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Most cost-effective child are for twins?

(22 Posts)
millie75 Thu 27-Jun-13 23:30:47

I have just done the sums as i am looking at options for my two children both under 3. Actually having a nanny only came out slightly more expensive than a childminder. nursery is the most expensive where we live (london). Of course there is always an au pair if you feel you could have someone live in? This could be the cheapest option.

You can claim childcare vouchers which will save you on income tax.

I found these website useful ( budget planner)
I was actually surprised in the end about how much we could save and afford.

Mandy21 Wed 26-Jun-13 22:23:02

Hi there. 2 things you need to consider in my view - if you're working P/T, it might be slightly more difficult to find a nanny than if you were F/T, but I agree, someone coming to the house (rather than having to get 2 babies / toddlers out of the house, and yourself) would make life much easier.

We looked into getting a nanny, but it was still cheaper to use a nursery (you will often get a 10% 2nd baby discount). We also thought that there was less chance that we'd be let down at the last minute through nanny / childminder's illness. I agree that nurseries are stricter in relation to keeping children off if they're ill but we didn't find that an issue (even though my twins were really premature). People do speak of constant bugs through winter but I don't think they missed any days at all for the first couple of years.

Financials aside, I had a year off when I had my twins but after that, I was ready to go back (P/T too). I think unless you have twins, its quite difficult to appreciate how hard it is and work was actually a break!! Much as they were my world, I definitely needed something for me, unconnected with the babies.

sammisatt Tue 25-Jun-13 06:58:02

I have twins in London and childcare costs are an absolute nightmare! I started off with a childminder. It was massively stressful having to have them up, ready, fed, packed for and and of the house on time.picking them up in the evening when they are tired and fractious and then having to get them home and feed and bathe them was totally exhausting. We got a nanny in the end. Slightly cheaper and so much easier. I earn very little after paying her but the whole experience of going to work is easy. I enjoy my job so much more because of it.

nannynick Mon 24-Jun-13 23:21:10

BlueberryHill, yes I am a nanny and yes a nanny can have benefits over other forms of care - such as not having to take the children to somewhere else in the morning. Financially it can sometimes not be that much more but in my view it is unlikely to be less than other forms of care once fully costed up (so including all costs involved, not just the nannies salary).

Linguaphile - consider things like pension and also that it can be harder to find work once you are out of work. As TwelveLeggedWalk says, one advantage of a nanny is that they will often care for children with a mild illness, as they are only caring for your children and thus do not need to consider the risk of passing things on to other children. Perhaps make pros and cons lists for each type of care you are considering, including the stay at home option. Gather information and make an informed decision once you have more facts about what childcare provision there is in your local area. Richmond FIS can provide lists of Childminders, Nurseries, Crèches.
Richmond Childminding Association hold Meet A Childminder events so you could go along to one of those to chat with some local childminders about the service they offer.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 24-Jun-13 23:14:35

Depending what cm and Nurseries charge per child and if sibling discount - but prob equaling on the cost of a nanny

Having a nanny rather then cm /nursery should make your life easier as in the mornings you just need to get yourself up and ready and go straight to work via car /train etc

Compared to getting all 3 of you up dressed and ready and then a detour to your Childcare

A nanny will also do your dt laundry and cook healthy meals for them and look after sick children - unlike a cm or nursery

Downfall to nannies - if they are ill then they may not come in so you may need backup tho rare for nannies to be off

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 24-Jun-13 22:07:43

For us a nanny worked out cheaper because I ended up paying for a hue amount of nursery days that we couldn't use due to illness. My dts came 10 weeks early and I think that has left them susceptible to more bugs, but they also pass viruses back and forth between them, and it just seemed to go in forever last winter. If I'd been employed I genuinely don't know how we'd have manned he days at home, as it was being self employed it nearly killed me because I had to stay home with one or two babies and then work nights to catch up. Hopefully you won't have it so bad, but do be aware that you need a sickness cover plan too.

Karoleann Mon 24-Jun-13 21:59:32

Are there any council run nurseries near you? They tend to be a bit cheaper than the private ones.
Otherwise, see how you go, you may really enjoy being at home and not want to go back....or it may just not suit you being at home and you may think its worth the expense.
I'd put them down for a nursery place anyway, you can always reject it nearer the time.

Linguaphile Mon 24-Jun-13 21:44:14

Yes, my job is already part-time, so would go back part-time.

BlueberryHill Mon 24-Jun-13 20:46:22

Could you work part time? I've been at home with my twins for 3 years now and it is intensive, breaking it up would be nice. I am now looking at going back into work and I think it will be harder for me to find something that fits around the school etc than if I had stayed in a post and tried to flex the hours / role.

