WOHM one of the problems was 'shit! I want a second child. How do we carry on paying the nursery while I'm not on my salary?'

Different pressures but equally real to the individual.

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 12:33:50

Mine,as a self employed primary earner is 'how the hell am I going to maintain an income if I have anoth child?' No maternity pay for me....

ReallyTired Mon 01-Apr-13 12:34:05

Supposely this system is supposed to help single mothers. But how many single mothers pay 6K of tax to be able to buy the vouchers? (not many single mothers earn 35K) Since people have to find 80% of the cost of these vouchers the amount of help is derisitory. I have no idea where you can get a childcare place for an under 3 for 6000K. In our area you are looking at least double that.

Prehaps there would be a lot to be said for totally scrapping the vouchers and concentrating on finding ways to reduce childcare for all. Rather than having vouchers I would like more general measures to reduce the cost of childcare. I believe that making it easier for schools to set up their own nurseries will help bring down costs.

More help for pre schools and nurseries with charitable status would help expand cheap places. Nurseries with charitable status could be exempt from business rates, coorporation tax and prehaps childcare could be VAT free. Making childcare VAT free would be far cheaper than having this voucher scheme.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Apr-13 12:34:56


I totally agree about the pressure points. As a sahm and with my personal circumstances, I don't need childcare. However, i can see how another sahm with different circumstances would need it. The same for wohm's
Maybe it could be done on a needs basis then everyone would be happy.


I see the main problem as being that some posters are only able to see their own situation or presume that a certain type of parent are all the same, lump them together and say "Well it's like this"for them all. This seems to me to be the point where buns start to fly sad

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 12:45:17

12k for a childcare place? shock

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 12:54:48

Sounds right. I pay 2k PCM for my two

gallicgirl Mon 01-Apr-13 12:58:33

Yup. Think we pay around £10000 a year.
I don't begrudge paying it because the nursery is great and I don't want cheap childcare but it is difficult to pay and a bigger expense than our mortgage.

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 12:59:46

Even the very best here is considerably less then that.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Apr-13 13:05:23

"Sounds right. I pay 2k PCM for my two "

A nursery nurse typically earns around 15 to 18 K. Someone is making an obsene profit.

The new voucher system is going to cost a lot to set up and maintain. Are there more cost effective ways of helping families like SuzieTwo? If childcare places which cost less than say 8K a year were alllowed to be VAT free would it help SuziTwo more than having vouchers?

How can we cut the overheads for nurseries without compromising quality? How do we stop greedy nursery managers making an obsene profit?

gallicgirl Mon 01-Apr-13 13:18:55

Not sure VAT free would help as not everyone us required to be VAT registered, child minders certainly wouldn't.
Tax deductible allowance would help more people but would still require payment in full up front. I would assume that anyone not paying sufficient tax would get help through tax credits but that could be totally erroneous.

Mum2Luke Mon 01-Apr-13 13:28:16

Thejoyfullpuddlejumper how do you apply for and go to jobs if you haven't anyone to look after you child or children? Not everyone lives near relations who can mind for free.

I'm not on JSA but have a son who is 11 who is obviously too young imho to leave all day in school holidays and child minders are too expensive if you get no help with childcare so I end up doing a term-time dinner lady job because I had to give up childminding due to nurseries offering free childcare places which I was not able to offer.

I would love to be able to work full-time but finances just do not allow, do we get any help from this govt? No of course not, my cb is being taken away at the worst time (high school uniform likely to cost a fortune) and he is only main earner paying 40% of his earnings to tax. This country has gone to pot!!

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 13:34:24

Surely personal responsibility is the major factor. DF and I researched childcare costs (amongst other costs) when we starting considering children. The size of our family is very much dependant on those associated costs. We would never have gone ahead had we not been able to afford it without the support from benefits. We felt including benefit income from the Gov in our calculations would be amounting to giving ourselves pay rises that were never and could never be guaranteed.

how do we stop greedy nursery managers making an obsene profit?

I thinks thats unfair. Private nurseries are businesses like any other private business (hair dressers, exports/inport business etc.). I am sure the owners will have worked hard and sacrificed a lot to set their businesses up. They will also be paying corporate taxes ect. which benefits our economy.

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 13:35:50

Mum2luke- your DH is a high earner. To be losing your CB completely he must be on 50k. Thats how you afford childcare while you go on interview. Same as everyone else - including many others who have no relatives nearby and less household income than you.

PearlyWhites Mon 01-Apr-13 13:40:21

Kazoo are you serious 50k to 60k single income is a struggle???? A struggle to do what exactly keep shopping at Waitrose?

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 13:41:11

Also I've just noticed that your son is 11 mum2luke

Lucky you- only before/after school and holiday care to pay for, rather than all day every day nursery.

Even if you just get a NMW job, over a whole year you will make a profit after paying childcare. You definitely will. And in a few years when he doesn't need childcare at all you'll be making even more profit. That's the view I took when nursery for two kids sapped all my income. Short term pain, long term gain

Wallison Mon 01-Apr-13 13:47:45

Mum2Luke, your husband doesn't pay 40% of his earnings in tax. It's only the proportion of his wages that are over the threshhold that he is paying 40% on. And as janey says now that your son is at school, if you were working full-time you would have more coming in than going out, even allowing for childcare costs. It's nursery/childminder fees for pre-schoolers that are crippling. Sure, the costs are higher during the holidays but with two parents with two sets of annual leave you will not need to shell out for full-time childcare for the entire 13 weeks. So if you want to work full-time then do it!

Suzietwo Mon 01-Apr-13 13:49:41

I'm not paying a nursery. I'm paying a child minder and a nanny and pre school to do different things on different days. Because it suits us.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:59:53

Nurseries don't make obscene profits, though chains of nurseries might. Whilst a full time place might be £12k pa,many children aren't full time, There are locum costs, utilities, rent and rates, food, training, furnishings, toys etc etv.

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 14:10:16

I think whats coming out of this thread, which is a useful thing, is that there are solutions, it's just they involve some compromise. When our children are on school summer holiday, I don't like having to take my annual leave separately from DH. In an ideal world we'd take our time off together. But we compromise because it keeps the childcare cost down.
I get the feeling that there are a small number of posters who expect to get everything on their own terms. Welcome to the world of being a grown up - whether WOHP or SAHP it's about accepting that life ain't perfect and you'll be a lot happier adopting a positive attitude rather than moaning about your life

ReallyTired Mon 01-Apr-13 14:24:56

Mum2Luke Can't you look for jobs during term time. I am sure that your eleven year old can survive on his own for a couple of hours while you attend a job interview. I doult that many childminders would take on an eleven year old.

There are childcare options for eleven year olds in most towns. Its not called childcare as most eleven years get extremely stroppy at the suggestion of being in childcare. My eleven year old has been to county music courses, or the sports centre have holiday courses or drama courses.

Many eleven year olds go to school by bus and are easily capable of getting themselves to a holiday club. I agree that you could not leave an eleven year old at home all day, but they are not such a liablity as my three year old!

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 14:39:58

I've said this before on other threads, but our children are at the age now where they loathe any idea that they are in childcare! They are too old for a childminder , have outgrown a lot of holiday clubs, but aren't old enough to be left alone for entire days

This summer we are going to employ a local student to do a 'halfway house' arrangement- someone who is on hand should the children need an adult, but who can let them do their own thing most of the time. The plan is they will look after the children in our house, but will probably be able to get on with uni work until the children surface, and generally 'be around'. Dd is old enough to go to friends houses and occupy herself but I feel still needs a level of supervision.

The key with childcare is to regularly re evaluate. What suits a child at age 6 isn't going to suit them at age 12. It also needs flexibility and creativity. Our holiday clubs run from 9- 4: useless when you need to be in work at 8am. Up til now we've used a childminder to drop off at holiday club- not the cheapest way but needs must. But as I say, now the children are older we've had a re think.

Of course it will involve some work. Dh and I will soon advertise and start looking for a suitable person to do the summer holiday care. Of course i could sit back and moan about the cost of advertising (it's about £100 in our local paper) or I could complain that it's all so terribly hard and why don't the govt sort our childcare and pay for it for me- but you know what, I dont think that's going to help in the long term .

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 14:46:55

I pay £30 extra a year for all trips and for that they go theme parks, bowling,cinema, mcdonalds, farm etc in the holidays. They are out of the setting and doing something daily. Its from 7.30-6pm.

My children will be doing this until they are age 13/14.

lljkk Mon 01-Apr-13 14:53:47

Real costs of employing someone 25-35% more than their gross salary.
Nursery Staff on 15-17k real cost = 20k.

12k for a baby's place at nursery, 2 babies per staff member max = 4k "profit" for the nursery to pay rent, insurance, admin staff, cleaners, outings, redecorating, professional development (heavily expected by Ofsted), bank staff, food, cook, lekki, heating, supplies.

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 14:56:56

Exactly lljkk here nursery nurses are on £6.19, and thats why are childcare is so cheap. If you pay the staff a high wage like 15-18k of course childcare will be expensive.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:57:16

Lijkk, the ratio is 1:3 for babies but some days there might be only four babies.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Apr-13 15:01:07

lljkk its 12K for a toddler place which is 1 to 4, infact many day nurseries do not give much of a discount when children get to 3 year olds (1 to 8) and they are entitled to their 15 hours a week. I realise there are overheads like National insurance, managing staff, rent etc.

12K for 4 children is still a lot. Assuming it costs 20K to pay your nursery nurse then there is 28K profit. (Prehaps more like 20K as you have feed, house and entertain the children) Many nursery employ apprentices at £95 a week so the profit margin is huge.

Dd's private nursery had one experienced nursery nurse and an apprentice looking after 16 three and four year olds year olds.

lljkk Mon 01-Apr-13 15:12:55

ok, i got ratio wrong.

If they were raking it someone would undercut them sharply, I just can't believe many are raking it in.

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 15:14:45

Under 2s is 1:3

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 15:30:04

General business expenditure. Let's not forget that of every pound a business make they have the following costs for each and every pound:
- 20% to 25% corporation tax
- 13.5% business NI
- staff wages
- bank charges
- professional advisors (accounts / auditorsetc)
- marketing
- the list goes on

Then they shareholders also have to pay:
- personal NI
- income tax

sweetkitty Mon 01-Apr-13 19:21:26

Janey68 - yes in an ideal works the father should be providing sadly its not always the case. What about widowed single parents then?

I suppose you could always say that those families with 2 parents working can also increase their income if they really wanted to, take another job at night, do a degree course etc.

It's not always that black and white, at the end of the day the CB cuts are very unfair and should have been based on household income.

Personally I disagree with subsidised childcare and even the tax credits system, pay people a decent living, every family gets a flat rate of CB and can then use it to spend of childcare if they choose. Families with one child get the same as families with four for example and of course very low earners and those on benefits get more but there should be less needing it as people should be able to live on their wage.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Apr-13 19:27:58

People are always going to disagree with cuts that affect them. People tend to favour cuts which don't affect them.

Other countries keep their childcare costs law by having councils providing high quality nursery care. There is no need for nurseries (and indirectly parents) to pay for marketing or corporation tax with a state run nursery.

janey68 Mon 01-Apr-13 19:42:52

Sweetkitty- a widowed parent with young children still needing childcare is a Completely different situation of course, and one where support should be provided. I'm not sure what is available in that situation wrt to benefits, and of course it highlights the importance of life insurance too

I was referring to situations where a couple separate and there are childcare fees to be paid- of course they should remain the responsibility of the parents. Although of course the resident parent doesn't need to actively seek work until the child is school age, so there isn't the necessity to work which many couples who remain together have.

I would ideally like CB to be universal and capped at 2 children (except for in cases of natural multiple births!) We are a massively over populated planet and having large families is a luxury tbh. It would need to be phased in but I think it's a perfectly fair solution.

