Childcare costs survey - the results

(77 Posts)
RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Jun-12 08:11:18

Thanks to all those who completed our recent survey on childcare costs.

As you might have seen we've published the results today following swiftly on from David Cameron announcing a commission into the cost of childcare costs last week.

We'll be forwarding the results on to the childcare commission - so do let us know what you think.

throckenholt Tue 26-Jun-12 08:15:40

Your link gives me a

"Sorry, that page does not exist on" message sad

HeadsShouldersKneesandToes Tue 26-Jun-12 08:16:06

"Sorry, that page does not exist on" - is it possible the page is still visible to MNHQ only?

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Jun-12 08:17:37

Sorry therockenholt - try again now.

throckenholt Tue 26-Jun-12 09:32:42

works now smile

bizzyizzie Tue 26-Jun-12 10:00:34

I am a regestered childminder, I really try hard not to charge too much, anything over 160 a week sounds a bit greedy to me, I realise I get asked for long hours at times, and that can push the money up. I would say 160 per week for 50 hours a week, Is that too much do you think? Maybe childminders should not have to pay tax and for inspections and first aid so they could charge less or something.

purpleroses Tue 26-Jun-12 10:25:53

Don't know why they don't just reduce the age limit from 5 to 4 for determining staff ratios for childminders or nurseries. When my DD was 4 it was a complete pain finding childcare in the school holidays as providers wouldn't take her because of the higher staff ratios needed for under 5s - yet she was a school in a class of 30!

This would help make childcare cheaper, but still preserve the high staff ratios that are needed for toddlers.

MN didn't offer us the option of chaning the age limit in the survey, you just had to say yes or no to lower staff ratios for under 5s, but a 18 month old is a very different creature from a 4 year old.

lollystix Tue 26-Jun-12 10:26:12

Cost of Childcare was actually a motivating factor for DH and I to leave the country this spring. We had 3 small kids and no. 4 came along as a surpirse. I couldn't make the sums add up in terms of childcare and paying the rent on a 2 bed flat in a capital city for the next couple of years. I know it was my choice to have 4 kids btw before I get flamed.

So DH earned around £35-£40K for 5 days (in reality about a 55 hour week). I earned £38K on 4 days (with overtime after kids in bed around 35-40 hour week). We were higher rate tax payers and didn't qualify for any tax credits. With 3 at nursery for 4 days we were paying around £1800 a month but were getting the full childcare vouchers from both employers of £110 a week and the 12 free hours on DS1 and 2. If either of us moved employer we would lose the £55 childcare vouchers and go down to £28 a week (I think) due to the April 2011 changes to the vouchers for higher rate tax payers. DS1 hit school and we got some respite but with DS4 arriving I could see we were heading for £2100 a month with 3 at nursery and 1 at school in wrap around care. This meant I was would be working up to a 40 hour week for around £400 a month until DS3 turned 3 and DS2 hit school. I couldnt afford not to work as we couldn't afford to live on DHs salary alone plus I wanted to work.

So we've moved to NZ for a couple of years with DHs work. DH earns around the same and I have taken a 5 days a week role for £10K more thasn I was on in the UK. We get 20 free hours for over 3's and nannies are cheaper so we have a registered nanny for 50 hours for around £9 an hour. I now pay around £1800 for 5 days of cover so £300 less and I take home the extra £10K a year. Otherwise living costs are the same so we intend on staying until all our littlies are up to school age.

duchesse Tue 26-Jun-12 10:42:32

I completed that survey. Unfortunately there was not space to mention that I am moving to France in September for 4 months, where DD3, who will be just 3 by then, will attend the nursery of private school at a cost of 20 euros a month. The hours are 9-4 for the 20 euros, but she can go 8-6 for a small extra cost (6 euros a day) if I choose or need her to, they will serve her meals and have a room for sleeping, and cover the full french nursery curriculum from age 3 to 6. That's what we need in Britain.

I believe that the fragmented childcare that most parents have to juggle (unless one is earning enough for a full-time day nursery or excellent nanny) is stressful and disruptive to family life and to the child. Much better if the parents both work full-time, that the child goes to the same place every day, where they can really settle in.

