After chatting with my friend I decided to look into my local NCT course as DC1 will be due in December. I've found one running in my town, so walking distance for home which is great and told her about it.
She was shocked when I said how much the course costs though. She says that she didn't pay a penny for her course with DC1, but did live in a different county at that time.
Is it normal for these courses to be free? I'm only looking at the bog-standard antenatal classes
I did both the NCT and the free NHS ones. The NCT were pricey but worth it for the small group size, chance to ask questions etc plus the amazing friends I made - they really did keep me sane when I was on Mat leave. If you can afford it I would definitely do NCT.
I was quoted £325 for NCT (including the non-compulsory membership fee) which was to be held at the teachers house (so no hall hire fee to be taken into account with the price - therefore I think the fee is ridiculous). I'm in Surrey. I didn't go. I did the Daisy Foundation instead.
My SIL did NCT in North London for a very very reduced price as she was on benefits so it might be with checking if you can receive a discount (I think there are reductions for low earners). She loved it.
There are discounts for those on benefits but if you're an average earner its quite expensive, so for that reason I didn't do them as I knew I'd be on SMP as well. As it turns out I had DS early so wouldn't have completed the course anyway, and a friend on the course hated it - bad luck with the tutor's attitude (I think most are nice, but you get the odd bad one like with anything) I hear good things about it though in general so if you can afford it perhaps go for it?
If you don't do NCT there might be NHS courses in your area and also courses at the Sure Start children's centre. These are both free in my area, and the sure start one goes on over many weeks so you can make friends similar to nct. I know these don't exist in every area though so you'd need to check.
I feel your pain - its sooooo expensive, but everyone tells me they are worth it (and this is my first baby and my current level of knowledge stops at which end to feed and which end to clean - so I need all the information I can get!) Ours is £220 with membership
Im in the West Mids and NCT for me was Â£250 including the Â£40 membership fee.
Unfortunately my local NHS trust doesnt offer antenatal classes so i had no choice but to pay for a class.
We decided to go with the Daisy Foundation in the end and as we had left it quite late (the next available class clashed with my EDD) we had a 121 session - lasted about 2.5 hrs at home which covered the basics. I could interrupt with questions, it was very relaxed and i felt very informed at the end of the session.
Its not just based income i think. We have an average income and not in receipt of any benefits but it was only £120. We do live in an economically deprived area though so that may be why its cheaper here.
Well at least I know there is a difference between the NHS and NCT courses now, I'd assumed (naively) that they were the same thing! I think I'll have a chat with DH and see if he wants to do the NCT ones, they'll be a lot easier for us to get to, and I don't mind paying if they are worth it. I'm in the South West so glad I will most likely be looking at the lower prices than the poor London lasses have paid.