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...
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.
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.
@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?
As I said... I DON'T want to reopen this post. Please don't come here to pick a fight.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
@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.
@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.
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.
@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.
@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.
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.
@InDubiousBattle Thanks, I'll look into these.
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.
@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.
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