How do you cope?(78 Posts)
I am only starting my pregnancy journey, but already looking into childcare options... and I am totally shocked.
In my area I would have to pay 800-900 pounds a month to pay for full time nursery. How the hell can people cope with that? That money could go towards savings or something. It is crazy.
Please tell me there are other ways! I just checked childminders in my area, but some are even more expensive than this, but most are the same. I don't have space for an au-pair...
Wife took a year off (saved in advance so only slightly less than usual income) then went part time (3 out of 5 days). We also worked 24/7 shifts which we did back to back pretty much. So someone was always at home, though when that didn’t work we had to use annual leave so we didn’t have a proper family holiday for years.
It was £1250 a month for me, plus £475 commuting so I quit my job 😔
You will get lots of people saying that's not even bad. Full time is £1600 in my area.
Just think the highest costs are only for a few years then they start to reduce. Also things like tax free childcare reduce this cost by 20%, so it's really 'only' about £700.
If you want to work then you have to find a way to afford it basically! Even if there is a small margin between childcare costs and salary you might still need the difference to pay the bills!
Some also can make it work by alternating shifts, even the thought of that makes me utterly exhausted
That money could go towards savings or something
🙄 everyone would love to save that kind of money all the time yes, So while you have a child it will have to be the “or something” it’s either worth it and a priority or not it’s simple really, it amazes me how people are ok with paying that money for a weeks holiday but begrudge paying it to someone to mind their much wanted children while they work.🙄
@Youmadorwhat ... I understand that people need to be paid for minding the kids. That is fine. What I don't understand, is why not the government pays for it? I bet it would be cheaper then giving out benefits. And it would also be better for the economy.
But it's also missing the point... my problem is that this money goes out and doesn't come back... if you save it, you then invest it. Even a holiday has mental/health benefits.
But to pay for someone to do something, that I could do and I would want to do, rather than go to work and get paid basically on a half rate. This is just ridiculous.
@coffeeforone ... It is good to know about the 20% off. Thanks. We won't be able to do much alternating shifts. Both are going to have office based jobs, Monday to Friday, office times. There might be some flexibility. I was thinking maybe we could do 9 hours days, 4 times a week, so like me would work Tuesday to Friday and my hubby from Monday to Thursday... so only for 3 days we would need nursery. This could work, if our workplaces flexible enough.
Nursery had massive ‘investments’ for my DCs. They ate a better variety of food there than they ever did at home. They’re in school now, but still have some very close friends from nursery. Starting school for them was an absolute doddle because they were so used to the daily routine of going somewhere else, with other people caring for them and having a structured day. I honestly feel that my two got far better care at nursery than I could ever have given them at home.
Yes, it’s expensive but if it’s a good nursery it’s worth every penny (hardly any of which the amazing nursery staff ever see, sadly.)
That money could go towards savings or something.
yeah childcare needs paying for. Of course it doesnt 'come back' but you will retain your earning potential, they children learn and develop, make friends etc
Both me and hubby work full time hours over four days. We have a non working mid week day off early h with the baby and he goes to a childminder 3 days a week
She charges £50 a day so about £650 a month and we pay have childcare vouchers taken out of our salaries so helps
Why should other people pay for your children's nursery (government means tax payers!) we already pay for school and more recently nursery from 3. Children are a choice and you have to make financial sacrifices, I'm still making them 20 years on because I chose to have them. If you think nursery is expensive try university!
@whitelanner because it’s very simple....the government cannot afford to pay for everyone’s childcare needs!? Alongside their schooling, medical needs, housing needs, topping up of wages, infrastructure, etc etc its not an endless money pot unfortunately. 🤷♀️
@Stucknoue ... university is free (student loan). I know. I am doing it now.
I wouldn't mind paying more tax and have free childcare... but maybe that is just me then.
I don't think having kids should be a financial sacrifice... but again... maybe that is my point of view. Where I am coming from this is the only thing that is better... women can stay home for 2 years on 90 percent of their salaries and then there is free nursery. The rest of the financial situation there is crap... hence I left... but I would have expected more help here for women vs in a very poor country.
Anyway... it is what it is. We will deal with it.