15 hours a week in a playgroup is practically useless to working parents, if they have to rush back at lunchtime several times a week to collect their child, or arrange for a childminder or granny or friend to collect them after their free hours. Many playgroups only run in the mornings here, or a limited number of days a week.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 26-Jun-12 10:45:10

Excellent point about how a 4 year old is very different to an 18mth old (or a baby) purple roses.

Also, obviously more should be done to help childminders as bizzyizzie suggests - such as government take them out of tax, not charge for inspections shock, offer free courses such as first aid (especially where they are compulsory)

Then as bizzy says many childminders will be able to pass such benefits on to parents. Childminders should get a better deal for the amazing and valuable work they do in any case imho.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 26-Jun-12 10:50:17

Also agree with duchesse many other countries such as the Scandinavian ones, and it seems France, have much better models of how to provide education and care for the under 5's, which also enables parents to work, and supports family life, and builds a strong society both now and in future generations.

Really, it's a no-brainer as they say !

I think the 4yo point purpleroses made is excellent. MNHQ should have added that as an option. I wouldn't want a childminder looking after more than 3 toddlers/babies at a time. But a 4 year old who have started school is so completely different.

TantieTowie Tue 26-Jun-12 12:03:24

I'm self-employed and, since the limits changed, don't get working tax credits anymore. It would make such a difference to be able to write my childcare costs (c £600/pm for three short nursery days) off against tax. This is the single cost I have to pay in order to work and at the moment it's really hard. As I understand it, if I had a chauffeur I would be able to write that cost off, but I can't childcare costs. That's mad and, I think, has to change.

TantieTowie Tue 26-Jun-12 12:04:13

Just to add that by short, I mean 8.30am-4pm (fits in with school hours of DC1).

Tee2072 Tue 26-Jun-12 12:35:47

I am also self-employed and agree with Tantie. My business isn't nearly as successful as it could be as I can't afford to have my son in daycare fulltime.

If I could write off the cost of daycare, even if it's just the amount above what my husband gets taken off his wages for Childcare Vouchers (which is about half the cost of my son's 3 full days a week), I could put him in for more hours.

This is easing up some in September when he gets his 15 free hours, but, to be honest, 3 hours a day doesn't do much for me. We have a childminder lined up for 2 pick ups and keeps for the afternoon, but it would be nice to write off her amount as well!

I think childcare subsidies should go direct to providers, so parents aren't so reliant on tax credits (which are invariably delayed or incorrect) and to reduce the nominal cost of childcare so it "feels" worth working once childcare costs are compared to the lower wage earners income.
There needs to be better provision for school holiday care, or better leave for parents of school aged children, as currently it doesn't add up (4 weeks a/l, 13 weeks school holidays) and holiday clubs are often hard to get to without a car and run hours shorter than school (typically 10.30-3).

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 26-Jun-12 13:48:18

Well done Katie MN - Just seen you on ITV lunch-time news.
See, I'm not always on here wink

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 26-Jun-12 13:52:11

Liked how you finished with call to look at "big ideas" in this area - and not just "tinkering around the edges" smile

Want2bSupermum Tue 26-Jun-12 14:07:31

If this government are serious about the advancement of women then they need to bring in changes that allow women to continue working. I think the best way to help all women and families is to change the tax laws so childcare is fully deductible. DD is in daycare for 11 hours a day (7am-6pm) and DH is the one who has had to cut back his hours to pick up DD because I am required to work until 9-10pm for much of the year. Yes I am in the US but the hours are not all that different in the UK. If we were in the UK a nanny would be needed but the cost of one is more than my take home salary after tax.

Another reason for allowing childcare to be fully deductible is that it would eliminate double taxation. A mother pays tax on her income and then pays a childminder/nanny who then pays tax on their income. Both the mother and childminder/nanny are paying NI and taxes. It isn't like where corporations pay tax on income after these expenses, although they do pay taxes on payroll (which are not as high as the taxes paid by the employee).