Kazooblue Mon 01-Apr-13 19:47:45

Pearly pmsl no Lidl,no holidays,battered old car,no going out etc,etc,etc

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 20:08:59

That's interesting... So we drive the entrepreneurs creating wealth, employment and helping pay the debt off out of business and replace them with a public sector nursery system so that we can pay for childcare for people that choose to be SAHPs? And the cycle begins. The country then has to borrow more to pay for the additional cost to the public sector costs. Increase the £120 billion borrowed on top of all tax collected last year. However RealyTired I am interested in hearing more about how the public sector alternatives work and how this is financially sustainable in other countries. Which countries have this system?

We need to all look at the wider implications of what we want. Again where does personal responsibility for financially supporting our own DC come into this?

blueberryupsidedown Mon 01-Apr-13 20:41:52

OK, here's one example (it's where I'm from, Quebec, about 8m people, I know that the system has issues but generally it's a good childcare system, almost free, subsidised by the provincial government):

article by Annie Urban

Subsidized or free childcare is quickly dismissed by governments in the United States and many other countries. It’s too expensive, they say. People don’t want their taxes raised. Child-free individuals or stay-at-home parents by choice do not want their tax dollars to be spent on child care for other people’s children. That is just the beginning of the arguments that are made against finding a solution that will allow more mothers to go back to work and help families get out of poverty. However, new economic analysis coming out of Quebec shows that those are moot points — subsidized day care pays for itself and even provides a healthy return on the investment.

Day Care Subsidy Allows More Women to Go Back to Work

The province of Quebec in Canada introduced free public all day kindergarten in 1997, then introduced a subsidized day care program for younger children in 1998. The program initially offered day care spaces for $5 per child per day and the fees were later increased to $7 (£4.50) per day. Currently, Parent Central reports that around half of Quebec children under the age of five are in the subsidized day care system. The subsidy provided by the government amounts to around $10,000 annually per day care space.

The cost for non-subsidized day care spaces runs about 5 to 10 times as much as the subsidized spaces. Essentially, before the subsidized day care program, it made financial sense for both parents to work only if they both had high salaries. For low income families or families with one high salary and one low salary, there was little benefit in both parents working. After the subsidized system was introduced, it made financial sense to have both parents working in almost all families.

In most families the mother earns less money than the father. As a result, the introduction of the subsidized day care system made it possible for a lot of women, who would otherwise have stayed home with the children, to continue their careers. This resulted in a significant increase in maternal workforce participation. According to Parent Central, by 2008 (1o years after the program was introduced), there were an additional 70,000 women with young children in the workforce, which represents an increase of 3.8 percent.

Day Care Subsidy Also Gives Quebec an Economic Boost

A new study by University of Montreal economics professor Pierre Fortin found that Quebec’s subsidized day care system more than pays for itself due to increased income and consumption tax revenue.

Parent Central reported on the study and noted that for every dollar that the government of Quebec invests in subsidized day care, it wins back $1.05; the federal government also benefits through the receipt of $0.44. Essentially, Quebec taxpayers are getting $1.49 back for every $1.00 spent on subsidized day care. I wish my investment portfolio did that well.

Beyond the tax considerations, Fortin also found that increased maternal workforce participation in Quebec gave the province’s Gross Domestic Product a 1.7 percent boost.

Read more:]

blueberryupsidedown Mon 01-Apr-13 20:44:25

There's only 8 million people in Quebec I hope it will help make sense of the financial data in the article.

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 21:16:30

Blueberry with the greatest respect I was hoping for something more substantial Gov policy with published results etc.  This is clearly an internet based article written in 2011 by a journalist based overseas whose political afflictions we know nothing about.  We have no way of substantiating the stats/claims and whether the article is therefore biased.  

I am sure you are aware that Quebec has a very precarious debt hanging over their heads.  Their net debt is 51% of GDP and add that to the federal net debt f 37% of GDP and they face an extraordinary net debt to GDP of nearly 90%.   Not sure that's a country we need to be looking at as a example of good policy. 

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 21:26:56

Forgot to mention.  From my limited understanding those numbers don't include some costs associated to their pension plan and health care system which will grow.  Their tax payers will have to pay for this via increased personal tax.  

How many of us are will to pay more tax I wonder? 

blueberryupsidedown Mon 01-Apr-13 21:32:26

It's not a country, it's a province. You asked for an example, I gave you one. If you want an example from a country that has no debt, well that will take some time. I mean, to actually find a country that has no debt, or no financial issues in today's economic climate.

With the greatest respect, I think you are not as stupid as you sound. Really, are you asking to find a country that has no economic problems? Really? funny that, I don't think it exists, even in this internet age...

ReallyTired Mon 01-Apr-13 21:35:02

How about Demark.

Or Sweden

keeping women in the work place has long term benefits for the country. It means that women's careers don't get trashed and if a family breaks up the single mum does not end up on benefits. Working women pay more tax over a life time.

Elizabeth Truss advocates having more qualified professionals, but I have never come across a private day nursery which has a teacher working directly with three year olds with a ratio of 1 to 13. most pre schools and day nurseries tend to employ people on little more than the minimum wage. Having the private sector run day care has resulted in the cheapest people (with minimal qualifications) looking after our children rather than the best.

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 21:39:10

I understand is a Candian province with some of th highest taxes over there.

No need to be like that. I just don't think taking on policies from countries or provinces with more problems than we have is very clever. A quick Internet search also seems to indicate that Qubec is cutting spending to subsidised childcare. I don't tend to copy pasteinternet articles to support my point but following suit I have not done much (30 seconds) but the article was written in 2013. I am sure you are already aware of this though..

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 21:42:16

Not done much reaserch that is grin

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 21:47:44

And another Qubec article. Didn't actually bother reading it all as off to bed but thought I would share....

blueberryupsidedown Mon 01-Apr-13 21:48:57

Please tell me I'm not reading this. You asked! YOU asked! Read your own post.

Yes, there are problems with all systems, subsidised or not. I wrote that in my initial message. No system is perfect, and I am sure that if you search the internet you will find thousands of complaints about the NHS, schools, etc. But you asked for examples....

Wallison Mon 01-Apr-13 21:51:42

^ Having the private sector run day care has resulted in the cheapest people (with minimal qualifications) looking after our children rather than the best.

I would agree that this is a problem. When you have people chasing profit, you get a lower standard of service. It is frightening how little employers demand in the way of qualifications or even aptitude when recruiting for nursery posts. Because they don't care about that. What they care about is profit. And parents are spending ££££s, limiting their families, making cuts to their budgets elsewhere ... ffs, they are even in a lot of cases paying more out in childcare than they make off the second wage - and for what? For someone on minimum wage with minimal qualifications to look after their children at a high monetary cost.

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 21:54:16

I asked for examples of a system that is financially sustainable. The one you provide seems to be getting bad press in Qubec and is costing the tax payer an additional $1.5 billion price tag.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 01-Apr-13 21:55:06

I think it would be good if the govt allowed SAH mums to transfer their tax free allowance to their partners. But of course that would lead to bleating from the single Mums with no partner to transfer this to. THe system will never please everyone.

If all families have all adults working in them, who pray tell will be the volunteers in schools, running scout groups, etc......

LittleChickpea Mon 01-Apr-13 21:57:30

Wallison. I agre that the Gov needs to ensure properly qualified people are employed to look after children. A public funded system doesn't guarantee this though.

rustybusty Mon 01-Apr-13 22:17:50

There are more people working in early years with degrees/post graduate degrees (Early Years Professionals) than there ever have been

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 01-Apr-13 22:18:56

Bleating? Nice.

Transferable tax allowances would be a massive change, not just to the principle of independent taxation but to the general tax take from personal taxation, not to mention driving behaviour that the government doesn't want to drive because one spouse being able to access the other's tax free and basic rate allowances when they are a HRT makes a lot more "second jobs" economically nonsensical.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 01-Apr-13 22:33:01

Anotherplace - if you think that all the voluntary roles in society are done by SAHPs, you are very much mistaken.

I have a full time job, as does DH, and I run a Brownie unit with 24 girls. Of the 15 leaders in our district across the 3 sections, only 1 is a SAHM. ALL the rest of us work. I think you'll find that is the norm around the country.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 02-Apr-13 07:42:23

Permanent, all our school governors bar one retired person work, our helpers at school work and i know the ladies who run a small beaver group locally work. If you ask for helpers at PTA events its mainy those that work that come forward. So we dont need to encourage people to stay home on the basis there would be no volunteers.

Suzietwo Tue 02-Apr-13 08:05:46

I'm pretty convinced we shouldn't be encouraging people to stay at home generally...

KidderminsterKate Tue 02-Apr-13 08:10:36

the sahm brigade have really been irritating about this one. If you want this subsidy then go and get a job and claim it hmm hmm hmm hmm

I think its about giving families more options. People see problems when they need to look for solutions. If you really want to work then childcare is not a barrier to this.

Honestly, can't believe there are people saying not having childcare to attend a fictional interview for a job they haven't even applied for is stopping them getting work angry

always the same probs.....childcare, husband works shifts, no family etc.....fact is these people don't want to work and want to stay home. I have no prob with this but its disingenous to pretend otherwise.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 08:18:11

And the mothers that want to look after their young children instead of paying others to do it?

Or how about the vast number of young children that would hate childcare and who thrive and prefer being at home with a parent?

How about the high levels of stress,tiredness due to long days,less time to do homework,less time to play out or just be after school,less family time?

So basically no children should have a sahp,no parent should ever take a job that involves support from a sahp( who is going to do these jobs) and just because some parents don't want to be at home for their young children others shouldn't be helped to do so either?

Tis a sad,sad time we live in.sad

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 09:24:29

Squarepebbles- read the thread. No ^ one* is saying all parents have to work. Quite the opposite: many of us have said endlessly that it's up to each family to decide for themselves. All we are saying is, it is totally unreasonable and uneconomic to give people money for their choice, or to rewrite tax laws for them.

As for the 'vast' number of children who 'would ' hate childcare (not sure how you know if these hypothetical children have never been!) - well I don't know about you but i tend to focus on my own children, and whether they are happy and thriving.

And this is where any reasonable discussion about economic policy breaks down because someone can't resist having a pop at WOHM .

Look, as a WOHM I don't spend my time in a state of angst over whether the children of my SAHM friends are happy, whether theyre socialising enough, how their language is progressing blah blah blah. Yet it seems some SAHM claim to know and about the feelings and development of hordes of children- including those they haven't even met- other mumsnetters children!!

You have to ask why that is. If you are really happy and secure in your choice then why niggle away at other peoples choices? Even if you absolutely cannot get you head round the fact that some mums want to carry on workiing, and that our children are perfectly happy and well adjusted, why not just accept it? Dont agonise over trying to understand- just accept that there are many ways to be a good parent, and ultimately that's what matters- being a good parent.

KidderminsterKate Tue 02-Apr-13 09:38:12

how would subsidised childcare help you sah with your children square pebble???? confused confused

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 09:39:36

The SAHM brigade have really been irritating about this one. If you want this subsidy then go and get a job and claim it.. You sound like the trashy press with those kind of comments. As people have already pointed out there are a whole array of reasons why people are SAH; we are not a 'brigade' that think the same, act the same, live the same, just like those who work outside of the home. Secondly, why the assumption that every SAH person is a Mother. There are plenty of SAHDs at my DS's school, probably 30%. It is therefore definitely not the case that this is about some stereotypical 'brigade' of women who just want to sit at home on their arses watching 'Loose Women'. I and many other people are not stopped from returning to work because 'our men' are working shifts- what era do you live in? it's because we ourselves want one parent to be a full time carer for our children. My main motivation for not returning after ML was about caring for my 9 month old baby myself not about wanting to be at home. In my case we had a very small mortgage, outgoings were small as a result and if we stayed put in the flat we owned, rather than getting more room by buying a house, it was a hit we could afford to take for a couple of years. My point is it was nothing to do with staying at home and everything to do with being a ft carer of my son.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 09:51:21

I think in fairness the poster who used the term SAHM brigade was referring to those who are calling for free childcare and changes to taxation to benefit them. It becomes quite clunky and cumbersome to have to define the group being written about each time!