At least you’re realising now. I didn’t until during maternity leave. I went back to work and hired a nanny then it all went wrong when dd started school as finding wrap around care was very difficult so I quit work and now after two years searching have managed to find a school hours job!
Maybe check out child minders as well as they can sometimes come up cheaper.
I needed a nanny as I was out the house 13 hours a day and no local nursery catered for it.
Well when I had children I expected to spend money on them. My reproductive choice = my financial responsibility.
It may also be worth noting that prolific government spending results in a ‘crap’ financial situation so be careful what you wish for.
University is not free!
The world does not owe you. How old are you? The government should pay! Pah!
The amount of people who have kids without ANY forethought is astounding.
I don't think having kids should be a financial sacrifice... but again... maybe that is my point of view
Yes this is an f’d up point of view, children cost money end of!
Where I am coming from this is the only thing that is better... women can stay home for 2 years on 90 percent of their salaries and then there is free nursery.
Then go back??
The rest of the financial situation there is crap... hence I left... but I would have expected more help here for women vs in a very poor country.
That’s probably because they spend All the money on childcare and paying 2 years worth of mat leave....no country has it all unfortunately 🤷♀️
@SlinkyDinkyDoo ... Free at the time you are doing it. Then it is free if you earn less than 25000 a year... and if over, then you pay like what, 50 pounds a month back for 30 years? For me, that is (almost) free. But nothing compared to 900/month for sure.
I am 33, and I did give enough forethought... hence I started Uni again, to have a better salary so I can provide more to my future kids. But I would have rather saved the 900 for them, so they can start their life easier when they grow up...
Government pays for all sorts of silly things... so why not this?! This would make more sense than pay for people who DOES NOT want to work so they have 5 kids and get a council house and benefits... I think the government should appreciate those who want to work and give them help, rather than those who chose not to work. And I am not talking about those who cannot... that is different obviously.
Also... we are here without any backup whatsoever. No family, no friends... we can't just leave the kid with the grandparents, like most people here actually can...
@Youmadorwhat ... children cost money and financial sacrifice are two completely different things. It is not sacrifice to spend money on my child... but it is, if it takes half of my salary and if it affects our chances to get a mortgage... so we stay in rent... so we are wasting even more money.
Go back? Wow... very kind...
There are many reasons why the economy is crap in my country, long paid maternity leave is probably not one of them, as the population is decreasing, and if they don't help people to make families, my nation will go extinct... and there would be no one to earn money, to pay taxes and pay for the pensions. ... So on the long run it is beneficial for us to have long maternity leaves.
Here I guess, too many people already, so it is not a priority for the country to encourage more children. This is sort of a population-control method I guess. The only trouble is that poor and uneducated people will still have kids, and live on benefits, and their kids will do the same... and those who want to work and have a meaningful and quality life will probably choose carrier over kids. ... so the overall "quality of population" will go down...
The only trouble is that poor and uneducated people will still have kids, and live on benefits, and their kids will do the same
Hope you’ve dug yourself a nice deep trench there, whitelanner. You’re about to get slaughtered.
@ElphabaTheGreen ... why? Because I speak the truth? Only those will be offended who are actually doing it. ... giving birth only to have a lazy life and live on benefits it is a burden on any countries. It happens in my country as well.
I am not talking about those, who have lower education and salary and choose to have kids and then their life circumstances change and they need benefits. That is absolutely fine. I am talking about those who are just plain lazy.
@whitelanner then wait and get yourself a mortgage first. Then have a child once you are sorted. It’s not the governments problem whether you have a mortgage or rent. If that is one of your concerns and you are not at that point yet then be smart and don’t have a child until you are ready financially. You are 33, you could finish uni, get a job and mortgage and have your first child at 35/36?
@Youmadorwhat that was the plan. But over 35 it is harder to conceive and I already started to feel less fertile and my hormones were changing. And I didn't want to miss my chance. Tried once and I got pregnant straight away. (only 11 DPO though) So I believe it meant to be. If I lose it, we might reconsider to wait.
