To disagree with 3/4 year old children having more childcare paid for

(1000 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 23-Sep-13 10:23:24

I feel the goverment should pay for education rather than childcare. 15 hours a week is enough to meet a child's educational needs for pre school. At a time of austerity, I feel there are bigger spending priorities. (Providing enough school places for children who are of complusory school age!)

If you choose to have chidlren then you should pay to look after them. I feel that labour's set of proposals are totally unaffordable and making the "banks" pay will damage the UK financial sector long term.

All these election bribes do not help the UK in the long term.

meditrina Mon 23-Sep-13 10:24:55

I thought it was meant to be Early Education, not "childcare".

PrimalLass Mon 23-Sep-13 10:26:44

25 hours would make it vastly easier for parents to work. The 15 hours make it almost impossible.

gamerchick Mon 23-Sep-13 10:26:53

All I heard there was 'if you breed em then you feed em' In a screechy voice. Was bizarre. [Hmm]

RobotHamster Mon 23-Sep-13 10:27:59

If I had access to more subsidised childcare I'd be able to afford to do more hours, and therefore pay more tax.

MyNameIsWinkly Mon 23-Sep-13 10:29:21

At a time of austerity it benefits the country to help young fit people (which parents of small children mainly are) be available to work. It also helps the children settle into early years education instead of doing it half assed. Call it an investment.

JedwardScissorhands Mon 23-Sep-13 10:31:45

It is in the economic interests of the country as a whole for parents to be able to go back to work. If people are out of the jobs market for a long time, it is hard to go back. This policy facilitates work. This is the first labour policy I have agreed with for some time.

Pinkpinot Mon 23-Sep-13 10:31:46

Can't believe I'm saying this, but this is trying to make it easier for parents( mothers) to work
Yes there are other areas that need funds, but childcare definitely needs attention

JedwardScissorhands Mon 23-Sep-13 10:32:42

I have family childcare, so this of no personal benefit to me, btw.

RobotHamster Mon 23-Sep-13 10:32:51

It will also enable more women to continue working, whereas the insane cost of childcare is often so much money that it's often more cost effective to stay home, especially if you have more than one child.

WilsonFrickett Mon 23-Sep-13 10:33:54

I take it your bigger spending priorities don't include paying benefits to families where people are perfectly capable of working, want to work, but can't find jobs to fit round 15 hours of childcare?

Personally I don't think it should be compulsory to use the extra hours, but if it helps families get out of the benefits trap, or simply gives a leg-up to families who already pay huge amounts for nurseries, then I'm all for it.

In my own situation, DS couldn't use his 15 hours at the school pre-school he attended, because the hours couldn't work with my job. (although of course we then qualified for a subsidy on his nursery charges) I think the school nursery would have been a better setting for him and would have perhaps picked up on his SNs more quickly. If I'd had 25 hours to work with, I could have made that happen - with 15 there was no way it could fit with work hours.

Dahlen Mon 23-Sep-13 10:36:52

I'm all for personal responsibility and not having children unless you have thought long and hard about how you are going to raise them, etc.

However, we live in a society. If you don't want people to live outside of the system, you have to help them to live within it.

Having children is a strong biological urge and ensures the survival of our species. It is not a lifestyle choice in the same way as choosing a career, living in London, etc, although the timing and number of children may be a reflection of lifestyle. There is certainly an argument for saying more than 1 or 2 is socially irresponsible if you know can't afford them, but unless you are prepared to stand up and say only the rich should have children, you have to accept that most people will need their society's support to become parents. Full-time childcare in the UK is out of the reach of most parents.

So unless you want to practice eugenics you have to provide support for childcare if you want parents to work.

RobotHamster Mon 23-Sep-13 10:37:48

I think it would be better if people could choose how to use the 15 hours. Many settings state that you can use a maximum of 3 a day, which isn't exactly helpful if you do (for example) compressed hours over 3 days like I do. We found a setting that would let us use 2 sessions a day, so 6 hours, which is much more useful for working parents.

noisytoys Mon 23-Sep-13 10:39:38

This is a brilliant idea. I work full time and take home no money after childcare is paid, some people pay to go to work after they have paid their childcare. This will at least make working worthwhile and will be a step in the right direction to making work pay. I think its right to give incentives to people in work rather than take away from people out of work.

ophelia275 Mon 23-Sep-13 10:40:23

It's quite obvious that Labour don't really have a clue and are just going to throw any populist policies out before the election in the hope that they will appeal, regardless of whether they are affordable or not, or put the country into even more unpayable debt. Miliband doesn't look like he can run a bath, nevermind the country.

gintastic Mon 23-Sep-13 10:41:59

I currently pay childcare for 3 children amounting to around £1000 per month. This would reduce the bill by about £120 per month, which would then be spent in the economy. I do worry about where the preschool places will come from though, the one my children attend actually only offers 24 hours anyway as they are not open Thursday or Friday afternoons. But I think childminders can offer the free hours now anyway?

pianodoodle Mon 23-Sep-13 10:42:51

All I heard there was 'if you breed em then you feed em' In a screechy voice. Was bizarre



FreudiansSlipper Mon 23-Sep-13 10:44:00

i think it is a great idea

it is a real struggle or many who are working to pay for childcare and that is just not fair wages should not just being spent on childcare

those that do not work still get 15 hours so their children can benefit from being in a nursery environment

78bunion Mon 23-Sep-13 10:44:53

If you need 8 - 10 hours a day for several under 5s it is pretty expensive. This is not likely going to have much of an impact if you are both out working from about 7.45am to 6pm every day as plenty of couples are with under 5s.

JCDenton Mon 23-Sep-13 10:45:56

It's quite obvious that Labour don't really have a clue and are just going to throw any populist policies out before the election in the hope that they will appeal, regardless of whether they are affordable or not

See also: every party not in power. Ibwas reading the Greens policies the other day and kept thinking 'that'd be nice, but how will you do it?'.

ReallyTired Mon 23-Sep-13 10:48:50

We have a primary school places crisis in the UK, surely that should take priority. In my areas primary school children are having to travel 2 miles to school because of a lack of places.

Childcare costs don't end when children leave pre school. Surely the money would be better spent on improving and increasing after school provision.

Our school has an afterschool club and the stupid new head has decided to limit the club to 24 places. (It used to have a maximum of 40 places) Now there aren't enough places for all the chidlren who need after school care and older primary (year 5 and year 6) school children are becoming latchkey kids or are being picked up by older siblings.

NoComet Mon 23-Sep-13 10:49:43

As a SAHM who wanted to spend time with her 3-4 year old, I say Balls to that!

I would far, far rather the government used the money to ensure all schools had affordable afternoon nursery and wrap round before and after school care.

Stop treating SAHM (and Dads) as second class citizens and trying to force us back to work. Give us affordable child care from 3-13 so we can choose to work when the time is right for our DCs and our family budgets!

JedwardScissorhands Mon 23-Sep-13 10:59:33

It wouldn't be mandatory, Starball! You could be a SAHM just like I could continue to use DM. I don't see how giving women (it is mainly women we're talking about) the option of free childcare equates to treating anyone who chooses not to use it as a second class citizen.

NoComet Mon 23-Sep-13 11:03:28

reallytired Xpost
Exactly the situation here, I'm stuck being a SAHM because I've been out of work too long.

Plenty of child care for 1-5 yearolds in nice nurseries and play schools, but very little for older DCs. It's a rural area, nursery catchments are huge (10 Mile radius for some). If they run after school clubs, they pick up from their village school 1/2 a mile down the road. No use at all for most of their preschool families.

Our primary got before/after school care the day DD2 entered Y7 angry before that the village had one massively oversubscribed CM.

So having no GPs or friends available to provide child care I was up a gum tree.

racmun Mon 23-Sep-13 11:04:16

Is it going to be education or childcare? The other week people were up in arms about children in the uk starting school to early- how does an extra 10 hours a week work with that.

I agree that what with the squeeze on primary school places the money would be better spent on addressing those issues.

MaryPoppinsBag Mon 23-Sep-13 11:05:09

I agree I think more needs to be about before and after school provision.

I say this as a CM trapped in this job (I like it most of the time) because there is only one other CM at my DC's school. And if I got another job I'd struggle for care and so would the 4 families whose children I care for after school.

If they are going to go ahead with it.
It needs to be able to be spent on childminder care as 25 hours at nursery would be too much for some children. And at that age they do benefit from a home from home environment.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 11:10:06

As an ex-nursery nurse, I think this is a fab idea. I've seen so many children, who would otherwise have been disadvantaged when they began school (due to SN, complex family life etc), thrive in a nursery setting and it is so beneficial for them. Early years education is not very well regarded but the planning and time that goes into it is quite remarkable.

Dahlen Mon 23-Sep-13 11:13:01

The thing is though, having a SAHP is a choice you can make even if childcare provision is there. Whereas if you want to go back to work and don't have a high-paying job or a high-earning partner, you can't.

I took minimal maternity leave and have used professional childcare all the time (no family). Even though childcare for school-age children is still problematic and expensive, it just does not compare at all to the costs of paying out for for a child of preschool age. I had to forego food and heating to pay my childcare bills when mine were under 4, whereas once they were in school it was more a case of forgetting about holidays, buying budget brands rather than more expensive ones, etc.

4-5 years is a long time to be stuck at home because you can't afford childcare when you really want to work or living on the breadline like that if you decide to do it anyway.

NoComet Mon 23-Sep-13 11:13:20

Jedward it treats SAHPs as second had citizens, because there is a patronising, unpleasent, lecturing tone in the way governments go on about helping hard working families which is totally hypocritical.

What the actually mean is, get ye to work! Then we can tax you, your DH and the (massively underpaid) woman providing you child care!

No acknowledgement at all of the massive amount of Tax DH already pays them, no adjustment for higher rate tax or CB on house hold income grounds. No simply a constant, unless drip drip drip of go back to work, go back to work.

Well actually, dear government, I'd quite like to, but it's not that simple.

NoComet Mon 23-Sep-13 11:14:20

Relentless drip drip

lainiekazan Mon 23-Sep-13 11:18:27

I just think there needs to be more to incentivise people (women) to work than some free childcare.

I was in The Works the other day and heard a woman come in about a job. The applicant was being rather belligerent saying that she would not work more than X hours because of her benefits. Apart from the fact that she sounded rude and entitled, you can't blame the woman because she was making an economic decision.

utreas Mon 23-Sep-13 11:22:25

YANBU Standard pre-election bribe to try and gain votes, best illustrated by it being funded by higher taxes on banks.

Tanith Mon 23-Sep-13 11:24:26

This isn't a new proposal - Labour's planned increase to 10 free sessions was one of the first things scrapped by the Coalition. 25 free hours is actually a cutdown from that, so I don't know where the accusations of vote-chasing come from.

It sounds good and I'd support it. My only concern is the funding. At the moment childcarers offering the free entitlement are forced to subsidise it because the funding isn't enough and it's not all passed on by the LAs.

We're struggling to provide the free places now: increasing the hours and not the funding will see a lot of settings either refuse to offer it or go out of business.

RobotHamster Mon 23-Sep-13 11:24:34

" I'm stuck being a SAHM because I've been out of work too long."

Maybe if there had been better, more affordable childcare then this kind of situation wouldn't be so common - women able to go back to work sooner, and wouldn't be in the situation you are now? Not saying this necessarily applies to you because everybody has a different reason for being a SAHP, but for parents who want to work and can't because childcare is so expensive, this will be a massive help.

RobotHamster Mon 23-Sep-13 11:27:53

Agree about before and after school provision for older children though. We're fine at the moment, but once DS gets to 8 or 9 I'm not sure what the options are around here for after school care confused

Nurseries are available (while expensive) there is the option there, and it's usually a relatively short-term expense, while I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with DS between 8 and 12yo? What about after that?

JemR234 Mon 23-Sep-13 11:31:56

Labour have also pledged guaranteed access to wraparound childcare for primary schoolchildren - from 8am to 6pm.

rollmeover Mon 23-Sep-13 11:34:05

Im a SAHM and I think its a great idea - it wouldnt make me go back to work but I certainly dont begrudge others who want to/need to work and are paying through the nose for childcare being helped by the system (as long as they dont take the current free hours off me ;)

ShadeofViolet Mon 23-Sep-13 11:45:54

Where will these places come from?

I am the chairperson of a playgroup. In our area, we have many parents who are the target of the 2 year funding, but there are not enough places available. Instead, the LA have been giving out grants for current providers to extend premises and provision to attract these 2 year olds. Many playgroups are only open in the mornings. Government see it as a way of cutting services elsewhere. For example they now want preschools to complete the two year checks, so in time there will be less need for trained HV.

This will help to line the pockets of day nurseries.

DuckToWater Mon 23-Sep-13 11:47:41

I think it's a great idea - this and free school meals. Although it means the better off get the benefit as well, things that are not means tested save vast amounts of money in administration costs. And the vast majority of parents (about 90/95%) do not fall into high income levels so it does benefit most children.

As for the argument as to why everyone should pay for children, in that case why should I pay for pensioners? Who use up the vast majority of the welfare budget in their state pensions, get free bus passes, fuel allowances and also account for most of the NHS budget? Plus the fact they benefitted from free education including university.

I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, of course we should all contribute to society and help one another.

BeCool Mon 23-Sep-13 11:49:25

"If you choose to have children then you should pay to look after them."

Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen to your world/society if people stopped having children? Society and life as we know it needs children - it's is a much much bigger picture than "if you can't afford them don't have them".

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 11:51:57

I have no problem with all DC of 3 and 4 getting 25 hours of free education a week. Childcare? No thanks.

magicberry Mon 23-Sep-13 12:01:53

"Labour have also pledged guaranteed access to wraparound childcare for primary schoolchildren - from 8am to 6pm."
I'd like to know where all the jobs are going to come from that make it worth leaving your child in school 50 hours a week. Because I can't think of many.