LittleCatZ Tue 26-Jun-12 14:45:05

Completely agree with annual leave versus holiday cover - plus no employer I know will entertain a request for a term time contract any more. It amazes me when I hear how well organised other countries seem to be compared to the UK and I do agree that it benefits society as a whole.

DH and I will be managing the reception year holidays by having just a few days off at the same time sad We have used every possible hour of leave in splitting all the school holidays, TD days and school events to try to be as involved as we can for our oldest in reception year. Holiday clubs just feel a bit too soon for DS1 as he will be just 5 this summer and the hours are limited in our area for our long work days (we work our hours in 4 days to be with our children at more than just the weekends).

I'm incredibly lucky as DH works his hours in 4 days too, which makes it financially worth me bothering to work (in a profession where you have to keep your hand in/knowledge up to be useful). We have 3 days childcare costs. I think I earn what most would consider a good wage but 4 days nursery, plus breakfast club and after school costs for 4 days, plus having to find summer holiday cover... it's better if I don't think about how little of what I earn would be left over.

Both DH and I have compromised our careers (willingly and hopefully temporarily) for our DC and a key reason is the cost, flexibility and quality of childcare. I try to feel smug that I'm paying less in tax grin as well as the obvious joys of more time with DC and having a day off each week smile.

LittleCatZ Tue 26-Jun-12 14:54:16

I feel strongly that any childcare improvements should be available to both mums and dads/carers of any type (e.g. Foster carers, grandparents etc). This would help women in getting jobs as men are equally able to request the same - I love the idea of men being able to take more paid Paternity leave, as an example.

When the time is right to pursue a career move, I've no idea if DH or I will need to work more days or travel. It will depend what opportunities come up.

WantAnOrange Tue 26-Jun-12 16:14:26

It would help to pay Tax credits directly to the provider. I can't remember the exact figure but a lot of money is claimed from tax credits for childcare that is not actually being used. Paying providers directly would mean that this fraud is not longer possible (by parents that is). All a parent needs to claim the childcare element is my Ofsted number, I've only ever had one actually be checked up on.

This would prevent fraud, saving money in the first place, and the money that is spent on childcare will all be going to the provider enabling them to pass on the benefits to the children (i.e. money well spent).

Agree with providing free training that is compulsery (like child protection and first aid). Our tax allowences (as a childminder) are actually pretty fair, but any breaks we get and any funding helps me keep my costs down.

It's not a nice feeling as a child minder to know that my mindees parents are struggling to pay my fees, yet I cannot afford to charge less. I know some childminders who aren't bothered by this but I want to offer a good quality service that people can actually afford.

A fair hourly rate for the 15hours free entitlement would help massively. If I got a decent amount for children during those hours I would not have to make up the gap by charging more for my hourly rate. £3.73 per hour before expenses is not enough. Can't imagine David Cameron working for that! Why is good enough for the people who take care of our most important little people?

funnyperson Tue 26-Jun-12 17:04:32

How many responded to your survey?

duchesse Tue 26-Jun-12 17:25:54

Orange, I don't understand. Round here, day nurseries charge the parents around £3.60/hour. They seem to be able to make a profit on that whilst respecting staffing ratios.

You're not actually working for £3.80/hour if you have more than one child to look after! More like £7.60 or £11.40 or £15.20 depending the number of children you have. Hardly any jobs around here (Devon) pay more than £10/hour, most are more in the £7-8 region.

BoffinMum Tue 26-Jun-12 18:14:44

As an employer of a nanny (periodically) I think it's inappropriate that things like payroll and other red tape expenses that relate directly to her employment are not tax deductible for me, but they are for a company or other organisation, as they can be set against profits in such instances. It also beggars belief that we have to pay employers' National Insurance, a kind of fine for being an employer, which is more or less equal to the amount we get back in childcare vouchers, so the cost of the nanny is not offset at all. For those of us in areas when nurseries and childminders are all but non existent, nannies are about the only childcare we can access yet this seems to penalise us very harshly.

restassured Tue 26-Jun-12 18:28:37

Goodness Duchesse, where are you??!! I'm in North Hampshire and dd's day nursery charges £5.10 an hour!!

lowfatiscrap12 Tue 26-Jun-12 19:06:27

it still doesn't solve the issue of what to do with older children. I've got a twelve year old. What do I do with her for 3 full days during the summer holidays, since holiday clubs stop at age 12? Leave her alone in the house all day?