@whitelanner well look whatever way it works out there are sacrifices to be made regardless, financially or not. That’s just life unfortunately. Congratulations 🎈 and best of luck
Say otherwise but you didn’t give the consequences of having a child much thought? So you fucked up and now think the government should bail you out of the problems created by your lack of forethought? Haha! Parenting will completely break you with that selfish attitude.
@Manclife1 ... hahaha. You know a lot about me, right?
I didn't fuck up at all. And I don't have selfish attitude. I have an innovative attitude.
Meaning, that I have my own opinion on things and I question things that most of the people accept as facts or "just how it is". I am always looking for better solutions and have high problem solving skills... hence I am going to be an engineer in a year. So no... I know what I am doing. I am going to have a great salary and will be able to afford childcare with no problem whatsoever.
BUT that doesn't mean I agree with it and I won't look for a better option. Those who get somewhere in life never accept the bad circumstances but look for better opportunities.
I don't want the government to "bail me out"... As I said I would gladly pay more tax for free childcare. But obviously I can't change this... but I will definitely figure out a way not to pay 900/month.
That money could go towards savings or something.
My gas and electric bill money could go into savings or be spent on something else. Oh and my petrol money, rent, council tax, water. Why bother paying for bills, I could just save it.
But they only cost a small fraction of your salary, but if you are on minimal wage, nursery can take all your money. These are not comparable costs.
If it was 200/month or even 400/month, I would say fine...
But at this point now I am wondering, that all you guys here are happy to pay this amount of money and you get on well financially. OR... you have support from family and don't have to pay. Either way I expected more support and empathy from mums in the same shoes. I guess you all could do with more money... or maybe not...
Nanny share might be a good option, OP.
Does your university not have a subsidised creche?
Good luck with that. Just don't cut corners too much that your dc suffer.
@CassianAndor ... Thanks! Finally a viable answer. I actually thought of that, and thought maybe there are people here doing similar stuff and I could get some info here. But everyone handles me here like I am a 16 year old little slut.
By the time my baby is here, I won't be really going to Uni and when I do, my husband can stay home as he is at Uni as well. That is why we decided to go for it now, because we can both be at home when needed. But yeah, Uni has nursery for a small price, but I will only use that for like 2 month, then I graduate.
@ssd I can't see how my child would suffer from staying home with them more and send them less often to nursery.
@whitelanner, please don't assume that all mums are either lazy on benefits or using granny to babysit. I am neither of those things. I have 2 DCs. When I first returned to work after DS1, full time I was paying £900/m nursery fees. We have NO family to help. My parents are dead and DH's live abroad. When I had DS2 I reduced my hours at work so no I do 2 9-5 days and 2 days just school hours. I use a childminder who charges £3/hr per child - she does before and after school care for the 2 days I need her and she also does 2 days a week in the school holidays. My DS2 is now at pre-school and gets 30 hours a week free childcare. You will just have to 'cope' I'm afraid. When your child gets to the age of 3 then your costs will reduce significantly.
Look at it this way OP, if you are happy to pay more tax on this high salary you are going to get then how much tax would that be? An extra £900 a month OK? problem solved, think of it as tax.
Moaning about childcare costs isn't problem solving.
The irony of two students saying they are happy to pay more tax when they are paying nothing is nice though.
I agree that the cost of childcare is crazy but to say having children shouldn't come at financial sacrifice or that the government should pay for childcare is ridiculous. Childcare costs aren't a secret, people need to consider them before having children.
OP - maybe find out if there are other parents expecting at your uni and you can get something sorted. Is there a forum or something you can post on?
Will your DH be continuing at uni after you leave - could he still use the creche?
Congratulations. Practically I’d use the uni nursery whilst you’re still a student. Once you graduate, hopefully you’ll get a well paid job and then the costs will be easier. And they reduce significantly at 3 if you get the free hours, then your child will start school at 4 so it’s a relatively short window. And I really do hope you walk straight into a good job because yikes, your views about people on benefits, let’s hope you never find yourself in that position.
It is an investment- in both your future career and your future child’s early years education. There’s also a lot of irony in a non-tax paying student thinking everyone else, regardless of whether or not they have small children, should pay more tax to fund free childcare. Once you’re paying a significant amount of tax in your well paid job and your child has started school you might feel very differently!
Good luck getting everything sorted.