Though I agree, that's the downside of acronyms, they tend to be a blunt tool to describe who we mean.

Can I just make it clear that when I have used the phrase 'some SAHM' I am referring only to those who are proposing they get the childcare help and want changes to taxation (and it is SAHM we've heard from in the media, not dads). I am very aware that this does not incoporate all SAHM, many of whom are content with their choice and do not expect free childcare just because some working parents get help.

KidderminsterKate Tue 02-Apr-13 09:56:15

well I've not heard any sahd s moaning about this...but I should have typed sahp...

Great, brill, glad you're enjoying what u I said I have no probs with other peoples choices but do resent people making excuses for that choice and finding probs where there are none.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:04:36

You sound like you have quite a few problems with anyone choosing to be SAH.

Yes what a radical idea ....parents wanting to look after their babies/very young children at home full time. All these people making excuses- what a disgrace!

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:05:26

Oh and do you actually know any SAHDs?

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:16:58

What a total non argument Goldenbear. People post saying 'live and let live; if you want to be a SAHP, fine; if you want to be a WOHP, fine'
And somehow you decipher from that, that these posters have issues with SAHP. Unbelievable!

I don't have any issue with people SAH if that's what they want. What I take issue with is when a minority of them want free childcare and a rewrite of tax rules.

And no, nothing radical about being a SAHP, just as there is nothing radical about being a WOHP. Horses for courses.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:20:41

Reductions in eligibility for benefits is just leading one way IMO - elimination of them altogether. We will reach a point where only the disenfranchised will be eligible for child benefit, child tax credits and then it will be taken away from them enitirely with little objection as they will be the only ones fighting to keep it.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:24:19

I was actually referring to Kidderminster Kate's response who was clearly being sarcastic with her remarks, 'Great, brill' bully BS stuff.

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 10:27:52

I haven't read anything from anyone on the page which indicates people have a problem with anyone choosing to be a SAHP. I think the issue is people wanting to get financial support from the benefits system and changing tax legislation etc. for choosing to SAH.

I still don't understand why some SAHP are complaining about childcare benfits. If you are at home, you don't need childcare support.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:31:24

And I have a problem with these comments, *fact is these people don't want to work, they want to stay at home.' er no, I am working it just doesn't have any monetary value. My home didn't need me to look after it full time but my baby did. I take my role very seriously with the teaching and care I provide, I don't plonk them in front of the tv and hope for the best. All the SAHP I know are very proactive in that role.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:33:47

That's what some people are worrying about. Personally I don't think it will come to that, I think it's about trying to restore welfare to its true purpose, because things have spiralled out of control, and the money simply isnt there. I worry more about the levels of debt we're passing on to our children and future generations

Anyway, the SAHM issue which has blown up in the media, including MN, has detracted from the issues and unfortunately has painted some SAHM in a bad light. Eg we've had on here SAHM with husbands earning in excess of 50k who are whining about losing CB, or complaining that if they were to apply for a hypothetical job, why haven't they got free childcare to attend the hypothetical interview.
And I make no apology for using the term 'whining' because these situations are a million miles away from the purpose of the welfare state and our predecessors would be squirming with embarrassment that this is what's become of the welfare state : that SAHM with high earning husbands are bemoaning their lot.

And to emphasise: I have nothing but respect for good parenting, whether it's done by SAHP or WOHP. That's not the issue here.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:35:02

Personally, I don't care about childcare vouchers but I don't presume I can talk for all SAHP. My point was a broader one regarding ultimately where this is going to end.

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 10:35:25

I've only glanced through this LittleChickpea and the OP's most recent comment

am pretty convinced we shouldn't be encouraging people to stay at home generally...

indicates to me that the OP does indeed have a problem with people SAH.

I don't think she's alone either despite initial claims from some that 'we should all do what works for us', when it comes down to supporting peoples choices people are less keen (on supporting SAHP).

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:36:01

That was in reply to goldenbears worry about benefits disappearing

And you really don't need to justify your decision- it wouldn't occur to me for a moment to assume youre plonking your child by the tv. Any more that I would assume that for any other child.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:38:50

I remember that post from littlechick, wasn't it talking in an economic context though? That there shouldn't be financial incentive to stay at home? That's very different to opposing peoples choice.

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 10:39:17

What concerns me more than the SAH issue, is the fact that families with a joint income of up to £300k will be able to claim this tax break 'benefit'.

Families where one partner earns less that £10k wont be able to claim it.

So low paid women families, the ones really struggling to juggle jobs/children/hours cut don't get it.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:41:58

Overall the changes are helping more working people, that's the crux.
And as has been said endlessly, dual earners have the massive cost of childcare which SAHP don't, therefore their needs are different.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:42:46

Yes I agree, the OP seemed to already have made her mind up. In fact I'm deeply suspicious of 'New' posters bringing up these topics casually but with a hint of bias, coincidentally, towards the political agenda of the day.

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 10:43:19

janey if it was really about

trying to restore welfare to its true purpose

Would it really be available to families where both earn up to £150k?

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 10:45:20


MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 10:46:50

The changes may well be helping more high earning working people.

Funny kind of benefit that where the lowest paid aren't entitled to it.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:56:18

I didn't say I did agree with it being available for dual earners up to 150k each. Personally I would want the cut off to be lower. Having said that, I imagine a couple both earning that amount would be looking at very expensive nanny- type childcare. Seeing as we've seen quite a few SAHM with high earning husbands saying they need to be home full time to facilitate their husbands career, it's fair to say that when a couple are both earning at that level they need a high degree of support for home and children. You also have to remember that however wrong it may seem that such a couple get help, it's in all our interests that we have (a small minority) of couples prepared to work at that level, because they pay a hell of a lot into the public coffers. If they turned round and said 'sod it, one of us will give up work and stay at home, it would actually be detrimental to the economy. So there's a danger of people cutting off their nose to spite their face here. I imagine there are very very few couples who both earn at that level, relative to the population as a whole, and frankly good luck to them, I wouldn't want that pressure so I'm not going to sit and be an armchair critic of them.

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 10:59:07

MmeThenardier I have no issue or problem with people choosing to SAH. If it's the right choice for their families then brilliant, go for it. But, yes I do have an issue with people expecting the Gov to found this lifestyle choice. Where in all this does parental responsibility to financially support our own DC come into it? Why are some people expecting others to get increased tax levels to pay for their choice?

The size of my family is and will be dependant on DF and I's financial circumstances because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure we financially support our family. Its not the states responsibility. Anyone including what additional financial income they may be able to get via the benefit system when planning or having a family would be fool hardy. I have said it before but it amounts to giving yourself a pay rise which can never be guaranteed.

The benefit system should be there to support those in most need and as a safety net for those that find themselves in a really bad place because of unforeseen circumstances.

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 10:59:43

I am utterly gobsmacked by some of the attitudes of SAHP on here (and in rl TBH). This is a tax break if you don't pay tax, you can't get a tax break simples. As for the idea you should get childcare to fill in application forms or attend interviews the mind boggles.

If a SAHP wants to reenter the workforce then the first thing they have absolutely got to have is the support of their WOHP

. Can these WOHP not look after their own dcs for a few hours (yes possibly at the weekend or in the evening) so the SAHP can fill in application which will presumably benefit the whole family ? Similarly interview dates are normally published fairly well in advance. I would have a v. poor opinion of anyone who would put themselves out to allow their life partner to attend an interview. These attitudes reinforce the sexist views that childcare is women's problem and that men don't have to concern themselves with it as long as they bring home the bacon.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 11:00:15

At the end of the day, before I throw criticism at a hypothetical couple each earning 150k, I'd ask myself 'do I want to trade places?'
The answer is no. I wouldn't want that level of pressure. We've heard from lots of women with husbands who earn far less, who still claim that they cannot work because their husbands job is so demanding. So hats off to any couple who can manage that.

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 11:00:34

Would not put themselves out obvs.

Bridgetbidet Tue 02-Apr-13 11:03:56

MmeThernardier, if they're earning under 10k then they will already be having their childcare paid for through tax credits.

Wallison Tue 02-Apr-13 11:09:55

It's not criticising the people who are earning £150k though - it's criticising the govt for allowing public money to go to them in the form of a state benefit. At a time when there are swingeing cuts being made across the board that will literally make some people homeless, break up families, cause increased levels of personal debt and so on, it's madness.

Wallison Tue 02-Apr-13 11:11:59

But bridgetbidet, that tax credit money has already been cut from 70% to 60%, and the full 70% was never available to people earning less than £10k anyway. Also, universal credit will see it cut still more. So people who earn less than £10k will be getting less financial help, while people who earn thirty times more than them will be getting more financial help. Funny kind of welfare system, don't you think?

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 11:14:06

And you think that is where we're at and where we are heading with the 'benefits system' do you- available to the most in need? Child benefit is going to be cut until the only people eligible for it will be those without a political voice, the socially excluded. Those who won't be loud enough in their protests when it is cut altogether. Ditto child tax credits.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 11:14:51

Littlechick having children and working is also a lifestyle choice.

It is well known how much childcare costs so perhaps it could be argued that wp should save before having dc.The amount of people not having children at all is rising,if we're going to waste money on tax breaks then perhaps those without children at all should be entitled to it.

The fact is many mothers and children are miserable at being separated and should be helped.Any mother who chooses to give up work hasn't taken the decision lightly.Being forced into work when your heart is breaking,your child miserable and conditioned from babyhood to just getting on with it is wrong.

Jesus 10 hours of childcare a day in shite buildings with limited attention,zero school holidays and upset seriously the op thinks all mothers should be forced into accepting this for their dc?

Sorry a life like that and missing my dc's early years entirely was not why I had children- so shoot,belittle and patronise me.hmm

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 11:24:11

I wouldn't choose what you describe for my children either square pebbles. I've ensured that they aren't stuck in shite buildings 10 hours a day getting zero attention and no fun . In fact I don't know any WOHP who opts for that lifestyle!
It really doesn't further any debate to just paint a horrible picture of some hypothetical day orphanage nursery. I mean, what's the point? I don't criticise what you do at home with your children, so why try to belittle how WOHP raise their children? My children are perfectly happy and well adjusted. As I'm sure yours are.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 11:34:21

Sahp and choosing to be a sahp is criticised.

Blindly ignoring the fact that what I posted is reality for many is wrong,utterly,utterly wrong.

The fact is babies and toddlers want their parents,security and familiarity.Being bundled out at all hours,spending hours institutionalised,little fresh air,little home comforts such as their own squishy sofa,having very little time with their family or to relax and do what they hell they want without other tiny people to compete against,zero down time,zero time to do homework properly,zero time to play freely with their own toys will make many miserable.Yes many will get used to it eventually but many won't and even those that do really we should be forcing that on all families?


I think not.

It isn't running down wp it's looking at what is best for all children and helping all parents.Ignoring the obvious to make a section of society feel better about their choices is below the belt and not in any child's best interest.

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 11:37:49

littlechick i completely agree with this
The benefit system should be there to support those in most need and as a safety net for those that find themselves in a really bad place because of unforeseen circumstances

which is why I find it surprising that low earners don't get this benefit and couples that earn £150K each do.

I have no idea how many people this applies to but I presume two GP's could clear this amount, or close to so its certainly not going to be that unusual. TBH I don't care how few people it is I don't think two very high earners should be eligible for benefits. Presumably the government doesn't either as they removed CB for those on over £60k.

And no, I have no criticism of these high earners either, well done to them.

So as I think wish was saying this is in fact a tax break, not a benefit. It is not really to help people back into work. Otherwise it would be aimed at low paid workers, those studying, volunteering, doing work experience.