PaulaMummyKnowsBest Tue 26-Jun-12 19:14:47

where I am, day nurseries are £65 a day or £10 per hour!

(I am in St Albans, Herts)

Childcare is expensive but childcarers need to earn a living too

duchesse Tue 26-Jun-12 19:18:54

Devon. Standard charge around here. Since most people around here are on a low wage they could be waiting a long for customers at £10/hour. That's just silly money. £30/hour after tax if you have 3 children. Quite mad. Average wage here is something like £23000/year.

BoffinMum Tue 26-Jun-12 20:00:38

My employer sent a long winded email to us today whittering on about how important it was to pay £7.20 an hour to people as that was the least they could live on. Which was why it was trying to avoid giving the rest of us a pay rise.

Ironic. After commuting costs and childcare I am lucky to make £1.50 an hour.

Go figure.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 26-Jun-12 20:24:53

I do think the owners of nurseries must be making a lot of money, charging parents so much, and paying staff so little. (I do realise there are some costs involved, but even so) Not fair on the parents or the people that do the caring for the children sad

ceeveebee Tue 26-Jun-12 20:54:09

I have 7mo twins and am currently trying to negotiate part time hours to return to work in November. The nearest nursery to me charges £85 per day per child, which for full time would cost around £42,000 per year out of post-tax salary. There are cheaper nurseries but not found anything under £70 per day. Childminders around here charge £65 per day but will struggle to find one with two vacancies. So I am forced to get a nanny which will be the cheapest option. I would prefer a nursery or childminder so that they get more interaction with other children and (later) some structure in their early years, but cannot afford this.

When answering the questionnaire I raised the idea of state run nurseries similar to the crèche system in France. I don't understand why state run nurseries in the UK don't start until 3 years old and don't cater for working parents.

lollystix Tue 26-Jun-12 21:02:25

Yes it's bizarre - when I've looked into state run nurseries when on mat leave they operate silly hours like 9.15 to 11.30. So you drop kid there, get home for say 9.45. Sort out house and get baby down for sleep. Sort out more house crap, get baby up and fed and then back to pick up kid. All lovely if you are not working but of FA use to working folk unless you have nanny or childminder so you're back to square 1.

PaulaMummyKnowsBest Tue 26-Jun-12 21:10:57

ceeveebee ...... where are you? That is very expensive

ceeveebee Tue 26-Jun-12 21:30:12

SW London. It's a total killer!

tiggersreturn Tue 26-Jun-12 21:38:02

Completely agree. The system is designed to encourage women not to work. I have ds aged 5 and dts aged 10 months. Nanny is the only option for us as in order to get ds to and from school and cover school holidays I need a nanny. There are no cms who do pick up or drop off at his school. There is no before or after school club. Even if I could put the babies in nursery I'd still need a solution to that and there are none. After childcare and commuting I take back a lovely £2.68 ph from a really high earning job. It's just laughable.

And what are the cheaper options? An au pair where you might strike it lucky or receive one who sends you a text saying "your 3 year old is asleep in the cot and I'm in a taxi on the way to the airport. Get back as soon as you can."?

But unemployed women are good for the government aren't they? They can't claim jobseekers' benefit as there's no way for them to jobseek. They don't claim maternity benefits or sick pay as they're not working and they're not competing with all those men for jobs so you solve the unemployment problem. Is this why they cut the childcare vouchers?

duchesse Tue 26-Jun-12 21:54:51

Ah yes Boffin, but you get to keep the children afterwards. grin What you keep them with is more relevant.

canuck43 Tue 26-Jun-12 22:00:20

lollystix, years and years ago we use to have state run nurseries taking children from 6 weeks old, open from 7.30am-6pm. Not sure of the cost.