So, you think the government should fund your choice to have children? You want them you pay for them. Why should everyone else in work pay for mothers to stay at home for 2 years and then foot the bill for childcare?
You can pay for childcare pre tax and save 20% and from 3 you get 30 funded which is a massive help but until then suck it up.
My DS nursery is £42.50/day. That's a 10 hour day, that's £4.25 an hour. Less than I'd pay a cleaner, and less than half of what I get paid. Why should someone else pay that for me?
government subsidised childcare is the norm in other countries, presumably because those governments and societies see the value of getting parents back to work. Here we seem to be happy to see parents (usually mothers) vastly under- and unemployed.
Mothers don't have to be under or unemployed though. I earn around £17 an hour before tax, full price childcare is less than £5 an hour plus 20% reduction through tax free childcare. Split between 2 working parents that's £2.50 an hour, perfectly reasonable even on a lower wage than mine.
Flexible working also means that hours could be reduced, for example one parent working earlier and one later so they can keep nursery hours down and spend time with their children. It's the answer for everyone but for those who can it's extremely valuable.
@ScatteredMama82 ... No, I didn't say all mums... I said that I know some people have changes in their life circumstances and end up on benefit. I know a lot of people like that. And that is understandable. But some people choose to live on benefits...
And yeah, I know. we will just have to cope... I was just curious how other people cope, if there are tricks and ways of reducing it somehow. But meanwhile I figured it out for myself. Thanks for sharing your situation though.
@Catapultaway haha, it wouldn't be 900/month tax, because it would be spread across 35 years of tax paying. That is around 50 pounds a month. But if my husband pays it as well, then it is only 25 each.
We do pay tax. We both work........ And we worked before we started uni as well, so we know "how to pay tax"... lol.
Part of be a parent is that, guess what, you have to pay fir your kids yourself! Shocker the gov don't cover all costs! But they do cover 20%of childcare costs plus free hours after age 3 plus child benefits plus free prescription and dental and optical for kids plus free education.
But everyone handles me here like I am a 16 year old little slut.
Not everyone who has children at 16 is a slut. What vile language you use to describe women who have become mothers at a different time in their life to you.
You would rather save the £900 for the child?
Eh? Of course you would. We all would. But how on Earth is that going to work?? If you want someone to look after your child, they need to be paid!
And your point about how you could do it better and for free - well, there's an obvious answer to that one.
I think you sound very young and incredibly naive. Hopefully you wise up a little bit soon.
I am a childminder . I get paid less than people pay for a cleaner per child.
There isn’t the money to pay for the children really in need .
Your judgements on people on benefits show your real lack of understanding of the difficulties within families at best is There are so many reasons people are on benefits, people on low income are given additional help, if you can afford childcare yes you should.
You are investing in your child , give decent childcare will be important when you want to know your little one is well care for
@Lost5stone "Childcare costs aren't a secret, people need to consider them before having children." - I do consider them. That's why I am here asking about options to avoid them as much as possible. I guess if people would be more outraged on the amount they have to pay, the government would have to do something about it... but I assume - hearing from you guys - that people just accepted it. I think UK has the highest nursery prices in Europe...
@CassianAndor We are both leaving Uni and go to work after the baby is born. Thanks for agreeing with me on how other countries handle childcare.
@Expressedways I don't know why you misunderstood me. I have no problem with people being on benefit when they need it. I only have problem with people who choose to be on benefits even though they are physically and mentally are capable to work and has plenty of work opportunities. However I would not get benefit, because my husband would work and earn enough... also I cannot find myself without a job, unless I break my neck. And as I said, I always paid tax...
@codenameduchess Having children is a benefit for the country and the population. Because they are going to pay YOUR pension... and they are going to keep up the economy, when you stop working... Letting the moms go back to work and being able to save more money also a benefit for the country... it boosts the economy as you are going to spend that money on other things, like quality clothes, books, car, whatever... so it will stay in the country. And people would feel like it's worth going to work and they are valued.
On £17 I understand all this is not a concern for you. You probably didn't have to restart your life at 25... like I did.
@whitelanner you know nothing of my life, you are not better than anyone else and I think you should reevaluate your attitude before you bring a child into the world.
