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full time working mums childcare/nanny cost advice starting school

(28 Posts)
redorangeblue Sat 28-Oct-17 22:26:31

Hi, we have two children, 2 and 3 years old, and a full time nanny (working mon-fri 8-7 generally) living in zone 5-6 london. We have no family nearby.

With tax, NI and pensions, nanny costs me slightly over £3k a month (this is before payroll admin and petrol/food/kids activities costs that she expenses). 3yo gets free 30hr funded preschool. Nanny gets £10ph net, bonuses, annual leave etc. Sometimes we return early and relieve her, but it's not predictable so her pay is fixed.

First question is, what do other working mums in pay for childcare (incl tax etc as mentioned)?

My second question is, what do other full time working parents do without family help, when kids go to primary school? We can realistically do breakfast club only when both are in school but def not pick up due to nature of both our jobs. Dh and I already take turns to cover each other to leave early or back late. How much do afterschool nannies cost and what about school holidays?!

i somehow thought childcare costs, be it nursery or nanny, would only be for the early years and worth it to stay in workforce, even if it wasnt financially adding much, but now im thinking im stuck with the same level of childcare costs (assuming nanny) for next 10 years or until whatever age you can leave kids at home?

People keep suggesting au pair, but I'm not sure I could trust au pair for two at this age until maybe younger is in reception? Can i ever trust any au pair? And then do you recruit au pair every few months? We only have a single spare room, is that even attractive? Do you have au pair plus a part time nanny or live in nanny? Sorry I just find the au pair concept really strange.

I've looked at local childminders and they don't seem to have many schoolage places. They also charge per child so for 2 kids and loss of flexibility (drop off by car, rush in late to work and leave work early to pick up at 630, pushing bath and bedtime back home pretty late and exhausting after work) - it isn't cheaper than a nanny.

Thanks in advance and sorry for ramble..

Milkpeach Sat 28-Oct-17 22:34:04

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seven201 Sat 28-Oct-17 22:43:00

What about a nanny share, where your house is the main House? I don’t know anything about that though (my dd goes to nursery). During school holidays there are holiday clubs to sign up for.

wannabestressfree Sat 28-Oct-17 22:47:38

@Milkpeach you have three nannies? How many other children do you have? Are you back at work?

Milkpeach Sat 28-Oct-17 22:57:02

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minipie Sat 28-Oct-17 22:59:53

Honestly the people I know who have London childcare either
1) earn enough that they can pay a nanny (incl tax expenses etc) and still have a decent amount left over
2) cobble together some other combination of childcare, often involving grandparents, afterschool nanny/ nannyshare, nursery plus au pair, holiday clubs, etc. They might juggle days with their partner to reduce childcare costs eg he works mon-thu and she works tue-fri. Annual leave taken separately to cover school hols. Etc

HeadDreamer Sat 28-Oct-17 23:05:08

It is a lot cheaper when the child is at school. After school clubs are the cheapest but pick up time is fixed. The ones round here is 6pm. Childminder is a lot more flexible. DC1 goes to one before and after school and it’s usually £300-400 a month depending on holidays. Both will usually do School holidays.

kittymamma Sat 28-Oct-17 23:05:42

@Milkpeach I will replace the 3 of them and do it for that! smile

Seriously though... I have a child minder for my pre-schooler and the same child minder collects my school age child from school. Costs me about £650 a month but my husband does the drop off and I collect, meaning we minimise childcare needs to 40 hrs per week. A friend of mine pays about £700 a month for 1 child and she drops off earlier at a nursery but also collects by 4pm. I looked at private nursery that covers 7:30 am to 7:30 pm but it cost too much at £1200 for one child and that wouldn't allow for a collection from school too. Child minder is the only option for us as husband does a night shift so we want the house empty in the day.

ilovepixie Sat 28-Oct-17 23:24:24

No other children and I don't work. My husband has semi-retired for two years to enjoy our son's first couple of years.

But your not looking after your child.** The 3 nannies do it!

wannabestressfree Sun 29-Oct-17 07:31:21

@Milkpeach I am just confused why you would need three nannies for one child if you are both at home.
Oh how the other half live....

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Sun 29-Oct-17 08:41:06


Why on earth did you bother having children. Mid you can't be atsed to look after them hmm serious question.

greendale17 Sun 29-Oct-17 09:07:56


“Why on earth did you bother having children”.

You are a stay at home mum, your husband is semi retired and you have 3 nannies????? This is surely a wind up!

meditrina Sun 29-Oct-17 09:38:29

I think you need to gird your loins to pay and keep you current nanny until your DC2 is at school.

When your DC are older, the idea of an au pair will seem quite different to how it does now.

toocool4cats Sun 29-Oct-17 09:45:34

I can’t help but wonder why some people have children? I work full time now and for most of my adult life but for DS early years I went part time in order to be a present parent. DH works shifts so contributed to parental responsibilities as much as possible. We employed child minder and used before and after school clubs during primary school years. We share annual leave during school holidays and often have to take it separately. Also used holiday clubs for this purpose. The guilt of not being able to be present for him is constant but if I was using nannies for 12 hours a day? Arriving home exhausted and only able to give a quick kiss then bed? Seriously? Could one parent not go part time? Take it in turns? Employment law has to support surely. Otherwise the DCs just see a succession of adults every day none of whom are constant in their lives? Why have children if neither of you want to make work sacrifices to be parents?