Sounds like you're wrong about the childcare being paid bridget and the low paid are being screwed every step of the way.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 11:39:20

And let's not forget the reality for most children isn't top notch childcare,nannies,private schools,tuition,music holidays,expensive holidays to pick up the pieces but grind and a whole different reality.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 11:39:35


Just out of interest who do you think should look after a child when their sahp is attending an interview. Are they to take the child? Will companies provide a creche.
I don't want to work but if I did I don't know what I would do if I was offered an interview. I'm sure I'm not on my own here.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 11:44:40

More an interview I could get cover for but retraining,volunteering,studying,research all things needed if you've done the best for your individual children an taken time out not a hope in hell.

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 11:48:04

Squarepebbles yes having children and working is a lifestyle choice and it's a lifestyle choice I have chosen. And our children are happy, very well adjusted and I believe it has helped them develop their social and communication skills much more than if I had modicodled them. Not saying that children of SAHP don't develop these skills in the same way before I start getting lambasted for it. Its my opinion on my DC. And yes childcare costs are expensive and yes we did consider this before starting a family. We made sure we could afford it without Gov support. If you read some of the earlier posts you will see that I have acknowledge this already. The difference with tax breaks for WOHP and SAHP is the WOHP are still contributing financially to the UKs crippled economy so yes the Gov should support them because they need childcare, particularly those on low incomes. SAHP do not need childcare because they are at home providing the childcare.

People need to be responsible for the decisions they make. If you choose to be a SAHP then fine but people should make sure they can afford to do it and not rely on the benefit system. No one is been forced back to work. If people want to SAH then go for it, SAH just don't expect society to pay you for the pleasure.

And actually those people that don't have children and work, paying just as much tax as the rest of us should get some sort of break but they are the unheard voice in all this. Unfortunately because the country is in such a state they will be the last to ever get any sort of break. They really do have the hard end of the stick.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 11:49:44


Sorry, I didn't want to belittle all the other times a sahp might need childcare, I just thought of interviews as this makes me mad on so many peoples behalf.
My friend a sp does not get much notice when there is an interview. Her parents live abroad and her dd does not attend childcare. I would help when I could but depending when they are I may not be available either.

I totally agree with you post about reasons for having children. thanks

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 11:52:19

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to do now square pebbles. Guilt trip WOHP so that they feel bad about their life? (even though their children are perfectly happy and well adjusted and haven't simply 'got used to' some substandard level of care?
Do you want to make WOHP feel so bad that they 'see the light', and give up work? Is that what you need to make you feel secure about your choice?

I just think its really odd that anyone who is happy with their own choice would feel the need to belittle others how you do. I repeat- I wouldn't dream of criticising a SAHM for what she's doing or not doing in her daily routine. How strange that someone who is a SAHM feels able to criticise the upbringing of millions of children she doesn't even know!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:06


I have always been at home and never modicodled any of my dc grin. I find it strange that you suppose you would have done this yourself.
I don't think any life choice is more important than any other tbh, but find it strange there are so many wohp's who don't see it as a life choice.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 11:58:57

I agree with that last point morethan, because I don't think it's being a SAH or a WOH which makes a parent mollycoddle their kids. You're either going to be that sort of parent or not. I've known some parents - WOH and SAH who are terribly precious about their little darlings, so I think if youre going to be like that you'll do it anyway.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 12:02:40

Wasn't aimed at you

"Mollycoddling" ah being at home with a sahp is being mollycoddled now.hmm

Sorry little you're still being hypocritical if being a sahp is a lifestyle choice so is being a wp and in case you're unaware families with a sahp pay tax,often shed loads of it and in some cases more than those on an equal or less joint salary.

Many also sahp enable another parent to do the job they do whether it be forces families,those who have to do nights or strange shifts,those that have long week day hours etc,etc.Many parents simply have kids that would never enjoy childcare(kids and circumstances vary),some parents are carers or have SEN children,some live in shit areas with shit schools so need to make up the shortfall which long hours in daycare don't allow,some parents do it to help minimise family stress and help relationships etc,etc.

There are 101 reasons why parents are sahp but the over riding reason is simply because it is best for their children end of.The last I heard the needs of children(pre con dems)are pretty important so really as a society we should be supporting those that put the needs of their children first.

Now I think I'll go and mollycoddle my dc some more by taking them out for a ramble in the sun.hmm

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 12:05:37

Oh and Janey<whispers> you don't speak for all wp and your children don't speak for all children in daycare.

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 12:06:00

morethan why would you find it strange? I consider been there 24/7 modiculed. I guess it's interpretation of modiculed... grin

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:07:49

No one is asking you to justify the reasons people may want to stay at home. Just pointing out that an economy in crisis cannot afford to financially reward you for doing so. It's a simple case of

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:09:59

And no- I speak for MY children just as you should speak for yours square pebbles. With all due respect, YOU are the one carping on about all these millions of unhappy kids who you don't even know. The rest of us are bothered about our own.

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 12:11:52

square is absolutely right.

If this is a tax break to reward those who work and help the UK to recover its crippled economy (which is what I understand littlechick to be saying) then it should apply to those couples where one stays at home to allow the other to do long/unpredictable hours/work away/ work on short notice and (quite possibly) make an enormous contribution to the economy.

This is a genuine situation for many. Not just what some SAHM 'claim' littlechick!

So. tax break for the wealthy or benefit? Which is it?

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 12:14:04

But its amazing what an economy in crisis can afford janey... Tax breaks for those on £150k each.

Littlechick did you really just say that you consider SAHP to be mollycoddling?!!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 12:19:31


perhaps you are right, maybe being in the same house as your child 24/7 could be seen as being mollycoddled. To me its raising a child, being there for them, supporting, nurturing, educating, socialising. That doesn't make you over protective at all.
Not that I think a parent shouldn't outsource this and choose to work if they want to Its each to their own and a personal choice.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:22:55

MmeT - I said earlier, I'm not sure exactly where I stand on the cut off point for tax breaks.... But I do know that running the economy is a fine balancing act because really high earners need incentivising to do those really high pressure job (particularly when they do it as a dual earner couple without the advantages of a partner at home to facilitate it )

If you go down the route of not giving such people incentives, they'll end not doing it or taking their business elsewhere- which backfires because if disadvantages the economy. Look at what happens when tax rates are pushed ridiculously high, at times when really high earners or
business which generate lots of money end up paying practically Everything to the taxman. It doesn't make the country better off because these individuals and companies simply get pissed off with it and move elsewhere.
It's all a balancing act. We've seen policies for quite a few years now fwhich act as a DIS incentive to work -look where that's for us.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:24:17

Look where that's GOT us

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 12:24:39

Mmmm I think if you read my note you will see that I did acknowledge that been a WOHP is a lifestyle choice..

I am aware that one person in a relationship with a SAHP does pay tax not both of them. It also stacks that those joint incomes that earn more than a family with one SAHP will pay even more taxes. This argument has been had before on here so many times its becoming almost comic genius when it's raised over and over again. And those with both parents working also support each other thus enabling each other to work.. They too may both work away or one of them has to work away, work long hours, have stressful position in high pressure roles etc. But they make it work and find solutions so it works for their family. DF and I are one of those couples.

Regardless of whether the children enjoy childcare or not the point is, it is the parents responsibility to ensure they can financially provide/support their family before they start planning and having DC. It's parental responsibility and not Gov/society's responsibility..

Again I have already acknowledge that those parents with low income or unforeseen circumstances should get support (carers etc.)

And no i said I didn't say SAHP was modicodling, if you read my note...

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 12:25:15

Anyway, I'm off now to spend a fortune in town.
I've saved up my millions in benefit and going to relieve Wallis and Debenhams of much of their stock. I will be paying VAT and helping the economy.
I will then go down the pub, few drinks and a meal followed by a few cigs.
OMG you wohp's don't pay half as much tax, VAT and contribute to the economy half as much as us sahp's do. grin

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 12:26:36

'Mollycoddling'? Yes choosing to continue to care for my 9 month old baby, in person, full time, definitely led to him being mollycoddled?? Sarcasm aside I would imagine in some circumstances say when you have adopted children, that it might be important to 'over indulge' them in this way.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:29:20

Oh and morerthan- I agree that saying being at home all the time is mollycoddling is a sweeping generalisation. Though it's no more ridiculous than saying that those of us who outsource some aspects of childcare and domestic stuff are breeding a generation of miserable children- which has also been stated on here (not by you I hasten to add!)

It's a shame a small number of posters seem unable to debate a serious economic issue without degenerating into slagging off and belittling others choices

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:30:23

Enjoy your spree more than smile

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 12:38:21

Goldenbear I assume you are having a pop at me as you well know I have adopted childran. As I have said to you on other threads "sometimes silence is golden".. So as I have said to you on other threads I will now be avoiding any further debate with you...

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:41:29

Christ littlechick I didn't realise the context of that comment re adopted children. That was way below the belt- plain nastiness

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 12:45:15

I think from other threads we all know that goldbear can get like that when she has nothing else to say.

Yes it was a pop at me..

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 12:47:48

Now I shall see how this debate has developed later because I have to go and meet with a client (work) so our company can carrying on making profits and employing people across the country in a difficult trading environment... Paying those wages that support families purchase those goods and pay VAT wink

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:09:20

I suppose I'm trying to establish who I'm debating with here. As I really take issue with someone who is so egotistical that they are arguing essentially people should emulate their lifestyle choices as their way is the right way and at the same time not actually be genuinely living this way. I am really confused by someone who on other threads has contradicted themselves with regards to having DC.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:32:37

And this happened in the last thread I was on and Littlechickpea was on. She/he claimed they made it all work, I.e having a 'family' and both worked in demanding jobs by all accounts. I asked Little how exactly she/he did this, the details. LittleChickpea, won't divulge any of that info and says she is not debating with me anymore. Are her experiences relatable at all, does he/she have a nanny, is she/he talking about SAH with babies very young children and making that work with you both working in demanding, time consuming jobs or is she/he talking about older children which is a different thing to manage. I'm not going to listen to this preaching if it's largely removed from the truth. Conveniently Little has to disappear for her/his hugely demanding job when these tricky questions come up!

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:35:30

She said she's ttcing 1st child, aren't adopted DC your first?

come ON

don't drag rucks and disagreements all around the boards fgs

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 13:40:43

Why does littlechick need to explain how she runs her life to anyone? Why isn't it enough to Trust that she knows her children, her life style etc? We're not asking any SAHP to justify or explain their choices. Just be happy doing what you're doing. What works for one person doesnt work for another.

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 13:42:19

Golden bear this is my last message to you ever because I prefer to not communicate with people like you. Firstly you are aware that I have two adopted children and secondly you are aware that I only came onto MN because DF and I had fallen pregnant with our first child together which I mc. Now just because I didn't mention my adopted DC when I was mc means nothing.

Yes DF and I have successful careers in high pressure roles and we are both HR tax payers. But I don't need to explain myself to you. I am so irrated by your comment I felt I needed to respond before my meeting.

There is nothing you can write that will justified your idiotic and childish note earlier. Anyone can see you for what you are and you are now trying to claw your way out of a childish comment. I have no time for you and your BS.

Let's not forget it was you that was caught out right lying on the previous thread..

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:42:48

It's not about disagreements, it's about not wanting to be preached at and belittled about a subject someone is claiming to have insight into but in fact may not.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 13:47:22

No one is preaching at you to change your life though Goldenbear. You want to be a SAHM so be one- and let the rest of us enjoy our lives. I'm not asking you for a blow by blow account of your day, what you do with your kids, what they have for lunch etc etc- why would I? So why on earth would you need to know the minutiae of anyone else's life?

