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Returning to work after ML with no family childcare help?

(22 Posts)
jdy123 Sun 21-Jun-20 20:52:20

Just seen a few threads tonight about finances and such like and this got me thinking.
What are people's plans on returning to work and childcare after maternity leave , who don't have family to help out?
Mine and DP parents both work full time so won't be able to help out and I'm just curious to know what everyone else is doing?
I only come out with £1550 so I don't know if worth me going back full time with the cost of childcare but then I don't know how else to do it!

OP’s posts: |
Catboysmama Sun 21-Jun-20 21:02:06

It depends on all of your outgoings and your partner's salary. It's hard for people to advise on what you've posted. I bring in less than you because I work part time and have managed to pay for nursery due to my DHs salary and managing outgoings.
I would love to not return to work but we wouldn't be able to afford me not working.

PawPatrolMakesMeDrink Sun 21-Jun-20 21:04:44

I figure we’ll just be broke for a few years. We have no family support, DS will be in school but will need after school childminder x3 a week and the one I’m currently pregnant with with need x3 full days.

Fallenbehind Sun 21-Jun-20 21:06:01

If you can afford to see it this way, DH and I saw paying for childcare as place-holding our careers.

It wiped out one of our salaries for a while, but worth it because we loved our jobs and meant that neither of us lost out on our careers.

It’s one way to look at it so it doesn’t drive you mad! (If you can afford to see it that way. We could - but with no fancy holidays or luxuries!)

Fallenbehind Sun 21-Jun-20 21:06:53

(Also - PawPatrolMakesMeDrink - great username!!! grin)

LovingLola Sun 21-Jun-20 21:07:00

I only come out with £1550

How much does your dp earn?

mynameiscalypso Sun 21-Jun-20 21:09:14

Childcare is a joint expense for us; much like the mortgage/bills. We just lump it in that bucket. I would hate to rely on family for childcare to be honest and I think DS will thrive at nursery. That makes any financial sacrifice seem worth it to us (plus I can't imagine not going back to work!)

PawPatrolMakesMeDrink Sun 21-Jun-20 21:09:23

Plus hell would freeze over before I gave up my career to stay home with the kids. I am not cut out to be a stay at home mum.

Dinosauraddict Sun 21-Jun-20 21:13:36

I've put this on another thread today but I'm currently on mat leave and we have no family childcare support. DH and I will each compress our FT work into 4 days, meaning DS will only go to nursery 3 days per week but we both keep our salaries. It also means we each get a special day a week with DS and both take equal hit on career impact.

PoirotAndHisMoustache Sun 21-Jun-20 21:29:31

At the moment the plan is that my DP will be SAHP and I go back to work. He loves the idea. But we will see how long it takes before he changes his mind 🤦‍♀️

20viona Sun 21-Jun-20 21:30:57

I'm in the same
Situation. I go back work in 5 weeks and I'm working 3 days a week while she goes to nursery. We will be skint for a few years but that's part of having a kid.

T0rt0ise Sun 21-Jun-20 21:44:06

When I go back to work in February (son will be a year) he will be going into full time child care (Monday - Friday, 0800 - 1700ish). We will be marginally financially better off than if I stayed at home in the short term, but a lot better off in the long term as it a) means I can have another paid maternity leave if we decide to have a second child and b) will be able to get back to progressing my career.

mummabubs Sun 21-Jun-20 21:49:35

We don't have any childcare support from family as they live 3 hours away. I dropped from full time to 3 days a week after my maternity leave finished, partly as I really wanted more time with DS, and partly as on £1200 a month and DS's nursery coating nearly £70 a day it wasn't really worth the couple of hundred I'd make to put him in nursery full time. I'd say be led by your head and your heart on this OP- what do you want your work-mum balance to be vs. how much difference does it make financially to you? Only you can make the right decision for you xx

MindyStClaire Sun 21-Jun-20 22:58:54

Don't forget that your wage only nominally needs to cover half the childcare for a start.

Also, you may have a few years of not clearing much cash each month, but the financial rewards of working go way beyond your monthly salary. There's progression, experience, pension etc. In ten years your career will likely be in a much better state if you stay working than if you take time out.

We have no family nearby, we use a nursery. DD has gone full-time since 9 months and loves it (until lockdown at least).

WhatWouldPennyDo Sun 21-Jun-20 23:10:09

I’ll go back to work and my husband will have the baby for a couple of months before he goes back too.

Not sure if we’ll go for full time nursery or both drop (either 9 day fortnights or 4 day weeks). Childcare costs will simply be a bill like our mortgage. It’s important to us both that we have equal opportunity to progress our careers and to build strong relationships with her/him. Financial independence is such an important thing to me, and because of that it makes us financially stronger together.

Oatmilk1 Sun 21-Jun-20 23:11:33

We will both go back full time and have factored the childcare into our joint budget. Whilst some WFH or compressed days are theoretically an option for us, we will make a plan as if we dont have this to make sure we are well covered.

Don't forget to include things like pension contributions when calculating whether or not it is worth going back to work.

And if you or your partner do stay home, either because you want to or because its best for your family financially, make sure that that persons pension still gets contributions. The childcare wouldnt be free and staying home to take care of it shouldn't be free either.

