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Cost of 2 children in childcare will swallow nearly all my earnings!! Help!

(20 Posts)
MumofIsaac Sat 06-Jun-09 12:45:22

Hi everyone

This is my first post on here so hopefully I'm in the right place. I'd be ever so grateful for your opinions about my dilemma.

I have a 3 year old boy and so he is due to start school in September 2010. I'm currently on maternity leave with no 2 and due to go back to work in December/January. I have just calculated that with 2 children in childcare, I'll only be bringing home about £150 a month! Childcare is SO expensive!!!

Part of me has decided not to go back because I've been there 7 years and have had enough of it! They won't offer me flexi-time and we're expected to work 9-5 plus overtime (unpaid). So if I don't go back how will I pay the bills? I've thought about getting an evening job but in this economic climate, I'm pretty scared. Would you work to pay for other people to look after your little ones and bring home £150?

I'd really appreciate your views on this!!


bigstripeytiger Sat 06-Jun-09 12:47:13

Could you get tax credits?

ruddynorah Sat 06-Jun-09 12:48:21

are you a lone parent?

have you deducted the freee sessions your 3 year old will get at pre school before sept 2010?

LIZS Sat 06-Jun-09 12:51:51

A lot of people do , for the longer term benefit of keeping employment continuity and beign in the workplace. Remember your 3yr old's childcare could be subsidised by LEA vouchers and you could qualify for tax credits towards the costs. Might be worth looking at to check. Unless your dp/dh is a low earner you may not qualify for much other help if you stop working.

Kathyis6incheshigh Sat 06-Jun-09 13:03:29

My childcare pretty much wipes out my salary. I'm working for the pension, because I enjoy it and so I'll still have a job once my dcs are at school and not costing so much.
C'est la vie.

flatcapandpearls Sat 06-Jun-09 13:15:56

I worked at a loss for a year knowing I wa spaying into my pension , I was happier and that I needed a way to get back to work.
If you have a dp/dh it may help to see as childcare coming out of both of your wages.

Mamulik Sat 06-Jun-09 16:02:40

only very rich can afford nurseries full time. I still do not understand why government spending so much money on schools and nothing on nurseries?? thats why many mums stay at home and never go back to work.

foxytocin Sat 06-Jun-09 16:05:46

what LIZS and flatcapandpearls said.

TheDevilWearsPenneys Sat 06-Jun-09 16:06:02

Have you looked into childminders? They are generally cheaper, hard to find though.

Welcome to mumsnet (you will soon be an addict, mwahahaa)

blueshoes Sat 06-Jun-09 16:38:52

I would also recommend staying your job and keeping things ticking over, especially in this climate.

Unless you are prepared to take the real risk that you will not be able to get back into equivalent work/pay after you are out of the workforce for 2-3 years.

The period when you are paying 2 sets of fees is relatively short, being 1-2 years, before your ds starts reception, compared to the rest of your working life.

MumofIsaac Sat 06-Jun-09 21:23:32


Thanks for your messages. DH and I have sat down tonight and have worked out that we'd be better off if we didn't pay for childcare and I got an evening or weekend job. We think we earn just a little too much to benefit from working tax credit but not enough to be comfortable on. We're going to try and find out if we'd be entitled to any working tax credit if we give up one salary (thanks Lizs).

Another thing is that DH is doing a part-time degree so he can "get us out of poverty" as I say! He's got another 2 years to go until he'll be qualified. TBH, I don't really care that much about my career at the moment and would much rather be at home with the children and picking them up from school etc etc. When DH is qualified, there's a good chance we might have to move to wherever the work is (which could be anywhere really) so I'd have to leave my job anyway. By leaving my job now, I am probably only bringing forward the inevitable. But I'm scared of leaving and heading into the unknown (until I find an alternative way of earning).

It's all such a headache! I even seeing a life coach next week!!! But great to off-load on here...thanks for listening and giving me things to think about.

Noonki Sat 06-Jun-09 21:37:02

Hi mumofissac

welcome to mumsnet
I was in a similar predicament and decided to leave my job and then go back to uni and retrain as an acupuncturist.

It was the best decision of my life (after choosing dcs and getting married I guess!)

maybe see it as a chance to do something completely new.

It has meant we are a bit skint but we would have been anyway and I ma so much happier and get to see lots more of my little ones smile

neenztwinz Sat 06-Jun-09 21:44:34

Hi MumofIsaac, I am in a simialr position to you.

Are you sure it is only going to be £150 a month? Can you get childcare vouchers from your employer (worth £75 a month for basic-rate taxpayer) and have you taken into account the fact that you can earn around £6000 without paying any tax (about £120 a week iirc)? Can you use a childminer istead of nursery? I am saving £14 a day by using a CM for my twins!

When we first worked out how much I would earn we thought it was going to £85 a month after childcare/tax/NI etc. But then when we re-calculated taking into account vouchers and tax-free allowance (plus swapping nursery for a childminder) it is more like £300, so worth it in my opinion.

I think the cut-off for tax credits is £55,000 a year so if you and your husband earn less than £55k then you would get some tax credits.

jellybeans Sat 06-Jun-09 21:54:12

I would not work for £150 or choose f/t childcare, I tried it and it wasn't for us. I think your idea of evening work is great and will save on childcare and stress all round.

Kathyis6incheshigh Sun 07-Jun-09 09:53:56

If you don't like your job then I guess that is an important consideration. Not sure I would work for the pension if I didn't find it enjoyable.

violethill Sun 07-Jun-09 10:15:48

What others have said.

Many of us have worked at a loss, or barely breaking even, for a period of time, simply because of the long term benefits (career progression, sanity!, pension etc)

However, if you don't like your job, that's another issue altogether.

growingup Sun 07-Jun-09 10:19:02

Message withdrawn

3littlefrogs Sun 07-Jun-09 10:21:54

I think an awful lot of people are in the same boat. It took me two years to start breaking even, but I went back in order to pay my pension contributions and to hold onto my job.

MumofIsaac Mon 08-Jun-09 12:23:38

I do get childcare vouchers through my work and some working tax credit. But, the first year I went back after having Isaac they overpaid me and I've been repaying them back ever since. I was getting about £35 pw and the childcare was £120 pw. I think their system is dreadful! And when I've rung up to try and find out how much extra we'd get for having another child, I've been told they can't tell me until I actually start work. How on earth is anyone supposed to work out their budgets?!

A friend has suggested I go to Citizens Advice Bureau. Has anyone else tried them?

Orissiah Tue 09-Jun-09 14:28:28

If my job was my career with a good chance of career progression and it was a career I loved, then I would absolutely return to work even if my salary was chewed up by childcare costs. In the future, your salary would, hopefully, increase far more than childcare costs so it would be worth it. But you sound like you do not enjoy youtr job, that it isn't a career and that you would prefer to spend more time with your DCs.

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