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:50:05

Janey, it's not about justifying lifestyle choices, something doesn't add up with any of this.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 13:52:31

You seemed to be complaining a minute ago that other people
We're expecting you to emulate them. I've seen no evidence of that. People are saying the opposite: live the life you choose and be happy with it.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:52:45

'Outright lying' little please explain?


if you think something is not adding up please take your concerns to MNHQ , email

a reminder of the rules for you

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:54:43

Basically I have issue with preaching that has no substance.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:56:22

I know the rules I've been posting on here since 2007!

well it does rather appear that you don't so please forgive me smile

Goldenbear Tue 02-Apr-13 13:58:29


Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 14:04:30

Janey there has been plenty of preaching and making of sahp justify their roles if you read back through the thread- plenty!

Suzietwo Tue 02-Apr-13 14:04:55

Some things: a) i don't think the gvnt has any place encouraging women to stay at home or return to work. We can make our own minds up
B) I don't think women need encouraging to stay at home. Our natural instinct after having a baby (hormones n stuff) tend to make us want to do so. They do tend to need additional encouragement to return to work place
C) personally I think working in some form or other is good for everyone. Keeps horizons and options open. And gives you a break from home. I recognise this is personal but does form my view expressed at (c) above. I am allowed to hold views.
D) I am new. I had a previous name of zoelda which you can look up if you like. You'll see a smattering of posts over a year or so but not many. You will find out I am trying to reduce my weight from 11 st to 10. I am halfway there.
E) my suspicion that mumsnet would be a hornets nest of hormones holds. I don't understand the need to be judgemental or unaccepting of other people's views and life choices. It stinks of insecurity.

Let the flaying begin

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 14:07:08

Morethan the other parent ! That's what we did and my dsis has recently done.If the other parent can't take 1/2 day out to support their partner then I think it is unlikely they would support them in the workplace.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 14:09:29

Err Suzie I think you need to read your own posts.confused

Suzietwo Tue 02-Apr-13 14:12:39

Probably but I'm on a train w 2%

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 14:20:14

Btw when I say we I mean exactly that my DH has taken time off for me to attend interviews and I have rearranged shifts to enable him to return to the workplace after SAH.

I have never suggested that people might not need some childcare to retrain.

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 14:25:56

Morethan I think we have been here before. You don't want to WOH which is of course your right. So why continually post about why you would find it difficult to do something you don't want to do anyway ?

Startail Tue 02-Apr-13 14:30:34

Because it's always my DH and My DCs, Higher rate tax and losing their Child benefit, that subsidise the choice of families to use childcare.

Subsidising childcare just allows companies, schools, the NHS and local councils to continue paying shit wages for a lot of the jobs women do.

ReallyTired Tue 02-Apr-13 14:44:43

"Subsidising childcare just allows companies, schools, the NHS and local councils to continue paying shit wages for a lot of the jobs women do. "

Such women won't have access to the childcare vouchers because they will probably be earning less than 10K if they are working part time.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 14:54:05

People use childcare to work. People who work contribute economically. There is also a wealth of evidence to show that women who remain in work, be it full or part time, during the period when children are small and childcare costs are high, are more likely to increase their earning potential in the future. Those are facts. Be a SAHP if you want- your choice- but don't complain that you your husband is subsiding the rest of the workforce because it isn't true.

The govt is interested in generating a healthy viable economy. It wouldn't be subsidising childcare if it was just to provide a nice little break for women- does anyone think the govt really care about that? Of course they don't. They are interested in economics. If it were better for the economy to have women out of the workplace you can bet your life they'd be chasing us out with incentives to keep us at home. So it's rather hard to see how anyone can genuinely believe that having a SAHP is somehow making some valuable contribution to public funds. They may well be making a valuable contribution to their own family's personal lifestyle, but let's not kid ourselves they are somehow 'paying ' for the rest of the workforce.

Suzietwo Tue 02-Apr-13 14:59:03

janey, i dont know how you can be arsed...!

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 15:09:19

grin grin

Suzietwo Tue 02-Apr-13 15:12:44

well good luck to yoU!

i came on here as i genuinely coulndt understnad why some poarents who didnt worked were in arms about a change which had fvck all to do with them

the replies have given me an answer and more importantly, an explanation!

think ill just google it next time

Wallison Tue 02-Apr-13 15:16:56

But this scheme is replacing existing childcare subsidies with a less generous provision and applying it to people who really don't need the money. Tax credits subsidised childcare. They've now been cut, and the replacement (universal credit) will cut that element still more. Childcare vouchers subsidised childcare. They have now been replaced with this tax break, which will leave middle earners worse off and top earners better off. Low earners will not benefit at all. So it isn't about subsidising childcare and helping the economy; rather it's about making sure the rich tory voters are kept sweet.

Bridgetbidet Tue 02-Apr-13 15:25:01

It is slightly simple maths sometimes though. What is the point of giving someone £500 to pay for their childs care when they could simply give it direct to the mother so she could do it herself?

The choice just isn't there, it doesn't make sense.

I am given that £500 for childcare, I would prefer to have it to stay home. At the moment I pay no tax with childcare vouchers (similar to this scheme) and my job could be freed up for someone who WOULD pay tax.

I don't understand what the point is of creating a situation where loads of people are working and paying no tax when you could pay them less money to stay home and tax the person doing the job in their place.

It doesn't make financial sense to force people back to work when they won't be contributing. Just give them the money to stay home if that's what they want.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Apr-13 15:34:14

Bridget, do you not see a long term value of that parent remaining in work, even if it costs the country something during the pre-school years? Because I'm pretty sure that's part of the government's calculations.

Bridgetbidet Tue 02-Apr-13 15:45:56

Why? Those skills would not be lost, other people would be doing the job. And otherwise the other person who was doing that job would not be in work so it's an exchange rather than a loss of a person in the workforce.

And the majority of these people would be people who had already been in the workforce for some years so would still have skills to return with.

And if the financial incentives are only there during pre-school years the majority would probably return when school started, as they do with mat leave currently.

If there is a cost to state for private childcare I don't see why that cost can't be used to support the parent at home as well.

It seems to me that the majority of people just lump SAHM in with lazy benefit claimants. For what it's worth I work part time and would love to stay home, it makes me very sad that my payments can only be used to pay for someone else to look after my child when it could be used for me to do it myself.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 15:49:08


It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about a long term value of both parents remaining in work.
There just aren't the jobs nor the hours to sustain this. That is why there are low income families with both parents working not paying tax and now losing their childcare subsidy. All this while the rich get richer.
Also it is a personal opinion if both parents remain working and in imo it isn't valuable to me.

jellybeans Tue 02-Apr-13 15:52:41

'It is slightly simple maths sometimes though. What is the point of giving someone £500 to pay for their childs care when they could simply give it direct to the mother so she could do it herself?'

I agree Bridget.

I also don't think Sweden is the utopia it is made out to be. Yes most women work (although often get more generous maternity leave) but often they are in lower paid jobs and have very high sick rates. Their attitude was to pull men back into the home and push women out to work. To me that is dictatorial. Forcing/pushing mothers into work is no better than pushing them into the home. It should be about choice. Each family to decide and enabled to choose.

Both parents working full time is not the best for all families. There are many combinations. So why does the government push for only that model? It automatically discriminates against lone parents for a start. Furthermore if the aim is to have both parents sharing the work/care then why not both work part time? That would be more progressive surely? So then it is obviously all about the money and childcare business and not about what is best for each family..

DH and I were both full time with DD1 and she was in full-time childcare. However DH has a much better paying job now but it involves extreme shift work and working away (hmm Whoever keeps bleating about that being no excuse not to work has no clue!). So for us it works out much better me being home especially as we now have 5DC. That example shows that dual income is not the best for everyone and doesn't always involve more taxes to the government either. Families also are not static, many WOHM/SAHM end up doing the opposite.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 15:54:26

I don't think anyone is lumping SAHM in with lazy benefit claimants at all!

Like I said earlier, the aim of the government is to improve the economy. If it were more cost effective to pay parents to stay at home, then they'd do it - they'd be actively chasing parents - no, mums probably! - out of the workplace. The fact that they don't is that overall the sums add up that keeping people in work is more cost effective.

You make it sound very simplistic Bridget - one woman stepping out of the workplace to become a SAHM and another person gratefully stepping in. What if the first woman likes being paid to be at home so much that when little Johnny starts school, she pops out another baby for another 5 years being paid a wage to be at home? What if when little Jenny starts school she pops out another? What if she doesn't really feel like starting work again even when they're all at school? What if we all decided it might be rather nice to receive a wage to stay at home? Who would pay for it?

These are genuine questions which I think if anyone who advocates 'wages for staying at home' has a responsibility to address.

abbyfromoz Tue 02-Apr-13 15:58:59

I don't see why mums who stay at home should be given more money towards childcare costs... They don't need to pay for childcare? (I 'm a SAHM) i just wish the UK was more like parts of Scandinavia with their ideas on childcare....

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 16:00:29


replying to your post.

Ok, some peoples partners work away, some peoples partners can't just take half a day off when it suits, some people don't have a partner, some people have no close or no extented family at all. Some people are completely on their own with their dc.
So I guess they are going to be allowed to attend interviews now, unless companies provide childcare.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 16:06:07


You might not like it but your scenario above is true for many a sahp.
I have made a career out of being paid to be a sahp and nothing is due to change for me with UC except I may have to look for work, which doesn't exist grin
The gov know there isn't the work but by their spin of it "paying to keep people in work" they are buttering up their voters. I am still going to receive the same amount of money, they are just changing the title.

Bridgetbidet Tue 02-Apr-13 16:08:53

It's not necessarily cost effective though. That's what I'm saying. In my case it's certainly not cost effective as they could pay me less to stay home than they pay me to go out to work.

I think rather than it being a case of cost effective for the government, it's cost effective for companies. Women are cheaper, having them in the workplace drives down wages. Having two parents working as the norm drives down wages. It used to be the norm that most families could survive on one wage, not anymore, we live in a low wage economy. I think pushing women into work is just an attempt to cover up just how low our wages are.

ReallyTired Tue 02-Apr-13 16:10:52

I think that high quality nursery provision is a benefit to children. In fact the goverant wants to extend the 15 hours provision to the lowest 40% of two year olds.

Surely if nursery care is so good for children then we need to look at ways to ensure that all children get the chance to go to nursery from the age of two.

When women step out of the work place a lot of skill and talent is lost. It is really hard to return to work and very few women earn as much as they did pre children.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 16:14:48

What do you propose then, morethan, to enable a SAHP to attend an interview? Can you give some practical suggestions? This is a genuine question as personally I have no objection to the state paying for childcare for someone to attend an interview (if the company doesn't already cover this in interview expenses, which some do)

I presume you would need a bank of registered, enhanced CRB checked childcare providers with space to take on children 'ad hoc'. How would this work, given that they have ratios to adhere to, and can't be expected to keep places unfilled on the off chance someone wants a place.

Secondly, do you think parents would be happy to use such an arrangement? I honestly think many of them would not be happy to leave their child without all the usual settling in.

I also think the point made earlier is that if it's genuinely such a problem for a SAHM to attend an interview, then really the interview is the tip of the iceberg - it's only going to get tougher, once you're in work, and juggling with all the issues which crop up as a WOHP with no family nearby.... sick children, sick childminder, sudden school closure for snow... All these things are very real issues for us WOHP too. Also, when I was working 3 days a week (which I did when my children were pre school age) I regularly needed to attend training which fell on my days off when my children werent booked into nursery. If the nursery was full on those days, well, tough. My solution was to build up a network of friends and neighbours so that in these events there was a reasonable chance I could call in a favour. And yes, that takes time and effort and it's reciprocal... I did various babysitting favours in return.

But to return to the point about interviews, which is the only scenario where I can see a SAHM possibly justifying paid childcare (because frankly you can do your job searching and application forms on line when the kids are in bed) - can anyone provide some practical AND economically viable suggestions as to how this would work?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 16:17:08


apologies, my last thread may have sounded goady. I didn't mean it to.
We just constantly hear about how the gov are making it cost effective to work and they are lying. If this was so they would be stopping mine and other sahp's money.
FWIW, I have taken the money and will continue to as long as I'm given it. I don't expect it though.
I do know that one comment that gets sahp's back up is when people (not you, I don't think) say that we expect the tax payer to pay. No we don't, but we do take the money as it would be madness to refuse.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 16:18:37

Ah right, cross posts there with your last one morethan smile - you aren't looking for work.

