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Can I take home £700 a month after childcare for 2/3 days a week?

(42 Posts)
fisil Wed 06-Apr-05 12:27:07

Or is that just asking too much?

I don't want to give up paid employment entirely cos we don't want to make the necessary lifestyle changes (sorry to be so brutally honest), and because I know that I need the intellectual stimulation for the sake of my mental health.

But I am not sure about going back to my current job full time (as I did after ds) because I did not enjoy having to take 10 weeks off with mental health issues, and I feel that I need to be honest and admit that maybe my mental health just cannot cope with a full time job and two children, even though it really does hurt to think that.

I could do supply teaching, although I wouldn't get the same enjoyment from that as from being head of a large department. But has anyone done supply teaching - how do you reconcile the unreliability with childcare, or has anyone got a relationship with a school so that they do a certain day if required? I can't teach part time as I teach maths and so it would mean split classes, plus I really would miss being HoD.

I could do consultancy work. I could run courses, examine beginning teachers, help struggling HoDs or teachers. Seems a bit scarey, though - considering that my only reason for making the move is for the sake of my mental health, not sure I could deal with basically running my own business.

I could also take on tutees, which would be in the evenings anyway. But I'd have to do other stuff too.

I've looked at the other threads on this too, and there are ideas like taking in secretarial work etc., although I have no experience in a business or retail setting (or anything apart from education!), but I do learn fairly easily.

So, any consultants, supply teachers etc. - any tips?

CountessDracula Wed 06-Apr-05 12:30:54

fisil, do you not think that you should wait and see a bit? IIRC you only took the 10 weeks off when you suffered from ante-natal depression, is that right? (how are you btw?)

It may be that once your new little one is born you will feel fine again. I think for now you shouldn't worry about it tbh.

You sound like you have plenty of options/ideas for ways to make money, that could fit in around your children a bit.

fisil Wed 06-Apr-05 12:37:25

Ah - my no.1 consultant - thanks CD! I know that it could be that I'll be better after baby comes. But it was something the Occ Health doctor said this week. I wanted her to tell me that I should definitely go straight back to work, and she pointed out that my behaviour hasn't changed - that I am still being too "driven" instead of looking after my poor little brain and body. And the fact that here I am fretting about it all suggests that I may be feeling good right now, but I clearly have a long way to go if I want to avoid getting ill again. Hmmm, maybe the answer is "calm down."

Xzebra Wed 06-Apr-05 12:39:51

I thought I was relatively well paid but no way I could make £700 after childcare costs, Fisil, not sure you're being realistic!

Oh, and i'm out of a job come September, appears I'm overpaid (they said as much). Best of luck if you can do better.

CountessDracula Wed 06-Apr-05 12:42:15

when you say straight back to work, what do you mean?

Take some time off!

Roobie Wed 06-Apr-05 12:45:26

Surely £700 take home per month equates to in excess of £50k pa - is this realistic for a 2/3 week in the teaching profession?

fisil Wed 06-Apr-05 12:51:51

Roobie - is it £150 a day for supply? I guess that's what I have to budget at the consumer end, so the poor supply teacher will take home less than £100? So £400 a month for one day a week? OK, I can see the point, childcare for 2 will take most of that.

CD, I want to do 9 days in the last 2 weeks of July. After that the next possible start date is 1st September, which is an extremely stressful time to start, especially if I haven't had time to meet with my team and prepare. So then some time after that, but it would still be tougher than July, and I ended up having counselling last time cos I couldn't cope with a long maternity leave, which I want to avoid this time. Writing all this out, it makes me realise that I may feel well on a day to day basis, but I have a hell of a long way to go to actually get better!

Gomez Wed 06-Apr-05 12:53:44

Fisil on a practical note yes you can take £700 per month home after childcare - I do for a 3-day week and childcare for 2.

BUT CD is right, don't think or plan about this at the moment. Your mental health currently needs rest & relaxation, post-natally who knows what will happen and how you will feel. Wait until you need to make the decisions, in fact a feel a cliche coming on 'cross that bridge when you come to it'.

elliott Wed 06-Apr-05 12:53:57

roobie how did you work that out? If you reckon on childcare costs of around £750 for 3 days, a 3 day week and overall tax take of about a third, I think you woudl be looking at around 35k per annum whole time equivalent. Still a bit ambitious perhaps - would imagine that your best earnings rate would probably be in your current job rather than as a freelancer, although perhaps not in the long run once you've got established. Plus you may not need 3 days childcare if you can work in the evenings.
Is part-time in your current job really not an option? Job share? I suspect it would be possible but you would clearly need a supportive boss and it doesn't sound like you have one. I do have a friend who was previously HoD and is now working pt (don't know whether still HoD) so it must be possible.

bundle Wed 06-Apr-05 12:54:05

i took home around £100 a month after childcare (2 dd's in nursery 3 days a week), but obviously didn't do it for the money

fisil Wed 06-Apr-05 12:57:08

you're right, elliott - non supportive boss. Completely dismissed part-time out of hand without a moment's thought.

