Nursery prices too expensive or is it normal? West London, pls advise(22 Posts)
I started looking for a nursery for my daughter and am shocked with prices in South Ealing area in London. I knew nurseries are expensive but from what I currently looked up within 10 mins walk from my house comes up to around £1500-£1650 per year (this is already with a discount as I am looking for 5 full days a week). I really hope I can negotiate at my workplace to work 2 days from home or something so I can take my baby to the nursery for 3 full days a week or so (which is also not cheap - around £1000 per month).
Are these normal prices? Is it just me who finds it extremely high? This is my entire salary really so not even worth coming back to work How is your experience with the nurseries in West London and is it worth considering a childminder on this occasion? I know they are expensive too...and they need their holidays and sick leaves paid etc. even saw some mums saying they cover their petrol etc.
First time mum here so would really appreciate your advice
Thanks a lot xx
We're SW London/Surrey and iirc it was about £1500 when our DD went to nursery 5 days p/w a few years ago. It is a big chunk of income, but try to think of the other benefits of continuing work like keeping your pension contributions going and your career going. Most nurseries also get less expensive the older the child gets as the staff:child ratio goes down. Or just decide to take a few years off if you can afford it.
In SW London here, the nursery I was originally going to go for was approx £92 a day. It was the only one that was open longer than 8-6. In the end I didn't return to work & set up my own business. I found a local childminder who was £60 a day & Im really happy with her, we do pay holiday pay as well. I think anything in London that's £60-£70 is probably considered good value. Crazy I know!
£70-90 per day (a day being roughly 8-6) for a private nursery is pretty standard in London I’m afraid
Sounds normal for London, I'm afraid
BTW, if you are thinking that you will WfH two days a week and have your DC at home with you, I would strongly advise against it. You won't be able to work properly or look after your DC properly, and many work places expressly forbid it anyway.
the good news is that early years funding kicks in at various points and brings the bill down, so it's a matter of struggling through the first few years somehow...
Sounds pretty typical. Also, while I can understand the desire, I would definitely not count on being able to work effectively for two days with your DC at home with you, unless your job is fairly undemanding. Many companies will also only allow WFH on the basis that you have childcare during those hours.
Thank you everyone for all your replies, much appreciated! I guess we will just have to turn a blind eye on the nursery cost, after all it's only temporary for a few years before funding is available and nursery places in a local state school... Thank you for your advice on working from home too, while it will be challenging and not ideal, I am just trying to think of options on how to continue working and get the nursery cost down a bit at the same time I have a good position at work so would like to come back to work.
Would it make sense to have a childminder for full 5 days a week? Or do parents normally book childminders for half days or few hours? I guess the cost would be similar to nurseries, wouldn't it?
I had a childminder for 2 days & now my 3 yr old has started the school nursery she picks him up on those days & has him till 6 & full days during holidays. Just to note, even with the free 15 hours our costs didn't drop that much.
We pay £85 a day in west London/Surrey area. It is the most expensive nursery in area but is all inclusive and has longer opening hours so has been worth it. I’m basically barely earning anything for two years until the free hours kick in a three but need to keep my job open (plus hated being at home all the time on mat. leave!).
Could you and your partner work compressed hours maybe so that you both work five days but compress the time into four long days? That gives both of you a free day per week so the child then only needs a nursery place for three days
No employer I’ve ever worked for has countenanced an employee working from home with a child there that they’re responsible for. They’ve all asked for a signed form saying you have childcare for the WFH time.
I manage to WFH with a school age child but no way with the under 5.
Child-minders have the same inspectors and the same guidelines to follow as nurseries including school nurseries so they are not a step down or lesser choice. Many of us have the same qualifications as nursery managers and often have one or two degrees. The days of it being a fill in job while children are young have largely gone.
Most are rarely off sick especially if they don't have young children themselves who force closure due to illness. You get your holiday dates typically at the beginning for the year with many taking 2 weeks or less a year so matching their holiday isn't hard.
You also can find cms who work with co minders or assistants or ones who network with others.
Its worth ringing around for prices as they tend to be cheaper and maybe going slightly further from main areas ( Hillingdon rates are about £4 to £5 and Southall something in between Ealing and Hillingdon.
Cm's take 2 and 3 year old funding and will continue with your child through school if you find one that is right for you.
Thank you so much for your replies, so much appreciated! I will think of all the options again and see what we can come up with. But I guess we will just have to put up with the costs for the first 3 years until the funding is available.
>>RidingMyBike, thank you for your suggestion, but we cannot work in the evenings and plus we need to be at home by 6pm to collect the baby from the nursery, otherwise we will end up paying more for after nursery care till we get home, so I guess it will be the same cost as going to a nursery for 5 days in the end. Or did I misunderstand?
>>jannier, thank you, I will look for a childminder too just to compare and see what am I more happy with. Does £4-5 include food etc. or is it all extra?
Really happy that I can get advice and support from other mums being 1st time mum, many thanks xx
Normal for the area I'm afraid. We use a childminder in Northolt who charges £5p/h with a slight discount for a full day (and I believe another one for a full week but I'm not 100% on that) Ealing council have a list of reg cm's or if you want to pm me I can ask mine if there's any around your way she'd recommend.
There are cheaper places in ealing. I would look at cybertots (especially at Copley close but also the green). They might be a bit further away from eb but on train line. About £1000 for an under 2 but gets cheaper at 2. Pm me if need other suggestions.
What is included as a cm varies each has their own contract some will include everything, I even know one who will wash the clothes if they get dirty. Others will ask you to provide everything.
You cannot work from home while looking after a baby. I've worked from home for 6 years and my children go to after school club and holiday club. Please don't be as unprofessional as to even try this. I work in HR we would never agree to this and if we found put you were doing it you'd have some explaining to do. Working from home involves being available for phone calls, still attending on site meetings where required etc.
Re the working from home - I've had a couple of parents come to me after realising that it just doesn't work. Children need stimulation. They can only play alone for short bursts of time.
CM's offer a range of services. Some are all inclusive and at others you need to provide some things (nappies, food, milk, etc - it varies).
you are not allowed to work from home and look after a child. i work from home one day a week but that is to have a shorter commute and pick up my child one hour earlier on those days.
and in north London £1500 a month for full time is normal
Just to add, don’t pin your hopes too much on the 15 or 30hr funding reducing your bill dramatically in the future, especially if you’re looking at full days. It does help but not greatly, 15 hrs reduced our monthly bill by £148, and 30hrs by about £300, but for full days you still have to pay for the time either side, meals, and additional activities which you might have got included in what you paid for in your non-funded place. Don’t get me wrong, it helps, but it’s not as much as we’d expected after all the extras are added back in.
The point about compressing hours is that only one of you needs to collect from nursery. Some employers won't allow it, but instead of say 9-5.30 for example, so a 7.5hr day (so a 37.5hr week). One of you does say 8-6 approx for 4 days (maybe with a slightly shortened lunch hour to get your 37.5hrs in) and then the childcare on Day 5. The other does the drop off and pick up for 4 days, then nothing on Day 5 - as a couple you're only paying for 4 days. Or whatever arrangement you can work out between you that means you're not paying for 5 full days.
Also look at childcare vouchers via your employers. You and your H can both do it, you save the tax and NI on a certain amount of your childcare costs. It's not much but better than nothing.
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