But I am still interested in any ideas for how the interview thing would work for SAHM who genuinely want to get back into the workplace.... I think many people have no problem in principle with the idea of covering childcare to enable them to attend interview... just not sure how it's workable.

KidderminsterKate Tue 02-Apr-13 16:20:12

ffs..... I am a lone parent of 5. One of them is not yet at school. I work full time and run my own business on the side. The children's father is unwell and unable to work so I get no maintenance or visitation. My parents live over an hour away and both work full time so they can't help much on day to day basis.

Yet somehow I have managed to attend interviews for a job.....get a job, get promoted and then change jobs.......if you want to sah then that is great but I get really really irritated when people say they have no choice but to sah for various reasons.

And the argument for giving everyone £500 is ridiculous. The sahp gets the 500.... the working parent will still have to find another 500 plus on top of that to pay for the remainder of the childcare bill.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 16:20:40

No worries ... it didn't come across as goady at all... I don't think anyone becomes a SAHM for the salary and career structure!!

ReallyTired Tue 02-Apr-13 16:21:53

I think that an interview is a bit of a red herring. Surely the SAHM is not Billetta Nomates and prehaps can ask a friend to baby sit.

If you are utterly sad and have no friends then prehaps you can use

Or alternatively there is the free 15 hours when your child is three years old.

I see no reason for the governant to provide subsidised childcare to SAHMs. However I object to a system that spends a fotune to prevent a tiny number of SAHMs getting subsidised childcare. It is nuts to spend pounds paying bureaucrats to save pennies.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 16:23:00


I don't know, it is a difficult one. Its like my friend, I could help out occasionally but it could take a lot of interviews in this climate to find suitable work.
Maybe some sort of emergency childcare provision, but I know this wouldn't always be possible due to ratio levels. Maybe vouchers for a given time like say 3 months, and for potential employers being more flexible in attending interviews. Although I know this could be hard if they are all held on one day, because the interviewer had that allocation. There surely has to be something though otherwise some will be discriminated against. They could even lose benefit if they don't turn up for interview.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 16:32:19

There is now a backlash re the Swedish utopia,tis not so good as it seems.

Re interviews for sahp,it has already been mentioned that it's not so much a one off interview but retraining,update training,volunteering,research,studying etc all of which need childcare for women or men to get back into the workplace.

Oh and sorry I don't buy the all 2 year olds needing childcare.If children are being raised in a normal environment then provision for 3 year olds is plenty.The vast maj of mums can provide what a nursery can and so much more for 2 year olds.

However those being raised in the few low literate vulnerable households that there are, nursery at 2 could benefit.This is exactly what the research says.It is only children from problem families that benefit from nursery at such a young age.

BooCanary Tue 02-Apr-13 16:38:43

Some people just want to moan about unfairness.

Our school has a free breakfast club, which is HUGELY helpful if you are working. Tbh the fact that it is free is of secondary importance to the fact that it exists (I would have real problems with my job if I wasn't able to get there until 9.30).

You wouldn't believe the number of SAHMs who have told me how unfair it is that the breakfast club is free, in fact a number of them have said that they would consider using it just to get the free breakfast for their DC,even though they didn't need it. I just don't understand. Why in gods name would you want to get your kids to school before 8am when you didn't need to, just to make a point and save the price of a piece of toast. And these are not poverty stricken people, these are people who are too bothered about what other people are getting that their not.

We could all grumble about things other people get that we don't. For example, I need to work as DH doesn't earn enough to support us all, and I could grumble about my friends whose DH earn loads (or who earn loads themselves). But I don't. Life isn't fair, and we should save our bickering and condemnation for the real fat cats.

BooCanary Tue 02-Apr-13 16:44:24

'Because it's always my DH and My DCs, Higher rate tax and losing their Child benefit, that subsidise the choice of families to use childcare'

Startail you do realise don't you that not all DHs are higher rate tax payers. In many families, both earners are on minimum wage, or not much above.

Sometimes reading these debates on MN, you'd think that the options re. SAHM/WOHM are:

*SAHM with higher rate tax payer DH, who doesn't need to work and disagrees with childcare.

*WOHM who want to 'farm out their children', so that they can both earn very slightly under the child benefit threshold, and take jobs from people who need them more.

FS - the vast majority are somewhere in the middle!

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 16:45:03

I don't think all 2 year olds need childcare... it's their parents who need it to enable them to work. And yes, mums do provide other things that nursery doesn't... luckily us WOHM know how to do that too. And - newsflash - so do dads!! I don't think nursery provides all sorts of things I can't do at home (though frankly action painting and a whole variety of pets including sheep and a goat were not my scene, so these were nice nursery 'extras' for my kids!) I simply found nursery a great experience alongside (NOT instead of) everything that is part and parcel of normal life

Now please don't feel obliged, anybody, to come back and tell me my children's nursery wasn't like that, really it was some dark dingy slum staffed by illiterates, which my children simply 'put up with' and 'got used to'. Because frankly it's going to make you look a bit desperate

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 16:52:24

Boo A free breakfast club? Is it a private school?

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 16:55:07

Totally agree reallytired

However I object to a system that spends a fotune to prevent a tiny number of SAHMs getting subsidised childcare.

Esp when in doing so they also prevent many families with a low earning partner getting the subsidy.

BooCanary Tue 02-Apr-13 16:56:39

I think its normal where we are Mme (Wales). Tbh I would have no problem paying - it is so essential for me, and I worry that one day the council will cut the funding and the whole thing will close. I would prefer it to be self-funding.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 17:05:22


There are some really horrible child care providers though to be fair. Round here they are dreadful dingy slums smile But I would never for one minute think they are all like this. The goat and sheep sound fab, I bet the dc loved them.

I can't remember now where I saw this but there are going to be free spaces for 2 year olds who come from families where the children will benefit from time away from their parents. So obviously its to socialise the dc of parents unable to do this, for whatever reason. I totally agree with this as its to benefit the dc.

I personally hardly used childcare, free or otherwise for the reasons above. One of my dc had the free pre school the others didn't go at all. However, that is not to say I don't think some other sahps need childcare for particular reasons.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:09:01

There are some dreadful schools around too more than.
Credit us WOHP with a bit of nouse. We don't shove them

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 17:15:11

tbh Boo I object to this. Where I am councils are cutting all manner of services such as library opening hours - just as an example. I don't think there is any place for 'free' breakfast club in the face of this. (Although I appreciate things may be different in your area)

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 17:19:31


Totally agree, your nursery sounded absolutely fab, if ours were any good I would have sent mine to at least the 15 hours pre school, but alas they are not good. I think its sad and they should all have the same standard, but they don't.
Oh and totally agree about schools, my dc went to several as moved a bit in their early childhood. Older 2 are completely through now but dd is 9.
She is H.ed though, not because school was rubbish hers was very good, in fact excellent with pastoral care.

BooCanary Tue 02-Apr-13 17:28:37

I personally think its bonkers too Mme. I would be happy to pay, and I would not be at all surprised it the funding was cut soon
But what I also think is bonkers is that (perfectly well-off) SAHP send their DCs to it just so they aren't missing out on the 'free-ness'. Why would you?
I would rather another hour in bed tbh!
People should be more worried about justness in the most general sense, rather than getting petty about every little thing they don't get that someone else does.

rustybusty Tue 02-Apr-13 18:05:58

Any children from familes with an income of £16190 will get a free 2 year old place

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 18:23:18


It doesn't apply to me but like to be aware is that £16190 and below?

SpectorL Tue 02-Apr-13 18:34:43

I personally don't understand why people who are at home need this money that is designed for childcare costs. I really don't. I don't have a problem with SAHMs sending their children to nursery or whatever when they are home (hell, I do it!) but I wouldn't expect the tax payer to fund it. If you need a break, pay for it.

I also don't understand the new Child Benefit rules- if this is what they wanted to do, why not say households who earn a certain amount- the SAH party go back to work or lose your child benefit. Would of thought that would of been easier myself because it works out at more or less the same (£20 a week)

I can understand it is difficult for people on JSA- but maybe the government needs to introduce something like long term claimants can have 15 free hours or something for them to actively seek work/volunteer? For most, however, I tend to find it is just excuses.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 18:40:44

Spector read the thread it as been explained why childcare is needed by sahp several times.

rustybusty Tue 02-Apr-13 18:44:09

Yes £16190 and below morethan. Those children will benefit the most from nursery care.

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 18:49:50

I didn't use a nursery for Ds. He went to a CM whose 4th child was 2 months older than him. He had breakfast, went on a school run. Then did playgroup 3 mornings a week, had a nap. Then got played with with her older dcs after school while she cooked tea.

I still think his time with her was similar to what he would have been doing with a SAHM of school age dcs.

Wishihadabs Tue 02-Apr-13 18:59:54

I didn't use a nursery for Ds. He went to a CM whose 4th child was 2 months older than him. He had breakfast, went on a school run. Then did playgroup 3 mornings a week, had a nap. Then got played with with her older dcs after school while she cooked tea.

I still think his time with her was similar to what he would have been doing with a SAHM of school age dcs.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Apr-13 19:09:47

Bridget, given that a high proportion of the country will become parents at some point, maybe the philosophy is that it's cheaper for them to remain in work than to provide retraining in a few years' time. Also, it would be wrong to say "oh there aren't enough jobs to go round today so let's act on that" when preschool years cover a five year horizon, in which time scale we may be out of recession.

I don't know comparative figures, but it is about more than the immediate relative costs.

Bridgetbidet Tue 02-Apr-13 19:39:47

Why would you need retraining for a job if you were only out of it for say, 3 years? We already have 1 years maternity leave with the minimum of retraining needed.

I'm sure people argued against maternity leave with exactly the same argument...

Incidentally when more women did stay at home with their children there wasn't a huge expense to retrain them, they may have gone into less senior jobs but we are always being told we need more people to fill those kind of jobs. And surely that's their choice.

lljkk Tue 02-Apr-13 19:42:48

In my field retraining after 3 yrs wouldn't be unusual.
But who's to say which form of retraining is valid enough to deserve subsidised childcare?

jellybeans Tue 02-Apr-13 19:46:53

I am not sure though whether the government want to eventually make ALL 2 year olds attend nursery. It wouldn't surprise me. I don't see any benefit from it, other than as childcare, until at least 2.5-3.

The thing is that Clegg etc. seem to love the Swedish model but they seem to want us to have just the 'bad bits' and not the 'good'. For example few if any babies under about 13-16 months are in daycare at all there yet many mothers cannot afford to take their full leave in the UK but would love more. Parents are entitled to 480 days of parental leave with some of that only for father/mother. The mother still usually takes most of it (up to 420 days i think). Also there is time allowed off for sick children (120 days per couple) and shorter more flexible work times allowed. Parents can reduce workload by 25% for example. Alternatively some parents can choose to have their leave anytime up until the child is 8. So they could have a day off a week until then or shorter hours instead.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Apr-13 19:47:45

Bridget, it seems from other posts on here that a 3-7 year SAHP gap does cause issues in returning to work.

Maternity leave is the length that it is as a balance between the needs of the employer and the needs of the employee. But you remain contracted to a specific employer.

Were there lots of women out of work for 3-7 years who went back in the past? Which period are you thinking of? My impression is that there used to be less after school care so school years didn't necessarily help but I could be wrong.

Bridgetbidet Tue 02-Apr-13 19:48:48

Anyway, I think the general argument is that mothers have to work because they have to be part of a cheap, flexible workforce. So no matter how much they want to stay home with their children they can't. Which is fucking sad to be honest.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 19:50:00

If you had another baby after 2 years,5 years out would be more usual.