In my spare time, agree with what you say about the tax credits not going to parents. In Mexico where our son and family live if you are a working mother and pay social security (like our N.I.) child care is free. Our granddaughter was in a well run safe and secure nursery, run by qualified staff. Is this the way to go.

purpleroses Tue 26-Jun-12 22:01:54

Can't believe how much people in London or near say they're paying for childcare. Surely it would be best to become a childminder - if you could charge £10/hour for 3 kids, plus some after school pick ups you could easily be making £300 a day shock

ceeveebee Tue 26-Jun-12 22:10:12

Yes but I would be rubbish at looking after other people's kids, I can barely manage my own two! But you're right and worth thinking about...

holleyshiftwell Tue 26-Jun-12 22:11:01

I have found school hours very hard to work around. There is no breakfast club at DD's school and the school gates are not opened until 8:40am. How anyone is supposed to drop off their child and then get to work for 9am is beyond me, unless their workplace is within a five minute walk of school! The after-school club is completely oversubscribed so they share it out and DD has been allocated one day a week until 5:30pm. I have contacted every childminder in our area and not one is either willing or able to do afternoon school pick-ups and look after her until the end of the working day.
So my only options are au pair or nanny. I can't afford a nanny (would make a loss) and we live in a tiny house with nowhere to put an au pair!!

So I can only work from 9:15 until 2:45, which hugely limits the range and nature of jobs I can get. And that is before even thinking about childcare for DS aged 3.... or the school holidays....

School schedules do not match work schedules - the current system was developed when almost all mums were stay at home mums. And until there is a better match between the two then it's going to continue to be difficult for parents who both need to work.

Diane456 Tue 26-Jun-12 23:10:30

I gave up my job and registered as a childminder. Once my second child was born, I realised that I would be in the red if I went back to work. As women are more often than not the primary carers, I feel that it is women who are priced out of jobs by expensive childcare.

BoffinMum Tue 26-Jun-12 23:44:44

I honestly fail to understand why, given that we are in the middle of a financial nightmare nationally, that a national network of state run nurseries isn't established. After all, there is effectively a war on, as they say, and we are all needed at work, FFS. How hard can it chuffing well be for this country to achieve economy of scale and a professional setup for all this??? Instead of making every woman in the chuffing country chase her tail trying to make it all work. FFS. angry

duchesse Wed 27-Jun-12 00:00:01

Just give up all hope of paid work and run the Big Society instead, Boffin. You know it makes sense. Women, know your place!

montmartre Wed 27-Jun-12 01:04:25

Indeed- they need women to leave the workplace so that all men can be employed hmm

lollystix Wed 27-Jun-12 06:19:52

Couldn't agree more. Can't help thinking Cameron wanted us all back in the kitchen making Jam.

flubba Wed 27-Jun-12 06:57:03

I'm also SW London, and with three kids under the age of 5, I couldn't afford to go back to work after the birth of my 3rd, as I calculated needing to earn at least £37k to cover childcare costs (and that was with one in school!), but as a teacher my hours couldn't be flexible during term time, so we would have needed childcare before and after school every time.
Shocking really, this childcare situation so many people are finding themselves in.

lollystix Wed 27-Jun-12 07:34:21

It's like there's no template in the UK for family life. Everyone is just struggling along trying to do what they can to get through the years with LOs until they hit school (and that in itself brings more care issues) and relying often upon grandparents to step up. And then we all bash each other about our choices to be SAHMs or go to work and often they aren't choices. It's completely unsatisfactory and I think the government couldn't give a shit tbh.

Cokeaholic Wed 27-Jun-12 10:02:05

I'm shocked at people's lack of grasp of reality !

47% said that Employers should contribute more to childcare costs shock

Come on folks, how the hell will this enable parents to return to the workplace, get jobs etc when it is cheaper to employ someone without children because as amployer you don't then have any contribution to make towards childcare costs.

Did people switch of their social conscience and think only of themselves and their own situation when responding to the survey ?