I'm paying into my own pension, because I don't expect a struggling state to keep me. Any benefit from the next generation would be negated if the government was to find what you suggest. The country is over populated, there is a housing shortage, there isn't enough money to support the population at its current level- how does expecting more free money from a state that doesn't have enough for its services now solve any of that?
Also, student loans aren't free- you pay them back. For a long time.
@Hollowvictory I am not whining, stop being so arrogant!
@GreasyHairDoNotCare And who said that every 16 years old mum is a slut? I said I was handled as one... My gosh... some people here need to learn to read properly.
@Starlight456 Again... I don't judge people who need the benefit... come on guys... what's wrong with you? You never heard of those, who just stay home for the benefit because they just don't want to work? There like thousands of them in this country. You blamed this on the immigrants, but most of these are actually British...
@codenameduchess I didn't say anything about your life... But I know for sure, that if I were to born here, I would probably earn around your wage by now. But I am around 10 years behind. But I can't wait 10 years to have a kid.
And EVERYONE stop telling me how I should change... and whatnot. I asked for support and most of you are judging me for looking for better options. What is wrong with you guys? If you are happy to pay your 900-1700/months, good for you... I will try to find a better way. I already has. So no more comments are required. My problem is solved, no thanks to the ones that just came to judge and criticize.
I agree with you that some other European countries have fantastic maternity and childcare benefits, and I applaud the administrations who put those in place. Unfortunately, these do require higher rates of tax, which are fine when they are embedded but are incredibly unpopular when first introduced. It would be a difficult move for a stable government, let alone in the current political climate.
Please do stop slagging off people on benefits though - I don't deny that people who abuse the system exist, but they are far fewer than you are suggesting.
Parents condense hours, go pt, SAH, work around each other/do shift work/work weekends, save heavily pre dc, have family help (if they are very lucky). Most women get some mat leave and the 30 hours funding starts at 3 so the really burdensome , £1 a month years are age 1-3 and you can use the tax free system (plus some/a mixture of the above)to help then. In countries where childcare is very heavily subsidised taxes are higher than here.
@Queenofpi So how many are there? Do you know? But doesn't matter how many... my opinion is the same, even if it's just a 100 of them, or 2000 of them. That money could still go towards more important things... which just shows that the system needs to be readjusted. But yeah I know that politically it must not be easy... and I don't expect this to be changed in my lifetime... that is why I was looking for options that I have control over.
The problem is OP, that you're looking at this from your own privileged position. Many people on benefits would only be looking at minimum wage jobs, assuming they're over 25 and working 40 hours a week that would give them appox. £1400 a month. Depending on where they lived their entire wage could go on childcare, so I really don't understand how you would expect them to survive without benefits.
Meanwhile you're here talking about going into your well paid job after choosing to have a child and now complaining about having to pay for someone to look after them.
Also, thinking the 'government' should pay for your childcare is hardly innovative thinking, I'm sure the many, many childless people in the UK would not appreciate having to pay for your child.
@InDubiousBattle Thanks, I'll look into these.
It wasn't cost effective for me to return to work. Nursery fees were the same as my commuting costs. I took a few years out and we lived frugally while I did volunteering work to keep my experience up, then returned to work when my son reached school age.
I don't consider nursery fees expensive. You're handing over a living breathing human being to be fed, kept warm, safe, entertained and nurtured. The cost of a train ticket to London though? Proper rip off.
@Jungleleaves I didn't say a wrong word about anyone who takes on benefit to get help for their child. I was only talking about those who choose to have many children for the sake of benefits...
Also, as I am aware only single moms would get benefit anyway. If there is a husband who earns money, then usually they don't get benefit... which is again I think is a bug in the system.
The childless people will have their pension paid by the children of those who decided to have them. So it is their benefit as well. But obviously not in this over-populated country. Maybe after Brexit if there will be a decrease in population, the priorities will change.
@dannydyerismydad It is not expensive, if it is a choice... like I decide to give this service to my kid, because I want him the best... but when it is forced on you, because otherwise you can't go back to work and on the long run your career suffers... then it's expensive. It is not expensive for you guys, because you never knew another system. But I grew up with free childcare, and so this is shocking for me. It is not just about the money... it is about what it represents and what it doesn't.