RicStar Sun 29-Oct-17 09:49:14

I kind of have the same feelings - I only work part time though and think I will keep doing that longer than I thought I would - DS (my younger) will be in reception next year. I am undecided if to keep our brilliant nanny for another year or move to after school clubs.

I think Dd who is in year 1 would like after school club now - perhaps light at the end of the tunnel - but it is taking longer to reduce costs (I think maybe 18 months more for us) than I thought and me and DH should be able to manage pick up at 6 - I will go in early DH will drop.

It is hard but I am very privileged to even have the choices I do and am glad of that.

grasspigeons Sun 29-Oct-17 10:02:54

My friends that have nannies or are nannies, either pay the nanny all day when the children are at school, but give them tasks like the kids washing, going in and hearing readers etc, because there are a lot of holidays for school children and it's all covered and 'stress free'

I also know two nannies that just do the after school slot until 7pm. One has a TA job in the morning and the other works in a nursery in the morning so they have two jobs.

Childcare does go down when children start school, but I know a lot of people who made it work through the early years and then struggled more with the availability of childcare.

My breakfast club is £5.75 per child starting at 7.45. The afterschool club is £17 per child and ends at 6.00pm and the holidays clubs are about £35 a day to get 8 til 6.

Ktown Sun 29-Oct-17 10:05:02

I use breakfast and after school club which I vastly prefer because it is organised.
I pay less than 10 quid per day for this.
Holidays are a different matter.

redorangeblue Sun 29-Oct-17 14:34:47

thanks, thats helpful. maybe i should have posted in nannies section. nanny works best at the moment, and im just picking the brains of those with school kids or went through same thoughts.

i went back part time then full time, having retrained at an older age, so am already fortunate to have an understanding employer. I did so to have family friendly hours in the long run, but this is irrelevant

it sounds like school will be somehow manageable and make hanging on worthwhile, which is reassuring. thanks.

jannier Sun 29-Oct-17 19:11:54

cm's will on average take children from as early as 6.30 or 7am (depending on their own preferences) and often work as late as 6 with some working longer maybe up to 7pm. They routinely take children to school and have them in holidays.
Cm's are often as well trained as nursery managers with many having level 3 and 4 in early years education some will have early years teaching status.
Its normal to pay for the hours used for school children so around£15 to £30 depending on your location, the younger child would then be the childs normal hourly or daily rate £40 to £50 is common.

sqidsin Sun 29-Oct-17 19:30:45

If you can afford it, I think that the best option by far is to stick with the full time nanny option. Especially if your current one is good! I know a few families with school-age children who have done this and it works well.

The school day is not that long and a good nanny can also sort out all child-related stuff like buying uniform, hair cuts, dentist appointments, sorting costumes for dressing up days, doing homework, spellings, reading, etc. Otherwise you'd somehow have to squeeze all this in yourself.

When your children start school, they will have enough to adjust to without having to cope with new child care arrangements. Much better that it stays consistent and that they can come home and chill out when they need to after school.

Plus as the children get older, a nanny can take them to after-school activities (sports, drama, etc) which wouldn't be possible with a childminder/after school club.

And yes, school holidays!! Which take up about a quarter of the year (more in private schools).

I couldn't afford a nanny though, and without any nearby family we were left with a patchwork of breakfast club, afterschool club and both parents taking it in turns to go in late/leave early. It was exhausting for all of us and we only managed it for a year or so before we decided our quality of life would be much improved if I stayed at home... but this is a different topic!!

museumum Sun 29-Oct-17 19:34:58

When they’re both in school a childminder will be much cheaper than a nanny as you only pay the hours they’re with them.
In the between bit (one at school) you probably do want to stick with a nanny.

redorangeblue Sun 29-Oct-17 21:09:39

that makes sense, to wait till both in school and then look into afterschool nanny and childminder. thanks! it really clears my head.

seems childcare ironically gets trickier at school after early years, which is not great for many who want to work or progress

MarshmallowNougat Mon 30-Oct-17 22:05:44

There are a few people who do before/after school care in your house. Sometimes they have another part-time job, or are older and don't want eleven hour days, or they have a small child they want to bring with them.

We have a nanny for three days before/after school and two days in the holidays, cost £11k. It is very tough to drop children early, commute, do a full working day and then collect, cook, help with homework and bedtime. A nanny does some if this. Mixing before/after school clubs with a nanny works well for us, it is just tricky finding a nanny.

Childminders have so many children, that put me off them.

Good luck, you have a few years until you need to solve this.

jannier Tue 31-Oct-17 12:41:03

What do you mean by cm's having so many children? They are only allowed 3 under 5 and 3 between 5 and 8 in a nursery the ratio is higher and in a school it can be 30 to 1.
The staff in a nursery are often apprentices with no formal qualification supervised by one level 3 many cm's are level 3.
CMs want to be with children they choose it and train in it, some apprentices are there because they have to be in some kind of education until they are 18 and fancy playing all day. I am an assessor who goes into nursery's and it can be a real headache. When you go to a cm's house you know they really want to do it, and they are paying for it which shows a commitment.

MarshmallowNougat Tue 31-Oct-17 14:32:56

Several CMs have ten children here (home counties), most of them are school age, not sure exactly how old they are. We used a CM when my daughter was one, we thought her much better than a nursery smile. That was years ago, I think the numbers CMs can take has increased.

If we only needed a couple of before/after school sessions a week we probably would chose a CM as they normally provide a proper meal.

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