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nursery/ pre school? Is there a cheaper solution?(10 Posts)
My baby is due in august. I am going to go on maternity leave but would like to go back to work after 6 months or so. Unfortunately I have just realized that the amount of money I am going to earn is barely enough to pay for a full time nursery... Am looking in the right places? maybe there are some cheaper solution? I don't want to give up work entirely but how am I going to pay for rent and nursery at the same time??
Childminder's tend to be cheaper than nurseries so I'd look there.
Are you single? If you are a single parent on a low income, working tax credits will also pay a proportion of your childcare.
Childminders are normally the cheapest full time care option, but they're still not cheap cheap. I agree you should look into your benefit entitlement and perhaps delay your return to work until 12 months - childcare gets a bit cheaper after 12 months and then again at 2 and 3 years old.
Is baby's father going to be paying maintenance? If you were planning on not claiming from him then you may need to rethink (obviously if he has no income that's different).
Thank you for your replies.
The dad is also working fulltime. And even though we are not on low income his salary alone will not be enough to support the family when I go on leave...
You need a budget.
It sounds as if your net salary will be higher than the costs of full time nursery, so if you find a childminder you'll definitely be better off working.
Calculate incoming and outgoings.
Work out what benefits if any you may be entitled to.
Look at the deficit and then see what you can do to plug the gap - but this may include drastic solutions such as one of you moving to a job where you can work antisocial hours so you don't have to pay childcare costs, or even moving house to somewhere smaller and cheaper.
Look at nursery costs as coming out of your household income, not just out of your income
Find out if you are entitled to tax credits for fees as you could get up to 70% towards fees
Do you have any family that could do childcare on set days so you only have to pay for a few nursery days a week?
As for nursery prices ring around and find out what they all charge
In my town there is a £10 a day difference between the dearest and the cheapest
If they don't have them already, get your HR dept to register your company with a childcare vouchers provider - you and your partner can save the tax on nearly £500 a month in vouchers.
And don't underestimate how much money you save by not going out!
Ring round some nurseries for prices - round here nurseries seem to be £60-85 a day, whereas childminders are about £50. So you could save money by shopping around.
Claim childcare vouchers from work - both of you can do this, and your partner can as soon as the child is born, so you can build up a bit in savings. Some companies let the Mum start claiming them whilst on maternity leave too, although mine doesn't allow that.
Check out your and your partner's flexible working options- if both of you can do something like compressed hours (e.g. Five days work in four days) then both of you can do a day's childcare a week and only have to pay for three day's childcare instead of five.
Check moneysavingexpert.com for all kinds of saving tips e.g. Saving money on utility bills and insurance as well as benefits you may be entitled to. That'll help your money go further!
The new tax free childcare account rolling out this month may help you, it effectively gives you 20% off the childcare up to a maximum of £2000 if you are both working (and earning at least £120 a week and not more than £100,000 each per year) then the term after your child turns 3 you would also get 30 hours a week term time of funded childcare with the same conditions.