I think this is a great idea. We have spaced our family to avoid having two in FT childcare at the same time - I need to work full time (due to my income far exceeding my DP's, his job being too unpredicatable for him to work PT, my career stage, undertaking an MSc paid for my work etc etc - a million reasons. Oh, and actually I really love my job!).

This does not denegrate the role of SAHPs, but does support those for whom it is not an option. SAHPs would be able to use the sessions too surely, so it's not a disadvantage for their child if they choose to take them, but it is a huge advatage for parents who have to/choose to work.

This kind of initiative would have allowed us to have DC2 a little earlier, I think (currently cooking him/her at the minute).

lainiekazan Mon 23-Sep-13 12:06:09

Agree, Bonsoir.

The before/after school club at dd's school offers the stimulating entertainment of a dvd recorder with second-rate Disney film on a loop or a few colouring sheets. Those with energy to burn off scuffle in a heap in the middle of the hall floor.

When dd has had to attend on a handful of occasions I have found her sitting hunched on her coat in a corner looking mighty grumpy.

This school really struggles to find staff for the before/after school club. They are always advertising. And those they do find do not seem energetic or inspirational.

JemR234 Mon 23-Sep-13 12:13:02

Well access to wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm doesn't mean you have to use it in full - it just broadens your options. Because even working part time there are not all that many jobs that fit around school hours at either end of the day.

musicalfamily Mon 23-Sep-13 12:14:58

I would generally vote for a government that puts education, childcare and health at the heart of their agenda at the moment.

This is a bit of a vote spinner and only tackling such a minute part of the problem. I am in favour but I would not vote someone in on the back of it because I think it needs much more serious reform than just throwing in a few hours for 1 year. I also think school places is a huge issue that no government seem to want to think about, shame on them.

magic - 'access to' is different from 'must use'. For instance, I do all drops offs in the morning, but use after school club. Another parent would do the opposite, meaning access to care for the school is required from 8am-6pm. Also, I might only need it three days a week, another parent might need it the other two.

ReallyTired Mon 23-Sep-13 12:20:10

"Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen to your world/society if people stopped having children? Society and life as we know it needs children - it's is a much much bigger picture than "if you can't afford them don't have them"."

The world population is 7 billion. The human race is not in any danger of extinction. Frankly we need more population control across the world rather than less.

maddymoo25 Mon 23-Sep-13 12:20:22

Would be 100 percent for it !!!!

ReallyTired Mon 23-Sep-13 12:20:28

"Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen to your world/society if people stopped having children? Society and life as we know it needs children - it's is a much much bigger picture than "if you can't afford them don't have them"."

The world population is 7 billion. The human race is not in any danger of extinction. Frankly we need more population control across the world rather than less.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 23-Sep-13 12:30:14

Not a labour voter but its not their worst proposal and it begrudges me to say that.

I agree that parents should fund all their childrens costs be it childcare or food etc. However there are many that dont and see it as their right to have children regardless of who will be funding that choice. Children are a lifestyle choice, nobody is made to have them and contraception is freely available.

If we have to subsidise anything, it should be childcare. Far better to pay towards that for working parents than just to throw tax credits at people working or not. Scrap everything child related bar childcare assistance and people know if they have children that their budget needs to support that both now and should their circumstances change.

Those that want to stay home and not work can, providing their household income supports that choice, and those that work get a little support and pay taxes, the childcare provider pays taxes and eventually childcare wont be needed and the tax system will gain more.

However, i cant see labour getting rid or getting tough on the benefit system and believe the Tories will get through the next election. At least they believe in getting people to self support rather than relying on the state which can only improve things for future generations.

I think population control on a global scale, and the challenge of society supporting the education and welfare of young people on a local scale in the UK are quite different issues.

In our country, a large ageing population is a huge risk - we need an active and skilled workforce (of young people and their working age parents) to support the retired/elderly/increasingly ill ageing population.

soverylucky Mon 23-Sep-13 12:35:48

I can't decide. Perhaps that is because I missed out on this and I feel bitter?

Pigsmummy Mon 23-Sep-13 12:41:13

I think that it's a great help to try to get people to work where they couldn't with 15 hours. As a working Mum this will really help with the finances.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Mon 23-Sep-13 12:45:02

I am in favour. Child care is so expensive, people need help to stay in work.

Many other European countries offer free pre school, and it is viewed as both education and an active help for working parents.

My dc has hugely benefitted from going to nursery school (in Italy) and it certainly hasn't undermined our parental role.

Dahlen Mon 23-Sep-13 12:46:04

The trouble with population control is that everyone always thinks it is other people who should stop having children, not them. wink

For all those saying that Labour should focus on childcare for primary aged children, they have already stated that they will offer parents of primary school children guaranteed access to childcare from 8am to 6pm. So this isn't an either or scenario. I approve of it.

I agree though that we have a shortage of primary school places, the only solution to this would be to build more primary schools. I think personally whilst they are about it, they might like to build schools that can provide pre-school and nursery on site. Rather than LA and parents shovelling money into the private sector, I would prefer public tax payers money be spent on public provision. If public tax funded provision is good enough from 4-18 its good enough from 3 years.

Snowgirl1 Mon 23-Sep-13 12:52:17

It sounds great, but how are they going to fund it? They will probably tax me more, so as a family we won't benefit overall.

Frozenjellybeans Mon 23-Sep-13 12:58:43

25 hours free childcare would be bloody brilliant. Wraparound care before and after school would be a god sent! It is so tough for both parents to work with pre-school aged DCs when you have to pay £60.00 per day per child. We will definitely vote labour if they can promise this without changing the staff children ratio that is!

biryani Mon 23-Sep-13 13:04:36

Getting women into work, thus paying more tax, has always been a central plank of Labour policy. At least this is a proper commitment. However the need for affordable childcare does not disappear when the child starts school. In fact, for many, the need is more acute as school start and end times are non-negotiable.

Personally, I feel that the need of the child should be the priority. I do need believe that very young children need to be spending vast amounts of time in institutionalised education where there are few benefits. I think small children are far better off at home at this age.

I would prefer to see the money spent on developing a sound economy where everyone has the opportunity to earn money and pay tax in good quality work. We need to create apprenticeships and end the scandal of the zero hours contract.

This is a cheap vote-winner, in my opinion.

Tanith Mon 23-Sep-13 13:04:47

Shadeofviolet, I'm guessing the places will come from childminders.

They've recently opened up the funding so that childminders with a good or outstanding grade can access it, regardless of whether they are in a Network. Up until now, only childminders were restricted in this way, so more places have been immediately created.

Whether they will want to claim it once they realise how much work and money it could cost them remains to be seen hmm

littlemisswise Mon 23-Sep-13 13:05:08

I would much rather the money was spent ensuring disabled people could keep their benefits so you know, they could eat and heat their houses just a little bit, but no-one seems to care about that!

ringaringarosy Mon 23-Sep-13 13:10:21

its just for working parents isnt it?i think its a good idea,im a sahm and i dont want to work but i think its good for those that do.

ReallyTired Mon 23-Sep-13 13:12:41

" would much rather the money was spent ensuring disabled people could keep their benefits so you know, they could eat and heat their houses just a little bit, but no-one seems to care about that!"

100% agree. I would also like familes with disabled people to have access to respite. A family with severely disabled child would not be able to send their child to nursery for 25 hours a week because they would not be able to afford the necessary one to one support.

I feel that labour have a lot of empty promises.

The 15 hours people get at the moment is not enough to be able to go out to work. It makes more financial sense to mothers and to the government to give 25hrs as it gives them the abiltity to earn money and not recieve jobseekers or income support.

With so many places only offering mw in my area i'm pleased with this proposal should labour win the election as it will give me the time and money to go back to work when my unborn baby turns 3. I won't be able to afford childcare on mw and my dh works too so he cannot have the children as he works different hours each week.

cakeandcustard Mon 23-Sep-13 13:13:23

Why does the debate around working families always centre around childcare provision? I would rather the money was invested in promoting flexible working arrangements, shift working & working from home that would allow people to fully balance work & homelife.

When I had my DC I took a massive pay cut and went part time mainly so I could be at home for my kids more & when they started nursery they didn't have to do full time hours. I know this isn't an option for some people but I think most would welcome a bit more balance?

I thought the point of preschool funding was partly to get mothers parents back into work, but also because good Early Years provision reduces the attainment gap between the least and and most advantaged children.

If EY is so beneficial, then extending the funding to all 2yos, rather than just those in the target and pilot areas, would surely have more of an impact than increasing the sessions for those children already eligible?

SpottedDickandCustard Mon 23-Sep-13 13:25:49

f this is about keeping women in work then I'd like to see some funding for c/care and early years education for children aged 1-3.

The cost of childcare makes it so hard for mothers to go back after MAT leave. If the mother then gives up work due to c/care costs they will have been out of the workplace for 3 or 4 years by the time they get the 15 funded hours. Many employers will not employ a person who has been out of the workplace for that length of time and the mother may well have lost her (work) confidence.

Surely it would be better to offer some support before the child is 3?

I pay breakfast and a/school club for DS (6) and 3 full days nursery for DS2 (1) and this just about takes up all my wages. I am doing it because I like working and do not want to give up on my career. I know I will get 15/25 hours funding for DS2 when he reaches 3.5 but this is a loooooooooong way off.

I would rather have say 10 hours free childcare now plus 15 hours at 3.5 rather than nothing now and 25 hours when he turns 3.

It's not a "cheap vote winner". It's the norm in the rest of Europe.

I'm being forced to listen to Jeremy Vine at work and there are loads of callers phoning in with the usual:

"If you can't afford kids you shouldn't have them!"


"Why should I pay for other people's children?"


"Mothers should stay home with their children anyway!"

While on here, there's the usual: " This is just a way to force SAHMs into work!".

What all these people fail to realise is that:

a) these "kids that people can't afford" will be paying their pensions and wiping their arses when they're old.

b) people (mostly women) who are enabled to go back to work through this initiative will most likely, through long-term increased earning potential, pay back way more into the system than they take out

c) no-one is forcing SAHMs to do anything unless they want to.


I do see the arguments that money desperately needs to be spent on school places, and also on caring for the disabled/vulnerable (particularly enabling them to work if they are properly able (not "Atos able"). But where has Labour said that this will be their one and only policy? It's just one change, hopefully among many.

They've also said they will ensure better wrap-around care.

Aside from creating jobs and forcing every employer to pay a living wage, enabling parents to get back out to work without having to worry about extortionate childcare costs is one of the best ways I can think of to get the economy moving.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 13:26:59

"I would rather the money was invested in promoting flexible working arrangements, shift working & working from home that would allow people to fully balance work & homelife."

That's bonkers. This policy would ensure fairer access to early years education and support working parents. Many many jobs cannot be worked from home and many people would hate to work shifts.

DuelingFanjo Mon 23-Sep-13 13:27:44

lol at having to travel 2 miles to school. 2 miles is nothing.

Plus, as others have said, we're way behind the rest of Europe in the provision of quality State-funded, affordable childcare. Other countries see the benefit of enabling parents to work, I cannot fathom why there is always so much resistance here. I mean, it will benefit most people at some stage of their lives, and should benefit everyone in the long term as the national economy is more stable with parents (esp women) able to keep their careers on track without long breaks.

lachrymavitis Mon 23-Sep-13 13:31:21

YANBU. I would also prefer to see the finds go into the education system rather than childcare.
I am fed up that governments see no benefit in a parent staying at home to raise their children. At home mothers / fathers are invisible in this society because we don't directly pay tax. It is rubbish.

If you are working then you can afford to pay for childcare.

ReallyTired Mon 23-Sep-13 13:31:57

"lol at having to travel 2 miles to school. 2 miles is nothing."

2 miles is not nothing if you are four year old and your parents don't own a car. It is scandelous when there are 4 primaries within a one mile radius. Surely for the sake of the enviroment children should be allocated a primary close to their house.

"a) these "kids that people can't afford" will be paying their pensions and wiping their arses when they're old."

I am sure we can import immigrants to wipe our arses and pay for our state pensions when we are older. (Like we do now! British kids often regard low paid care work as beneath them!)

ButteryJam Mon 23-Sep-13 13:36:46

I think it is a great idea! I just wish it comes in and labour comes into government before my LO gets to that age!

ButteryJam Mon 23-Sep-13 13:37:52

Everyone, please vote for labour smile

lachrymavitis - what would you like the government to do about SAHPs? What costs do they have that they need help with? This isn't "free money" being given to working parents, at the end of the day it's a subsidy to help them with the extra costs they incur while being economically active. Plus, SAHPs also get these (currently) 15 or (future) 25 free hours.

So please, SAHPs, explain to me why you wail and moan that you're being neglected whenever working parents get a break that irrelevant to you?

I don't complain that I'm being "left out" or seen as invisible when other people get housing benefit or JSA, because it isn't relevant to me and I don't need it.

What on earth does it have to do with you if parents who need help with childcare costs actually get that help?

I agree Annie.

I don't work full time. I don't feel at all that by funding early years education the government is disrespecting my role as a parent.
Most children, even those with perfect sahparents, hugely benefit from good quality pre schools, where they experience diversity and new relationships and new games and different approaches to learning.

WilsonFrickett Mon 23-Sep-13 13:39:30

The disability argument above is a bit of a non-starter. Many children are disabled - targeted help for them at early years will be a godsend. Mahy parents are also disabled and will feel this move offers practical support.

Because it is seen as education, here in Italy nursery schools are free also for the children with sahp.

WilsonFrickett Mon 23-Sep-13 13:41:30

Also and I'm not sure if this has been mentioned in the news coverage - is it 25 weeks each week, or 25 weeks in school terms?

holidaysarenice Mon 23-Sep-13 13:45:26

These 25 hours are childcare not education. And available to families where all parents are working that is the difference.

15 hours education for all kids, extra 10 in childcare for those with working parents which I think is fair.

Tho waiting for the sahp to come on claiming its unfair on them. Remember the one on the tv at the last proposal?

