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NOW CLOSED: Do you use any kind of childcare? Please give us your opinions - you could win a £50 Amazon voucher

(52 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Jun-12 16:25:11

This survey is open to all Mumsnet users who use any kind of childcare (paid for or informal) for one or more of their children (excluding school, but including free sessions at pre school).

We know that lots of Mumsnetters find the cost and availability of childcare a real cause for concern. We also know it's an issue the government (and other parties) are interested in, so we thought it would be useful to understand your views and learn a bit more about your experiences.

We're working with the Daycare Trust on this survey - so we can get a really comprehensive picture of your views. Thank you so much for taking the time to complete the survey and as a thank you all respondents (who leave their details at the end) will be entered into a prize draw for a £50 Amazon voucher.

Here's the link again

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

I have answered with respect to our current situation (with primary school aged DC) but there have certainly been times when they were pre-schoolers when our childcare bill was more than all of our other bills put together.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Jun-12 16:40:45

that's fine stealth - just what we are after - that way across everyone we get differing experiences at all stages! thanks.

Meglet Mon 11-Jun-12 16:50:06

done.

GrasshopperNchipmunk Mon 11-Jun-12 17:55:32

Done. When I return to work this time DH and I cannot afford to put the kids in child care full time (2 pre school). So one of us will have to drop our hours, and as I earn more than DH it will have to be him, sob sob sad

Done, but with some difficulty - I'm sure I'm not alone in using more than one type of childcare, so filled that in accordingly, but when rating how qualified the staff are / ratios etc, I couldn't rate both the funded pre-school sessions AND my super-qualified Nanny.

FondleWithCare Tue 12-Jun-12 10:51:38

Done

Done, though not sure I am typical.

StarlightMaJesty Tue 12-Jun-12 11:51:04

I think most people's childcare arrangements are more complicated than the survey allows.

LoonyRationalist Tue 12-Jun-12 12:19:52

Done - when asking about giving up work as childcare is too expensive you need either a n/a box or the don't know box to also be n/a. I am a SAHM so job related stuff is n/a (I only used free childcare hours for my 3 year old; before everyone jumps on me)

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Jun-12 12:00:06

LoonyRationalist - done - thanks

Agree StarlightMaJesty - childcare is a v complicated area!

Sabriel Wed 13-Jun-12 12:10:45

Might have been helpful to have included a section on childcare for school aged children during holidays. In a typical week we mainly use ASC and breakfast club but in the school hols it is much more complicated. Sure a lot of other people are in the same boat. Compared with fitting in around school the pre-school years are a doddle grin

Ann, DH has just done this survey from an email link but he is not actually a mumsnet member thank heavens so he left the nickname box blank, I hope that is ok.

done

I couldn't answer the question about how many under 5s a CM should be allowed as options too limited (I don't think there should be a legal limit, but should be for parents and CM to agree. Also think having "a maximum of 6" as the most possible biases the survey somewhat. At 5 kids can be in classes of 30 at school.

BirdyBedtime Wed 13-Jun-12 15:28:13

I've completed the survey but not sure the answers on the income/childcare bill were wide enough as my childcare bill is £x but both DH and I take full childcare vouchers so what we actually pay in cash is £(x - 486) a month, and this then impacts on our net salaries. This might distort our figures.

BirdyBedtime Wed 13-Jun-12 15:29:18

BTW totally agree with Sabriel that the holidays are where we find it difficult and are having to farm DD to stay with her aunt and uncle for a week as otherwise we were struggling.

Another agreement that it is holiday childcare which is most difficult aspect - it makes the years when the DC were in all year round daycare nursery seem a doddle.

I currently have on my desk a spreadsheet of childcare options for the summer holidays - all with different times, activities, age ranges, prices and locations - and there are still 2 weeks (other than the ones where we will all be going away on holiday) with no options at all. I will negotiate a mix of the different clubs/camps/whatever with both DC, such that they are in vaguely the same place (some of these options are 20 miles apart from each other), and if I can do it without tears and strops then I will do peace in the Middle East next. Then DH and I will work out how we are going to cover drop offs and pick ups and who is going to take time off to cover the remaining weeks. Then my mother will complain that my children's lives are far too scheduled and they should be able to kick back and be available to do stuff with her at a moment's notice even though she can't/won't commit to have them on pre-arranged days so that I don't have to spend £50/day on childcare, which will leave me wanting to scream that if she can see any way to combine 2 full time jobs and 2 children under 10 without scheduling, I would love to hear it.

..and then I will start again for the next holiday. Such fun.

DilysPrice Wed 13-Jun-12 17:37:57

I'll have a bash at the survey, but although I buy a load of childcare over the course of a year, in a "typical week" I don't buy any.

Done. Not much scope for adding my opinion that settings would be better funded directly rather than through family benefits, and that staff quality in daycare settings is best improved by raising wages. <biased> but then I'm just a degree level qualified, minimum wage nursery nurse with my own childcare costs so what would I know?

smokinaces Wed 13-Jun-12 18:31:43

Done. Thank god for school in September and working term time only is all I can say.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Jun-12 19:04:32

Hi everyone

Thanks for all your comments - and for completing the survey. Point absolutely taken on school holidays (and pain shared) - with this survey we wanted to look at what is most 'usual' but think there would def be scope to have a longer look at holiday childcare in the future.

Good point on flex of childminder above 6 and to decide in collaboration with parents - we'll take the comments on here as comments made in the survey and I'm sure AnnMumsnet can tweak.

Again we'll take on board the point about directly funding providers rather than parents as if a survey response - I think question 9 is probably the place for this on the survey.

I think one of the reasons the survey is quite complicated is that the whole issue is so complicated and that very few people have straightforward, standard, regular childcare that never changes, so thanks for pursuing with survey when it can't adapt to every option.

hopenglory Wed 13-Jun-12 20:10:33

Done - but would echo comments up there about holidays (when in theory childcare could pretty much bankrupt us) and the expense a few years ago before they were in school

MrsSlocombesPussy Wed 13-Jun-12 20:41:52

Done, but I'd like to add a couple of comments:
1) When I had 2 children in private nursery I didn't pay by credit card, or not pay the fees. However we did run up a large credit card bill for more day to day living, as the fees took up a large % of our income. In effect we did borrow money, by running up debts elsewhere.
2) The cost of childcare was a major factor in us deciding to stop at 2 children. I would have love to have had 3 children, but because of my age didn't have the luxury of spreading them out to be able to afford childcare. it was bad enough having 2 children in childcare for 3 days a week for 2 years - we just couldn't have managed to pay another set of fees.

Charlotte1234 Wed 13-Jun-12 20:46:03

The cost of childcare is putting me right off having kids.

Came to Mumsnet to find out about it all smile

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