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Childcare for my 2 children(4 Posts)
I'm stressed and need childcare advice!
My children (2 and 4) currently are in childcare 4 days a week 1 till 6 at a cost of £118 per week.
I am looking at working full time hours so they will need 8 till 6 but still 4 days a week this at their nursery they attend now will be £278 per week.
Is there a more cost effective way of doing this i.e nanny (ofsted reg or nanny share/ nanny with child) or childminder ( with free 3-4 year old place's)
No doubt about it if you have more then one child and working full time I would go for a nanny. They are more expensive, but for the peace of mind, quality of care and the extras they can do make them worth it. There are some fantastic nannies out there (also some lazy ones too!), but if you do your research well you will find a great one.
As regards cost it generally depends where you live, I live in a very nice northern city and the going rate is prob between 6-9 pounds an hour depending on experience and add on NI too. So it really may not make a significant difference to what you are paying. A nanny share could reduce it further if you know of someone who would be willing to do it. Call your local nanny agency for some initial advice.
A nanny would cost more than the £69.50 per day that you are currently paying (for 10 hour day). (Depending on which region you live in nannies cost £6 to £12 net per hour and then you have to add on tax, NI, and all the costs, food, playgroups/activities, petrol).
A childminder in my area would cost at least £3.50 per hour per child (£70 per day) but often £4 per hour per child. You can see local childminders on www.childcarelink.gov.uk and some of them will have their prices there.
You might be able to cut some cost with a nannyshare - but it's harder to find a family to share with if you have 2 children yourself (easier if you have 1 and other family have 1). Nanny-share nannies tend to get paid more than non-shared nannies so that wipes out part of the saving.
You could try a nanny with own child - again it depends on local nanny rates as to whether it would be cheaper than nursery and remember to add on the extras (tax, food etc).
Does your current nursery get the discount for over 3s/4s (also an amount which depends on which region you are in - try ringing your 'early years' department of your council (phone number might be on the childcarelink website) to check that one.
I suspect that a nursery may be lowest cost option, though may not be best type of childcare... depending on your view of nurseries (some nurseries are far better than others).
Is the £278 per week for both children? If so, it's £3.48 an hour per child - based on each child doing 40 hours a week. It seems low to me but then I'm in the South East where childcare charges can be higher than elsewhere. Is the £278 also taking into account the Educational Funding (for your 4 year old) and does it include any sibling discount? Does it include or exclude things like nappies/wipes, also food charges?
If you want to compare different forms of childcare on cost alone, then for each category of childcare you need to determine the TOTAL cost involved over say a 1 year period, rather than just take the per-hour fee. It may also be worth factoring in something for Hassle - such as taking children to, collecting children from the childcare provider.
Make a list of pros and cons for each form of childcare, that will help you compare them not just on financial grounds. For example, a pro of a childminder of nanny is that they will take your children to the park. A nursery on the other hand will often confine the child to a room and let them out into a small area a couple of times a day.
A nanny I expect will cost you a lot more money than either a Childminder or a Nursery but you don't need to even get the children out of bed in the morning, yet alone fed, clothed, bags packed with all the spare clothing, nappies and whatever else the children are taking with them.
Also consider what happens in a year's time... when your oldest is at school? Not all nurseries operate a before and after-school club, or holiday club (or inset day club, or school heating breakdown club ). Also consider sickness... the children's sickness and also the childcare providers sickness.
Lots of things to consider. So my advice is find out about all the forms of childcare available and make a list of the pros and cons, as well as financial information so that you build a bigger picture of what will suit your family now and in the future.
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