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 13:46:28

Free, universal FT (eg 25 hours or thereabouts) nursery education from 3 will soon be the Western norm. That's the way the world is going - this is hardly a revolution, providing it is education in classrooms, with teachers, and not childcare.

lljkk Mon 23-Sep-13 13:47:22

I'm with SoVeryLucky.
youngest DS will get free meals in yr2 (if he eats them). That's extent of our benefit from recent announcements.

cleoowen Mon 23-Sep-13 13:48:46

I think it's a good idea, after I have another dc it will be pointless me returning to work with the price of two children. I think it gets people back into work which would help the economy.

However, it is spending money to solve a problem which could be solved by simply lowering the cost of childcare. That would have the same results at a cheaper rate.

holidays, there's been one already. hmm

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 13:50:23

Sahp have explained several times before how they're struggling on one salary often on less money yet they pay more tax on equivalent household income and lose more CB.

I would like CB cuts to be on joint income so sahp aren't penalised and I'd like couples with a sahp to be able to have the same double tax threshold.

I also think all help with childcare should be limited to two children and means tested on joint household income.

Just why should the tax payer or anybody else fund childcare and school meals for those that choose to have 3,4 or 5 kids and who are more than capable of paying for their children themselves?Plenty of families stick at 2 in order to be prudent,why should they fund those that have 3 or 4 kids then moan how much childcare is?

greenbananas Mon 23-Sep-13 13:50:38

To all those saying they would rather see the money go to "education", rather than "childcare":

All childcare settings MUST follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This already applies to all nurseries, preschools and childminders.

The EYFS is very play based, but there are clear guidelines for planning educational activities and assessing children's learning and general development. Childminders do this as well as nurseries and preschools.

So - for children this age, more "childcare" is (or should be) exactly the same thing as the excellent play-based education currently available in the best schools.

(unless of course, you want your children hot-housed and reading flashcards etc. at the age of 2 years old... and no decent school will do that any more because it has been proven time and time again that children learn much better through carefully managed play at this age - hence the requirement fr all settings to follow the EYFS.)

FitzgeraldProtagonist Mon 23-Sep-13 13:52:42

Is a dream come true for me. Could get meaningful lower waged work that means I wouldn't be operating at a loss, would be contributing towards taxes, would not be cuntlodging [shurely the female eqiv of cocklodging] off new partner making him responsible for DC childcare costs as higher earner, less of a career gap, less risk of not being able to get back to work after maternity.

cakeandcustard Mon 23-Sep-13 13:54:36

candy its not completely bonkers, the long hours, presenteeism culture we have at the moment is not conducive to a happy home life, there's lots of research knocking about that if workers can achieve a better work life balance they are happier in their jobs & more productive.

I'm also not convinced that extra childcare for 3 year olds is necessarily best for them either. A way in which parents can earn enough to live on with the ability to spend more time with their children, especially in the early years is surely the ideal?

Wordsmith Mon 23-Sep-13 13:56:35

Well said AnnieLobeseder. There were plenty of similar comments on the R5 Live phone in this morning - luckily I was in a position where I could switch off the radio grin.

This policy is designed to support working parents. There is no need for stay at home parents to have 25 hrs of childcare per week, although it would mean that many of them who want to work now can. Why do people say it's punishing SAHPs? How does it make them any worse off? Any increase in tax expenditure comes from everyone who pays tax - and by enabling more parents to go out to work, the tax take will rise - why is this so difficult to understand?

If you want to and can afford to stay at home - great! You can still access 15 hrs of free childcare to give you a break and improve your children's life chances. And if you want to make it financially easier, why not start shouting about a transferrable tax allowance, so your partner can claim your unused tax allowance and earn another approx £10K a year tax free? That would be much more equitable than slapping down people who need or want to go out to work.

Retropear - well, I could make the argument that staying at home is a luxury, and why should my tax money fund another parent's choice to stay home if they can't afford to? Much the same argument as people not wanting to "fund" childcare.

But at the end of the day, while the proposals you make about CB and tax breaks are fair, they have no relevance to this policy.

So it seems pointless to me to object to one policy simply because you favour another, when there's absolutely no reason why both couldn't be put in place. It's not either/or.

greenbananas Mon 23-Sep-13 13:59:01

And, even though I am a SAHM by choice, I am hugely in favour of increasing the number of childcare hours available. I see lots of parents who are unable to work, trapped in poverty and unable to make improvements to the family budget or lifestyle because they can't afford the childcare costs.

And to those of you who say people who can't afford childcare costs shouldn't have children... I suppose you are all either SAHMs with high-earning partners or high-earning folk with secure jobs yourselves. Plese try to imagine what life might be like for other folk. Some of you are dangerously near to saying that the poor aren't fit to have children... (I seem to remember reading that Hitler had the same idea!)

FitzgeraldProtagonist Mon 23-Sep-13 13:59:28

Brilliant change actually. Pretty much all the others (CB) have fucked me, so school dinners and this combined would make an enormous ability to my work capability. Because I want to work, and I want that sacrifice to pay. Wasn't there a study that said if all women worked growth wou,d massively accelerate recently? Is this not a sensible the only remaining way way out of recession! We cant cut back anymore therfore must make more money!

holidaysarenice Mon 23-Sep-13 14:02:16

annie oops there wasn't when I started that post but got disrupted before pressing post!!

I love the sahp brigade who tell me that they should x and y because they struggle on one wage. Well this time they have a choice, they get a job they'll get this benefit.

If they refuse (as they are free to do) then they are making the choice to stay at home and thus struggle. That is their choice and not everyone else's repsonsibility.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Mon 23-Sep-13 14:02:16

Great post, greenbananas and I want to vote for wordsmith

lachrymavitis The problem for many families seems to be that two wages are needed where once one would have sufficed. For many the choice is work for nothing after paying childcare or not to work. I couldn't afford to work and I couldn't afford not to.

Labour have also said they are going to tackle the problems of the low wage economy by increasing the NMW and tackling zero hrs contracts.

It seems to me:

If you accept that some pre-school care/education is beneficial to children when this takes place in a socialised setting then it follows that provision for this should be made available because it is good for children.

If you believe in trying to strike a balance btw home and work, family and material necessity then it would follow that we need more people working, even better more able to work fewer hrs.

If you think that men should be more involved in childcare and it shouldn't just fall on women to do all of it, then it would follow that we need to create the conditions in which women can work.

There are two ways of socialising both the care of the elderly, domestic work and childcare

1) through progressive taxation and allocation of free childcare, state provided care for the elderly etc, freeing women to work for wages and pay tax.

2) up the minimum wage to a rate that would support a family on one wage (much as it was btw 1948-1970) and women stay home and undertake this unpaid but still subsided work. For it was still subsidised because the actual family income allowed her to do this unpaid work.

The fact is though, the reason we are even in this cost of living/childcare predicament is because the private sector wanted two workers for the price of one, this increased corporate profits. I think women think that they should be back slapping each other for the great advancement of women's rights, nah we only won our right to work because of the economic conditions prevalent at that time and because women could be paid less. If women had held their nerve in the first place by demanding : wages for housework/childcare & the same wage rates as their male counterparts, we wouldn't even be discussing this.

Money from my taxes goes to fund all sorts of things, doesn't it? I don't drive, and yet, my taxes are also used to maintain roads etc. So, the argument against funding childcare because there are people who don't have children, well, hmm...

I agree, with "education" I meant learning through play etc

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 14:15:48

They are relevant Annie as working parents have justified the unfairness re CB and tax as they pay childcare well that is fine but if that help was to be increased even more then sorry there is no justification for the unfairness and if all are to be on a level playing field then they need to be sorted otherwise families with a sahp are going to be far worse off and many who want to have one just won't be able to.

My dp funds me staying at home thanks,not the taxpayer.We saved in order for us to do it on just at the time on a teacher's salary and the IT equivalent giving up holidays etc to do so.You know families planning to go back to work could do the same.I support my dp in stressful job and my family benefit from my being at home.

It's not about stopping people from having children but being realistic.We don't as a country have the money to fund people having unlimited children(I think CB should stop at to too and I have 3,twins) and why should we?

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 14:17:14

There are a few comments on here saying that free child care is the norm in the rest of Europe. I agree that is true. However, in the rest of Europe, it is also the norm to tax families as a joint family unit as opposed to individually as they do here. Then you wouldn't end up with the unfair discrepancies of paying CB to families earning a lot more than other families who are losing it. I'm all for doing what the rest of Europe does, as long as we can adopt all of their family policies and not just the ones people want to pick and choose from.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 14:19:52

cakeandcustard You ignored my question about people who cannot work from home; nurses, care workers, retail assistants etc. It all seems fine for people with nice office jobs but the practicalities are bonkers. I am a student social worker - I cannot have remote access to the system due to data protection. Never mind eh, the person desperate for respite will have to wait because I want a nice home life!

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 14:24:38

I also think that while policies like this will be of great benefit to many families, all governments refuse to tackle the underlying problems which is the huge cost of housing. I've read so many threads on here recently about families being forced out of their homes by land lords, it makes me so cross. We need lower rents, more social housing and a reduction in house prices generally. Perhaps if we could pay a reasonable price to keep a roof over our heads, we wouldn't necessarily need round the clock child care. The housing situation in this country is a disgrace, but I notice that all political parties are eerily silent on this issue hmm

AnnieLobeseder said "What all these people fail to realise is that a) these 'kids that people can't afford' will be paying their pensions and wiping their arses when they're old.

Not true, or at least unlikely to be true. First off, I have been paying my National Insurance for 20 years so far, have no kids, so if I live to a very old age and require someone to wipe my arse, I will have paid for it already. Secondly, the way the finances of the UK are going, I will probably be in my mid-70s by the time I can afford to retire, there will probably be no state pension by then (as the Govt are making all employers introduce workplace pensions - to which we employees MUST contribute on top of our existing NI contributions) and again, I will have paid for that by 50-plus years of contributions.

My parents could barely afford to have one child, so they had me and stopped at that. They felt it was unfair to expect others to subsidise a choice. Yes, we need to keep the species going, and I don't mind contributing to a society that is fair. Unfortunately, I think it's becoming more unfair. I'm not saying we shouldn't all contribute. But I think there needs to be much more joined-up thinking and less ideas that are merely there to gain votes.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 14:30:42

Exactly George soooooo many parents would like to cut hours,have periods with a sahp but nothing,absolutely nothing is done to facilitate that.

Cutting housing costs would help as would couples(not just marrieds) having the double tax threshold and CB.Nobody seems to think of other creative ideas.

ihategeorgeosborne, yes they are I agree. Isn't it because capitalism requires a compound 3% growth rate. Housing bubbles and the financial services industry is what keeps the wheels on. No growth means crisis.

I think it's a great initiative ...

Very Win/Win/Win

1 Parents, especially mothers, will be enabled to work (25 hrs much more useful than 15) especially when considered alongside proposal for guaranteed access to childcare from 8-6 linked to primary schools.

2 Children will get more early years education

3 Benefits for mothers and children will bring benefits to society, both economically and socially, and both now and in future generations.

And maybe an extra win for me as a job seeking early years professional smile

DuelingFanjo Mon 23-Sep-13 14:37:37

I have a nice office job and can't work from home either.

I do think making companies offer fully flexible hours/homeworking and more job-shares would also help. Yes, it won't help everyone, but people saying "no, cos my job is purely office-based" is just like the SAHMS objecting to childcare subsidies; just because it won't benefit you, doesn't mean it should be denied to others who would benefit.

My job can't be done out of the lab, but I can clearly see the benefit to other families of being more able to tag-team parent and work hours with less overlap, so one can do before-school care and the other do after-school.

Annie - the problem with flexible hours is how it works if EVERYONE in a dept is a parent. Who takes priority? My ex used to work in a legal dept and all were parents except her. Who was expected to stay and work late? The non-parent. Who got priority for holiday dates and time off over Christmas? The parents. Because "it doesn't matter, does it, you don't have to rush home to kids, and Christmas is a time for families"

Well, two people can be a family also. And some non-parents actually look after elderly parents and I think they deserve the same flexibility of working arrangements.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 14:52:30

Keeps the wheels on for who though Elizabeta? As far as I can see high house prices have only benefited the banks and the people with high assets. For most of us, the wheels came off a long time ago and most people have just been bumping along on their arses for a while now. Capitalism only works for the already rich, the rest of us see no benefit. Growth fueled on housing booms is not growth, it's debt, which is why we are in the mess we are in. However, good old Georgie boy wants to stoke it all up again just in time for 2015. When it all comes crashing down, he'll be long gone with all his assets. The political classes really don't give a shit about us. Policies like this are used to try and make people feel like they are getting something, when the fact is, they wouldn't need it if they weren't being so shafted in the first place.

DoItTooJulia Mon 23-Sep-13 14:53:12

So. Where I live there are two schools. Both have pre schools. One offers the free 15 hours across either mornings or afternoons, 2.5 hours per day.

The other offers them as full days mon and tues and weds am. Or pm weds and all day Thursday and Friday.

The second system is so much better to facilitate working. The difference is the school pickup the lunchtime bill, one hour a day. A simple change so that all preschools could offer this system would be brilliant.

cakeandcustard Mon 23-Sep-13 14:54:41

candy my friends a social worker and she uses a VPN to access the database from home. I know a nurse who arranges her shifts around her partners so someone is home for the kids, its not impossible at all, it just takes a bit of imagination.

ihategeorgeosborne absolutely.

anaotchan Mon 23-Sep-13 14:55:31

The thing is, it's not just a help to parents, it's also a much-needed answer to gender inequalities.

The fact is, the prohibitive cost of childcare means that women stay at home to take care of the children. It's women who lose out on the career progression, salary progression, etc, and then have a hard time going back to work once the children are grown up. Oh and it's women who get discriminated again by hiring employers who assume they'll probably quit their job or go part-time to take care of future children.

It has huge financial implications long-term, that women bear the brunt of.

Of course in an idea world men and women would share childcare equally and the professional/financial sacrifice would be equally distributed, only that's just not the case in the world we live in sad

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 14:57:49

Many local authorities (and indeed other agencies) will not allow you remote access, so do not patronise me with using "imagination".

