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Does this childminding cost seem ridiculously high to you?

(30 Posts)
nikki1978 Sat 17-Jul-10 11:30:45

I am thinking about going back to work full time now the DCs are a bit older and have been looking at the cost of childcare. I was expecting around £4.50 an hour per child for a childminder but I seem to be way off!

I have broken down the cost and it seems to be:-

Breakfast Club £3.60 per morning per child (7.45-9 so very reasonable)
Childminder - £5 per hour for DS who would be there from midday to 6.30pm, £7 per hour for DD who would be there from 3pm to 6.30pm (this would be term time only and she only works then so no extra cost during school hols)
Holiday Club for 6 weeks (we can cover the other 7 weeks with our holidays) - £19 per child per day

Now all year round my MIL will have them one day a week (I pay her £20 a day for her costs) and my mum another day (no cost) so we only need childcare for 3 days per week. However the cost still comes in at £9500 per year which is £793 per month! Doesn't this seem very high considering I have one at school and the other at nursery 3 hours each morning in term time?

I think the childminding costs are really high! I am in Croydon so I guess it is a higher cost area because we are so close to London. But really?!

nikki1978 Sat 17-Jul-10 12:07:01


foureleven Sat 17-Jul-10 12:12:07

sadly nikki in my experience this is the norm. In fact youre lucky you have the breakfast club option. When my DD was at nursery in the mornings I had to pay childminder for a full day (10 hours) so she could keep the place aside to take DD to school for 9am and pick her up at 1pm then have her until 6pm.

Ours was £45 per day, every day of every year for 4 years.


Although, now they are older it is much less, Id like to know where all that money goes confused because I dont seem to have any extra!

Ps am also london.

nikki1978 Sat 17-Jul-10 12:24:21

Madness. I have to earn about £26500 to be in the same position as I am now working two days a week! So I have to earn very well to make it worth it but we really need more money! Plus I really want to progress in my career and have had enough of being a SAHM after 6 years!

pippin26 Sat 17-Jul-10 13:16:28

Shop around and have a chat to some minders - some may be willing to negotiate their prices slightly.
Prices vary across the country so to me - yes (a CM in the NE) that does seem rather expensive but I do know the costs down South (my SIL was telling me how much she pays at nursery).
Whats included in the prices - snacks, drinks, lunch? Outings etc.?
Also can you get the childcare element of tax credits to help you?

nannynick Sat 17-Jul-10 13:24:38

>Does this childminding cost seem ridiculously high to you?

No. It's about what it would be where I am, though your holiday club is quite a lot cheaper (compared to £34 a day here).

Childcarers have bills to pay just like anyone else... so areas where housing costs and general cost of living are high, will mean that childcare prices reflect that.

autodidact Sat 17-Jul-10 15:29:36

Sadly it's pretty average for London/S East, I'd say. Childcare costs are extortionate and backbreaking round here and are one of the factors contributing to middle income families feeling the pinch bigtime, I'd say. Over 1/4 of our joint income after tax goes to our childminder. Don't get me wrong, she deserves every penny of it and more and is only paid just over the minimum wage for looking after one of the most important people in the world, from our point of view. She's certainly not greedy or grasping in any way or charging any more than the going rate. I don't know how she makes ends meet. But the fact remains that we struggle to find her fees.

Sometimes nurseries are a cheaper option round here. I suppose they can charge less as they have more children attending so don't need one child's fees to effectively cover a worker's full wage. All the ones I visited were crap though apart from one which was oversubscribed by millions.

eastmidlandsnightnanny Sat 17-Jul-10 15:37:16

I would say if you have more than one child a nanny may be more cost effective for you.

Ok some of the time she may only have one of your children but when she has more than 1 will def be more cost effective.

As the hours are short during the term time then you need someone in the summer I would suggest a nanny who has own child as they are more likely to be a little more flexible and wont want full time hrs 52wks of the year.

Depending on the nanny's experience and qualifications you would expect to pay £7-£10 gross an hr (this is per family) for a nanny who brings own child to work.

