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Childcare is so expensive! Any tips on how to make it work?

(54 Posts)
Firstbab Sun 10-Nov-19 10:08:57

Sadly I got made redundant just before my mat leave started sad this hasn't affected my maternity pay as this is expected to run through to March but I am now left with an overwhelming anxiety about what position it will leave me in once my mat pay ends.

My boyfriend works full time and earns a good amount of money so he has agreed to continue paying my fuel bill and half the food budget when I return to work, I also won't have to pay any rent.

I've looked into child care and it's approx £4.50 an hour meaning if I was to go back full time it would be over £900 a month! There is no point me going back!

My issue is I have bills of approx £300 a month that have to be paid plus I need spending money - so would need to take home on average of £600 minimum.

I've worked it out that if I go back 20 hours a week and have family look after her for that time then I could still make enough money. But family isn't always reliable... am I missing something??? How do women make this work!!???

Question I'm asking is does any one know if there is any benefit of any kind beside the £82 child allowance? I don't think I'm entitled to income support or childcare? Not at least until she's 2?! What am I meant to do in the mean time!!! confused

snozzlemaid Sun 10-Nov-19 10:16:11

There's info on all possible help here... www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

MustardScreams Sun 10-Nov-19 10:18:54

Fuck knows! Mine is £1500 per month and am a single parent. Literally counting down the milliseconds to April when dd qualifies for 3 year old funding.

The gov website has a lot of info as to what you may be entitled to, but it might be worth seeing if you can afford to wait till your dd is 2/3 depending on how much your income is and using the funded hours.

drspouse Sun 10-Nov-19 10:20:24

Is your boyfriend the father of your baby?
Because if so it's half his bill.

Mrscog Sun 10-Nov-19 10:21:34

You can get 20% off using tax free childcare. If your BF the father? You need shared finances with a child - he needs to pay half the childcare and you pay half.

VeThings Sun 10-Nov-19 10:23:16

Why are you seeing the childcare as your expense? Your bf should be paying too.

You need to look at your household income (you and bf) and all the family expenses come out of that.

OrangeSwoosh Sun 10-Nov-19 10:28:43

I went back part time during the day and picked up a second job working part time nights. Works out at 40 hours a week but only need childcare part time during the day, plus I get 4 days a week at home with DS. Husband just knows not to arrange anything for the evenings/nights I'm working. It's tough going but means we only need to pay for childcare 27 hours a week rather than 40+

OrangeSwoosh Sun 10-Nov-19 10:32:44

Why do people always jump on the woman paying childcare costs? We don't have joint finances. I pay for our nursery fees and stuff for our child - clothes, swimming lessons, classes etc. I also pay for the food shop and my fuel.

On the other hand, my husband pays rent, council tax, gas, electric, water, TV license, car tax/insurance/breakdown x2, other insurances, our loan repayment....

OP has already said her partner has agreed to continue to cover the majority of the household costs. Why is it so hard to accept that some people do things differently?

Mrscog Sun 10-Nov-19 11:06:22

Because it can cause issues if you break up @orangeswoosh and it perpetuates sexist stereotypes. But if it works for you that’s great, but it is a sub optimal way of splitting costs in my mind.

misspiggy19 Sun 10-Nov-19 11:11:25

£4.50 an hour for someone to look after your child isn’t expensive in the grand scheme of things is it?

BrokenWing Sun 10-Nov-19 11:12:18

Look at childcare as another family bill not "there is no point in me going back". The point in going back is to have continuity of employment for your future security.

The way we did it, for the first year, was dh compressed his hours into 4 days a week and/or caught up on weekends, and I used accrued annual leave/annual leave to work 4 days a week (while paid for 5!) for most of the first year.

This mean ds was only in nursery 3 days a week for the first year.

orangeteal Sun 10-Nov-19 11:16:07

I don't think I'm entitled to income support or childcare? Not at least until she's 2?! What am I meant to do in the mean time!!!

Benefits are mean tested on the household. The reason you aren't entitled to anything is because your boyfriend and you earn over the limit, YOU aren't over the limit (I assume), so your boyfriend (assuming he's the dad) should be contributing. That's what is expected of your household, however you personally decide to divide finances.