Superscientist Mon 22-Jun-20 10:12:12

I will be returning to work full-time or close to full time. With commuting and nursery drop off I might need to drop to 37.5 h a week rather than 40h if my company permits this (I think its likely) I'm also hoping to wfh one day a week to reduce the burden of the commute as is my partner. This would help me stay on 40h as I would be able to work longer days twice a week.

My profession is one that is difficult to get back into even with a short career break. I love my job and having somewhere to be at 9 am every day plays a big role in keeping my mental health in a good place.

From a financial perspective, we our better off with both of us working full-time and paying for childcare particularly further down the line as we both have good pension packages with our employers and we would be worried about losing them should one of us decide to be a stay at home parent.

Shinebright72 Mon 22-Jun-20 10:14:25

What was your plan originally? I wouldn’t give my job up especially in these times! I think your wage is decent what you come out with.... Can you do part time if your job role?

RememberTheSunnierDays Mon 22-Jun-20 10:28:45

You’ll be able to join tax free childcare which will help with nursery costs.

I’m on my second maternity and like others, we don’t have any help either. Nursery will be full time from September and we also have wrap around for our 5 YO - but we don’t yet know what school will look like come September, so also looking into a baby sitter or someone who can help out on days he isn’t at school. We get childcare vouchers (the old scheme) and max those out each month, mean we only have to find £800 a month. It’s still very tight, but only for two years as baby will be able to get 30 hours free from 3 YO.

Like another poster, I am not cut out to be a SAHM and this is even more telling currently. It’s my for me at all and I chant wait to get back to my career.

crazychemist Mon 22-Jun-20 10:33:37

It’s a very personal choice. You need to get some real numbers in your calculation, and then chuck in a bit of thought about your personal feelings!

Look up some actual nursery fees for some settings near you that might appeal - it depends on where you are, and whether they are full time or term time (I’m a teacher, so can take advantage of doing term time only). For our DD, nursery started out as £75 per day, so I worked out a couple of scenarios - if I worked full time, if I worked 3 days a week etc. Don’t forget that it might not be as simple as scaling it - in my case I lost some responsibilities by going part time, so 3 day a week pay worked out as less than 0.6 of my full time salary, and transport also didn’t scale because a weekly train ticket is less than 5x daily fare etc. Properly work out the finances - what is the bottom line in each case? I worked it out based on my salary only because that was what we had flexibility on, but please do remember that childcare is actually a shared cost - it won’t just be coming out of your pay!

Then have a good think about how you are likely to feel. Financially, I would definitely have been better off full time and would have had more career progression. But that really wasn’t something that I wanted to do - personally I still wanted a bit more time at home with DD. So I chose part time. I didn’t consider giving up completely for 2 reasons - I wanted some adult time (coffee machines! Lunch with colleagues! Weeing on my own!) and I knew although I could definitely go back to teaching later, if have a lot less choice if I’d been out for a while. Some people aren’t fussed about career progression, or really want to have lots of time with their children so don’t want to return to work. Others feel they’re better parents at evenings/weekends if they’ve been refreshed by adult time. It’s a very personal choice and you need to think about that as well as the finances (assuming you are in the position to choose).

It’s worth having a think about what your back-up plans are in the event of illness etc - children pick up a tonne of bugs when they first start nursery! I commute, so wouldn’t be able to get back. DH is also a teacher (and even if your kid is ill, they aren’t going to pull you out of a lesson so you can go collect them!) so couldn’t necessarily come at the drop of a hat. My DMum was happy to be the emergency contact for those circumstances. Think about how that will work for your family.

If one of you does stay home at least some of the time, think about financial implications (just in case!). Taking time out of work may have an effect on long-term pay as well as current earnings, pension pot etc. Make sure that your long term interests are protected. I didn’t really bother with this because my part time pay was still as much as DHs full time pay. I do think that I have a tendency to buy stuff for DD sometimes using my own money (just don’t think otherwise!) rather than joint money, so probably have less disposable income than DH now. Getting ready for second maternity leave now and am going to think about it a bit more carefully this time!

BiddyPop Mon 22-Jun-20 10:47:36

We live far away from family so always knew that paid childcare was our only option. TBH, that's all most people I know have available to them - whether creche, childminder or nanny.

It just had to be factored into the family budget, as a bill similar to mortgage, groceries, electricity/gas/water, annual insurances etc.

And it is something that does reduce as DC gets older - baby room was most expensive, it dropped steadily through toddler and Montessori rooms, slightly up again for initial afterschool club but then slowly reduced over the years of primary as DC needed it less (extra curriculars, and growing independence to come home alone in the final year of primary).

But still having my FT job, having a role as an adult and meeting other adults, maintaining a career path and building up my pension, etc, were all important to me and to DH.

Childcare is also a FAMILY Bill, not just a bill to be paid by the DM but added into the overall budget as a whole shared between you both. However you share out that budget (1 person pays X bills and the other pays Y bills/joint account covering everything/joint account for bills with (fair) contributions from both but keeping personal accounts for own money....).

NameChange30 Mon 22-Jun-20 10:57:01

There is help with childcare costs available, most people are eligible for tax free childcare which means you pay 80% of childcare costs and the government pays 20%.

You and/or your partner could consider reducing or changing your hours eg working 4 long days each which means only having to pay for 3 days of childcare. If reducing hours your earnings would go down but you'd pay less tax and NI so it might not work out as a big reduction.

Also, childminders usually work out a bit cheaper than nursery.

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