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 14:58:44

anotchan I wish I could like your post.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 14:59:15

Elizabeta smile

cakeandcustard Mon 23-Sep-13 14:59:31

For that matter I was brought up by a social worker and she was always there to pick us up from school.

There are some jobs where it would be difficult, but we need to move away from the male-oriented capitalist model of everyone in work 8am - 6pm for the profits of big companies and acknowledge that there are other ways of organising society.

It seems that the more they follow policies which enable both parents to work full time the more the price of living goes up and everyone is working their fingers to the bone to scrape by.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 15:00:20

Actually, having thought on this further, I wonder of those people who are anti this potential policy are SAHMs or those who could otherwise afford the extortionate nursery fees. Encouraging parents to work is a good thing!

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 15:02:08

cakeandcustard So what? Many people in many professions work part time. The whole world does not revolve around parents.

Candy "The whole world does not revolve around parents"

Sometimes, I think it's going that way.....

anaotchan Mon 23-Sep-13 15:05:26

thank you candy blush... it is an issue that gets my blood boiling a bit, because the gender inequality angle is very rarely mentioned in the media.

gordyslovesheep Mon 23-Sep-13 15:06:09

We could afford all three kids when we had them ...then we became me. Without support via tax credits I would be a lone parent on benefits. With support I am the same working tax payer I have been for the past 20+ years.

It's not as simple as don't have kids you can't afford. People die people leave, businesses close, people lose their jobs...

VoiceofUnreason - where did I say only parents should get flexible working? Places of work (and many already do) should have core hours, say 10-4, and outside of that, you can come and go as you please as long as you work your contracted hours. Your status as a parent is irrelevant. Unpaid overtime should also be illegal. Too many people work stupid hours for free; it's not good for anyone but the people pocketing the profits off the backs of the workers.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 15:13:53

Anot maybe women want to be with their kids more(how dare they).

My dp offered to be the sahp but I was the one who wanted it more.

Then again, Retropear, some women don't. hmm

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 15:16:54

Retropear There's nothing wrong with women or men wanting to be with the kids more, so if you (or anyone else) has chosen to be the SAHP, you (or them) do not need extra 10 hours at nursery.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 15:19:12

Nobody is forcing either gender to stay at home so lets quit with the gender crap.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 15:22:04

Candy no but I'd like the choice,equal CB,equal tax and not to be funding the childcare of those that don't need it or those that choose to have 3 and above kids without planning ahead.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 15:32:07

Sorry but how is CB not equal? Genuine question. Also - it's just for the parents it will benefit, it will benefit the child too. You already said you are/were a SAHM, so it won't affect you anyway.

anaotchan Mon 23-Sep-13 15:42:09

Nobody is 'forcing' women to stay at home more than men, but it doesn't change the fact that statistically it is indeed the women who stay at home, and who end up under-paid and under-employed down the line because of it. That's just a fact, and it's usually highlighted as one of the major reasons for the overall gender pay gap.

ChipAndSpud Mon 23-Sep-13 15:43:35

For me personally this policy would be great, I currently work 22.5 hours a week and after childcare, tax and NI contributions, my take home salary is £343 a month.

This policy for me would mean that I wouldn't be paying any childcare for my son and I would pay more tax and NI, but I would be considerably better off!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 15:58:43

I think the money would be better spent on building more classrooms/schools and employing more teachers.
Childcare should be the responsibility of the parents not the state. Education, the responsibility of the state.
But neither apply to us, so it doesn't make much difference tbh.

NoComet Mon 23-Sep-13 15:58:47

" " I'm stuck being a SAHM because I've been out of work too long."

Maybe if there had been better, more affordable childcare then this kind of situation wouldn't be so common - women able to go back to work sooner, and wouldn't be in the situation you are now? Not saying this necessarily applies to you because everybody has a different reason for being a SAHP, but for parents who want to work and can't because childcare is so expensive, this will be a massive help."

No for me personally and many of women (and a couple of dad's) who work part time the problem is not when the DCs are small. Yes child care is very expensive, but it exists.

There is an absolutely wonderful 8.30-5.45 nursery 5 miles down the road. Several people I know used it when their DCs were small. trouble is it's after school club only collects from the school up the road.

Suddenly instead of being able to work longer hours as you'd expect, people are cutting their hours and panicking about what to do in the school holidays.

Our CMs don't want excess after school children because they count against their more profitable all day toddler numbers and small rural schools have real trouble sustaining wrap round care and holiday clubs with only limited numbers of children.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 15:59:33

Candy you'd have to be on Mars to not know the unfairness re CB and 1 income families.hmm

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 16:09:44

I agree the new CB policy is unfair to some but not necessarily on 1 income families. On here, a lot of SAHMs act very hard done by for the choices they (usually) make and I don't get it. Either you're happy being a SAHP or you're not, in which case, woooo what a great policy for parents of young children desperate to get into work with less worry about extortionate childcare costs.

Retropear, how do you feel about funding the nhs for illnesses you might be unlikely to develop?

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 16:16:11

Parents should be working before they have children, that way mothers have a job to go back to when maternity leave ends in most cases.

Childcare should be free or heavily subsidised for parents who both work. I really don't see the point of giving extra hours to three and four year olds. It would be better to give it for whenever maternity leave ends, but only to parents who actually need childcare.

15 hours a week is enough for early years education, so this isn't about education. It's about childcare, which only working parents need.

Viviennemary Mon 23-Sep-13 16:16:56

Is is being described as childcare rather than education. But there is no such thing as free childcare or free anything else. It's all got to be paid for. And I'm not quite sure that Labour quite grasp that point.

I don't get the childcare/education argument being made here eg in potatoprints post, as childcare is also early years education for the child ....
possibly the most important years of education they'll ever have.

Of course that education can take place at home or be home-based with toddler groups etc, or it can also involve varying amounts and kinds of nursery or pre-school provision.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 16:20:07

Retro, one income families are not hard done by with CB. If they can afford to have a SAHP, they don't need the money. Families with two parents working have to pay childcare, two lots of commuting costs and two lots of clothes suitable for work. One income families only have half of those costs and no childcare issues, they don't need CB.

PrincessScrumpy Mon 23-Sep-13 16:20:26

I can't afford to work as twins wasn't in the budget but i'm so glad that it forced me to be a sahm this time round after I'd give back to work the first time. I find it sad that increasingly both parents have to work to pay the bills and other people are bringing up the children.
This isn't a working mums attack, I've done both and think that funding childcare will force mums to work which I don't know if that is necessarily a good thing.

morethanpotatoprints education is also the responsibility of the parent under law, otherwise what you are doing would be illegal. grin

But why should one thing be a collective responsibility and another an individual responsibility? serious question.

Surely we either say we have individual responsibility to the collective good or we have individual responsibility to ourselves and no other. If childcare should be paid out of wages and not taxes, should education, health, roads, libraries etc,..?

Right now the average worker has been shafted for 30 years. All the wages we should have been receiving have accumulated in our bosses back pockets. Our bosses are crooked weasels who don't believe in the collective good, they neither want to pay out of their own money or pay through taxation, claiming "what me, I don't use those free childcare places, NHS hospitals, state schools, wouldn't touch it with a barge pole" maybe because they don't have to unlike the rest of us!

Either we should campaign for higher wages, so high in fact that we can all afford to pay our own way without state support, incl paying for all and any childcare or we should demand a modest but fair percentage of the wealth WE create, demand a fair progressive tax system that picks the pockets of the weasels and provides a decent education, childcare, health and welfare for everyone.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 16:26:08

I don't understand why the state subsidises both parents working. If I went back to work I would have a net again of £1k per year before taking into account that due to lack of time I would probably spend more than I do now. The net cost to the state in terms of it's increased spending on me (after taking into account the extra tax etc I would pay) would be £4k. How does that make sense and why should the state subsidise me if I choose to go out to work after having children?

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 16:32:18

Broken, if families on one income with a SAHP don't need CB then why does anyone need it? I am a SAHP by choice and we are in the second decile for income which means that mostly only people living on benefits without any full time income would have a lower income than ours. If we don't need child benefit because we can afford to have a parent at home then pretty much everyone can afford to have a parent at home and doesn't need CB.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 16:32:33

I'd rather the state subsidised working parents who are making some effort to support themselves rather than subsidise parents who can't be arsed because they can claim child tax credits.

We already subsidise parents and unfortunately that's not going to go away, so if were going to support any parents, it should be the right ones.

Child tax credits are the work of the devil.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 16:36:21

Broken, if families on one income with a SAHP don't need CB then why does anyone need it?

Because having children and working is an expensive business, and it's good that the state support people at particularly expensive times in their lives.

If you can afford to have a SAHP on a low income, then you probably claim other benefits.

Most families that are forced into having two parents working are in that position because they have a mortgage to pay.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 16:43:19

BadlyWritten What tosh! You cannot apply your experience to the rest of people around the country.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 16:47:23

Yes we do claim CTC but if I worked the government would give me more than the current CTC in the form of childcare tax credits so I don't see how that would be "better". Plus the state spends more per child on state education than it gives per child in tax credits so I even with the means tested benefit I am still claiming less than the majority. So yes I am being subsidised by the state but by less than the majority of parents and even if I wasn't I would still be making the same choice - CTC doesn't come into my decision to take direct personal responsibility for caring for and educating my own children.

nancerama Mon 23-Sep-13 16:58:19

I'd like to see proper funding of the 15 hours already on offer before the promise of funding more.

Where I live, almost every setting demands "voluntary contributions" of anything from 50p to £2.50 per hour. In reality, if you're not willing to pay these contributions, the free place isn't offered to you. Settings need to be properly funded in order to provide 15 genuinely free hours per week right now.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 17:02:30

Broken, you say that having children and working is an expensive business. Why is it any less expensive for families with a SAHP? My DH earns over the cut off for CB as he works in London which is mega bucks for commuting. If I work locally and he works locally we have lower commuter costs, pay less tax between us and therefore have lower expenses. I'm unclear why you think a one earner family is undeserving of CB, particularly when you don't know the reasons why one parent stays at home? Also, why should the single earner family or indeed any low income dual earning families come to that, fund CB for rich dual income families who've chosen to live in big house, drive swanky cars and pay for holidays, children's activities, etc. Why is this group worthy of CB? If any group don't need it, I'd say it's the dual income families earning up to 100k.

Teresa64863 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:05:04

Nothing in life is free...surely we have learnt that by now?

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:08:36

Broken what a load of absolute,utter tosh and just how entitled are you - really?Just wow!shock

Countless families have a Sahp for the good of their family,they scrimpe,they save and make do.Many on very low incomes,many struggling on middle paying the higher tax rate with only one tax allowance and now no CB.They do it for their family and no they can't afford to do it but they still!

Said families need,deserve and earn CB just as much as working families on double.

Families with 2 wp now have help with childcare,clothes are clothes(my dp spends the same amount on clothes as I do eg buggar all and he has a managerial job).

Sorry but why does the state have to fund your petrol,your clothes as well as your childcare,just why?

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:10:02

I think this government and Labour is sending a clear message that parents are expected to work and that households where adults work will be rewarded. There is nothing to stop people from SAH but I don't think this or any other government is going to support you to do so. On another note who on earth thinks 25hrs childcare allows both patents to work full time ? Which ft job is that ? What this is, is a help to either do some WOH or some help with the astronomical costs associated with WOTH.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:12:41

The attitude re sahp is just awful on MN.You never experience it in RL,we all support and empathise with each other.

I feel so sad for my dd,going by MN should she want to be a sahp she will be feckless,rich and need sfa.

She will have no choicesad and this is progress.hmm

unlucky83 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:13:28

Unless I've missed it no-one has commented on the fact that we have high unemployment - especially young people ...
So basically the state enables both parents to continue less opportunities for young people to get on the job ladder...
I know the argument for higher levels of disposable income should improve the economy ... but the government paying for extra childcare workers just seems like an expensive way of paying benefits...
As for higher minimum wage - most childcare workers are on or near minimum wage - so childcare will become more if you need more than the free 25 hours it will cost you more...probably close to what it is costing without the free childcare....
I would suggest that instead of private businesses making money on childcare it should be government run - so all the profits are pumped back into the state...
But in general public sector employees get a better deal than private sector ...they would be no profits...
Think it seems like a good idea - in theory - but in practice doesn't make financial sense....

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:14:39

Wish and that is righthmm?

I think not.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:15:59

Oh and wish sahp do work.

They work for their family.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:16:07

I feel sad for my dd going on MN that women see themselves as glorified house elves and don't see that everyone's lives can be enriched by having both parents working for money. (Note I did not say 2 ft working parents)

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 17:18:25

Agree unlucky, I've never understood why this government is so keen to get women married to well off men to go out to work if they don't want to. I too wonder where the jobs are to come from. I have a few friends who are married to lawyers, doctors, etc, who have gone out to work since their CB was removed as they say they want to make up the shortfall. I think that this is taking a job from a family that really needs the money and making the already wealthy family even wealthier.

Oh working mothers have been described as selfish, "what's the point of having children if you farm them off to strangers", and want it all, all the time on MN, I've been on here since 2007.

nancerama Mon 23-Sep-13 17:19:42

Unlucky - I agree. Unfortunately we seem to have a more American than European attitude to work in this country. People go over and above their contracted hours for fear of losing their jobs.

The number of friends who have been contracted to 3 day weeks after having DC (and who have had their pay reduced accordingly) but have the same workload as they had pre-DC is shocking. They end up working every weekend to keep on top of their jobs.

There would be more jobs to go round if everyone did what they were paid for, and more women would be encouraged to return to the workplace rather than killing themselves trying to prove themselves.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:19:44

I have worked for money thanks(probably for longer than you have),most sahp have.

I am not a glorified house elf,how utterly offensive.

I'll refrain from coming back with equally hurtful comments.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:21:13

Possibly Ihate so that they pay tax........just a thought. Your experience contrasts with mine I don't know a single SAHM who had done this.

poppingin1 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:22:28

"I am sure we can import immigrants to wipe our arses and pay for our state pensions when we are older."

