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What the hell are you to do? I want to work but how do you afford the childcare?! What job to do?

(19 Posts)
Scruffyhound Mon 29-Aug-11 21:49:14

I have just been looking at childcare costs for my 4 1/2 month old and my 5 yr old for full time. I worked full time with my 5 yr old after he was only 3 1/2 months I started a new job in science. I ended up with post natal depression and other problems led to a divorce when he was 2 yrs old. Im now with my partner of 4 years we have a 4 1/2 month baby we love both of them very much. I have always worked until last May when I was laid off. I fell pregnant just after (sods law!!) anyway Im now at the point where I want to work in science again but my wage needs to be at least 20k PA its not going to happen! I have looked at part time work as a lab tech in a school. After the childcare has gone out and help off the gov im left with £200 quid! I then need to pay my car insurance (its an old polo) food, and other stuff with that!! How the hell am I going to do that? If I go full time at 15K PA we have to pay all the childcare of £1100 per month!! I would pick up £1000 PM full time how the hell does that work out confused? Im better off at home not bothering until little one is about 3 or 4? Anyone else in the same boat? Wondering what everyone does for a job? I think bar work in the evenings.... no childcare costs then!! anyone have any suggestions? smile

ChristinedePizan Mon 29-Aug-11 21:52:12

Will you get childcare vouchers? What about WTC? It might be worth talking to the CAB to see what you are entitled to.

It's really hard though sad

Scruffyhound Mon 29-Aug-11 22:01:00

sorry apologise looks more like £150 left a month after bills have gone out not inculding petrol food and clothes (for kids not me)!! leaves a weekly budget of around £40 for food clothes and petrol. Wish we had coupons like they do in America!!! smile

An0therName Mon 29-Aug-11 22:01:56

where are you - 1100 sounds like alot for one child - for a short day a childminder might be better as often charge by the hour

BikeRunSki Mon 29-Aug-11 22:07:38

Why does the 5yo need full time childcare? Are they not at school?

Scruffyhound Mon 29-Aug-11 22:08:04

Thanks ChristinedePizan this includes the help off the gov working tax credit/child benfit and also child maintinance from ex partner. Its really hard to get this right. I dont mind staying at home with little one but Im annoyed at the fact that it works out worse for going to work!!! I think evening work at a bar would be good. But then I cant progress forward with a career this sucks!!! I dont want to be brain dead as well. I want to work!! I left my husband and was a single parent for a while I was better off than being in a couple! I got alll my childcare paid for I worked full time and ran my own house with a mortgage. It is hard work though. smile

Scruffyhound Mon 29-Aug-11 22:13:10

Sorry did not explain very well ment for my 5yr old he would need before and after school care and 4 1/2 month baby full time. Yep dont worry hes at school! I think a childminder might be a good idea. But then what happens when they are sick? The only reason I use a nursery is to make sure Im ok to go to work every day. Im really not sure what to do. it a bit worrying. I might be albe to pay a card off by christmas which then leaves me with £170PM without working. Sorry will be living in Leamington Spa cant move as moved down here for partners job.

BikeRunSki Mon 29-Aug-11 22:13:34

But if you go back to a science career now, then the "benefit" is more than just your take home pay - pension, NI and long term career building. You will be able to get childcare vouchers too - everyone is eligible - as long as your employer is signed up to the scheme. DH's wasn't, but he got them to sign up, did the paper work etc and now we both get childcare vouchers, It means that you can get about £490 worth of childcare a month tax free, saves us about £60 a month.

Scruffyhound Mon 29-Aug-11 22:17:58

Hello BikeRunSki I want to work in science and want to finish my degree (I was doing with open uni) if you claim the vouchers I dont think you get help with working tax credit? Is that right? Also do you get £490 PM or PA? As you said £60PM and £490PM? smile

michglas Mon 29-Aug-11 22:23:29

When I went back to work after having DD2, I cleared £10 a week after paying childcare and my bus pass. I'm so glad i did it though as i now have a proper career, 3 times the salary i was on then, a pension and security. Don't think about just now, think about your future.

BikeRunSki Mon 29-Aug-11 22:35:43

With Childcare vouchers, you can choose to have up to £243 of your salary paid as CCV (although now an online account, no actual vouchers) tax free. So you save tax on £243. For both parents doing this, you save tax on £486 collectively.