Some parents like to get their dc settled into reception before going back to work.

Starting school,then coping with childcare before and after school is a lot to ask of any 4 year old.

janey68 Tue 02-Apr-13 20:30:44

Depends totally on the child and their prior experience.

LittleChickpea Tue 02-Apr-13 22:58:29

Ours coped well with it. They started with 2 full days and 3 half days at pre school at 3 then went full 5 days. In the first year the 3 afternoons not a pre school was spent with someone they knew very well.

I believe it's unfair to say/assume mothers are seen as cheap labour. With the way things are currently, it's jut an employers market. Lots of experienced and talented people out there at the moment and job security is high on their agenda. It doesn't matter if you are male/female or why there is a gap/break in CV (SAHP, career break to travel/study etc.) there is a lot of competition so taking a break is a risk for anyone ( male or female).

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 23:22:06


Just wanted to say, hope you are ok. There was no need for the bashing before. I don't agree with much you say quite often as we are totally different people, but that was too far. smile. What you have done for your dc is a completely selfless act and I know what it took for you to be able to do this. From one who knows, much respect to you.

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 07:33:49

morethan* thank you. I very much appreciate your note. You are right we don't agree on much but at least we can debate without it resulting in nasty attacks.. smile we need to have these debates so everyone at least understands how things impact and how others feel about issues. I think it's healthy.

I hope this doesn't mean you are going to start been soft on me wink

Goldenbear Wed 03-Apr-13 09:00:30

morethan, did you read any of what I said- my point was not about adoption and whether adoptees should be looked after by a SAHP. My point was trying to establish whether there was any truth to these claims. I have been debating with someone who is preaching about being a career mum and on other threads they are a career woman who is ttcing their first child. I don't want to be told, this is what you should do SAHP be like me, if the information is confusing and contradictory.

On a side note I don't think adopting is one of the most selfless acts you can do, even the best of parents deep down want a child. My Dad was adopted and would not describe his adoption as one of the most selfless acts his parents ever did.

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 10:16:16

Goldenbear you seem intent on harassing me and continue with the slightly stalking behaviour even after been asked to stop. As a result you have left me no option but to report your behaviour to MN. Hopefully they may be able to do something about your internet trolling.

This discussion is about the OPs question. My life, my family, what I choose to reveal on MN and how I choose to live my life is non of your business.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 10:40:11

I'm really struggling to see how goldenbear is stalking anyone.
Can we all please remember that this is a public discussion forum where people with different, often opposing opinions, will come to discuss, debate and air their views. Irritates me no end when someone uses a loaded word like 'stalking' out of context. And I speak as someone who has been stalked in real life, so I understand what the word actually means.

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 10:44:35

you haven't read the comments or seem the previous thread stepaway.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 10:46:37

Yes, I have.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 10:47:34

which part is 'stalking?''

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 11:00:43

I would say stalking and harassment is behaviour that is repeated and unwanted by the person it's directed at (in this case - me). Which this has and although it may seem normal to others when it is causing alarm to the intended target then I would class it as slightly stalking behaviour.. This doesn’t have to be in person. It can be via phone, text, internet (in this case). I have requested it stop on a number of occassions and continue with the discussion at hand, but it hasn't so I am unconfortable with it and have report it as such.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 11:02:05


In response to your post above. I was not the only person who found your comments to LittleChickpea out of order. You weren't trying to establish any fact but calling her a liar.
I probably have more common ground akin to your thinking than Chickpea and have so far not really agreed with many of her points. I do agree with many of yours. But I do not think it fair to treat people the way you have treated her.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 11:06:40

I'm still waiting to have the 'stalking' element explained?

Goldenbear Wed 03-Apr-13 11:12:29

I have read threads that are pertinent to me and the above poster has started them or written a lot of posts on them- I'm hardly going to forget the information she has divulged, hence the confusion.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Apr-13 11:15:21

Equally, I think she/he did the same I.e referred to another thread that I had posted on where I had been outed as a liar(apparently) by her. Is she stalking me- no I don't think so.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 11:17:03

people need to ignore or stepawayfromthescreen.
If you don't pour fuel on a fire, it won't burn.

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 11:21:44

Step I have made my point clear above and that's the end of this discussion on this particular topic as far as I am concerned. Whether you accept my reasons if your choice.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 11:27:38

The post upthread from Goldenbear was a disgraceful personal attack, which several of us objected to at the time. It doesn't matter what view you hold about how public money should be used : there is no excuse for a vicious personal attack. Also I have not seen any evidence on the thread that littlechick has told people they should emulate her, which is an accusation Goldenbear keeps making. Quite the opposite I'd say- quite a number of us have said time and time again that as WOHP we are not out to 'convert' anybody- each to their own, if you want to stay at home then fine.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Apr-13 11:37:09

'several'? Is that true? No Janey I didn't say that she told us to 'emulate' her, it is called inference.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 11:38:58

Ps- and the other thing this thread highlights to me is the total mistrust a few posters have about other people. They expect everyone to take their own posts at face value, but assume other people are lying. That's such a weird mindset. If someone posts that they are really happy as a SAHM and their children are thriving, then I accept that as true. Yet when a WOHM posts that she and her kids are happy, it seems 'acceptable' for a few posters to start questioning that- as if they know our children better than we do! Or they tell an anecdote about the dreadful nursery along their road - well, hello, why is that relevant to me?! It's like me telling an anecdote about mrs smith the SAHM down the road who smokes 40 a day and sticks her kids in front of the telly. Not relevant.
MN would be a better place if people worked on the basis that each of us know OUR family and OUR circumstances best. That should hold
True whatever ones personal view of the topic being discussed.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Apr-13 11:47:07

Well normally I would take at face value but it's the complete contradictions I'm struggling with, especially when they are suggesting that they have made it work really well.

Squarepebbles Wed 03-Apr-13 11:49:47

So Janey all Wp are happy,their children are happy and they have no wish for any help to be with their dc more?

Sorry don't buy that.

The vast maj I know want more home with their dc not less,feel they get no help and far too busy actually err working to spend the time you do on this thread arguing the need for 2x working parents and refusing to discuss what is in the best interests of many children.

Children have needs.These needs shouldn't be ignored in any discussion but because you don't like acknowledging the needs of young,growing children you think you can pick and choose what posters post.Well you can't particularly when re judging choices there are far more judging of the whinging,grasping SAHMs than wp's on this thread.

Squarepebbles Wed 03-Apr-13 11:52:10

Here's a thought why don't you close your laptop and go out in the sun with your dc,you're clearly doing buggar all work.

Tis exactly what I'm going to do-adios!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 11:52:37


Such true words buttttttt. Sorry, I do talk about some bad child care but merely in context to my own experience. I do always (I hope) add that its only around here I have witnessed this.
I think it is relevant when talking about childcare and options.
I don't like the sound of your Mrs Smith tbh grin

There's an interesting thread on chat about social class, its quite funny see you all soon.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:03:08

Squarepebbles- READ the posts!!
I am not claiming to know what all WOHP feel, I keep saying I know MY children, MY situation.
YOU are the one claiming to speak for other people! You're right about one thing though squarepebbles, I am doing buggar (sic) all work, because I'm taking some leave- yeap, we do get that in the world of work yknow grin

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:14:51

Morethan- oh I agree, perfectly valid to talk about your own experience if for example you've looked at childcare options and not found any suitable. If I were living in your area, I'd have a real dilemma if the nurseries were all not up to scratch- for me it would mean looking at other options eg child minder, going further afield with looking at nurseries or considering whether dh or me needed to give up our work as the solution. It certainly wouldn't be an easy decision any way you look at it, but of course however much someone enjoys their career, the childrens needs come first. I'm very glad not to have that dilemna anyway. Your posts are a far cry from square pebbles, who seems to think she speaks for all WOHP!!

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 12:23:46

is incredible how much time is devoted by busy, high powered full time working mums have to writing very long, frequent, detailed posts on discussion forums. And always on the same, same, same subject.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 12:26:23

And big LOLz @Janey for describing goldenbears posts as 'vicious and disgraceful!!!!! I'm still looking for the disgrace and the viciousness. Someone needs to direct me to it!

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 12:31:52

The elephant in the room in all these debates is what's good for the children. Nobody discusses that. Apparently this is a pesky side issue, irrelevant to the other bigger ishoos. I don't imagine there are very many, if any, children from normal, average homes, who'd be better off in daycare settings. This is the unspeakable elephant in the room, both here and in Westminster. A baby/small child is always going to be better off with one attachment figure, rather than sharing a key worker with several others. Always.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:32:01

I don't see what you find funny about her attack... Weird sense of humour. And you're worrying too much about other people finding time to post- perhaps some people just have good time management grin

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 12:33:09

and you can throw back as many pseudo intellectual rebuffs as you like, but in the end it's just imaginative semantics.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:35:11

It's not an elephant in the room at all. I have considered what is best for MY children (along with dh of course as he's their parent too)
I don't take it upon myself to decide for anyone else's children, because their own parents know them best.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all accept that parents know their own children best?

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 12:39:16

it is the elephant in the room. I've seen women referred to as complete fucking tossers on here because they say its better for a child to be at home with one attachment figure in the first 3 years. This is received professional wisdom from a wide variety of professionals. But it's so very very rarely debated in these discussions. The kids are often referred to as a pesky side issue, an irritating conundrum to be dealt with and negotiated around. The government do the same thing.

lljkk Wed 03-Apr-13 12:39:22

I always wonder how much Xenia's posts are worth, if she costed up value of her time spent typing them (for the pleasure of us parasitic ambitionless SAHMs).

Xenia's posting time on MN she probably writes off in her taxes as some kind of charitable donation. grin

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 12:42:26

How anyone can profess to know what is good for someone else's children, to understand the nuances of family relationships, extended family influences, people's work and personal relationships and the impact that the locate weave of all these things have on any individual child I don't know.

Just makes a lot of people look very stupid. And as I mention earlier, very insecure in their own decisions.

I work and am entirely confident that my children are well cared for and extremely happy. I respect parents who don't work if that's what suits them. Personally, I would hate it. And. A result of my personal view, I think people should be encouraged to work and given that option. So they can consider it in the round of everything else.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:42:38

Could you link to that received professional wisdom stepaway?

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 12:45:38

Incidentally, I just spent an hour on the phone to the leading child counsellor in the country, in a professional context. Guess what DIDN'T come up (and never does).... That's right, whether either parent works or stays at home with the kids.

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 12:46:32

What you lot don't know is that Xenia spends as much time here as she does on at least one offer forum....! Bless her.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 12:46:38

Doing the best thing for our kids is having one attachment figure there for the first 3 years. Going back to work full time when they are babies is fine (did it myself) and great for career stability/progression, but it's disingenuous to suggest that this is ever going to be the best thing for children. I don't know why we have to pretend that daycare is equal to a sahp. It isn't. (unless the home is abusive and the sahp crap)

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 12:47:47

That's what you think. I don't. Not do I care particularly.

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 12:48:46

Although on reflection I don't actually know wtf you mean by an attachment figure... Fewer books....more life...

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:51:14

Yes yes as know what you think, but how about linking to the received professional wisdom?

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:04:32
stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:04:49
Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 13:10:26

Google: substantiating insubstantial arguments since 2004

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:13:26

but I don't need an actual study or report or survey to tell me this.
It's common sense that a baby is always going to be better off and more secure with a parent rather than sharing their need with several other babies/children. When I hear people arguing that daycare is just as good as parental care, I am speechless. Also, can't potential adopters be turned down if they don't have a full time parent to look after baby in early years?

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:13:27

Yes, look, I can play that game too!! It's really easy! Player 1 just googles 'negative effects of daycare', then Player 2 googles 'positive effects of daycare'..... we could go on forever! LOL

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 13:18:40

Ooooo ooooo

What about large families?
Or stay at home parents with nannies?

