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If both parents work FT

(35 Posts)
Penguin27 Mon 16-Oct-17 17:43:34

I'm thinking about what arrangements I'll need to make after my maternity leave finishes.

I've worked out that my take-home pay after tax, national insurance and travel costs will only cover childcare costs with about £5 per day left over.

DP's salary will just about cover the bills but we'd have nothing left over for food, petrol or general living expenses.

With commuting, if we both worked FT the baby would be in nursery 7-7 every weekday. We would barely get to see it except at weekends.

There is potentially scope for both of us to work from home one day per week, which would reduce the time spent at nursery by about 3-4hrs per day, but may or may not reduce the cost (depends on whether they charge per hour or 'session'). DP also has the potential to do compressed hours (35hrs over 4 days).

How can we make this work?

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Penguin27 Mon 16-Oct-17 19:42:21

Bump smile

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MyOtherProfile Mon 16-Oct-17 19:43:47

You could look at having a child minder. They tend to charge by the hour.

MyOtherProfile Mon 16-Oct-17 19:46:19

Although if you've got your sums right and you will really only earn the childcare fees plus a fiver I wouldnpribanly give up work and look for something lile an evening job so no child care .

HeadDreamer Mon 16-Oct-17 19:46:57

Childminder isn't cheaper where I am. Working from home you will still nursery so I'm not sure where you get the 3-4 hours a day from. Also is the nursery actually 7-7? Most here are 8-6. What couples do are one drop off and one pick up. With you only needing 3 days for this, then it's only a late start 1/2 days for each of you? Is that workable?

EllaHen Mon 16-Oct-17 19:47:07

We used a nursery when small and school wraparound care when at primary. Our commutes were vv small though.

I now have a longer commute so dh does the bulk of drop offs and pick ups.

HeadDreamer Mon 16-Oct-17 19:48:14

Don't forget that costs go down dramatically once they get to the tern after 3. DC2 is going to get her 30hours after the new year and my calculation is we will save over £300 a month.

ChickenJalfrezi Mon 16-Oct-17 19:48:52

I think the biggest issue is your outgoings are significantly more than your income.

Have you looked at all your bills to identify (even before thinking about childcare) why you can’t cover them with one salary?

Itscurtainsforyou Mon 16-Oct-17 19:51:18

Have you factored in using childcare vouchers/the tax free childcare scheme? If you and your partner both work at places that offer childcare vouchers as salary sacrifice it could make things easier financially.

Could one/both of you drop a day at work (or do compressed hours as you mentioned)?

HeadDreamer Mon 16-Oct-17 19:51:37

Can one of you get a local job? That is going to make a huge difference too. DH works local and only I commute. He does most pick ups and drop offs. And I also do one day at home a week plus early finishes. Once you get to primary you might have clubs after school to pick up too. I do them by leaving the office at 3 for a 4.30 pick up. It's harder than when they don't do clubs as childminder works till 6!

HeadDreamer Mon 16-Oct-17 19:53:38

Childcare vouchers are closing from April next year. New parents are supposed to apply for this one

I'm on it already as both children combined I get more from the new scheme as it's per child not per parent.

vdbfamily Mon 16-Oct-17 20:01:26

Do you have to return full time? Could you work 4 days with one of them from home and DH work condensed hours so you only have to pay for 2 days pw in nursery?

bugaboo218 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:10:28

Have you considered a nanny? Are you using a nursery local to home or near the station or work?

If you want or need to go back to work full time and your child needs to be in nursery 7am_7pm then you need to ditch the 'mum guilt'.

The real question is,do you want to go back to work or not? You have to think further down the line. Will it be easy to go back to your career in say five or ten years time if you give up now?

NoSquirrels Mon 16-Oct-17 20:29:02

Usually, someone working PT (or both parents working e.g. 4 days each) means childcare costs are minimised whilst income maximised.

How are you affording maternity leave - do you have a generous package from work or are you already on one salary effectively?

We used childminders - cheaper than nursery, and more flexible, but for me reassurance of a bond with one caregiver and a home from home environment. Look into all your local options, not just nurseries.