I think you are right that if you get CCV then you get less WTC, but it is up to you to work out which is best for your particular circumstances.

I going on maternity leave with DC2 in 5 weeks. When I go back to work next Sept, I will be working for a profit of about £100/month for a year, before DS goes to school. That is before I have put fuel in my car or clothes on my back I see it as a long term investment in my career which I love and have worked my socks off to establish,

Scruffyhound Mon 29-Aug-11 22:39:42

This is true but I have been in science for 15 yrs and still no progress. I had to go backwards for DS1. I took a paycut of 8K to be more local and less travel. But it worked out ok with childcare costs. Im glad I have a 5yr old and not two children under 3. That must cost a fortune!! I need to look at a career and what Im going to do. thanks though for your inspiring me smile

Scruffyhound Mon 29-Aug-11 23:08:57

I see BikeRunSki this is interesting....... I dont see me getting a career working part time as a lab technician for a school. But it is keeping me up to date? I want to carry on with my degree as well. Im a bit more fortunate I suppose as I have a house that would not sell and is now renting for a profit! Its been renting for a loss for 8 months but has just gone into profit (that is included in the figures). I hope to keep it on unitl the prices go up so I can break-even its in negative equity at the moment. So I think this also makes my tax more as well. The profit is not very much though TBH. But its better than a loss of £200PM! I would love a job with prospects.... I found out I was due a promotion when I left my job after having DS1. I found out off a friend once I left! GRRRR!! oh well never mind eh.

Dialsmavis Mon 29-Aug-11 23:20:42

I feel your pain. I am in my 3rd year at uni so will get some childcare funded for DS (8) and DD (9 months) but nest year when I will hopefully be working I have no idea how we will manage. DP works incredibly long and unpredictable hours which means bar or weekend work is totally impossible as well. he earns OK money but not nearly enough to mean I can not work-gah! will be watching this with interest. I have said to DP that the childcare bills will be payable equally by both of us as otherwise we can't justify it and will never move on with our lives

lilham Tue 30-Aug-11 07:55:11

OP I left science for a better paying job when I start thinking about children. Precisely because of the low pay. You didn't say what science you are in so hard to tell what's transferable, I'm in a numerate one and I left for IT. Lots of others go into finance but that's not child friendly! Have you considered alternatives?

ChristinedePizan Tue 30-Aug-11 09:47:25

A childminder is generally more flexible than a nursery when it comes to illness IME. The children also tend to get ill a lot less as there is not that huge number of babies in a small space that you get in a nursery

BranchingOut Tue 30-Aug-11 09:54:38

I think that you definitely should look at a childminder, as you will probably find one who can both look after your baby and do after school care.

Childminders sometimes have cover arrangements with other childminders when they are sick.

Maybe ask on the childminders' board on here for more help?

inmysparetime Tue 30-Aug-11 16:29:19

I currently work 2 days a week at a day nursery, which pays as I can use mine and DHs annual leave to cover school holidays. I am looking at moving into management, and while the pay will be better, the job will be full time. I am currently investigating school holiday care, and it seems to largely run 10am-3.30pm. How is that helpful to working parents?
Childminders are like gold dust here, especially for holiday care.
I have persuaded my parents to have the kids (9&7 y.o.) for a week next summer, I can pack them off for a week with PGL using childcare vouchers, cover 8 weeks with combined annual leave. Hopefully DHs flexible working will allow some combo of working from home and dropping kids for 5 hours at what passes for holiday clubs round here.
I thought childcare would get easier when the kids got to school, not so, it's a logistical nightmare sorting stuff out for odd weeks every half term.

HattieBistro Tue 30-Aug-11 20:02:19

I am curretly in the same position - was made redundant when pg with last dd who is now 10m. I've got 2 other children so on a 5 week month I could potentially be paying out £1350 on childcare. The average salary within my field is c£25k so, after petrol (I would have to travel) I would come home with very little. The prospect of getting out of the house at 7.15am with 3 children, picking them up at 6pm for a very stressful job is a very unnatractive one.

I've looked into evening work, either in retail or a call centre between 5pm and 9pm as I will be better off financially but I feel like I've wasted my degree, postgraduate diploma, professional qualifications and all my experience.

It doesn't seem fair :-(

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