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 17-Jul-10 15:57:43

Nurseries are even more expensive than childminders where I am - £40-£50 a day where childminders are more like £35-£40.

gillybean2 Sat 17-Jul-10 16:07:22

You can probably get a slightly cheaper child minder if you shop around.

But quite often a child minder who finds it's not worth their while to continue gives up (and you then get stuck looking for another at probably the price you've got now).
They have to cover costs (insurance, cost of registering, paperwork etc), food, activities as well as make a reasonable amount to make it worth their while.

And holiday club seems reasonable. Cheapest I pay round here is £25 a day (which was for a not very good holiday club that he no longer goes too), to £35 a day for the mega brilliant one.

Quality Sat 17-Jul-10 16:25:40

Sounds abotu right to me, I live in a very cheap area for childcare and it costs me £31 a day for DD2 full time but JUST after school club for DD1 would be £19!
As it is full time for DD2 and inset/half terms for dd1 as well is just under £7k, and like I say, I am miles from london.

Lizcat Sat 17-Jul-10 18:21:19

Very reasonable 2 years ago it was costing me £9900 to have one child in pre-school unit at nursery for 12 months.

raindroprhyme Sat 17-Jul-10 20:16:08

when my kids were in full time childcare one at school one at pre school then with the childminder the rest of the time it cost me £800 a month. this included all food.
i am in South west Scotland

ageing5yearseachyear Sat 17-Jul-10 20:26:42

i have never been a childminder- i have "employed" them.

I always think that it seems a lot to pay- but not a lot to charge. i wouldnt look after someone elses child for £5 odd pounds an hour! if you get a good one, they are worth their weight in gold.

cant find a childminder round here at any price. before and after- school clubs are around £10 per day, so £100 a week for 2.

as they get older, the price will come down slightly (or not go up more likely) if you can access and they enjoy afterschool clubs.

supercamps is great and you do get a discount for pre booking and siblings.

do any of your care providers take nursery vouchers? you and dp can get them ( at the moment). it saves me £80 per month, and whilst i know i am kidding myself it is nice to see that £244 off the bill each month.

gingernutlover Sun 18-Jul-10 06:36:19

Breakfast Club £3.60 per morning per child (7.45-9 so very reasonable) yes that is very reasonable, expecially if it inlcudes food and drop off's at school/nursery

Childminder - £5 per hour for DS who would be there from midday to 6.30pm. You are lucky they arent charging you for a full day if she is having him for breakfast. Ilive in kent and £5 an hour is normal

£7 per hour for DD who would be there from 3pm to 6.30pm (this would be term time only and she only works then so no extra cost during school hols) seems expensive but i am guessing the CM does this to make up for the fact she has to save that place for your dd and cant actually take another mindee for that afternoon even though your dd isnt coming til 3.

Holiday Club for 6 weeks (we can cover the other 7 weeks with our holidays) - £19 per child per day. Is that full days? Wow! Cheap.

I dont think it is an awfull lots to be honest. I pay £6000 a year for one child for 3 days a week full time and when she starts school in sept it isnt going down as muich as I had expected.

LesbianMummy1 Sun 18-Jul-10 08:33:00

you don't say how old your dc's are so very hard to work out but as a childminder in the south it seems double what i would charge but areas and fees vary by region. Average here is £3.50 an hour but out priced at £3.75 an hour I have attended over 30 training days include all meals and parents are still unhappy at the potential increase in fees which would be my first in last 5 years. I only increased my fees after 2 years of childminding because my overheads were too high and I was struggling to pay for college courses on top of everything else

Chica1912 Sun 18-Jul-10 21:12:28

Im a CM in Croydon and I'd say the cm costs are about average for around here - some cms I know charge slightly less out by Addington/South Croydon but South Norwood/Crystal Palace and it goes up more as far as I know! I agree with the poster above who says that it seems a lot to pay and not much to charge. I dont know any cm's who are doing more than making ends meet, and in most cases are only barely covering their costs and as any parent would agree - looking after children is by no means an easy option - we all work really hard for the small amount we earn!

pesto80 Mon 19-Jul-10 18:32:15

I would like to stand up for all good childminders out there.
I live in central London and haven't charged £5 p/hr for at least 7 years, so think yourself lucky!

