Please help with childcare options- all too expensive!!(54 Posts)
I am trying so hard to get a job that pays better... but so far I can only make 30k. I have no idea how it’s not possible for me to be in the negative with childcare in London.
I have a 7,6 and 1 year old.
After school club costs £100 a week for the older two... added to full time childminder or daycare for little one it’s more than my salary. I thought a nanny but everyone says I would have to pay £10 an hour or more because of three kids... which would be £100 or more per day... also more than I net.... so what do I do? How is there no help for this situation?
You may be entitled to help via Working Tax Credit, via an employers childcare voucher scheme, or via Tax-Free Childcare.
Try using www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator to see if it helps to determine which scheme is better for you based on your circumstances.
Are you a single parent as you dont mention another wage? I woukd have thought you would be entitled to a significant proportion of childcare paid for if you are on your own. I know i did 2 years ago when i split from my husband. I was surprised as was earning 34k as a nurse and hadnt thought I would. I actually reduced my hours to 30 from full time so bringing my wage down to 28k I think and got around 70% of childcare paid for.
If you are working ask your employer to look at workplace nursery for the younger one. It allows you to save tax and ni on your nursery fees so can save a lot of money. On that wage you would be saving 32%. Your employer doesn’t have to own a nursery or have one on site. They run it trough a third party who sets it all up for you.
Oh and claim childcare vouchers or tax free childcare for the other kids out of school stuff. There is a cap on this but any saving is better than none.
I have a husband, he earns 38k. We have never been able to claim tax credits/benefits. Yes I could get tax free vouchers but it doesn’t save enough. We barely survived my maternity leave on his one salary as he pays all the bills, so he cannot contribute to childcare as everything he makes goes out at the end of the month already.
I should clarify... I am actually not working, got let go while pregnant. So even though I got paid maternity leave I have no job now. I have just been through interviews and been offered a job for 30k.... I am just trying to see how this could work as it just seems I would be coming up negative! My salary doesn’t cover childcare and that doesn’t even consider Oyster card/travel.
I have never heard of asking my employer for a nursery!?!? Does that really exist? Most employers I have worked for have never been child friendly enough for that.
Yes, look at workplace nursery on google it explains it all on the first few results. the employer just agrees to partner with your nursery and then you can save the tax and ni.
You need to take in to consideration 2x salaries. 68k is quite a lot of money. Obviosuly i know you would get taxed on that too.
See if your new work place offers childcare vouchers (these aren't the same as benefits)
£100 for 2 kids for after school is a bargain. That's £10 per child for presumably a few hours of care and in London too!
I'd expect a nanny to want more than £10 per hour in London as that is their sole income. I am paid a few pounds more than that for 3 children and am not in London. It's not me trying to be mean but I'm just trying to explain. I think people forget that being a nanny is a profession. It amazes me that people will pay their cleaners £12-15 an hour and then moan that a nanny might charge £10 per hour. Kids are the most important things in our lives and they are very hard work!
yes the after school club is great... but added to full time for the cost of my one year old... it’s too much!
I can’t afford a cleaner. £10 per hour is a lot. I am an educated to master degree level professional, I can’t get a job that pays £13 per hour.
this is the point how can childcare cost more than available jobs are willing to pay!?!?!?!?
why am i forced to stay out of work, there must be a way... and now i need to tell the job offer an answer 😬
Can you look into part time positions? For me, 3 days a week was the optimum balance that meant less tax in earnings, less childcare costs but being able to use full childcare vouchers. I was on a similar wage when I went back after DC2 (DC1 was in school). Was a couple of hundred pounds better off working 3 days whereas if I had increased to 5 I would have been paying to go to work.
Tax free childcare WILL save you money. And you will qualify once you are in work.
Childcare is expensive because they have to pay salary for staff, rent, tax rents, utilities, food, Ofsted fees, massive insurance cost, employee pension contributions, staff training, toys, resources, etc, etc. You cannot expect that people who work in the childcare sector will be paid below minimum wage.
A childminder might be a good option for you, someone who would take all three children in her house. Depending on where you live, this can be between £45 and £65 a day for the one year old, plus an hourly rate for the two after school. But it won't be cheap.
yes, childminder is great for one kid. but as you said, it still takes my bill near to or over £100 per day with all three.
again it’s more than I make.
I would love to work 3 days a week but in part tune jobs it’s even harder to get a higher salary. All the people I know who have well paid part time are those that have been with the company for a while and asked to switch or job share...
Yeah it's horrific sorry. Not uncommon to work for almost nothing until the kids are at school, in order to take or restart a good job.
I paid very little for a nanny share but I only had one child and it wasn't in London. IMO nannies are always really expensive, I don't think you can afford one tbh.
I would start work, live on rice and value beans, go into debt if necessary and hope for the best. On the positive side as soon as the school years really get going you will feel like a millionaire.
Do you have room for an au pair? She could supervise at least the older two. You should also be eligible for tax free childcare if both parents are working. If these aren't possible then you may want to consider cutting costs else where for example by moving out of London/into a small house/flat. Or, if you can afford it you can accept the additional cost as the cost of you being in work. Or, again if you can afford it, you could just not go back to work until you qualify for state funded childcare for the youngest.
Childcare vouchers/tax free child care account. This will save a fair amount
If you have a spare room an au pair might be an option
Compressed hours? For either you or DH?
Or what I do is do some hours from home once kids are in bed which saves me a days childcare.
Most people make it affordable by some kind of juggling.
It will only be a few brutal years of not making anything, but then it is worth it! I went from making about £150 after childcare a few years ago, to now, where due to children hitting school age combined with promotions etc I now make £1500+ after childcare
Me and dp have just been juggling a similar dilemma. We've decided to only pay out for four days a week childcare but we both need our full time salaries to afford it, so we're going to take it in turns to take a day's holiday per week. All year. That's all our holiday. But needs must, and luckily for us we get some funded hours for one after that year. Good luck.
If you’re looking at around £1500 a month then tax free will save you £300 making it £1200.
Then in two years the youngest will get 30hrs funded.
this is the point how can childcare cost more than available jobs are willing to pay!?!?!?!?
Pretty easily, I suppose when you have three children!
I am sympathetic-We have a larger family as well and the early years are very tough. I knew that would be the case though, when we decided to have the last.
well number three was a surprise, failed birth control... but that’s a whole other story, so i guess it’s part of the reason i feel so spun out about it... I had just got to that point where my older ones were in full time school.
it also kills me that we have no family to help... all our family is abroad. lots of my friends make a little bit of £ as grandmas/sisters etc pitch in.
i can’t decide what to do. i really want to work but for nothing.... ugh
Could you and your husband look at your combined income and try and see where you could make savings on your monthly outgoings? There might be some non essential bills coming out of your husbands salary. I feel for you though OP , how can 30k not be enough.
Where in London are you? It may be worth looking just outside your area. In Hillingdon Child-minder rates vary from £4 per hour in the south to £8 in the north so parents can save a lot by going 10 minutes in the opposite direction. If you can then hope on the tube its not a problem. You may also find a cm who will do a lower rate for siblings.
I wouldn't mention your education as many of us have degrees and work for less than minimum wage.
I had 2 under 2 in London and me and DH earn less than yours so it is possible. You seem to be only considering your wage but childcare is a joint cost!
We both went part time and then only had 2 days of nursery to pay for on the days we both worked.
Combined income of 68k is quite a lot. If you have your heart set on a nanny perhaps look at a nanny share. Otherwise nursery is usually cheaper.
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