You pay national insurance for at least 35 years to get a measly state pension, your children are not paying for anyones pension.
I haven't returned to work after having my child, my partner works. We don't get any benefits and I don't believe we should, because we made the choice to have our child, knowing the financial cost, we're in the lucky enough position that my partner can support our family and no I don't think that's a bug in the system.
I also don't begrudge the people who aren't in the same position as me and do need to claim benefits... because I'm not an arsehole.
@Jungleleaves And who begrudged those who NEED benefits? I for sure did not... please read my comments again before you judge me.
"You pay national insurance for at least 35 years to get a measly state pension" I think you are wrong. The money you pay today is straight away paid out as pension to those who qualify. The country does not save up your tax for your pension. So when you retire, your pension will be paid out from the tax that people will pay at that time. But if there is not enough people to pay taxes, then the government will struggle to pay out pensions and may go into debts or have increase taxes or reduce pensions. Because this country is over-populated this might not be an issue... but it is still how it works.
@Jungleleaves By the way, impliedly call me an arsehole, especially while you are wrong about me, is very noble indeed. You can be very proud of yourself.
I think you’re very naive which a lot of us are before researching childcare! Me and DH both work him full time me 4 days a week. DD goes to nursery which works out £998 a month. We both use childcare vouchers which covers around half of this and pay the rest from our normal salary. Money is tight and we planned the gap for our next DC so by the time ive had 9 months mat leave and start back in work my DD1 will have 30 free hours. You have to use the benefits of free childcare hours (which didn’t always exist BTW!) and suck it up and pay. But it’s only a short time in the grand scheme of things and then that money can be saved!
You pay national insurance for at least 35 years to get a measly state pension, your children are not paying for anyones pension.
@julgleleaves you do know your NI doesn't sit in your own pot waiting for you to retire don't you? The NI we pay now covers the state pension which is being paid out now, hence your children paying for your pension (if there even is a state pension when it comes to us retiring in 30 years time)
I just didn't have a child until I could afford one. I also only had one, because I couldn't afford 2. There was no 30 hours funding for 3 year olds then either. She is now at university and I am supposed to top up her maintenance payment, which I can't afford either. There's still no one to pay it for me. I don't expect other people to pay for my decisions.
Hi OP I think we are from the same country (2 years maternity, declining population) unless there are many more countries like this.
In my experience, although childcare is free, nurseries don't have a lot of money, and despite most nursery teachers being wonderful, it is s struggle for 1 person to manage a group of 30 children.
In the UK however, pre-schools and private nurseries operate with a 1 to 8 ratio for 3-year-olds (even lower ratio for younger kids) and my child had a wonderful time with lovely, caring teachers.
In terms of population and pension, we should look out for the whole world and aim to decrease overpopulation, so paying for our children is entirely fair in my opinion, as it is an amazing privilege to be able to be parents. Childless people (and not everyone is childless by choice) are doing an enormous favour to us all, they really should not be burdened with extra taxes. Similar to when having young children, retirement age is a time to save up for.
And answering your actual question, we both worked part time at various times and used wrap-around care, at the moment we both work flexibly and children are at school.
This also reminds me to draw your attention to how schools operate: they are only open during lesson times from around 9 till around 3:30 (this can vary a bit) and any care before or after that needs to be arranged separately. Most schools have before and after school facilities, although often oversubscribed and a number of local nurseries and childminders also offer school drop-offs and pick-ups.
No I'm sure you wouldn't mind paying more tax for free childcare but people without children would mind I'm sure! You have decided to have a child so you need to find them. Why should anyone else pick up your bill?
Jade218 I don't wish to reopen this post. I found peace with the fact that I have to pay for it.
I still think it could be another way. Like national insurance... you pay an amount every month whether you use the health service or not. People who never need medical help still pay a lot... and there are people who never paid a penny and get out a lot from the pot because let's say they are disabled. ... This is how society runs smoothly. Look at the USA where there is only private medical cover... they are struggeling.