Lookingsparkly Sun 10-Nov-19 11:17:27

Childcare costs should be split between you and the father.

orangeteal Sun 10-Nov-19 11:23:32

@OrangeSwoosh the way you divide your finances is sexist and dripping in gender stereotypes so no that is not something I have to "accept". While I'm not saying every household should have joint finances, I really don't think your example is a healthy one to give and is not helpful to the OP. You can split finances without making childcare (and every other child expense) the woman's responsibility.

flowery Sun 10-Nov-19 11:50:19

You can probably get help through tax free childcare.

If you still feel you need more ‘profit’ from work once you’ve taken childcare costs into account, lots of people work opposite shifts at least some of the time, so that baby is looked after by one parent or another most of the time.

GleamInYourEyes Sun 10-Nov-19 11:54:53

Tax free childcare will give you up to £2000 a year - so it will bring your monthly cost down to around £735.

The term after your child is 3 you will get 1140 hours a year funded.

Firstbab Sun 10-Nov-19 13:15:31

@OrangeSwoosh exactly. Those comments are nit helpful ladies. We all have are own agreements with our partners, and that works for us. He pays rent food fuel ... so actually I live a very comfortable lifestyle currently. But I cannot expect him to cover things like my personal loan etc once my maternity pay stops. As I said ... it works for us.
@misspiggy19 in the scheme of things that's very cheap but it all racks up when you place it again time and minimum wage.

orangeteal Sun 10-Nov-19 13:20:58

@Firstbab but it's not working, you've come online to look for help how to pay it? Youre looking for State help with your childcare before looking at the child's father? As for your personal loan, of course he should help when you're on maternity, you're not stopping work to go on holiday, you're looking after the child you've BOTH made. You've got a lot to work out before baby is here, or you're in for a rocky road.

Firstbab Sun 10-Nov-19 13:21:02

Just to add... We will be splitting the child care in half. The option however at the moment isn't to go for the childcare but to have help from family.

flowery Sun 10-Nov-19 13:25:22

Ok well if you’re splitting it then your half after tax reduction will be about £370. A fair amount less than you’re earning I guess.

But if you have an offer of free reliable childcare from family that you’re happy to take up, what’s the problem?

TheHumansAreDefinitelyDead Sun 10-Nov-19 13:32:27

For a lot of couples, they share cost and responsibilities.

So DH is equally as responsible for childcare cost and responsibility.

So you need to earn £450 a month to cover your half of childcare.

In your shoes, I'd go back to work full time and you and DP pay half each of childcare and bills.

It is so odd (and worrying) that so many young mums see childcare as their sole responsibility confused, such low expectations of their partners!

fedup21 Sun 10-Nov-19 13:39:01

I've worked it out that if I go back 20 hours a week and have family look after her for that time then I could still make enough money

Do you have family willing and able to provide 20 hours of free childcare?

zaffa Sun 10-Nov-19 13:50:04

You need to include the childcare vouchers you get too - I think it works out that if you buy £400 you get £500 vouchers. That helps, and don't forget you also get an extra £90 a month child benefit (unless your DP earns over £50k a year I think by himself.

I share your pain, although I haven't been made redundant I have gone over and over how many hours to go back on - but I'm lucky as there is an element of flexibility to my role and I may be able to do fewer hours in the office and make up two evenings a week whilst DH does bedtime etc. It's an absolute pain but think ahead - when your child is three the free care will kick in and your earning potential won't have taken a significant hit - so in the long run working and building your career will work out. But the next few years will be a bit crap.

UhareFouxisci Sun 10-Nov-19 14:03:42

Your DP, the baby's dad, is fully responsible for 50% of the childcare that is needed during office hours. He can pay the childcare for that 50%. The other 50% is your responsibility and you can meet it either by staying at home during those hours, or by paying for childcare yourself, or some mix of the two.

You can also reduce the need for paid childcare by organising for one of you to do a full office day working 7am to 3pm and the other working 12 noon to 8pm, then you both earn for an 8 hour day only paying for a half day of childcare.

OrangeSwoosh Sun 10-Nov-19 15:34:17

@orangeteal the only reason we've done it the way we've done it is because my husband was paying all the outgoings minus some of my minor ones whilst I was on SMP and I paid the first month nursery up front from a lump sum holiday payment I received before returning to work. It all needs to get paid somehow, what does it matter who's name is on the account that it comes out of? There's nothing sexist about it. OP has said herself that her partner is covering the majority of the outgoings and planning to continue to do so. It's not like she's scrabbling around for loose change to pay her share of the rent and bills whilst he is sat on a big pile of cash.

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