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Scary childcare costs for 3dc - any alternatives??

(20 Posts)
playftseforme Mon 17-Mar-14 21:17:44

Any advice appreciated, thank you. 3 dc will be at school from this Sept. Was planning to use a CM for wraparound care (only a breakfast club at school, nothing else) but am getting scared by the cost. This is a very good and reliable CM that we used when we only had dd. But her hourly rate is going to be £6 (factoring in sibling discounts) per child. And while that is do-able during term time, the school hols are going to be very tough. Likely to be 42 hours a week (for all three) during term time rising to 120 in hols. Starting to think that I would be better off considering an AP, plus something like Camp Beaumont in the hols. But AP would need to drive, and youngest will be 4 - so is that too much to expect from an AP?

Eletheomel Mon 17-Mar-14 21:36:56

£6 an hour (including sibling discounts) - that's steep - is that the going rate where you live or is your CM charging above the rest?

playftseforme Mon 17-Mar-14 21:59:11

I'm in the south east, it's a little bit expensive but not much above the average, not enough to make me want to look at other CM options. I have a friend who uses an AP and the school holiday club which is a fraction of the cost I'm facing...

HSMMaCM Mon 17-Mar-14 22:05:49

I have parents who spread the cost by paying the same amount each month (but none with 3dc).

playftseforme Mon 17-Mar-14 22:20:11

We haven't specifically discussed that, but I would save up the extra money for the hols as I go along anyway. Otherwise at worst it would be £720 a week plus meals - eek...

playftseforme Mon 17-Mar-14 22:21:36

It just feels like silly money and there has to be another way. Or maybe I need to accept that the right childcare costs money?

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 17-Mar-14 23:28:48

I'm Guessing from your hours that you need 7.30/9 and 3/6ish so 4.6hrs a day x3dc times 3 days

If you are paying £6phpc then that's £18 - have you thought about a nanny/nwoc - obv depending on area depends on costs but should easily get one for £12/13gross tops - saving huge amounts in holidays in childcare

If not then as long as you sort out camps in holidays then an ap should be fine for even your 4yr - as will be a rising 5

But camps like barracudas and Beaumont can add up when 3 dc

playftseforme Mon 17-Mar-14 23:46:37

Yes, those are roughly the hours - 3.5 in total x 3dc x 4days. What would a nanny contract look like? Stupid question, but would it be possible to recruit a nanny for wraparound care hours, or am I looking at 10 hours per day on the basis that when you average it out over the year it's still cheaper?

insancerre Tue 18-Mar-14 06:44:43

is it possible to change your hours at work?
if you could do term time only then you would not have to worry about holiday care
or could you or their dad start later so you don't need breakfast club or finish earlier so you can pick them.up from school

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 18-Mar-14 08:27:11

There are always jobs advertising before/after school care - a nwoc is more likely to want this then a nanny without

Where are you?

ZuleikaD Tue 18-Mar-14 09:53:53

Blondes, does nwoc stand for nanny with own children? I ask because in a couple of years I'm going to stop CMing when my youngest starts school and do something else, and it hadn't occurred to me that a nanny with her own children might provide the wraparound/holiday care that I'd need.

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 18-Mar-14 10:01:10

What holiday clubs are about near you?

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 18-Mar-14 10:31:08

Yes zule once kids are at school it's hard to find childcare as obv parents don't want to pay someone all day and no kids / tho some are on a retainer incase kids ill - and then full time in hols

A nwoc can do what they like with own child 9/3 and then do pick ups and drop offs

Cindy34 Tue 18-Mar-14 12:36:43

Some nannies may do before/after school plus full time in holidays. You could agree a certain number of hours per year perhaps.

Are day camps an option, have your children been and enjoyed them? Some children like them others do not and some may be ok for a week but not want to do it all through the summer holidays.

Cub, brownie camps also take place during summer, so one or more children may be on those on certain weeks. You would also be taking your annual leave during the school holidays, as would the children's father, so between you perhaps you can cover quite a lot of the holidays, especially around xmas, easter.