Anyway as I said I made peace with the fact that it will not change in the close future so I will obviously deal with it. But I have the right to disagree and wish for a better solution.
Of course you have a right to disagree but comparing it to the NHS is not the same thing - given that rarely does anyone choose to be ill.
Especially given that our taxes do go towards childcare for children aged 4-18, I think the taxpayer does enough towards childcare.
Motherhood is most definitely a choice, though I wish you all the best with whatever option you decide to choose with regards to childcare.
Jade218 Having a child in this country IS an option and decision. I also agreed with this. Because this country is seriously over populated. The country I am coming from is not. That is the view I bring from my home... for us if we don't have children our nation will disappear from Earth. So it is all of my nation's interest to encourage women to have children and for the government to support women in any way possible. I understand that this is not the case here... but it still gave me a shock to realise.
Before suggesting that the government should be picking up your childcare bill, can you take a look at the funding crisis facing many childcare settings and the complete mess the early years is in at the moment. The government promised ‘free’ childcare to all three and four year olds, which has been great for the parents. Not so great for all the settings who are being paid less than their normal fees by the government, forced to sign provider agreements that simply don’t work (eg, being told we can not charge top ups for the care provided) and having to explain to parents why their bills are not coming down as the parents think they should be (parents have been told it’s 30 free hours a week following the child’s third birthday. The reality is it’s 30 hours, term time only, the term after the child turns 3).
In some areas the funded rate is less than £4 per hour. It costs more than that to provide good quality childcare, minimum wage has gone up a lot since the rate was set and most LAs said two years ago there wasn’t a chance the rate was going up until at least 2020. Honestly, the childcare sector is in a right mess at the moment!
I pay around £1500 a month as a single parent for my child to be in childcare 4 days a week (that's with tax free childcare, which is capped at £10,000 a year... my fees are well over that) . That comes out of my wages alone. I basically pay to go to work to have my child looked after.
I didn't choose to be a single parent, and I never foresaw my ex's abusive and vile ways until after the child was born.
It would be cheaper for me to be on benefits. But yet, here I am sucking it up.
As I said... I DON'T want to reopen this post. Please don't come here to pick a fight.
@whitelanner I am with you on this. It is ridiculous.
It is incredible how a lot of people think these prices are reasonable, it is the way it is and if not, do not have children, but don't think there is an alternative.
Well, it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that maybe the system in the UK is not great, as in many other countries is nothing like this by any stretch of the imagination.
Many of the remarks on this thread could be applied to healhcare as well...but it won't be reasonable for most people because they think that healthcare should be free. Well...some other people also think that if not free, childcare should be, at least to have a lower cost and should be subsidize, as it is done in many countries. It is ridiculous that some women have to quit their jobs because going back to work is just not worthy. It is really bad for equality.
Also, it is not ok to tell someone to "go back" to their country because they don't like something very specific from the UK. I am also from abroad, but I love the UK, that's why I live here, it doesn't mean I think everything is perfect, can we have an opinion?
On the question of how do we cope...my DP works full time over 4 days, so he stays one day a week with DD. I work part-time 3 days a week, so I am with DD another two days. We need childcare twice a week only, she goes to a childminder, which is (slightly) cheaper. We are lucky that we've got flexibility in our jobs.
We also joined the childcare voucher scheme months before we needed childcare ( when I was still on maternity leave), so by the time we needed to pay the childminder we already had some months worth of money in the pot.
You have to rebalance everything. Go through finances with a fine tooth comb. After DC1, it made sense for me to work 3 days a week in my original job, DC2 came along and with before/afterschool clubs and nursery fees, I had to think creatively. I now work in a similar but less demanding job for 2 days a week and freelance for 1 day at the weekend when DH is at home to care for the DCs. When the youngest starts school, I'll reassess everything and re-juggle my hours again.
Don't be afraid to change your job to fit family life would be my advice. It's such a change when a child comes along that life can't really continue as normal anyway. Everything is flexible and change-able to adjust to the many weathers in life. Also, don't get too motivated by money, they are only little once, spending time with them is more important than big family holidays. My mental health suffered when I stayed in my original job even on 3 days, making the change to my current role was the best thing I could have done for myself and my family, but financially we've taken a big hit.
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