Ugh, how ignorant and repugnant is that comment.

I was going to post a reply but after reading that comment I see it would be beneath me to bother.

Spacecloud42 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:22:37

Waste of money. I can't stand the pressure put on mothers to return to work so soon after having children. For god sake those early years don't last long... Precious moments that are being put into carer hands. Of course, the government needs those mothers to be grinding the wheel of economy ASAP, so it doesn't mind leading women to believe they are failures if they don't get back to work. 3 year old education a priority?! Phaa ha!

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:24:43

But Space sahp are just glorified house elves,they are of no use to anybody least of all their children.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 17:25:23

This policy is not criticising SAHPs, (who are making this all about themselves on this thread) it's helping working parents.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:26:18

Oh read the thread Candy.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:26:55

I apologize Retropear the choice of word house elf was perhaps I'll-advised, what I was trying to say is that I find it sad that women are still (in 2013) prepared to sacrifice their financial independence, take on total responsibility for the joint children and undertake all the menial tasks involved in running a house. Thereby allowing a man to continue his life/career exactly as before.. Why would an intelligent adult women do that ? I do not know a single man who would think that was acceptable.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 17:26:57

Retro If it works for your family, good for you so why do you need an outsider to clap you on the back and congratulate you? Surely a happy, contented a family is reward enough. Who gives a flying fuck what randomers on the 'net think of you?

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 17:28:09

Oh please, I have read the entire thread. You can do better than that, I'm sure! As an ex childcare worker, I see the benefit for children and parents - rather than most on here who are bleating about themselves and whinging about the 'unfairness' like 4 year olds.

nancerama Mon 23-Sep-13 17:29:49

Wishihadabs. This "glorified house elf" has had some fabulous opportunities since quitting her international full time job.

I've found the time to study as a breastfeeding counsellor helping mums and their new babies in the early days. I sit on the MSLC, campaigning for change in local maternity services and I get to spend all day with my DC into the bargain.

Since the removal of CB, I've had to start doing freelance work in the evenings, which was never the plan, but I am more than cook, cleaner and nanny, thank you very much.

Wuldric Mon 23-Sep-13 17:30:46

As someone whose children are now well into their secondary school education, I really welcome this initiative.

I watched generation after generation of highly educated and skilled women (almost invariably women) dropping out of the work force because the cost of childcare was so prohibitive. Women who went through all the pain of lengthy training and then realised that despite earning well above the national average, they could not afford childcare unless they stopped working. They were in a far worse position than their secretaries, who had family support, because universally they had moved away from that family support.

This is a good suggestion. Actually it is a great suggestion.

The only unfortunate thing about it is that it demonstrates that the Labour Party is back to it's old tricks of spend spend spend without any thought as to how all this should be afforded.

Hopefully initiatives like this can mean that women will be able to make more flexible choices which suit themselves and their families better .... and as a bonus we can begin to get away from this SAHM/WOHM polarisation - which is so artificial anyway as nearly every mother does both at some point !

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:31:27

Exactly Candy facilitating both parents to do some WOTH benefits everyone. Why the angst ?

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:33:28

Because Candy the last I heard MN was for mums not just working mums.

Do you have that kind of attitude re offensive comments/ attitudes towards other groups of people online or is it just sahp that have to take that kind of shit?

Wish I appreciate the gesture..The problem is we aren't all like you and why should we be?People,children and circumstances differ.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 17:33:38

Wish, many of the women I know who are married to high earner husbands do very part-time low paid work. Many of them don't earn above the threshold to pay income tax. They don't need to, their husband's are high earners. As I said, some of them just need to make up the shortfall in CB. They don't need or want the stress of a high powered job. I do know women in this situation. I will do the same when I go back to work. I will earn less than 10k a year, take advantage of all the free child care and regain my CB for myself.

The only unfortunate thing about it is that it demonstrates that the Labour Party is back to it's old tricks of spend spend spend without any thought as to how all this should be afforded.

Balls reckons he's going to bin HS2. That should free up a certain amount of money hmm

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:36:28

I wonder whether the SAHP who seem to want to be taxed as a joint entity (eg as if they and their partner were each earning 30k, rather than their partner being taxed as an individual earning 60k) took the same view in their pre- children work life? I suspect they rather being taxed as an individual back then! Funny how some people want the rules re-written to suit whatever they're doing at a particular point in life...

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:37:11

Wish because working parents are already going to be getting help,I don't think they should be getting more.I think instead govs should first sort out the CB unfairness and give couples with a sahp the extra tax allowance.

Then both groups are on a level playing field and being onside red.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:37:31

Rather liked

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:38:08

Wondered when Janey(who only ever posts anti sahp comments) would show up.

Instead of thinking about this terms of being an incentive to work, why not think about it as support for those already doing so?

I can't understand why it's being taken as a personal attack on a lifestyle choice, rather than support for those who require it. This is not conscription. It's a helpful policy which will enable people to live more comfortably.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:39:29

When have I said everyone must work ft ? (I don't and neither does DH) What I am saying is that it's good for everyone in most cases for both parents to do some paid work. Because it generally protects the mother's mental health, it gives both adult financial autonomy. The dcs do not become totally dependant upon one caregiver and therefore utterly distraught when left with the parent who WOTH to give the SAP a break or in an emergency. It gives both partners an insight into each other's lives. It gives the family more financial security. I could go on.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 17:39:37

Personally, I'd have preferred CB to have remained a universal benefit, maybe being limited to two children only.

But as that hasn't happened and they have decided on a threshold, I think it's reasonable to give the benefit to parents who have to pay for childcare rather than parents who have the luxury of one parent staying at home.

I've had a few years as a SAHM, I'm not knocking it. Lets not pretend its an awful sacrifice to make though, it isn't. But at the time I claimed it, I did find it odd that I was being given free money that I didn't need for the choice I made and was happy to take full responsibility for.

Our CB has gone straight into savings accounts for the dc. If the government are going to give out money to people that don't need it, I may as well make the most of it.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 17:40:50

Of course, MN is for mums but this policy is for working parents. That's all I was saying! I have never criticised SAHPs but I have criticised some of the attitudes displayed on this thread, so I find your comments ridiculous and untrue. On MN, I have seen equal bashing of both SAHMs and WOHMs. You have no idea of where I stand on SAHM vs. WOHM, so do stop with the generalising because of your perceived unfairness.

Regardless of SAHP or not, I find it quite galling that people on an income of £50,000 would complain that a benefit has been removed but that's just me!

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:41:20

Well didn't want to disappoint you retropear grin

Shame you always use your tired old fall back of trying to pretend i am anti SAHP. I'm not. I just don't agree with your eternal whinging about the hardship of being a SAHP with a higher rate tax paying partner

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 17:41:25

^ to retropear

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 17:41:35

janey68, before I had children, I didn't give income tax a second thought to be honest. I never thought about how I was taxed or where it was going really. It's just something we all do.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:41:46

Considering pre dc I wanted to spend some time at home with any future dc during my 7 year battle to get them Janey no it wouldn't bother me any more than paying for families in the shit and in need of basic benefits.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 17:44:02


I'm sorry but your post is bollocks and a truly sweeping generalisation there.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 17:44:20

Candy well I find it galling that families on £100k get CB,those on £300k think they need help with childcare and millionaires think they need free school dinners(looking at you Mrs Clegg).

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:46:43

Where is the sweeping generalisation ?

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 17:48:45

I agree the CB policy is ridiculous but I have no sympathy for people claiming they need CB if they have at least one £50K salary. It's just insane.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:49:40

Morethan I am talking about the majority here. I know your position is quite unique and I understand and respect your decision to SAH (also I think you do some work for your DH or have I got that wrong?)

teacherlikesapples Mon 23-Sep-13 17:50:00

High quality early childhood education has several economic benefits- not only for working parents, but in terms of raising outcomes for the children that attend.

For those referencing last weeks discussion about children needing to start school later, this policy still matches that research. Because Labour is supporting age appropriate early childhood education, NOT formal learning younger. That is the distinction.

If parents knew they had a safe, high quality affordable place to send their child, it would make many people's lives much easier. The benefits- both economically & wider benefits to society (more literate, lower crime rates, high academic attainment- have all been linked to high quality ECE)

I think millionaires would probably go private, and not be recipients of the free school dinner, don't you.

Think about the logistics of means testing school dinners by parental earnings - it makes much more sense and would be cheaper to make it universal. I think it's all getting a bit shrill.

CaptainUndercrackers Mon 23-Sep-13 17:50:58

Great idea, if it extends to all childcare settings and not just nurseries. But how will they pay for it? And will it go hand in hand with yet more Ofsted box-ticking and a greater administrative burden for childcarers? And will childminders be able to charge the difference between the govt paid rate and their own rate? Because if not then I don't see many childminders signing up, at least not in my neck of the woods.

Rather than yet another pie in the sky idea which will probably flop, I'd like to see an extension of the existing childcare voucher scheme, a rise in the basic rate tax threshold so work pays more in lower income brackets, and incentives for businesses to offer part time/flexible hours.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:51:06

Anything which helps families bear the horrendous costs of childcare is a positive step. And I speak as someone who's children are almost old enough to not need any childcare any more. We paid every penny of our childcare and won't benefit personally from this, but so what? It's so unpleasantly self-serving to only see policy from what you personally stand to gain.
Paying for pre-school childcare is the most expensive point. Yes yes to more wraparound care too, but at least once the children are in school the bill drops massively compared to pre school.
Anything which can help parents is great- this broadens choices

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:52:39


YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 17:54:17

I'm in Germany now and state childcare for ages 3-6 is maximum 6.5 hours per day, 5 days a week for about £70 per month. The maximum time starts at 7.30, so too early for some jobs, but still - it's vastly better for working part time than the UK nursery provision currently.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 17:55:59

To me it is the principle of how society will become if there is even MORE bloody subsidised childcare.
of course a sahp is/will be treated like a second class citizen and looked down on.
There will be comments about lazy sahps as of course there will be no excuse not to be working when the state are paying your childcare.
If you want to work then that is fine, if you don't want to work that is fine. I think when you have dc you live accordingly and nobody has more right to support than anybody else, irrespective of whether you who or sah.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 17:59:37

"I find it sad that women are still (in 2013) prepared to sacrifice their financial independence, take on total responsibility for the joint children and undertake all the menial tasks involved in running a house. Thereby allowing a man to continue his life/career exactly as before.. Why would an intelligent adult women do that ? I do not know a single man who would think that was acceptable."

Why is the woman doing all the menial tasks involved in running a house just because she is the SAHP? Personally I don't have time to do them all during working hours in addition to looking after and educating my children. Also, why is a man's life/career going to continue exactly as before? Is he not going to be involved with his children when he is at home? If someone's life carries on exactly the same as before if they go out to work then I would question their suitability as parents as I would expect all parents to spend time with their children regardless of their employment status or whether they are a dual or single income household. When at home my DH does a large portion of the childcare related work (because that is his opportunity to spend time with them since he goes out to work) and also does his fair share of other (menial) tasks. Each to their own but I would rather my children be cared for and educated by me than somebody who is paid to do it and doesn't have the same personal relationship with them and I feel that our family is enriched by me doing so. (This is not a criticism of people working in childcare or as teachers - I have done both myself.) Why would choosing to invest in our family in such a way be unacceptable just because it isn't measured in monetary terms in the form of an income?

JemR234 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:59:52

Re the cost - I believe they intend to increase the banking levy to pay for it.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 18:01:16

wish I think the sweeping generalisation was that the children with a SAHP will be distraut when left with the other parent.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 18:01:22

Morethan, aren't you benefiting from subsidised childcare? What with being a SAHM and claiming CTCs?

BellEndTent Mon 23-Sep-13 18:02:52

I've pretty much worked for free for four years so the timing is making me angry.


Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:02:57

That's great bwp. Unfortunately not typical IME. The dps of the SaHM s I know work long hours, barely see the dcs in the week and are exhausted/working from home or on the golf corsets at the WE

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:03:00

The people who talk about SAHP being second class citizens seem to be the SAHP themselves. I haven't seen anyone else saying that. I certainly don't think they are. If a family want one parent to stay home or only work part time then fine. I did it myself when my children were pre schoolers - I only worked a 3 day week. What I (and many others) do disagree with is not a parent choosing to stay at home, it's when they complain about not getting the perks which they perceive working parents to be getting! If you are a SAHP you don't need childcare. Why on earth get het up about the fact that other people are getting help with something you don't need? Blimey what next? Envy for people with a disability who need some sort of extra support? hmm

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 18:03:49

morethan I agree and you have stated more clearly the point I was originally trying to make - why do dual income parents specifically need/deserve extra help?

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:04:14

golf corse no idea what a golf corset is

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:04:36

I am a SAHM and I think that SAHM are the pinnacle of human achievement and that Western society, of which Western families were the bedrock, have fallen to bits since mothers went out to work FT.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:06:35

grin horry

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:08:03

I sincerely hope that's not what their dps are doing on Saturday s

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 18:08:17

wish, that is very sad. So in those examples, would the SAHP going out to work mean that the parent already going out to work would then work shorter hours and/or not go off to the golf course at the weekend in order to have a relationship with their children? I don't know many people who are in the scenario you describe and those that are it is a choice by the "working" parent not to build the relationship rather than being caused by one parent staying at home.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 18:08:47

(To clarify I mean those that are out of those I know - I'm not generalising.)

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:09:10

morethan We shouldn't encourage people to work (who WANT to work) because it might upset the sensitivities of SAHPs? Well, that is laughable!

This policy is not forcing parents into work but encouraging people who do but feel childcare is not affordable. Not sure why some people are struggling with that!

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:10:55

The issue is that the childcare model in the UK is all about encouraging private for profit chains that are good for the stock market (yes, that's where your money's going, working mothers).