Becoming and remaining a childminder isn't easy or cheap.
Once you are finally registered as this can be a very lengthy process, you then have to supply your own tools of the trade, these usually include:

Toys and educational equipment - for all age groups (birth to 8 years) inc books, puzzles, games, dolls, prams, baby toys, paints, pens, colouring pencils, glue- glue sticks/pots, paper, crayons, glitter, play doug and many many more.

Outside play equipment- for all ages, bikes scooters, water/sand tray, balls etc

Safety equipment- Stair gates, first aid box, travel first aid box, fire blanket, smoke detectors, plug protectors, door slam protectors, cooker guard plus many more

Other equipment- for all ages, prams, travel cot, high chairs, car seats, potty, toilet training seat, changing mat, gloves, wipes, tissues etc

All equipment needs to be checked and updated regularly, so it's not just a one off payment either.

Stationary- Contracts, child record forms, consent forms,
folders, paper, printing ink, photo paper, scrap books and many more

Then there is; buisness car insurance, Ofsted fee's, childminders insurance, membership to Zoo's, children's clubs etc.

Our own childminding fee's for our children when we need to update our training, voluntary or compulsory, which is usually on the weekend.

And don't forget, Childminders also pay their own tax and national insurance.

All this and i haven't even mentioned the childminders own living cost's and house hold bill's which i know we all have to pay and are not cheap.

This is just the financial cost of being a childminder, there is also the stress of dealing with parents -who can be tricky at times- the stress of looking after children all day and the worry that you are providing and doing the best that you can for that child and their family.

I love my job and strive to provide the best possible care for the children i look after, i also take my job very seriously and am proud that i, and many other good childminders manage to maintain their own buisness and care for their own family's, and in my case as a lone parent.

Childminders will also usually accept childcare vouchers and as in my case i have a couple of children where the local council pays me for their care.

I hope this has help you understand why childminders charge what they do, and im my opinion, if someone is looking after my child -which they have done in the past- then i am happy to pay for the best childcare i can find and afford.

underpaidandoverworked Mon 19-Jul-10 18:43:59

Hear hear!!! smile

In 5yrs childminding I have covered my expenses but have never made a 'comfortable living' from it. My heating bills are £400 a qtr in the 2 winter months, and - believe me! - the heating goes off when mindees go home!

I'm a cm who has used cms in the past and I too thought I was paying a lot for the care at the time, but now that I am on the other side of the fence, I think the majorty of cms are worth their weight in gold and don't earn anywhere near their worth!!!

We are trusted to care for the most precious thing a parent possesses and I for one feel honoured when a parent puts that trust in me! smile

autodidact Mon 19-Jul-10 20:05:17

You both sound like great childminders but there was no need to go on a justifactory rant, really. Everyone on this thread has been absolutely clear that their childminders are wonderful and deserve far far more than the pittance they are paid. It's just that funding that pittance from ones own pittance can be difficult.

foureleven Mon 19-Jul-10 22:26:50

absolutely autodidact, I have never heard anyone say that their childminder isnt worth their weight in gold. Id pay mine 3 figures if I could afford it! But it doesnt mean I dont feel the pinch of £4 an hour.

pesto80 Mon 19-Jul-10 23:36:44

I certainly wasn't intending to go on a "justificatory rant", i just wanted to help parents like yourselves understand better why childminders charge what they do.

And yes, i feel the pinch too!!

autodidact Tue 20-Jul-10 07:14:45

We understand already. This wasn't a childminders are money grasping meanies thread. But never mind.

pesto80 Tue 20-Jul-10 14:23:46

The parent who posted her question first ended her post with:

"I think the childminding costs are really high! I am in Croydon so I guess it is a higher cost area because we are so close to London. But really?!"

It was to that comment i replied.

You may already understand, but she obviously did not, so it was to her that my "rant" was intended.

autodidact Tue 20-Jul-10 19:37:12

Ok, fair enough, pesto. Sorry to be a pain. It's just that this is a subject close to my heart as I constantly feel the paradox of paying my lovely childminder a crappy amount yet struggling to afford it.

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