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Childcare costs?!(42 Posts)
I’m currently pregnant and trying to work out the financial payments for childcare.
Together, me and my partner earn very little. He works full time earning £16k a year, i work part time and go to university part time, earning £11k a year. I actually work in childcare myself and am very settled in my job, the nursery i work in is a new business so is the cheapest around our area while they build themselves up - at £40 a day. I wouldn’t be entitled to staff discount and my baby would have to attend 5 days a week due to me working there three days AND me being at university twice a week. Ironically, i work in the baby room myself so i feel like i would be paying to look after my own child, as well as everyone elses and once the cost of childcare is taken into account (£200 a week) i would come home with £14 spare - as i earn £214.
To me, i understand the price of childcare but i feel it a bit ridiculous that i’d be left with £14 as there’s nothing i can do with that really, it doesn’t support us.
We currently live with my parents as we try to afford a mortgage/rent and intend to stay here for a year until we can save. This means that we’re not entitled to benefits as they take into account my parents wage. Equally, i can’t not work because then i wouldn’t be entitled to a mortgage but i just feel daft working 30+ hours to look after my own child and coming home with £14 that it makes me want to be a full time mum (groan).
I’m SO confused by this all.
If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated as i am really beginning to stress about our financial situation now.
PS both sets of grandparents work full time so we don’t have an option of the baby staying with family.
Is there any opportunity for career progression for you/your partner? Can either of you change jobs to better paid ones (is £16k not under NMW)? Can you defer your studies and increase your hours?
There's lots of reasons to keep working. It's very difficult to re-enter the workplace and if it's your aspiration to move out from your parents you have to keep earning.
Thank you for your reply. No he earns just over £16k which puts him at minimum wage (he’s 23). There’s no career progression opportunities for him.
I need to continue study as i am half way through now and that is my only way of career progression as it is my degree and the only way of achieving a higher salaried job in the childcare sector as unfortunately you need qualification proof.
I never wanted to be a stay at home mum but feeling that’s the only option i have now - but yet again it isn’t as i need to be working to be on the mortgage.
What about staying at home until you have your degree. Not working for a year or two whilst doing a degree will not leave gaps in your CV. A lot of students focus on study even when there are no children to consider. Then when you have finished your degree you can get a better paid job and work full time so you'll have money left after childcare.
I could be wrong but I don't think your parents wages would be taken into account for thinks like child tax credits. Students may not be eligible though. I'm not sure but you should check all this out.
If you leave your job presumably you will still need childcare for the days you are at Uni? How will you pay for that? If you aren't working it would come out of your partners earnings meaning you would be financially worse off IYSWIM?
I have a friend who worked to pay for childcare, but she needed to as it meant in the longer term she had better career progression opportunities.
Now that her earnings are higher she only does part time hours around her DC being in school which means she can pick them up, do all the after school stuff etc.
She always tells me that the sacrifice in the early days was worth it to be where she is now.
I have a friend in a similar position to you. The cost of her childcare is almost the same as her full time wage. Think she gets about £100 a month. However the field she is in she can't go part time or have a career break. She is very career focused and knows even though she is technically working for nothing. In a few years time her salary would have almost doubled and by that time her DC will probably be at school. She just sees it as a sacrifice she has to make. They currently just live of her DH wage. I don't know if that is how you can see it?
You should get some childcare tax credits.
Find out if your uni will fund some childcare too.
Are you taking into account child tax credits and child benefit too?
Has your dp claimed childcare vouchers or set up a childcare account. It means you won’t pay tax on the cost which would save you both about £40 a week.
Have you tried the entitled to benefit calculator? I just did it based on the details you have given here and it looks like you might be entitled to around £100 a week in tax credits/universal credit and child benefit.
If your uni will contribute to your childcare too then that would make quite a difference.
My only issue with that is the longer i’m out of work, the longer it is until i can get a mortgage
@FrangipaniBlue I would still have to pay for the two days at university, or was planning on trying to work from home but not sure if uni would agree to that. As for working purely to pay for childcare, i do agree that sometimes it’s a sacrifice that has to be made but my issue is that my baby will be in the same room as me at work, as i work in the baby room so essentially, i am paying £200 to look after my own child, work 30 hours AND look after 11 other people’s babies - with help from staff of course, but it’s not an easy job and to be working for £14 just seems daft!