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:11:01

I am a fairy cake lover and I think that fairy cake lovers are the pinnacle of human achievement and that Western society, of which Western small cakes were the bedrock, have fallen to bits since people starting eating fucking cupcakes. grin

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:12:27

grin candy

Wuldric Mon 23-Sep-13 18:12:30

That photo is entirely off topic. It is prepositionally inappropriate. You will note that Wish wrote about people on the golf corsets as opposed to in the golf corsets.

It is another matter of course that the person in the golf corsets is the wrong gender for this discussion.

You need to find a portly middle-aged bloke in rupert the bear trousers standing on golf corsets. It's a toughie but I feel you are up to this challenge.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:14:11

Candy yes it is insane as labour pointed out.

However only having 1 tax allowance and paying higher tax rate coupled with a big mortgage for a shoe box,a school shoe bill for 3 children at £200, rising food costs,rising petrol etc,etc means those on 1 salary of £50k feel the loss of CB- a lot!

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:14:42

Well bwp I think it's a bit chicken -egg IYSWIM. We are in London so the choice seems to be both parents work quite hard or a normal amount or one parents works extremely hard at the expense of almost everything else in their life. I think the first is preferable and better for the parents' relationship and therefore the dc's well being. Sadly these men (and they are all men) are strangers to their dcs.

I think if their dws had gone back to work they wouldn't have been able to be drawn into the long hours culture to the same extent. I also worry for these families long term financial security with everything resting on one highly paid job.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 18:15:03

Broken sunglasses
CTC is income related and has nothing to do with childcare. There are many families with two people working and receiving this. It has nothing to do with being a sahp.

vestandknickers Mon 23-Sep-13 18:15:36

I think it is a shame. Yet again we are seeing policies that seem to support very young children having two working parents. I think age 3 is far too young to be in 25hrs of care outside the home. In my opinion there should be more support for SAHPs.

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:16:42

The policies are about encouraging as many adults as possible to be working and to boost the childcare industry. It's good for GDP.

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:17:28

It is, however, perfectly possible to measure and include in home production of goods and services within GDP...

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:19:31

Retropear I get that life is expensive but my heart does not bleed for people on £50K, unless you have about 15 children.

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:20:15

£50 k goes nowhere in London. nowhere.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:20:28

Vest I agree.

Just what are the benefits for 3 year olds in full time care? Wouldn't it be better to help those families that want a sahp and those 3 year olds that want to be with a parent?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 18:21:01

I was pointing out that this is how society will think if there is more subsidised childcare. No I don't think both parents should be encouraged to work. They either choose to or choose not to.
It's a non issue anyway, because there are no jobs, except maybe in childcare.
Wow, the sahp can be encouraged back to work by providing childcare for others, while theirs are in childcare, how bizarre.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:21:03

V&A I do find that baffling. Again what sort of job do you think someone can do in 25 hours including travel time. We are hardly talking about cooperate lawyers. 25 hours = 2.5 days in childcare, that's 4.5 days at home. Do you realy think that's too much. This is 3 years not 3 months we are talking about.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:22:29

Again in what world is 25 hours full time ?

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:22:53

Candy well then perhaps those on £50k joint should lose CB given that they have double the tax threshold,pay less tax,now have help with childcare and free school dinners.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 18:22:58

candy, 50k is about 36k after tax. It is quite likely that you could spend 6k a year on commuter costs as does my dh. This means that the person on 50k, is only about 4k better off than the benefit cap of 26k, once work related costs have been taken into account. You can't seriously be telling me that 50k is a kings ransom, particularly for families with more than two children hmm

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:23:01

Vestandknickers- if you think 25 hours a week childcare isn't good for your children then don't use it. No one is suggesting its compulsory. But very many parents use childcare and find their children are just as happy and secure- and for these working parents then its great that there is help.

kilmuir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:23:26

Yanbu. Much better ways the money could and should be spent. Children of that age do not need to be at nursery

They could set up lots of public sector nurseries to take advantage of the end of the pay freeze for all the public sector workers who for some reason are more worthy than the private sector workers who aren't getting pay rises because labour stuffed up the economy.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:24:36

Retro I didn't say they shouldn't lose their CB, did I? Just that I can't stand high earners bleating on about their loss. I agree the new CB policy if fucking bonkers but I do not think people on £50k should pay less tax.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:25:27

ihategeorge I never said it was a huge amount. I think it's a bit gross to be whinging when it's a huge amount compared to the national average.

beepoff Mon 23-Sep-13 18:26:40

LOL at all the really defensive people on this thread...

I think it's a great idea. By the time many have a first child aged 3/4 they have a second child needing to go into childcare too. This is a massive crunch point for working parents and I imagine lots of people become SAHP at this point whether they want to or not.

By subsidising the cost further - which, given it's an extension of an existing programme, should be much more straightforward and thus cost effective than other alternative improvements - it will help keep people in work, help people find and afford to take jobs that may not offer contracts of less than, say, 21 hours and release more money into the economy.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 18:27:10

candy, the point is that once you've taken account of commuter costs, work clothes and other work expenses, it's not a huge amount. We are in this bracket and we can't afford to buy a house FFS!

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:27:24

morethan You are missing the point. Many women want to work (I know, shock horror!) and this enables them to work because the costs of childcare are less crippling. 10 hours a week will make a difference to some people. Maybe not to you but to some people!

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:28:13

It is a huge amount compared to the national average. Seriously, you seem like an intelligent person, so not sure why you can't see that.

vestandknickers Mon 23-Sep-13 18:29:57

Wishihadabs yes I do think 25 hours is far too much for a 3 year old. It is 2.5 VERY long days or if you are using it Monday to Friday that is 5 hours per day. Children that age need to be with a parent - not farmed off to childcare. I am well aware that those hours do not equate to full time work, but that isn't really the point.

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:30:42

The costs of childcare are crippling not because childcare is per se expensive but because of the particular economic model of UK childcare.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:30:45

£50 k isn't much more in your pocket than those getting TC,either benefits are too high or the higher tax rate too low.I personally think the higher tax is waaaay too low and £50k in real terms isn't a higher wage(as do labour) sooooo I couldn't give a stuff if you don't like those on £50k losing CB particularly when those on more are keeping it.

I would have respected labour more if they had decided to do something about it.

beepoff Mon 23-Sep-13 18:32:41

Those on one salary of £50k don't lose CB...

The threshold to lose it entirely is £60k.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:33:11

Beepoff- that's a very good point. It was child number 2 which actually meant we were no better off at all for a couple of years with me working . I continued to work because a) I really liked working 3 days a week b) I'd seen too many women who gave up work really struggle to get back into a decent job and c ) my children's nursery so wonderfully complemented the time they spent at home that I really wanted them to continue and wouldn't have been able to afford it without working.
But you're right- many women give up work at this point, having successfully juggled motherhood and work with just one child. Extra free hours wouldn't force women who want to stay at home to go back. But it would make life a hell of a lot easier for those who do want to work

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:34:36

You start losing it at 50 so can't do overtime and need to think very carefully re pay rises.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:36:34

People who refuse to accept pay rises because it takes them over the £50k threshold - apparently acceptable but not taking a job because you'd be worse off financially would get you flamed to high heavens on here! The fucking hypocrisy. So many social inequalities.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:37:00

Why do you say 'farmed off to childcare' vestandknickers?
Is it a cheap dig at people who use nurseries and childminders? Why would you want to do that?
Its like me saying 'children being stuck at home all day' if they happen to have a SAHP.

beepoff Mon 23-Sep-13 18:37:14

So vest in your opinion how many hours ARE ok for 3 year olds? And 4 year olds? What about single parents, how many hours are they allowed?

If it's anything over 15 then this scheme will still be useful.

Also nice use of emotive language... "Farmed out" to childcare?! I'd hate to meet the childminders and nannies you know...

beepoff Mon 23-Sep-13 18:38:23

X post with Janey... Seems we both picked up on that. Quite offensive both to working parents who agonise over choosing childcare, and to the childcare setting/provider themselves.

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 18:38:27

I think this is a fantastic proposal. I hope it goes ahead.

vestandknickers Mon 23-Sep-13 18:38:46

You are perfectly entitled to say they are stuck at home janey if that is how you feel just as I am entitled to say how I feel.

beepoff Mon 23-Sep-13 18:41:40

Great response, Vest. No, really. Original, shows you understand Janey's point fully and definitely not a cop out at all. Well done you.

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:42:45

My DD was stuck at home with me until she went to school at 2.10. Being stuck at home meant that we could go out and about in Paris every day to different parks and playgrounds, to have lunch out with friends or DP, to a wide variety of shops where she got to know all the shopkeepers. She saw a lot of her two brothers and got to know all the people at their extra-curricular activities. And of course we went to regular playgroups round and about.

The alternative was to be cooped up day in day out with another 20 DC i 70 square metres of not very attractive childcare.

TheSilverySoothsayer Mon 23-Sep-13 18:44:09

Don't SAHMs need Home Responsibility Protection, like they used to have, to protect their State Pension? Am old gimmer so don't know what happens now - do people have to make voluntary NI payments to make up their years?

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:44:44

See I have been(rightly ) reprimanded on this thread for saying that woman who SAH may not be totally fulfilling their potential. However you say that IYO 25 hours (which as I say is 2.5 days for most working parents) is far too long, can you see how that might be offensive.? I personally don't care.Dd was in nursery that amount from 5months and has always loved it. She went ft from when she was 4 (her choice). I know that this is not too much childcare for most 3 year olds.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:45:02

Candy but doing extra hours,extra stress,filling in self assessment forms for nothing.hmmIn that wage bracket(middle management the jobs are often very demanding) and sorry but nobody thinks of us so why shouldn't we think of ourselves?

Dp pays enough tax and gets sweet fa.

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 18:45:04

I wouldnt send my child to French childcare either Bonsoir but thats some amazing provision in UK so different kettle of fish.

Weemee Mon 23-Sep-13 18:46:01

| think that any increase in the early education hours is of benefit..... however, if it is to benefit working parents (which is what they suggest when they are shouting about it) then they must improve accessibility and availability.

Here I can only use all 5 sessions all mornings or all afternoons (9 to 11.30 or 12.30-3). I work in a nearby town and by the time I get to work it would be time to come back! Hence I use a private nursery.

They need to stop offering half measures either offer childcare/ early education ( whatever you want to call it) so that working parents can actually use it (without relying upon grandparents to do pick ups cos not everyone has that), offer the funding to be used where it suits as vouchers or don't bother at all.

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:46:46

Everyone on MN tells me that but in real life people hate it!

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 18:47:36

candy, I can see that, of course I appreciate that I am better off than many. I hate what this government is doing to the sick and disabled and poor families. It makes me very cross to hear about people being kicked out of their homes and homeless people on the streets being sanctioned for not attending JSA interviews. I do feel though that removing CB from a single earner family on 50k is bang out of order, when they are happy to continue paying it to families earning far more, just because of the earning differentials in the relationship. Further up thread, some one, I think it was Broken, said that she saved all her CB in an account for her children. This is something we have never been in a position to do and it is not right that families who are in this fortunate position are still able to receive the benefit. Losing £200 a month is big loss for us and something that has not sat right with me since they announced this ridiculous policy.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:47:49

Read the post again vest. I am NOT saying having a SAHP is being stuck at home. I am saying that that is the equivalent of assuming that a child at nursery or childminder is 'farmed out'- ie inaccurate and offensive. Like I said, my children's nursery was fabulous and I felt that along with all the exciting and stimulating things they did at home with me, it added another dimension

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:48:05

Wish I'm afraid I disagree with you there.I have an early years degree,have spent a lot of my working life with early years and full time care would definitely not suit all children. It may suit yours but not all.That is a fact,sahp being glorified house elves was not(it was a opinion).

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:49:09

Clearly some people only have shitty childcare available to them and that's a whole different argument entirely!

All those people who want to return to work after benefiting from this extra childcare won't be able to though as there will be no jobs . All the jobs are going to young people because labour is guaranteeing all young people a job too!!

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 18:49:58

Childcare suits extrovert, outgoing children in the same way doing different clubs and activities suits those children once at school. I agree not all children are that way inclined

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 18:51:16


Wanting to work (shock horror) is a choice the same as being a sahp.
I don't think I'm missing any point.
We all make our choices. Yes childcare is expensive but so is anything to do with raising kids.

Weemee Mon 23-Sep-13 18:51:38

Oh and to all those criticising parents for using nurseries and childcare- it must be nice to be a SAHM but for many (me included) a single wage just does not cover living costs in this country sad. But that's a whole other thread!

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:51:45

For the last chuffing time 25 hours a week is not ft.

Portofino Mon 23-Sep-13 18:52:27

I am in Belgium where free education is offered from 2.5. It is not compulsory til age 6 but has a 99% take up rate. Very much learning through play but led by a teacher degree educated in early years eduction. In addition all schools are open from 7.30 - 6/6.30. The wrap round care is about 2 euros per day. As a family with 2 working parents the flexibility this gives is fantastic. We pay a fucking lot of tax though wink

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:52:45

Bonsoir Apples and oranges! Childcare provision can be very good in the UK, this policy does not affect France but do, tell us more about your wonderful life.

Wishihadabs Mon 23-Sep-13 18:53:27

most of these dcs will be in school in a year. Also just say no as Zammo said.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:53:46

morethan This is where you are wrong, for many people, it is not a choice because it is a necessity. I don't think you're in the real world.

Oriunda Mon 23-Sep-13 18:55:05

Silvery ... Yes, as a SAHM I have to buy each year of NI contributions to make up my full state pension entitlement. Normally around £600/year. Previously, when receiving child benefit, some NI credits were made to my account, but when you lose the CB you also lose the NI credits. Apparently after 2016 the rules will change again and SAHP's will not lose out on their pension, but until then I will need to purchase additional years' contributions.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 18:58:30

Wee which is why I think steps should be taken to facilitate families who want a sahp for a few years.

Why shouldn't poorer families have the chance?