In the long run, say 10-20 years from now when the economy has recovered I'd like to see childcare costs tax deductible in full at an approved rate per hour but only to cover the number of hours worked. This could be done via payroll but with the taxpayer and not the employer responsible for any fraud.

BoffinMum Wed 27-Jun-12 10:37:25

I would like to see a situation where home based childcare was the norm for children between 0-2.5, and this was tax deductible or even refundable according to a set of banded pay scales and rates (metropolitan areas, urban/suburban areas, rural areas, remote areas). This would deal with the whole gross pay/net pay nonsense in one fell swoop, and also standardise what was available. I would ditch the OFSTED approved childcarer stuff (as it is effectively meaningless in terms of children's development and the actual quality of care) and only inspect childcarers for 'elf n' safety. So anyone running a childcare business, passing the 'elf n' safety checks, and paying tax would be able to join the scheme. All childcarers providing home based care should be self-employed so parents do not have to manage payroll etc on top of everything else they have to do, and so they can deduct transport and equipment costs from their tax payments.

Childcarers taking their own children to work would face a reduction in pay in proportion to the number of children they were caring for, so if there were three children altogether and one was the childcarer's, they would face a reduction of 33 1/3% in the official rate (gets around the Spanish practices that go on where childcarers are able to work for a full salary and yet effectively get free childcare for their own children at someone else's expense, where the employers' children are experiencing reduced contact time).

Then children would move to nursery or some form of group childcare from the age of about 2.5, depending on when parents thought they were ready. This would also be tax deductible and heavily subsidised as well, so parents weren't paying more than abut 10% of their take home pay per child. Workers in specific key industries would have anti-social hours payments specifically for additional childcare costs, which would allow them to have some out of hours home based childcare as required (I am thinking of doctors, nurses, fire fighters, police and that sort of thing, as well as shift workers and air crew, to name a few examples).

In terms of school aged children (4.5 to 16), they should be cared for in school and any child requiring a place should be entitled to one. However the model for out of school care should be as domesticated as possible, with children being able to change into home clothes, have food and drink when they like, call staff by first names and generally have a more relaxed environment than during the school day. Again, no parent should spend more than 10% of take home pay per child.

ceeveebee Wed 27-Jun-12 11:20:16

Boffin you make some good points, however I personally think a state run crèche from 3-6 months would be a better solution. It works very well in France. Children become socialised from an early age, parents are fully supported in returning to work, the crèche workers are qualified and regulated, and it is far more efficient (therefore cost effective) to have all children attending a crèche than to have nannies in everyone's home.

ceeveebee Wed 27-Jun-12 11:21:14

When I say 3-6 months I mean this as the starting age, to be attended until starting school.

Strix Wed 27-Jun-12 13:27:44

Disappointed to see I missed an opportunity to respond to this survey. But, now, I am marking place to come back later.... Just have to go find my soapbox...

I want all of the income which I use to pay for childcare (which is in fact incurred for the sole purpose of going to work) to be tax deductible. That is every penny I spend on childcare should not insure any income tax/ ni from me. Fine for my employer to still pay, and fine my nanny (if i had one) to still pay her income tax / ni.

More later... Must go earn some tax to pay.

Strix Wed 27-Jun-12 13:29:30

Ps totally opposed to state run crèche. They can't run anything else we put them in charge of. Hands off my kids' early years!

Rubirosa Wed 27-Jun-12 14:26:15

There are already lots of state run nurseries, and they provide excellent care (better than private nurseries in general). They take babies and are open 8am-6pm, but are not any cheaper than private nurseries. In my city they are around £45 a day, most nurseries are £40-£50.

WantAnOrange Wed 27-Jun-12 14:43:08

I know I'm a couple of pages behind now but I wanted to answer Duchesses question.

£3.60/hour (per child) is not what I earn in wages. It's my gross income. From that I have to take out all my expenses (premesis, gas, electric, water, council tax, food, travel, outings, toys and resources, cleaning supplies, toiletries, training costs, Ofsted fees and insurance).