Have you factored in all the benefits you're entitled to as working parents?

Is there good scope for progression in your career, do you have a good pension etc, same goes for your DH. Think long term not just immediate post-maternity leave. Sometimes earning not much for a while is OK if the end is in sight.

Have you cut your bills down as far as possible?

Penguin27 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:44:07

Thanks for all your replies. Yes, we've cut down bills by quite a lot, there isn't really much more we can do there.

I have a generous maternity leave package, 20 weeks full pay, then statutory takes me to 39 weeks... if I take a full year, there will be 12 weeks without any income. I don't think I'd be able to do this.

My job does have good long-term potential, including income, so I think it's worth staying if I can.

As my salary balances out childcare costs, I think it won't make much difference in the short-term if I reduce my hours, but that does mean slower career progression.

If I were to get a more local job, I wouldn't have the same earning potential. There isn't much around here, all the jobs are in the London. But if I worked locally, I'd have easier access to the nursery so less hours to pay for.

We'd probably be looking at childcare close to home, as DP & I both commute but to different places, so it doesn't make sense to have the baby close to one's work (say it was close to DP's work, it would mean I wouldn't be able to cover pick-ups). We could definitely think about how to make it work with one doing drop-offs and the other doing pick-ups.

There isn't any family members that could support us with childcare.

It's so frustrating because between us we earn good money, but it just seems we can't afford this baby.

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Ploppie4 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:47:39

Can you both work 4 day weeks so the kid has 3 days in nursery

Penguin27 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:48:05

Forgot to add, I haven't looked into childminders or nannies as I thought they would be more expensive. Not sure where to start to find one!

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Penguin27 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:49:39

Ploppie, I think that would be a good option. I don't think my employer would let me do compressed hours, but DP's would.

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Duckstar Mon 16-Oct-17 20:56:50

Have you found a Nursery that does 7-7? I’m in the SE and the longest hours locally are 7.45-6.30.

Have you thought of a Nanny share?

harlandgoddard Mon 16-Oct-17 21:01:05

Childminder will be cheaper then sessions at pre school when the child turns 2.

Can one of you start and finish later and the other start and finish early?

Penguin27 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:09:14

Hi duckstar, no I've found nurseries that do 7-6.30 which we'd probably have to make work.

I think we'd have to manage that with one of us starting early/finishing later and the other doing the opposite, as Harland and others suggest.

Thanks for all your comments smile

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NoSquirrels Tue 17-Oct-17 00:46:54

As my salary balances out childcare costs, I think it won't make much difference in the short-term if I reduce my hours, but that does mean slower career progression.

I think you might be surprised. Crunch the numbers with the government Entitled To website. Look at all scenarios.

Your employer MAY not offer an advertised compressed hours working arrangement - but they HAVE to by law consider a flexible working request (which can include compressed hours, or a 4- or 3-day week on pro-rated salary etc.) Returning FT is only the only option sometimes. If your baby is not yet born, keep an open mind all ways.

Childminders are best found by personal recommendation but this is tricky as a new parent if none of your friends have had DC yet. Baby & toddler groups are often useful. Check out, and ask your council for a list of registered childminders with vacancies.

KickAssAngel Tue 17-Oct-17 01:49:27

nurseries tend to charge per session rather than per hour. If you can somehow make it work so that you only need 3 days a week that could be a huge saving - enough to let you eat!

Do look at things like child benefit, tax vouchers etc as they could make a difference as well.

Sleepinghooty Tue 17-Oct-17 02:01:02

I agree with - crunch the numbers for you working 4 days/ week and dh compressed week. If you are both using vouchers plus with the reduced tax burden you might be surprised.

Penguin27 Tue 17-Oct-17 09:52:19

I was thinking about this a lot last night... all night, in fact.

I think we could make it work. If my employer lets me work 4 days a week but compressed into 3.5 days, DP can do FT compressed into 4 days. That would mean baby would only need 2.5 days in nursery.

That means together we'll be getting 90% of FT salary but only paying 50% "FT" childcare.

Make sense? smile we'll also be looking at the tax-free childcare vouchers scheme (whatever the new one is called), so that will help.

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