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 18:59:24

I agree Weemee, it's the cost of living that needs to be addressed. Why aren't they doing anything about the cost of housing, gas, electric, petrol, food. If these were all lower, people wouldn't have to work such long hours. Although I guess it wouldn't enable the crony capitalists to get even richer hmm

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 19:00:18

The costs of housing, of childcare and of transport in the UK are a scandal.

Have you had advice on that Oriunda ? - I had a feeling that you can have a few years gaps and it wouldn't make any difference to receiving the full amount of state pension. I was in Japan for a year and didn't make anything up for that for example.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 19:04:42


If it is necessary for both to work which I agree it is in many cases, then the necessity is to earn a wage to pay bills, if then you pay child care and loose money i.e don't make a profit then that is choice, not necessity. Which is fine if that is what a person wants to do.
I don't see your point tbh.

Lioninthesun Mon 23-Sep-13 19:05:51

I would actually be able to work if they brought this in! Whoop!

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:06:34

Tbh this is getting quite bizarre.
If you don't think it's good for your 3 year old to be in childcare for 25 hours a week, then don't use it!! Why on earth does it bother you that some parents who previously couldnt afford to work, find that this policy tips them over into it being affordable? Sure, there will still be some parents who find that working is now affordable who will still prefer to continue as a SAHP. But many parents will find that this does make a difference: their children will continue to thrive and both parents can work. It really does seem to be a dog in the manger attitude from some posters on here. They don't want or need childcare, but they bloody well resent anyone who does.

vestandknickers Mon 23-Sep-13 19:10:47

It bothers me because the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 19:12:03

Errr because they're already being given help(methinks labour just doesn't want to be left out of the helping working families kudos) and nothing is being done to help the parents and children who want a sahp or to right the unfairness that sahp parents have re CB and tax.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 19:15:01

And yes there are countless better things it could go on.

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 19:17:23

There is nothing better than keeping women in workforce, giving them opportunities to better their lives for their families and providing care and education to children.

Weemee Mon 23-Sep-13 19:18:09

Agree with you both ihategeorgeosbourne and retropear. It's a crazy situation that to afford to live you need to pay someone to look after your kids. It is the cost of living that needs to be looked at.

I am afraid I strongly disagree with the posters who seem to think that it is a choice to work rather than be a sahp. We bought a house because its cheaper than renting. We don't go out, we don't drink. don't have sky, we don't buy clothes/ shoes. We do buy petrol, fuel, food. If only one of us worked we would go under. I don't know what else we could have done... both have degrees (2 each in fact) work hard but being able to have one full time sahp not possible. So it is for many of us most definitely NOT a choice. If it was a choice, I would be a sahp, not doing my best headless chicken impression doing nursery drop offs and going to work.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:20:21

The proposal is for 3/4 year olds, so these working parents will already have forked out shed loads in childcare (the younger the child the more expensive nursery is usually too.) Any working parents of a child from 6 months old up can testify that you have massive costs (not just childcare but often running two cars, needing decent work clothes) which a SAHP simply doesn't have. Unless of course, the working parents use relatives for free childcare, which seems to be another tired old line trotted out by jealous SAHP. Well, all I can say to that is yes, some working parents do use relatives unpaid. But you cannot base legislation on the fact that some people are gifted something. By the same token, I know adults who are given house deposits by their parents. It's no good going through life whinging because someone somewhere is getting something for free which you've had to pay for

Xmasbaby11 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:22:29

YABU. It is a good idea as it will help parents work more. 15 hours is not even two days, and you have to pay for the weeks out of term time, so it's not a huge saving for most parents. When we have two DC at nursery, the free hours will bring our monthly childcare bill down from about £1500 to £1300. It will still cost about 1/3 of DH's and my take home pay.

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 19:23:13

A lot of the sahps I know are doing nothing and have no prospects but the working parents have been able to train and work rising up the ranks. Its hard when you first start out as people are just at home and your rushing about, but once you start rising up the ranks its so much better, and your standard of living is so much better. In the past we wouldnt of had this until Labour started subsidising childcare, expanding this would help a lot more families. Its great for women and families imo

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 19:23:40

Er Jasmine many of us have been in the workforce and work with our partners to provide.Many of us simply want to be at home with our children for a period of time that suits our family.

I know so many parents like Wee and it stinks to be frank for all the reasons George et al said.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:24:38

And I entirely agree that the cost of living is horrendous ... Housing, fuel, food... Awful

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 19:26:50

I agree that a policy like this will be of great benefit to families who have to fork out mega bucks for child care, but wouldn't a better solution for all be to lower the cost of living? Surely if houses, fuel and food were cheaper, then families would be in a far position to actually choose how to live. I know of many parents where both work just to pay the mortgage, but is that right? Why should we be slaves to the banks just so they can pay themselves another million pound bonus for selling more over-priced shoe boxes to desperate families who have been priced out of the rental market by BTL landlords. In my opinion, policies like this are just sticking plasters to make people feel better about the 'choices' they are making, when in fact they don't really have a choice at all. It's all bollocks!

woodlandwanderwoman Mon 23-Sep-13 19:27:37

The key to this is flexibility. It should be up to every parent to decide what is best for their situation and their own DC and if this enables more people to make decisions that are in the best interests of their family (be that for economic or parenting reasons) I support it. I also like the fact it has opened up a debate with tangible proposals around the issue.

It raises the question that no one seems to want to address though -

Is 25h childcare for 3-5 year olds REALLY in the best interests of our children?

If it is, this policy should be extended to all.

If it is not, they should stop making sahp out to be lazy Jeremy Kyle watching house elves. I chose to be a Sahm and I work as hard as, if not harder, anyone I could pay to give my DS the best care possible than.

It's also worth noting that not all sahp are good parents, and not all childcare providers are very good either. Particularly if a situation has been forced upon them rather than chosen. If this adds more choice, it can only be a good thing.

As a staunch labour opposer I can't tell you how much it pains me to say I agree, but I am also quite confident they will cock it all up later on by balls-ing up the numbers (boom boom!) as usual and limiting it to the cheapest available childcare for a tiny proportion of the original eligible population.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 19:28:43

"Are doing nothing and have no prospects"- oh get over yourself.

I don't stop.

I have had those years with my dc and for me nothing was worth more.It has benefited my children and family.

Re prospects I didn't want to be a head teacher thanks and do have a brain.hmm

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 19:31:51

I was talking about in my area, and myself. I owe everything to childcare subsidies, and will be greatful for the rest of my life. I wouldnt of had that if I became a mum pre 2001. If you dont like it, dont use it

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:32:04

Hear hear to lowering the cost of living. Being totally honest though, you will still have families where both parents choose to work, for all sorts of reasons. For DH and me, it's really a case of us both feeling that we are equally skilled in the workplace and at home... So we've never gone for the model where one of us does all the earning and the other does all things domestic. And so this perceived 'inequality' will remain, because the SAHP who seem less secure with their choice, will be up in arms that the dual earners are getting something that they aren't. I am not for a moment including all SAHP in that: most are happy with their choice and are doing it because its what they want to do. But there is a minority who seem s l

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:32:41

Posted too soon
A minority who seem so resentful of dual earners

Lioninthesun Mon 23-Sep-13 19:37:26

I'm a single mum who couldn't afford to work. I would be able to start paying taxes again and have a small amount of adult socialisation if this came in. Sorry, but unless you are in my position you might not realise how freeing this is and what an impact (positively) this will have on my life.

Mumof3xx Mon 23-Sep-13 19:39:13

As long as the parents work I fully agree with this

It is also intended to raise the wages of poorly paid early years workers

Spacecloud42 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:39:30

The point of sacrificing the pursuit of a career is to give your ultimate best shot at contributing something great to the future: your children.

Do you go through pregnancy and child birth for somebody else to raise your children?

If your so hung up on the idea of a long and fruitful career without interruption, are kids the right way to go?

It can be a man or woman, but part of the job of a parent, is to be selfless.

If your not making money because child care is too expensive, doesn't it make sense to just be with your child?

Any stay at home parent is no 'elf', but a contribution to the future... not to the economy, but to society.

If going out to work and making money brings more satisfaction than staying home and raising your children, then I'd see how important this 'free' childcare is. But ultimately, for a better society, money should be spent elsewhere.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:41:26

Ah, we've finally got to 'someone else raising your children'- BINGO!!

(And of course, funny how the SAHM whose poor husband is working god knows how many hours to facilitate her choice is never included in that judgement) grin

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 19:42:35

Spacecloud - My mum always worked and taught me to be selfless she didnt just care about her own family, but worked in a job helping lots of people and her community. For that she was my hero and I have gone on to do the same. I expect extending the help will help so many more families like mine, and thats a great thing.

Samnella Mon 23-Sep-13 19:43:58

I am on the fence on this one. I agree in principle there are other more pressing things. I can also see the argument that it may enable people to work more and therefore pay more taxes. However, I am not sure practical it will be.

My son's nursery is attached to the school and runs 2 3-hour sessions per day so enabling 60 children in total to attend. If each session was increased to 5 hours, and given there is no more physical space, then they would only be able to run 1 session for 30 children a day and therefore take half the number of children.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 19:44:04

Actually it looks to me as if some wp are resentful of sahp.

The only resentment I feel is for money being wasted on those already getting help,many of whom are more than capable of paying for child care and planning ahead coupled with resentment over the lack of help for families who want a sahp for the good of their children and family well being.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:49:08

And in response to space: some parents don't find that making money brings them more satisfaction than being at home with their children. What they do find is that they want to combine the very lovely role of parenting with working outside the home too. And - let this blow your tiny mind- that in doing this, their children are just as happy and secure as they would be if one parent didn't work.
And tbh therein lies the crux of the issue: it seems there is a minority who can only tolerate other women working if they can try to convince themselves that the children must be suffering in some way. Nice hmm

Spacecloud42 Mon 23-Sep-13 19:56:32

Jasminerose, my mother, as a single parent, did the same. She worked nights to be with us in the day, and avoid care.

And janey, I don't think any relationship so inconsiderate would be beneficial to any child. Obviously, such an arrangement must be mutual.

I don't think it's wrong to work and have a family. I just think its absurd that people feel they shouldn't have to make sacrifices to raise children.

I also feel sad that women feel a career is the only way to be somebody, and to feel equal.

We are equal, we know that by now. It doesn't mean we have to pee standing up and work all hours to feel equal.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 19:57:05


I too don't understand why people who don't make any money i.e lose the equivalent of a wage don't just become a sahp.
I can see why some feel it important to keep their career going but this is choice and not necessity and imo not fair to ask for subsidy.
If it is needed to pay bills and no family to provide childcare then it should be subsidised by means testing/ your existing out goings rather than universal.

Isn't the cost of living subsidised with wftc and the like though?

Spacecloud42 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:00:20

Thank you janey for blowing my tiny mind, I feel truly liberated.

Next time I'm working in the other room. I won't feel so guilty about not playing mr wolf.

I think they should create jobs, to be honest.

Why spend money on childcare when there are not enough jobs to go to, while your child is in nursery...

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 20:01:47

Spacecloud - Nursery is brilliant though and holiday club. I have some of the best memories from there, and it helped me be really confident and outgoing as I grew up. My parents could afford it, and my kids would of missed out if it wasnt for the governments help.

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:04:19

Weird idea to think a woman might feel she needs a career to feel equal.
Why is it so hard for some people to get their head round the fact that many women want a career because they have skills and qualities which lend themselves to it, and because it adds another dimension to their life? And equally; that many men have skills and qualities which enable them to look after children, cook, clean and run a home? Because there are two sides to this and the fathers side seems to be largely forgotten. All these SAHM who keep saying how they can't possibly work because their husband's career is so full-on and time consuming that she has to practically run everything else single handed... Well, clearly it's a revelation to some, but not all men are like that. Some want more equal roles: they enjoy spending time with their children and running the home too.

They are doing that anyway Quintessential as they are promising all young people jobs too.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 20:09:19


I think the only resentment of dual income families comes from the attitude that they should receive more subsidised child care, when it is their responsibility to pay for their own.
It seems ok in any other area of life for people to say "If you can't afford them, don't have kids". It has been said so many times about people on benefit, including WTC/CTC/CB, so why is it different for childcare?
Encouraging dual income will be detrimental to those choosing to be a sahp because as I said up thread, the comments will be along the lines of lazy sahps, no excuse not to work when child care is free.
Finally, many people think that sending dc to nursery/childcare is having somebody else raise them. This is one of the reasons why people choose to be a sahp, it is how they feel. I am one of these people, its how I feel. Its up to others how they feel, its not something you can argue about.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 20:10:33

No it isn't Madame. When the average house price in the UK now stands at 250k, I don't see how the cost of living is subsidised by WFTC. People claiming this would not be in a position to buy a house at all. Families earning between 30 and 60k cannot buy houses any more. I read this in the Independent the other day by the way. We earn between 50 and 60 and cannot buy a house. The cost of living is definitely not subsidised, when the bulk of most people's earnings go on rent and mortgage. It is wrong to try and subsidise the cost of living anyway, it just increases the price by however much the government are chucking at it. This policy will cause nursery prices to increase for the same reason. What is wrong with people being paid a living wage and living costs being reduced commensurately to reflect this?

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:12:27

Ah well, the nursery clearly did a fabulous job of raising my children then. They are very normal, happy successful teenagers. grin grin

MistressDeeCee Mon 23-Sep-13 20:12:42

OP - well, it will benefit some people wont it? Especially parents (mothers mainly) who 'd be able to go to/gain more work, not having to fit around 15 hours weekly. Is there something wrong with that? These horrible goady oh why should anyone else get it good threads get on my last nerve. Some people no matter what, will complain about anything that appears to benefit the working classes. They remind me of curtain-twitchers peering out there to see who has what, then begrudging them for any & everything as if somehow that will improve their own lives.

Viviennemary Mon 23-Sep-13 20:12:43

All this 'free' childcare sounds great in theory. But where is this money going to come from. Has Labour costed this out. I expect not.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 20:14:13

You can say if you can't afford childcare, don't have kids but I feel the same way about people bringing home £50k whinging about "their" reduced CB and the cost of school shoes. I mean, in this day and age and in this culture, we all wear shoes and kids grow.....!

