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To not understand how couples who work can afford a second child??

(239 Posts)
TheAngelofNitshillRoad Sun 28-Feb-16 21:42:18

Without waiting until the first child is in school, anyway!!

DD is 13 months. I work part time (3 days per week) - we pay approx £600 per month on nursery fees.

I worked full time before I went on mat leave. Only got statutory maternity pay after the first six weeks. I took 9 months off and by the end of it we were completely skint. We're building back up now but it's hard because the nursery fees are high and obviously I've had a significant salary reduction. We've stripped back our outgoings as much as we can, so we cover our outgoings and have a little bit of disposable income each month, but it's hard to save.

We had always considered starting to try for another baby towards the end of this year. I didn't want too big an age gap between DD1 and DC2 and I'll be honest, I'm really beginning to feel that broody feeling. But I just can't see how we can do this.

It seems to me that while I'm on mat leave, we will need to pay the nursery to keep DD1's nursery place open (although I don't think I would put her in for three full days each week, I wouldn't want her to feel pushed out at home with new baby). If I go back down to statutory maternity pay, we physically will not have the cash available to pay these nursery fees. So we have no option but to out DC2 off for....ages really! sad I've been trying to save where I can, transfer the odd twenty quid to my ISA but it's a slow, slow process.

Am I missing something?? Are we approaching this the wrong way?? How do people afford this??

notquitehuman Sun 28-Feb-16 21:45:16

I have no idea. I want to have a second DC but am waiting for the first one to go to primary school so we will only have one set of fees.

Not helpful I know.

BloodyPlantagenets Sun 28-Feb-16 21:45:45

Do you claim childcare vouchers from work? You are entitled to keep claiming them while you're on Mat Leave without losing any maternity pay.

TheAngelofNitshillRoad Sun 28-Feb-16 21:47:55

Yeah I do, and I didn't know I could still claim them through mat leave so that's helpful, but it's still not enough sad

ShamefulPlaceMarker Sun 28-Feb-16 21:48:33

I have no idea either! Which is why we have a 4yr age gap! I love my dd's 2yr old stage atm but I also can't wait to stop paying for childcare!

TheAngelofNitshillRoad Sun 28-Feb-16 21:49:01

Hang on...what exactly does that mean?? Can you explain it to a numpty please?

Writerwannabe83 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:49:58

I'm lucky in that I work full time hours but over 3 days so I actually only need childcare two days a week. My monthly childcare bill is only £320.

I'm currently pregnant with DC2 but we have purposefully timed it so that when DC2 requires childcare DC1 will be having his 15 free hours.

rageagainsttheBIL Sun 28-Feb-16 21:50:15

We waited to ttc until dc1 would be close to getting free preschool hours at due date so just before he turned 2. Dc2 arrived when dc1 was 3 and 2 months and we already got the free hours.

We will still be tightening our belts massively during mat leave - and probably forever more...

SanityClause Sun 28-Feb-16 21:50:32

Get a nanny. Much cheaper than nursery if you have more than one child. More relaxed, as well. They come to you, so no rushing to drop off in the morning.

nolongerwaitingfornumber2 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:50:48

Do you get childcare vouchers through work? Once I went down to statutory my employer continued to pay them but they weren't deducted from my mat pay and the amount was enough to cover a few sessions per week at nursery which gives me plenty of time to do groups etc with 6 mo DS.

lynholmerpark Sun 28-Feb-16 21:51:25

I took decision to be SAHM. Less than 2 year gap. Have you considered a Nanny? Au pair? To cover when you are working.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:51:41

It depends on your salary and whether or not you have any free childcare through family. I am (was) a teacher and my MIL is prepared to have DS twice a week for us, so it paid to keep working, though I'm giving up now.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sun 28-Feb-16 21:52:31

We were never more skint than when we had 2. DC in full time nursery. Like you, I went p/t after DC1 and took a drop in salary. We looked at the long term - for a relatively short time we would pay almostthe equivalent of my p/t salary out in nursery fees, but as soon as DC1 was 3 we got some nursery funding, which helped, and then longer term when first one then both DC went to school, finances got better. In the long term it was worth it, but it was very tight for a good while.

lucymootoo Sun 28-Feb-16 21:52:35

We have 2 DC and have had to leave a fairly large gap in between. Once DC1 was in primary school and settled into P1 we started trying for DC2. This also gave us a decent amount of time not paying nursery fees to put by for my mat leave.

It's not the gap we would have like to have left (ideally a 2-3 year gap) but it's the only way we could of afforded it.

MyWey Sun 28-Feb-16 21:53:32

Oh and by the time I go back to work in Sept DD will get her 15 hours so actually won't be much more having them both in for 3 days than it was just one for 4.

ecuse Sun 28-Feb-16 21:53:40

We timed it so we didn't have two sets of fees

Doubledaff Sun 28-Feb-16 21:54:14

I have twins so no real choice but to pay 2 lots of childcare. Have you considered a nanny or childminder?

BarbarianMum Sun 28-Feb-16 21:54:40

How much would you save if you didn't put your dd1 in nursery whilst you are on maternity leave. I'd consider it if I were you. Yes, she may lose her place but you could go back on the list for a new one, just as for dc2. Or look at other childcare options. Nursery through maternity leave is a nice-to-have rather than a necessity.

WhiteBlueDaisies Sun 28-Feb-16 21:55:52

I have two in nursery for two full days it week, I work part-time as a teacher.

I didn't think I would be able to afford it DC2 was a 'surprise' and I was in complete melt down worrying about it all. But we just do.

I think it's hard to compare your situation to other peoples', there are so many variables.

ewanthedreamsheep Sun 28-Feb-16 21:56:11

The value of your childcare vouchers cannot legally be deducted from smp, but your employer can't stop giving them to you, so you get them 'for free' on top of smp.

x2boys Sun 28-Feb-16 21:56:26

We both worked shifts around each other so didn't have to pay child care this up where shift work comes into its own!

magpie17 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:56:59

This worries me too. I have a 7mo DS and when I go back to work he will be in full time nursery. I really want another child and I am 36 this year so can't really wait until he is at school to have another but there's no way we could afford two full time nursery places.

DH thinks 'we'd manage' but can't actually articulate what that would look like!

Pico2 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:57:22

4 year age gaps seem more common than I would have predicted.

mewkins Sun 28-Feb-16 21:57:58

4 year age gap. Which suits me fine!

KayJBee Sun 28-Feb-16 21:58:08

Not unreasonable to ask but probably a bit unreasonable to not understand that everyone has a different situation. Not everyone is in the same position as you are right now.

I did shift work in a 24/7 environment so I was able to make sure that one of my 3 days was always a Sat/Sun each week so DH could look after them (he worked Mon-Fri). So I got paid for 3 days but only paid for childcare for 2 days.

Other people might have have higher paying jobs, family childcare nearby, working/child tax credit entitlement, sibling discounts at childcare settings, childcare vouchers, child benefit, savings, mortgage holidays........

I hate to add but often childcare gets far more complicated once they are at school. What do you do for childcare in the holidays and before and after school? A nursery or childminder that is open 8am-6pm 50 weeks a year is fantastic compared to 9am-3pm 39 weeks a year!

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