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:19:34

you have too much time on your hands Janey!
I have this thing called a life.
I know how mumsnetters love a study, but like I said earlier, it's commonsense to argue that kids are better off at home.
It is the elephant in the room, as someone will always argue that daycare is as good if not better than a full time Mum/Dad. Usually from the perspective of what's best for career, never mind the small child.

Squarepebbles Wed 03-Apr-13 13:20:54

The only children daycare is beneficial for are those in vulnerable homes with poor literacy etc or if both parents would be utterly miserable caing for said child.

Forgive me for not clicking on "research" by the daycare trust.grin

As step has said it's common sense.

Why on earth would being in an institution,competing for attention with other babies from workers who don't love you,won't know you for long,are often poorly qualified etc would ever be preferable to care in a baby's own home by a loving parent is beyond me.It is obvious.

It's exactly the reason why researchers say care from grandparents is preferable to daycare or after that a nanny.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:23:37

absolutely pebbles! And at least I was willing to acknowledge this when I was working, instead of pretending they were just as well cared for in nursery as home. You're not allowed to say it. It's the elephant on the thread!

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:24:59

and at least I did paste from objective source material, LOL!!!

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 13:25:26

What I genuinely don't understand in this is why you give a crap. You have your views and live your life accordingly. Other people have theirs. Why try so doggedly to prove your way is the right way. And be so closed indeed to alternatives. Life is diverse both in this country and others. E,brace it.

If anything you should thank those who use child care for creating fvcked up little bunnies for your pre ions daughters to date in their teens.

Squarepebbles Wed 03-Apr-13 13:27:22

I give a crap because the gov are trying to foist it on everybody.

I give a crap because the shit will hit the fan eventually.

I give a crap because I want my dd to have a choice and not have to leave her baby in daycare with a broken heart and a lifetime of regret.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:27:49

Funny how you are quite happy to post but then accuse others of having too much time!!

Also from what you say, you were unhappy with the quality of care your children received when you worked, which has naturally coloured your view of things. That's fine to say so. What isn't fine is to assume that your own experience is true for every family.

If I had been going to work feeling that my children were getting a poorer deal than if I'd been at home, then I would have stopped working (or DH would). But this wasn't the case.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:31:32

yeah whatevs, kids don't want or need their parents, keyworkers just as good, nay better. Whatevs.

Suzietwo Wed 03-Apr-13 13:31:54

Projection. Your daughter may not want children. Or might go and join a commune

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 13:34:05

FFs there is good and bad childcare everywhere. I too experienced the bad, but know many people whose dc have had brilliant childcare.

Janey, I think your nursery sounded brilliant, a mini zoo going on there. As i posted before, I don't think ofsted is a good indicator of whether a particular provider is good or bad. We all want something different when it comes to childcare. If we can't find what we want, I think we are more likely to become a sahp if possible. That doesn't make that facility bad, it means it doesn't suit you. Although as previously stated our most local provider is on a par with Mrs Hannigans.

Squarepebbles Wed 03-Apr-13 13:35:23

Hmmm not going by what she thinks at the moment,it'll be her call either way.

I have 2 sons too.

I want the same choices for them.

Chances are one of them will make me a grandparent if the gov haven't sucked all possibility of the lower and middle classes being able to afford children let alone provide what they think and know is the best for them by then.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:36:13

Of course children need their parents. And a keyworker isn't a parent substitute at all.

Sorry that you had a bad experience with your own kids in childcare when you worked, but you're projecting your own experience and feelings onto the rest of us.

Bottom line is: you felt when you worked that your children were getting a less good deal. Fine. You are being honest to admit that

I didn't feel the same about my children. So unless you're actually accusing me (and thousands of other women ) of being liars, then I can't really see your point.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:39:37

I'm not accusing anyone of anything.
I'm not saying childcare is bad.
I use it.
Why I'm saying is that a good childcare provider is always inferior to a good sahp. There you go, bastard elephant is back on the thread again.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:39:38

morethan - good point about Ofsted not being a great indicator. Same with schools... DH is a governor at our local Primary and it's been a real eye opener to see what Ofsted are actually measuring and judging on.
There is no substitute for visits - plenty of them - also any decent nursery will encourage parents to drop in at all times. You also need to ask the questions YOU want answers to, not rely on an inspection report

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:40:03

what, not why!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 13:45:06


yes, I agree with you too. This is because I am a sahm for over 20+ years who believes there is no substitute for a loving, caring parent. These are my views and I understand that a wohm using childcare doesn't necessarily agree with that, otherwise they would be a sahm not using childcare either.
The thought of childcare when my dc were little literally made me sick, some may think this is mad, but its how I felt. You can't change the person you are whatever your views on working, childcare and raising children.

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 13:48:20

I am new to this forume (4/5 weeks). I don't expect people to agree with me and in fact it would be a dull place if they did. I respect peoples passion for their beliefs even if I don't agree with them. I hear/read a few comments which indicate that there may be a feeling of unfairness in the way the employment market approaches women. This unfairness seems to be relating to women not been able to get positions in more senior roles and/or have better earning potential etc. (putting aside ML/gap in employment aside). But at the same time there are a few people that then find it difficult that women (single or not) can be in senior positions and still have a happy/healthy/ballanced family life. Been able to balance the two is seen or comes across as been seen to be unbelieveable. Now my impression from some of the comments I have read may be incorrect and it would please me no end if my thoughts/perceptions are wrong.

If as women we can't celebrate or even accept that its possible for women to do this then how can we expect the wider industry to change their perception, if this exists. I celebrate women such as Dilma Rousseff (1 DC), Melinda Gates (3 DC), Jill Abramson (2 DC) and Christine Lagarde (2 DC), amongest hundereds of other sucessful women. But I do not expect others to think like me. I celebrate them because they prove that women can be high flyers and mothers. I have no issues with SAHP and good luck to them. Its not for me. Regarding this discussion my issue is complaining about childcare benefits not been SAHP.

janey68 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:58:37

morethan - you have written some eloquent posts and I completely respect your view that you wish to be a SAHM, but I think you are inaccurate in that post, because I would say as a WOHM I completely agree that there is no substitute for a loving caring parent. I don't think this is something WOHP disagree with. The point is, many WOHP are not expecting for, or looking for, a substitute parent.
What they are doing is weighing up everything - the fulfilment they get from various components of their life, being a parent, work etc, factoring in finances, pension etc,looking at the available childcare options and considering the needs of everyone in the family. They then make considered decisions AND (very importantly) regularly review them.

For me, working 3 days was the right solution. I would not have been happy working full time until my children were in school. But that does not mean mums who work full time are wrong... they are weighing up what is right for THEIR family.

I don't think it's mad that you felt sick at the thought of childcare... it was your feeling and genuine to you, who is anyone to judge that? But clearly, as you had such a strong emotional reaction, that was going to colour your view of going back to work at all. I didn't feel like that, I loved being with my children but equally did not want to let go of my career completely. So I looked at various childcare options. At this point, if the only available care to me had been the awful nursery local to you, then I would have had to re-think.

There are so many complexities to every individual situation that none of us can say a blanket 'this is the right way to do it'. None of us.

I just feel it's important to highlight that being a WOHP does not for a moment mean we are saying anything is a substitute for loving parenting, nor does it need to be. The fact is, many parents find working completely compatible with being a good, loving caring parent, and that fact needs to be respected as much as the fact that other parents find being at home right for them

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 14:15:51


Oh yes definitely a personal choice, there is certainly nothing wrong with woh when it suits yours and your families needs.
What I meant in my other post, which I really did not state eloquently smile

If all parents felt the same as I or others feel about childcare for their dc, then there would be nobody using childcare at all and they would all shut up shop. Meaning, of course childcare is good for many families and indeed good childcare exists. I think I'd have sent my dd to preschool at your mini zoo. Do your dc remember the animals still, I know they are older now.

However, it wasn't the bad childcare in my area that tinted my view as when our older 2 were little we lived hundreds of miles away from our present home. It was leaving them per se. I will even admit to that being a bit extreme actually, but I now know the reasons and it wasn't too bad. smile

I totally agree in that there is no right way to do it, and we all make well thought out decisions regarding our dc, or so I'd hope anyway.

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 14:16:38

WOHP does not for a moment mean we are saying anything is a substitute for loving parenting

Totally agree...

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 14:18:24

* Itotally agree in that there is no right way to do it, and we all make well thought out decisions regarding our dc, or so I'd hope anyway.*

totally agree with this too..

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 15:04:00


I think its amazing that the people you mention above (I'm a complete peasant and don't know who they are) have obviously been very successful in careers and mothers too.
I think many sahm's who don't, should acknowledge the determination of women to be able to achieve what they want in life, it must be hard enough without having your own sex gang up against you.
A high powered career was never for me, although I did have a successful business in a male dominated industry before dc. I was an entertainment consultant, agent childrens entertainer and DJ, earning more than this brilliant 42k I hear so much about, over 20 years ago. smile
Of course I could have continued post dc, if I had put my mind to it, but tbh I really didn't want to. I can totally understand that some women need to work for their own sanity as well as money, this is not a bad thing and obviously makes them a better person for it.
My one objection is people who think there way is best and all people should follow their lead.
It also saddens me that as women we fought so long to have a voice and it is our own sex that condemn our personal choices.

LittleChickpea Wed 03-Apr-13 18:37:22

morethan. Wow.. But you are happy with been a SAHP now and that's what maters.

it must be hard enough without having your own sex gang up against you. And It also saddens me that as women we fought so long to have a voice and it is our own sex that condemn our personal choices.

Not sure how it was prior to you becoming a SAHP but through my career women have been much more distructive to each other than men to women. It's such a shame that we fought so long for the right to have a voice, to choose our own path and to sit round a board table but we then viciously belittle each other.

Politically in many ways Morethan we will have some major disagreements and I so look forward to our debates in the future but I believe we have found common ground on some other points. It's a shame we can't all be like that. smile

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 19:13:51


Thanks for your lovely post, I'm not even sure we may disagree politically that much.
Yes I am happy as a sahm, but you never know that could change as our youngest 9 gets older. Obviously I wouldn't go into employment but may join dh in his business in some capacity. He has a music provision company/is a musician.
I suppose I have always known I had that get out clause if I ever needed it, and thats probably why I was happy as a sahm. I know it would be nearly impossible to get anywhere near a good income from an employer, after all these years. I do know I am lucky and tbh I only get annoyed at people who can only see £ signs rather than people and only their own point of view.
Will look forward to future debates.
Have you done the class survey on chat its quite funny, now?

jellybeans Wed 03-Apr-13 19:48:32

'The thought of childcare when my dc were little literally made me sick'

This is the same for me with my younger 3. I had 2 stillbirths and miscarriages before them and struggled through life threatening pregnancies and births with multiple problems and high risk (50%) of further stillbirths. There is no way on Earth I could have left them. I did manage to leave them at pre school though (age 3 for a few morning sessions a week) and the older ones have been to cubs and all normal things. I am better as they get older. My first DC was in full time childcare and it was a very good nursery. All mature staff with kids of their own. DD1 hated it though which didn't help. I felt terrible the whole time! Yet when my parents had her for 3 months before that i didn't feel bad at all so a lot depends on whether the child settles, some don't although most seem to. I had no choice at one stage, I was a teenage mum and we were very poor when we started off so both worked. So I have 'seen all angles' really.

Good that people are agreeing though that every family is different and knows what is best for their own. And that can change over time also.

I am happy SAH for now but at some point I may well want to WOH or volunteer or maybe I won't. Good that we have options though to do as we wish.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 03-Apr-13 20:23:19

Ah jellybeans, you have had a rough time over the past. I have no excuse for my behaviour but have likewise improved over the years. The older 2 went all through school and are well balanced for my peculiar behaviour. DD is 9 and H.ed but it has nothing to do with not letting go. smile

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