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 20:15:29

It seems some people are happy to take what they want out of the system e.g. child benefit for years but whinge when a policy benefits someone else.

Why is it so necessary to own a house though in this country? It's not the norm in other countries and those government don't jump at subsidising house ownership.

They are getting bankers and hedge fund managers to pay for the childcare as they all live in mansions!!

Tweet2tweet Mon 23-Sep-13 20:17:10

This would be a huge help to me and my family. I don't 'choose' work over time with my children. We both work because we need to pay a mortgage, childcare and eat healthily. Believe me, that costs a lot in itself.

Yes, in an ideal world, I'd like to go PT. However, let's all say it like it is- I'd be more at risk of redundancy, overlooked for promotions and unlikely to be very motivated.

My mum was a single parent and worked. She had little money and we were left with some 'dodgy' child care provision. I have ensured I've visited the nursery my children are at and built rapport with the staff and managers. This costs a lot though, better care equals higher rates. Well worth it though.

There's nothing wrong with sahp or working parents. However to be controversial, I view sahp as a a job, it's very hard work. However if this was given as a universal credit, that would mean sahp get more time off than working parents. So I would question how that was fair.....

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 20:17:51


Sorry to disagree but yes people in receipt of WTC can buy a house. We have bought 2 out right and going for our third soon.
Before the shock faces come out, houses are cheap round here.

How economically will reducing the cost of living whilst paying a living wage work?

Where will the money come from to increase wages yet decrease the cost if food etc??

Yes tax credits subsidies businesses Madamecastafiore allowing the private sector to rake in profits. Wages have not kept pace with either rising profits or cost of living.

I think this is a good idea, it won't benefit me, I'm over the worst thankfully. I was in that group that couldn't afford to work and pay for childcare and couldn't really afford not to work. I was lucky in that my mother a 70s feminist helped us financially. She was a supporter of the wages for housework campaign along with others like Selma James.

I don't believe that 25 hrs provision for 3yr olds is seriously going to undermine the social value of mothering.

I personally think we need to retain choice extending that principle to all women. We need SAHM to receive a benefit/wage of sorts that replaces CB. It should be paid to the stay at home parent not according to the number of children and paid for a max/limited time say 6-7 yrs max. The valuable contribution they make should be recognised. It can only be recognised in financial terms under capitalism, so money it is !

We also need a progressive tax system that disallows such huge inequalities of wealth and policies to tackle wages and the cost of living.

I agree with others like ihategeorge who say that just making a token amount of childcare available is papering over the cracks. It is, but its a step in the right direction.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 20:22:15

It's not necessary to own a house Madame, but renting is becoming a more and more difficult and expensive option for many. When you can be asked to leave on a whim, have your rent increased year on year and be made to put up with some nasty and in some cases unsafe interior and exterior issues, people don't feel safe and secure enough to raise their young families. People who rent will also have to fund their rent when they retire too. This bit scares the life out of me.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 23-Sep-13 20:23:55

Assuming the people referring to WFTC actually mean WTC, I don't see why "People claiming this would not be in a position to buy a house at all." Why wouldn't they?

MistressDeeCee Mon 23-Sep-13 20:24:02

What candycoatedwaterdrops said. Its odious to see. People against policies that will benefit others, whilst knowing in many ways theyve benefitted from the system themself.

Viviennemary Mon 23-Sep-13 20:24:07

Wages for housework? Who actually was supposed to be paying the wages. It was a mad idea.

Weemee Mon 23-Sep-13 20:25:50 a dual income family I do not expect subsidised childcare. I would like what is being offered to actually be useable.

Now that living costs have reached the level they have, it is no longer a choice but necessity that both parents work.

We (like many other dual income families) have no choice but to be a dual income family, as one income would not support us. We would love to have the choice of being a single income family with one of us as SAHP but it is not financially viable.

Secondly, what a viewpoint re: "if you can't afford the childcare, don't have the children"hmm in your world only the rich and by rich I mean earning upwards of at least 60 grand can have children. So only the rich can have children? We need children....they are the workers of the future who will pay your pension, pay taxes etc.

I certainly do not think of SAHP as lazy- as the mother of 2 young children I know how challenging parenting is......if you can afford not to work, then that's great and you're obviously in a great position to be able to make that choice but please recognise it isn't a choice available to a great many people.

chibi Mon 23-Sep-13 20:26:38

"I am sure we can import immigrants to wipe our arses and pay for our state pensions when we are older."

fuck off.

an immigrant

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 20:26:59

Madame, if governments didn't keep subsidising everything, then the cost of living would fall. House prices were falling, until the government stepped in with it's help to sell policies. Costs will fall to what the majority can afford to pay with no government intervention. The problem is that they just can't keep their sticky beaks out and just let people earn and spend their own money

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:28:07

Mistress - that's absolutely the right word: odious. It's so totally self seeking.

cierzo Mon 23-Sep-13 20:31:12

Frankly the full education system needs to be re-done. We should be looking to the scandinavian countries. Their citizens paid huge taxes, but they are spend in Education better than we do. To start with, the nurseries are pretty much state run, teachers there are professionals with degrees in many cases and are paid a good decend wage. Parents pay for what they can afford and there is a cap to it, so you don't see horrible monthly fees of £1500 per month like in many places in London. Their Education systems work as they always come 1st in the rankings by countries. They give importance to the early years and a good start in live for all, no matter their background or family money. And this moves across the rest of the academic years.

It is very lovely to say, if you can't afford kids, don't have them. Whoever thinks that, hasn't got any empathy. We live in society, I don't like my taxes going to cure people that have been smoking all their life for example, but hey, we live in a society and my taxes also are going to help to pay pensions for maybe the father or mother of people of the person who opened this discussion. My kids maybe will contribute with their taxes in paying for her/his nursing care and so on.

I don't have family or friends around that can help me with childcare, my OH is just on the 40% tax break, I was earning a decend wage, pre-having a kid, and although we saved during my pregnancy, we are basically forced out of London, because the childcare cost, moving back closer to relatives so we can live a bit better, if we stay in London, there is no point for me to come back to work, as all my salary will go to pay childcare. We have been working very hard, paying our taxes, we do not own a house, and we are not entitled to any kind of benefits or help, so I'm pushed away from work and as a consecuence of contributing with my taxes to society because this childcare mess and cost. Do you think is fair?? I don't honestly.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 20:34:48


It isn't necessary for both parents to work.
I didn't work for over 20 years, we have 3 dc
My dh earns a low income and we receive FTC/WTC/CB.
We managed to pay the mortgage and buy our house.
We also managed to save enough to buy 2 other houses.
Not everybody's
choice, I realise.
But you can't make the statement you did, because of course there are exceptions to your ruling.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 20:39:05

Right back atcha.

Wp have befitted from CB and many still are when families on a lot less aren't.For many of us CB was the only benefit we've ever claimed and it was significant enough to be greatly missed.

Sorry but wp are already getting help from this gov,most are keeping their CB and getting free school meals on top.

I personally think that is enough when you enjoy two salaries,two pensions,two tax thresholds on top.

We are in no situation to fritter money on groups already being catered for when schools are falling to bits,classes growing,NHS crumbling away,families are struggling to pay their rent and feed their children.

It pains me to say clearly labour have learnt sweet fa.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 20:40:40

Oh and Janey if the me,me,me sense of entitlement from some working parent posters on this thread isn't self seeking I don't know what is.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 20:40:40


No, absolutely not. Please don't think I believe this. I was using it as an example because I have heard it so many times on here and was relating it to childcare.
I despise that attitude but have usually heard it from somebody who comes from a dual earning family, expecting subsidised childcare.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 23-Sep-13 20:40:49


No, absolutely not. Please don't think I believe this. I was using it as an example because I have heard it so many times on here and was relating it to childcare.
I despise that attitude but have usually heard it from somebody who comes from a dual earning family, expecting subsidised childcare.

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 20:44:12

God vestand knickers dont know how your child will cope next year with school, play dates, parties, after school clubs and hobbies etc if they cant cope with 25 hours childcare at 3?

morethanpotatoprints do you not see how this might piss people off?

My dh earns a low income and we receive FTC/WTC/CB.We managed to pay the mortgage and buy our house.We also managed to save enough to buy 2 other houses

Some of us are telling you that some people have to have two incomes to survive. Some are telling you that a few hrs of free childcare would allow them to work because right now they can't afford the childcare but they really do need to work. And others are working their butts off with no tax payer money and can't afford to buy even one house let alone 3.

Why should my DH pay tax so you can CHOOSE to stay home, take our money and buy not one house but three. And yet YOU are UPSET that some mothers might get a few hrs childcare because the choose to or more likely have to.

Weemee Mon 23-Sep-13 20:45:28


we will have to agree to disagree....good for you managing to do what you've done. I have only just managed to get on the housing ladder and only did so because it was cheaper than renting. Not in our wildest dreams will we be buying another 2 houses. Nor do we qualify for ANY tax credits. Of course there are exceptions but I think you may be it.... no-one we know is a single earning family.

Also, from your post, I take it that you're talking about what it was like to bring up 3 dc's starting 20 years ago? 20 years ago, I would have been a SAHM.....things now aren't even nearly the same as they were then.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 20:47:29

Why do governments always try and socially engineer people's lives? They offer subsidies to first time buyers to buy houses and it just pushes up house prices. They offer tax credits to low income families, when in fact employers should be paying these people a living wage from their own pockets. They offer free child care to families with two working parents, which pushes up prices of child care. They offer universal free school meals which will ultimately put up the cost of school meals. Why can't they just leave us alone and let us keep more of our own money to pay for own lives. At least then it would feel like we really have a choice. All these things cost money too. Where's it going to come from?

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 23-Sep-13 20:50:56

"It isn't necessary for both parents to work." Maybe not in your deluded little world.

ihategeorgeosborne that brings us back to making a choice btw collectivism or libertarianism. I prefer the first but either is better than having a government full of puppets sucking corporate cock grin

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 20:53:57

Morethan, I cannot understand how you have managed to buy 3 houses on a single wage. This is the problem. People who bought 20 years ago are now in a position to buy up many other houses due to their asset wealth. I do agree with labour and the libdems on a property tax. Owning houses has become more lucrative than working now and it's putting a major strain on people who are working and cannot afford decent shelter for their families.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 23-Sep-13 20:55:27

Agreed Elizabeta grin

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:56:45

'Owning houses has become more lucrative than working' - absolutely, it's a bloody disgrace and echoes that self serving attitude I referred to earlier.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 20:59:03

Jasmine all 3 of mine coped/ cope just fine due to being very secure.

Children do not need childcare to get security,far from it.

They managed pre- school at 3 just fine but 21/2 hours a day x 3 days was more than enough.

They breezed through the school gate their first day at school.

vestandknickers Mon 23-Sep-13 21:00:27

Thanks for your concern Jasminerose but my children have been at school for several years now and enjoy all those extra curricular activities. At 3 though they were at home with me. They did two one and a half hour sessions at pre-school a week and that was plenty. I am working now, but am proud that I was a SAHM when they needed me.

Retropear Mon 23-Sep-13 21:02:36

It should be possible for all mothers like Wee,it just should.

jasminerose Mon 23-Sep-13 21:03:54

I wasnt on about security I was on about 25 hours childcare would wear a child out. All children get 15 as it is anyway.

DIYandEatCake Mon 23-Sep-13 21:07:24

I can see that this will help families who have to have both parents working (and will create more jobs in the childcare/early years sector). But it saddens me that the government focuses so much on mothers going out to work - as if that's the way it should be rather than a regretful necessity for some. I'm lucky to be a sahm, but it is possible on one income (below higher rate tax threshold) - we own a house, and still live comfortably, just budget carefully and live within our means.
I would rather see the money spent on reducing our country's shocking rate of youth unemployment - surely school/university leavers are the ones really needing help to work?

And anyway isn't rental income taxed? it is income? so that would mean that Mr Potatoes actual income from his work must be very meagre indeed.

grumpalumpgrumped Mon 23-Sep-13 21:09:43

They will not find the nurseries to offer this. Funding does not cover costs, we make it up by being able to charge for non funded hours.

They cannot get enough 2 year old places in my area but most settings are reluctant to offer as funding does not replicate charges.

Funding would need to increase.

Weemee Mon 23-Sep-13 21:12:23

Why does it always come down to oneupmanship? I would love love love to be a SAHM. Those who have been able to give their children that (because they could and wanted to) I am jealous. But I can't and it just feels a bit like some posters are sticking their fingers in open wounds of those who genuinely cannot be a SAHP.

Maybe you were able to because you are/ were financially better off, managed to buy a house (or two or three) before you had to sell a kidney to fund a deposit, before living costs were milky way high, before jobs were so scarce you were afraid to leave yours, before stupid regulators of certain professions brought in rules that if you don't practice for a certain time you can't get back in without retraining which you can't access...I could go on.

Some posters need to recognise that things now are not the same as they were 10 years ago. That many are heartbroken about not being able to be a SAHP like they always wanted to be. That they have no control over it because too many people who were able to live off one income in the past went out and bought multiple houses that they now rent out and are helping to make it harder for people to be a SAHP by contributing to the increases in cost of living (alongside the political overlords).

janey68 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:13:59

I don't believe children need childcare. A good, simulating home environment can provide the socialisation and other experiences young children need. And equally I don't believe that good quality childcare is in any way detrimental. It can be something which complements the home experience (which lets face it is the most important and influential factor)

I appreciate that if you have only had experience of poor quality childcare, or can only rely on freebies from the relatives even though you may not agree with your views, then you probably won't understand that. And of course, if you have decided to stay at home because its what you as a parent want, and have never used childcare for young children, then it's really irrelevant and hypothetical whether you think it would be good, bad or neutral, because you're doing what you've already decided you want to do.

I just wish that small minority who think they can speak for all children could open their mind to the fact that parents know their own children best.