@sleepymama38473 it’s such a hard decision isn’t it!
@MindChilder i’m pretty sure child tax credits have been over taken by universal credit. With my being a student, i’m hardly entitled to any universal and the entitlement calculator refuses to give estimates to students. My partner would be entitled but think my parents wages would be taken into account as we live with them? I’m not entitled to university funded childcare either.
@Seniorschoolmum my partners job don’t partake in childcare voucher schemes
I’m just so stuck and feel like i’m running out of time!
Agree you really need to check what you're entitled to as a family. It's not just the amount of tax credits/universal credit in the award it's also that you can get childcare costs paid/reimbursed (65-85% I think). Also check with uni as others have said.
Also can we stop talking about the costs in relation to just your salary. It's the costs in relation to you and your partner's. Childcare is not the mother's cost. It is a family cost. See this as a decision in the round, for both of you. What makes sense for the family finances, not just yours. As ithers have said, I actually think it sounds like it would be worth you sticking with work and uni as in the not too distant future you will be better qualified and be able to apply for higher paid jobs immediately. This is a relatively short term issue.
I hope that makes sense and wish you and your family all the best.
Forgot to add noticed you said your DH employer doesn't part take in the child voucher scheme. However there is a new scheme now I'm not sure how you set it up but it's available to everyone. I think you it works so that every £8 you put in the government puts £2 in. Effectively the government pays about 20%
Universal credit is taking over tax credits in some areas. I'm pretty sure the percentage of children costs you get reimbursed on UC is higher than tax credits (85%) so even if the cloak amount is small it will make a H he difference. Also as a PP mentioned, look into "tax free childcare". You put money in account and government top up with 20%. Get an appointment with citizens advice or look on council website for benefits maximisation or similar.
Sorry riddled with typos! Hope t makes sense! Just really don't want you to feel hopeless x there is a lot more help out there than people realise. It's not well co-ordinated or well advertised but there is support out there
What are your other out goings though op? If you're all living with parents what contribution do they take? £16k isn't a great wage but if the majority of it can be saved then the £200 for childcare doesn't seem so bad.
Could you try and find a job around your partners hours so you don’t have full time childcare costs? An evening or weekend job, just until you finish your degree - you’d still have the costs of childcare during uni time but this could be covered by evening/weekend work and you’d have 3 days at home with your baby (if that is something you want). It isn’t ideal but it’s not forever, just while you get your degree. It’s great that you are doing further qualifications and if possible you should stick with it! Good luck
How much are you paying your parents for bills/food etc? If its a low amount, then you do have the best part of 25k to work with per year.
Check out childfree tax care. You don’t need employers to have joined a scheme. Can save up to 2k a year in costs. Can’t recall what the exclusion criteria are though...
i’d be left with £14 dont you share money/bills with dp?
Tax Free Childcare is open to everyone and will give you a 20% saving on your costs. The scheme is fully explained here:
Totally get your frustration with costs of it all OP.
As others have said take a look at Universal Credit and Tax free childcare. The government website has a really useful tool which calculates the best way to get help.
Also everyone gets £83 for their first child so take a look at child benefit. Your midwife should be able to help you in knowing how to claim.
You might also be e to claim free childcare early when your baby turns 2 so just think it's only short term you'll be struggling.
I have to keep reminding myself of how this is just short term, whist we are both in good paying jobs we have a mortgage of £1200pcm so we are literally living pay packet to pay packet due to high costs of childcare. I worked out it actually be better for my OH to give up his job and claim than to send our DS full time and nursery but we both want to keep our jobs so have to sacrifice for a while till DS turns 3 and we start getting free hours.
Can you up your studies to full time and leave your job? Its unfortunate that it might affect your mortgage but you would be entitled to maintenance loan and some childcare costs, as well as child benefit and child tax credits.
It might be worth going to see your local Citizens Advice Bureau. They are usually quite good at working out what you're entitled to.
Your parents income has absolutely no impact on your benefit entitlement
You would certainly get help with your childcare costs
Go onto the tax credit calculator
You will also get child benefit
Most universities offer bursaries for childcare
You will be fine
You really would benefit from seeing someone st the CAB to help you understand your options
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