If you have 3 children, they could in theory be at 3 different schools each with different school term dates. In reality there will be some overlap but sometimes there may be a week where one child is on holiday and the other children are not. Look at term dates of prospective schools, though you may not want to choose a school based on that factor.

A before/after school nanny could perhaps do all day in half terms and do some, or none in main school holidays if you can cover those with your annual leave.

Cindy34 Tue 18-Mar-14 12:38:19

What childcare do you use now? Would it be worth seeing if your current provider could come up with something that worked when youngest starts school?

Wurstwitch Tue 18-Mar-14 12:43:13

Play set, what are you doing now? Or aren't you back at work yet?
I had three Dc in three different settings, and used nursery, child minder, after school club, and eventually ft nanny (even when they were in ft child are as we needed the flexibility). We couldn't use AP as one of the dc has sn.

Having three dc in any form of child are isn't cheap, but costs do usually go down when they are all in school. That said, dd1's lovely teacher gave up work the September her child started school, as it really wasn't worth the money and effort to arrange the two or three hours of after school care she needed.

We also fly grandparents to us in the summer to help with child are. Transatlantic flights are cheaper than summer camp and wraparound care... But don't help with holding a child are place for September...

goldie81 Tue 18-Mar-14 21:18:01

It's expensive sorting childcare for 3 which is why I became a cm. even with all at school full time I save myself £900 approx on what would be wrap around childcare. Dread to calculate hol rate xxx

littone Tue 18-Mar-14 21:29:19

I currently have one DC at school (use a childminder after school on the days I work and on an adhoc basis before school as needed) and one at nursery. Currently expecting DC3. By the time I go back to work, DC1 and 2 will be at school. I am in the South East and currently pay �5 per hour for before/after school care and thinking we may move to a nanny for before/after school care as this would also make life easier as DC1 is getting older and wanting to do after school activities. My partner and take all our annual leave in school hols and only take one week together so that we can cover most of the school holidays between us. This means we only need to pay for 2-3 weeks of holiday cover per school year - is this an option for you? My contract with the childminder is for before and after school care only and do an adhoc arrangement for the holidays (it doesn't really matter to us which 2-3 weeks she does - we are happy to fit in with when she has space).

playftseforme Wed 19-Mar-14 13:13:28

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for all your responses, it's been incredibly helpful to get your views. I also spotted another thread that echoed mine, asking whether it might be ok to use an AP in roughly circs as me - the responses that OP got were enough to make me completely rethink that idea.

To answer some of the questions, I currently work 4 full days, early start early finish which with my commute means I get back by 6. Dh deals with the start of the day. I currently use a mixture of nanny, nursery (preschool room) and a tiny bit of CM on one day for my dd before and after school. It's when i started extrapolating what i pay for that amount of CM care, I started having palpitations.

My thinking now is to look at a nwoc. It may not ultimately be much cheaper, but it will be much easier for us, not having to take three children to and from the CM, and will also allow a little more flexibility re after school clubs (which would be a no-no for our CM). Dh and I also have jobs where we sometimes travel overseas, and looking for a nwoc might help a lot with the periods when once of us at home alone (not usually for more than a week at a time). I don't know whether our CM would let us do just term time and then ad hoc hols - wouldn't have thought so because when we are on hols we still need to pay half (nothing when CM is on hol). We would still need about 5-6 weeks to be covered off (out of the 13) if DH and I are clever about how we take our hols, leaving some float if any of the dc are sick. No GPs who can help.

Thanks again for the insight and advice.

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Wed 19-Mar-14 20:07:57

I agree a nwoc sounds like best option and should make your life easier. Be prepared for nannies either with a baby or school at aged children as there will be 4 children to ferry around consider how in a car or can nanny walk most places.

Also would you consider a nanny perhaps who has a child a your children school plus a baby/toddler??

Good luck in your search

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