I could earn a fair wage easier if I stayed at home all day and did nothing but I offer quality childcare. We go out everyday. I provide all food. My fees are all inclusive.

So my actual wage at the end of the day is considerably less than £3.60/hour/child.

Also, the £3.60 is the same rate whereever you go in the country, but this does not reflect childcare costs. Most nurseries in my area charge around £4.20/hour. I don't know how they could get round this and still be fair tbh.

Want2bSupermum Wed 27-Jun-12 15:04:03

I think state run nurseries are not ideal. So many on here complain about state schools so I can't imagine the uproar about private vs state nurseries. I also think small groups work better for young children. DD is in a small class of between 4-12 children age 3-24 months depending on the day. When we were looking, a local daycare they had 33 6wk - 18 month babies in one room. It was too much and I know a couple of the babies who attend that nursery. Those kids get ill a lot more than DD does and there have been more incidents. Personally I don't think there should be more than 16 in a class with a ratio of staff to babies of 4:1. In the name of cost I fear that state run nurseries would result in bigger classes.

Overall, I do think that the UK needs to think very hard about where they stand when it comes to supporting a family. This isn't about supporting the parents so much as supporting the development of the children. It is vital that our children turn out to be productive members of society. I currently live in the US and there is much more support here through the tax system, state programs and community charity for families with children compared to the UK.

Rubirosa Wed 27-Jun-12 15:08:52

Want2bSupermum - the ratio of under 2s is 1:3, 2-3s is 1:4. In the state nurseries I know of, the group size in under 2s rooms has been 6-9, and in 2-3s 12-16.

nannynick Wed 27-Jun-12 19:05:34

What question was asked which resulted in the finding

Half of parents (50%) of parents felt that childminders should be able to look after a maximum of three children under the age of 5 (in-line with current regulations), while 20% believe it should be a maximum of two.

20% want a childminder to be only able to care for two children under age 5? Really? That's hardly going to help reduce costs.

Twit Wed 27-Jun-12 20:10:32

What about opening schools all year round? Teachers & kids could take the same amount of holiday per year as parents. Also School hours have to be longer than average work hours so that we have a chance to get a decent shot at a decent job.

Want2bSupermum Wed 27-Jun-12 20:28:47

Ruby My fear is that if care for preschool children becomes state provided by the taxpayer that this will change.

The ratio as per the state of NJ is 4:1 for babies up to 2yrs. The local place with 33 under twos in the one room has a ratio of 3:1. I looked into both places and observed the class for half a day via video for the local place. Music time was done with all 33 children. It was chaos. This local place is more then $400 a month cheaper than their competition. The bigger classes have enabled them to reduce costs while maintaining staff ratios.

Flisspaps Wed 27-Jun-12 22:01:57

nannynick That was my thinking too, plus I personally would then be screwed (as would many other childminders) with 2 under 5s of my own!

That would make it impossible for me to make enough money to live on as a CM so I'd have to WOH - only with 2 under 5s I'd have to find a CM with no under 5s of their own, and no Early Years mindees to care for, and what I'd be contributing to the family pot after we'd taken out childcare would be around £0...

How on earth would that be a workable solution?

Flisspaps Wed 27-Jun-12 22:04:03

Twit How would that be possible in terms of ensuring that all children were taught the full curriculum? It would be impossible to plan!

Twit I would feel awful making my DCs go to school for longer than working hours, with no holidays! While I agree the disparity between school holidays and work holidays needs addressing, there are better ways than making DCs work more than adults.
Perhaps more flexibility from employers, so parents can work e.g. 3 days in school holidays, 5 days term time, or reducing core hours to 9.30-2.30 so parents can choose to work early or late to reduce childcare. Also, given the prevalence of the Internet, more work could be done from home or at unconventional hours to fit around family life.