I know that rest & relaxation is important right now, but I'm a list person, and I like to know where I'm going, and I'm finding it hard to be completely relaxed unless I know what's coming next. Guess I need to be on the health thread rather than employment issues, as that is my primary issue here. Thank you for helping me to focus!

elliott Wed 06-Apr-05 13:02:09

fisil I don't think they are allowed to do that - they have to consider requests for flexible working/reduced hours seriously and give proper reasons for rejecting them. But of course that would mean you having to do all the fighting and that might not be the best thing for you right now.
it actually sounds like getting out of that school might be helpful - there's nothing more stressful than a non-supportive boss, especially when you are in need of support.
Maths is such a shortage subject I can't help but think your skills will be in demand.

fisil Wed 06-Apr-05 13:07:11

absolutely, elliott. You read my mind on that one. All I want is to do the job I enjoy, and I don't want to fight any fights. Yes, I do reckon I need to get out, but I need to consider my options in the process - head of maths is a very stressful job and I don't want to go from the frying pan into the fire. Plus, I am obviously not in a position to move right now! January I guess.

Roobie Wed 06-Apr-05 13:20:39

errrr....ignore my earlier comment re >£50kpa - I read £700 per week!!!! Thought I was in the wrong profession there for a minute!
I'll get my coat!

binkybetsy Wed 06-Apr-05 13:21:59

Fisil
We could be twins!!
I earned 950 pcm for two days a week with my mum looking after my two for one long day by the time they were dropped off and picked up, and my DH 'worked' from home on the other day.
The thing is I just couldn't do it! I'm now actually sick and am planning to go back only one day on the day my Dh is off. We have reluctantly decided to forgo our lifestyle choices in order that I can stay sane, and I have to say the effect on our relationship has been phenomenal! Looking back I think we were really at crisis point with me on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but you don't see it at the time do you?
I could've left altogether but like you I want to have one day being valued for something other than being a mummy and wife, and also to maintain my pension and I love my job!
I was lucky that I didn't have to pay for childcare, but if I did then it would've worked out at 200 pcm (slightly subsidised by work). I really just wanted to pay the bills, to know that the roof would still be over our heads and heating on etc, you know?
Any way, the point of my rambling post, which incidently seems to show that I am still unable to organise my thoughts coherently, was to say that with my first child I went back f/time and did the whole "she will fit into our lives", "I don't want to give up my independence" lark and boy was I a fool. After I had my second baby, things were soooo different. It became obvious very quickly that going back to any work was going to be v. stressful, but f/time was just not an option.
You may well feel differently after your arrival, I know I did. HTH

Bozza Wed 06-Apr-05 13:43:12

elliott's figures do add up because they are pretty much my position - because I have nursery vouchers the bottom line on my pay slip is after childcare. Earn slightly less than that, but do have some nights on call which boost it slightly, plus childcare exactly £750 for two. Although in termtime we have nursery grant.

Fisil if you worked mornings or afternoons only rather than certain days could you avoid split classes? If you go supply could you boost income with exam paper marking etc?

Jimjams Wed 06-Apr-05 14:11:00

fisil I've just started a job as a researcher for Any Question Answered . It's brilliant as it is completely flexible (up to me how many hours I work). Good fun as well- I'm enjoying it. I top that up with some network marketing work which gets me out of the house - and should lead to a good income in the future. I've also joined brainmass although haven't really got going on that yet. I'm not taking on any more! But with all those things going on I hope to make a decent living. As the network marketing stuff I do takes off I'll be able to reduce the hours I spend on other stuff if I want to. Also as the kids grow up I'll be able to spend more time on the work and build it up.

Pamina3 Wed 06-Apr-05 14:13:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anchovies Wed 06-Apr-05 14:21:18

Sorry to hijack but Jimjams the AQA job sounds fab, did you just email them?