I found working, I did four days a week with DS1 a bit of a treadmill. It worked but it is really hard work, once I added twins into that and that I would be making about £200 / £300 a month but without making pension contributions and considering the cost of cover for school holidays, the sheer hassle and hard work wasn't worth it.

Good luck and keep your options open for now.

RobotBananas Mon 24-Jun-13 20:42:04

But it would be at a loss. confused

duchesse Mon 24-Jun-13 20:41:47

One more thing- you don't want to start taking yourself out of the market place ahead of time! Until the day you give birth you could by rights go for interviews for a new job, seek promotion etc etc. And go back at full tilt only a few months later. Nothing to stop you doing so if that's what you want.

duchesse Mon 24-Jun-13 20:40:08

The thing that if you divide the cost nominally between the two of you, which you ought by rights, then you would not be working at a loss. Maybe financially as a family you would be better off in the short term, but what about the long-term? Also, how to protect your pension contributions if you are not working? I don't think we can afford to be laid back about pensions any more. If I'd known 20 years ago when DS was born what I know now, I would have made much more of an effort to get back to work properly.

Linguaphile Mon 24-Jun-13 20:36:10

I do enjoy my job, but it's not a 'career' sort of job that a break would hurt--just something pleasant in my field that I took with the thought that we'd be having kids soon. I didn't want to start climbing the ladder somewhere and then take a career break right away. The plan is to have all of our kids and then in a few years go back for my PhD/do the career thing once they're in school. In that respect, twins is good for us!

I definitely understand that the childcare costs are for both of us, but if it actually costs us money for me to work, I'd rather be a SAHM. I like the idea of being home with my kids--just wondering what other options might be if I decide I want to work to break things up a bit.

BlueberryHill Mon 24-Jun-13 20:28:25

nannynick, are you a nanny? A friend had twins also, she used a nanny and financially it wasn't that much different from having two children at nursery. It also gave her a lot more flexibility which helped with her work.

Childcare is a family expense but unless both parents are going to work part time and share the childcare when looking at whether it is affordable for the family compare the cost of working to the loss of income from the parent who would stop working.

OP consider the childcare costs, costs of actually working - travel, prof fees, lunches etc. If you can use childcare vouchers or whatever the replacement is that makes a big difference esp if both parents can do this. Assuming that the 15 hours pre school funding will still be in place that makes a huge saving once they are three.

duchesse Mon 24-Jun-13 20:25:13

It's London. Childcare is horrifically expensive there. My sister has been paying £800-900/month for two primary aged children just for wraparound care in the school club. They are just taking the piss.

ReetPetit Mon 24-Jun-13 20:09:05

that is so expensive! are you sure even childminders cost that much? would be worth calling around - some may offer sibling discount, not likely but possible, particularly if you live in an area where cms struggle ti fill their places...

nannynick Mon 24-Jun-13 20:05:49

For 2 children nursery or childminder are usually the lowest cost. A nanny is likely to be higher cost in my view, though perhaps not much higher.

Consider start/finish times. Is nursery an option given their start/finish time? Are childminders in your area able to provide earlier start time, later finish?

duchesse Mon 24-Jun-13 19:46:03

You have to factor in several things:

One is that childcare is a family expense, not just a mother's expense, so the cost comes out family income not just yours. Your DH will also be using the childcare.

Secondly, what are your career prospects? If you expect career progression and it would be career suicide to contemplate not to carry on at this point, then you also have to factor loss of future earnings.

Thirdly, do you enjoy your job? That seriously cannot be underestimated in the equation.

If as a couple you can afford to pay £1300/month or however much your childcare will cost and not go under financially, and you enjoy your job, then try not to focus on the cost as a proportion of your salary. I'm afraid the little buggers cost a lot whenever you have them- the thing is this expensive stage is not for ever.

BlueberryHill Mon 24-Jun-13 19:45:05

How about a nanny or nanny share? I have twins and I couldn't make it pay, I also have a 6 yo who would have needed before and after school care also.

RobotBananas Mon 24-Jun-13 19:33:36

Will you be going back full time? I would think a childminder may well be cheaper ( am shock at nursery prices near you though!)

Linguaphile Mon 24-Jun-13 19:29:50

We're in the Richmond area, if that helps.

Linguaphile Mon 24-Jun-13 19:28:46

We're having twins in just under ten weeks, and DH and I are beginning to think through whether or not I'll be able to return to work as daycare for twins in our area is quite expensive--£86/day/child. I think they halve the charge for the second twin, but even at £129/day (which works out to about £1300/month as I'm half-time), I'd be working at a loss.

What other options do I have? It would be great to find something that's £10/hour or less for both, but is that drastically unrealistic with twins?

Advice (and the numbers I'd be looking at) would be most appreciated!

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