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:35:48

I think we're making a mistake if we think it's the job of schools to provide childcare. A school is there to provide an education. The only childcare provider able to do long, flexible hours is a nanny, and even then you have to work around holidays, sickness, maternity leave etc.
I've got a novel idea. How about parents look after the children they weren't bullied or bribed into bringing into the world themselves? Is that really so outmoded and unthinkable, for those who are able to afford it?

duchesse Thu 28-Jun-12 11:40:10

Heck of a lot more expensive in terms of lost income, job prospects, etc for children to be looked after at home by a parent. Obviously there are very many positives to having 1-1, 1-2 or 1-3 attention but it's not a solution without cost, either to the family, or to the economy/society. And this is NOT a WOH/SAH debate, more a debate about the practicalities or otherwise of existing childcare situations. Shall we keep it that way?

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:44:13

I didn't know you were in charge of steering the discussion a certain way duchesse, LOL!

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:45:30

I made a perfectly valid point which was pertinent to the subject.

duchesse Thu 28-Jun-12 11:46:52

No, no you weren't. The thread is about how to improve childcare. Your solution is "child care shouldn't exist". How does that help?

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:53:21

I didn't say that. You said that.
I said it's not the job of schools to provide childcare.
Their job is to provide an education.
The root of this problem is not the lack of childcare, or the cost of it. The real problem is that employers are inflexible and expect parents to fit their children around a 40 hour a week job, 52 weeks a year. The real issue is that companies don't offer enough flexibility, home working, term time working, working around school hours etc. That's the real issue for government, not trying to arrange 24/7 childcare cover to pander to the whims of unreasonable employers.

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:55:10

and there's been plenty of thread drift throughout this discussion. Funny how you took objection to my drift though because I said something which challenges your world view?

bubbles11 Fri 29-Jun-12 17:22:16

havent read the thread but in response to the survey results - so relieved to discover it is not just me
Since i returned to work in January 2011 I have been poorer than i have ever been in my whole life including when i was a student - at least someone is looking into it - thankyou

Want2bSupermum Sat 30-Jun-12 00:20:37

lowfat Employers are not going to change to suit working parents. They need their employees working during business hours. Most professional careers don't allow for flexible working or working part time. The real problem is the cost and hours available. Nurses and doctors need care available to them 24/7 to accomodate their shifts.

Strix Sat 30-Jun-12 09:45:07

I agree that the purpose of school is to educate and not to provide childcare. I would therefore like the government to stop claiming they have assisted with my childcare by providing me with a primary school.

I don't need or even want my employer to give me part time / flexible working. I an just as committed to my job as the single blokes without young children who sit around me. But I do want to live in a society where normal peopl can reasonably expect to have children, and go to work in order to support them.

Regarding the comment about why don't parents look after their children themselves, I provide for my children by going to work. Without the money that comes in from this job, we would not have food, clothes, a variety of children's activities, etc. This is my chosen approach to raising my children. Others may have a DH who pays all the bills and choose to stay home with their children. That's great... For them.

What I want is a system which allows parents to make the choices which suit them. I do not want the government to tell me how my children will be looked after (I.e. state run nurseries where I have little control over how they are run, what activities are provided, and let's not even think about what they would feed my children). I want choices which are reasonably affordable to normal people who want/need to work.

BoffinMum Sat 30-Jun-12 09:59:49

Nobody is really saying that schools and teachers should provide childcare, but it seems extraordinary that our massive investment in school buildings lies unused for 1/4 of each year and 1/2 of each waking day.

BTW for those that say teachers should have the same holidays as everyone else, they aren't technically entitled to any holidays at all! They are just entitled to be absent from the premises during school holiday periods. You will find most of them pop in and out during the holidays and so on, and also do a great deal of their termly lesson planning and paperwork then. A McKinsey study commissioned by the Government a few years back added up all the hours teachers worked and found they were equivalent to most other professional roles, but concentrated into more intense periods (i.e. mainly term time). It's an odd sort of job.

Twit Mon 02-Jul-12 22:17:39

Sorry, I didn't mean they would have to work, I meant wrap around care, for home work and chilling. I realise it would be a nightmare and I also know teachers work very hard, my dad was a primary head and worked in the holidays etc. I was just throwing it out there really.

Ingy123 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:09:11

Please sign this petition... we need childcare vouchers to be increased to help parents out paying for childcare costs...

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