JanH Wed 06-Apr-05 14:21:48

jimjams, how did you get the Any Questions Answered thing?

tigermoth Wed 06-Apr-05 18:25:29

jimjams, really interesting AQU job - but you're extremely good at researching those questions too. Congrats on getting it!

Hulababy Wed 06-Apr-05 18:28:23

Have you looked into adult ed, or prison ed (like me). Salary is very slightly less than teaching, but you still get lengthy holiday time. In prison ed you get to choose when those holidays are.

Off to do dinner now, but will check back and reply better later.

fisil Wed 06-Apr-05 19:32:23

adult ed sounds like a good idea. I've heard you talk about prison ed hula - in what way is it less stressful than ordinary teaching?

Jimjams, do you have children at home while you are doing AQA & Brainmass work? How do you juggle it?

I went out with dp earlier and discussed these options. We agreed that I need something solid and definite, that I probably would never deal with taking work as it comes. But we did talk about options that would give us the lifestyle we want (after all, the whole point here is for us to be happy and healthy) - maybe there are different lifestyle choices that would still make us happy (not teaching inner city, commuting on london transport for example)

Hulababy Wed 06-Apr-05 20:20:16

I have done prison ed one day a week since September. I could have done more days - they are always looking for staff - but was in school two days a week too until this Easter.

I find it a world apart from school teaching and so much less stress. You would imagine it to be stressful but I really don't find that. I teach adult and YO (18-21yo) males - Cat C up to Cat A/lifers (so I do have some very serious offenders in there).

Cass sizes are very small when compared to school. I have up to 10 in a class; some of the classes in the larger rooms (the addressing offender behaviour programmes - assertiveness, drugs, alcohol, etc.) may go up to about 15 or 16. The bullying class is the largest at about 20 maximum.

Discipline is fab, in that there is some! And the support for teachers is excellent I have found. If ny man steps out of line they can be immediately disciplined. If it goes beyond acceptable - you have given warnings and they have failed to respind to a direct order, or their behaviour towards you or another inamte is unacceptable - then you can get an officer to remove them from your class immediately and they are sent back to their pad, no questions asked. You can then do a range of things - wing reports, nick them (involves going to internal court next day for them to plea guility/not guilty, and sentencing - usually loss of priveledges, etc), end of course them (stop them from coming back to your class again), etc. It is very no nonsense stuff - but I have not really encountered many behaviour issues at all - the men are in class because they either want to do the subject or it is part of their sentence plan (if they do it it helps them get out on parole/tag earlier or their Cat D status). The long termers rarely cause as many issues - they generally have accepted they have to get on with it.

I have a fun time in the classroom chatting with the men, as well as them learning. I have learnt a lot!!! And I now enjoy going to work.

As a women the downside is that you do need to watch what you wear - and this is regardless of what you look like or your age, etc!!! If you are female in a male prison you do have to accept certain things - like you may be one of the few women they see daily. Conservative dress is the key - not too much flesh on show.


Maths is a huge shortage area in prison ed as there is such demand for it. The main aim for prison ed is to get all inmates attaining Level 1 in Literacy and Numeracy by the time they leave. Quite a few men come in at pre entry level (they can't read, write or count); these then have to work through the entry levels E1, E2 and E3. On the other end of the scale though you have some inmates who are wanting to achieve GCSEs and A Levels in Maths.

As a teacher with QTS you are a huge asset for a prison. Allteaching/education staff now have to have QTS and a teaching qualification. In the past they didn't have to, and many of the older staff are now having to work towards this. With QTS the prison ed will rtreat you as a master of all trades and you will be highly sought after to teach in many areas. For example, my subject is ICT/Business but I have taught Entry level Maths and on the Bullying course. Especially if doing entry level/level 1 numeracy, they may automatically assume you would want to teach the literacy too.


And in prison ed it isn't just teaching. I am not teaching in my new job - I am now an Advisor in the education department (paid same rate as the teaching staff). I carry out interviews with inmates, discuss their sentence planning targets and education targets, see what they have achieved in prison and what they will do next, and then I follow it all up. I also meet with sentence plannig officers when they are recommending people for parole/tag/Cat D status, etc. Only been doing it 2 weeks but enjoying it lots. It is really interesting.


If you want to know more let me know (also your loation) and I will see what I can find out further.

fisil Wed 06-Apr-05 20:34:53

yes please hula - and thanks for the detailed response. I am in SW London (but really on the outskirts, I don't fancy travelling into central London)

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