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Childcare costs survey - the results

(77 Posts)
RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Jun-12 08:11:18

Thanks to all those who completed our recent survey on childcare costs.

As you might have seen we've published the results today following swiftly on from David Cameron announcing a commission into the cost of childcare costs last week.

We'll be forwarding the results on to the childcare commission - so do let us know what you think.

restassured Tue 26-Jun-12 18:28:37

Goodness Duchesse, where are you??!! I'm in North Hampshire and dd's day nursery charges £5.10 an hour!!

lowfatiscrap12 Tue 26-Jun-12 19:06:27

it still doesn't solve the issue of what to do with older children. I've got a twelve year old. What do I do with her for 3 full days during the summer holidays, since holiday clubs stop at age 12? Leave her alone in the house all day?

PaulaMummyKnowsBest Tue 26-Jun-12 19:14:47

where I am, day nurseries are £65 a day or £10 per hour!

(I am in St Albans, Herts)

Childcare is expensive but childcarers need to earn a living too

duchesse Tue 26-Jun-12 19:18:54

Devon. Standard charge around here. Since most people around here are on a low wage they could be waiting a long for customers at £10/hour. That's just silly money. £30/hour after tax if you have 3 children. Quite mad. Average wage here is something like £23000/year.

BoffinMum Tue 26-Jun-12 20:00:38

My employer sent a long winded email to us today whittering on about how important it was to pay £7.20 an hour to people as that was the least they could live on. Which was why it was trying to avoid giving the rest of us a pay rise.

Ironic. After commuting costs and childcare I am lucky to make £1.50 an hour.

Go figure.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 26-Jun-12 20:24:53

I do think the owners of nurseries must be making a lot of money, charging parents so much, and paying staff so little. (I do realise there are some costs involved, but even so) Not fair on the parents or the people that do the caring for the children sad

ceeveebee Tue 26-Jun-12 20:54:09

I have 7mo twins and am currently trying to negotiate part time hours to return to work in November. The nearest nursery to me charges £85 per day per child, which for full time would cost around £42,000 per year out of post-tax salary. There are cheaper nurseries but not found anything under £70 per day. Childminders around here charge £65 per day but will struggle to find one with two vacancies. So I am forced to get a nanny which will be the cheapest option. I would prefer a nursery or childminder so that they get more interaction with other children and (later) some structure in their early years, but cannot afford this.

When answering the questionnaire I raised the idea of state run nurseries similar to the crèche system in France. I don't understand why state run nurseries in the UK don't start until 3 years old and don't cater for working parents.

lollystix Tue 26-Jun-12 21:02:25

Yes it's bizarre - when I've looked into state run nurseries when on mat leave they operate silly hours like 9.15 to 11.30. So you drop kid there, get home for say 9.45. Sort out house and get baby down for sleep. Sort out more house crap, get baby up and fed and then back to pick up kid. All lovely if you are not working but of FA use to working folk unless you have nanny or childminder so you're back to square 1.

PaulaMummyKnowsBest Tue 26-Jun-12 21:10:57

ceeveebee ...... where are you? That is very expensive

ceeveebee Tue 26-Jun-12 21:30:12

SW London. It's a total killer!

tiggersreturn Tue 26-Jun-12 21:38:02

Completely agree. The system is designed to encourage women not to work. I have ds aged 5 and dts aged 10 months. Nanny is the only option for us as in order to get ds to and from school and cover school holidays I need a nanny. There are no cms who do pick up or drop off at his school. There is no before or after school club. Even if I could put the babies in nursery I'd still need a solution to that and there are none. After childcare and commuting I take back a lovely £2.68 ph from a really high earning job. It's just laughable.

And what are the cheaper options? An au pair where you might strike it lucky or receive one who sends you a text saying "your 3 year old is asleep in the cot and I'm in a taxi on the way to the airport. Get back as soon as you can."?

But unemployed women are good for the government aren't they? They can't claim jobseekers' benefit as there's no way for them to jobseek. They don't claim maternity benefits or sick pay as they're not working and they're not competing with all those men for jobs so you solve the unemployment problem. Is this why they cut the childcare vouchers?

duchesse Tue 26-Jun-12 21:54:51

Ah yes Boffin, but you get to keep the children afterwards. grin What you keep them with is more relevant.

canuck43 Tue 26-Jun-12 22:00:20

lollystix, years and years ago we use to have state run nurseries taking children from 6 weeks old, open from 7.30am-6pm. Not sure of the cost.

In my spare time, agree with what you say about the tax credits not going to parents. In Mexico where our son and family live if you are a working mother and pay social security (like our N.I.) child care is free. Our granddaughter was in a well run safe and secure nursery, run by qualified staff. Is this the way to go.

purpleroses Tue 26-Jun-12 22:01:54

Can't believe how much people in London or near say they're paying for childcare. Surely it would be best to become a childminder - if you could charge £10/hour for 3 kids, plus some after school pick ups you could easily be making £300 a day shock

ceeveebee Tue 26-Jun-12 22:10:12

Yes but I would be rubbish at looking after other people's kids, I can barely manage my own two! But you're right and worth thinking about...

holleyshiftwell Tue 26-Jun-12 22:11:01

I have found school hours very hard to work around. There is no breakfast club at DD's school and the school gates are not opened until 8:40am. How anyone is supposed to drop off their child and then get to work for 9am is beyond me, unless their workplace is within a five minute walk of school! The after-school club is completely oversubscribed so they share it out and DD has been allocated one day a week until 5:30pm. I have contacted every childminder in our area and not one is either willing or able to do afternoon school pick-ups and look after her until the end of the working day.
So my only options are au pair or nanny. I can't afford a nanny (would make a loss) and we live in a tiny house with nowhere to put an au pair!!

So I can only work from 9:15 until 2:45, which hugely limits the range and nature of jobs I can get. And that is before even thinking about childcare for DS aged 3.... or the school holidays....

School schedules do not match work schedules - the current system was developed when almost all mums were stay at home mums. And until there is a better match between the two then it's going to continue to be difficult for parents who both need to work.

Diane456 Tue 26-Jun-12 23:10:30

I gave up my job and registered as a childminder. Once my second child was born, I realised that I would be in the red if I went back to work. As women are more often than not the primary carers, I feel that it is women who are priced out of jobs by expensive childcare.

BoffinMum Tue 26-Jun-12 23:44:44

I honestly fail to understand why, given that we are in the middle of a financial nightmare nationally, that a national network of state run nurseries isn't established. After all, there is effectively a war on, as they say, and we are all needed at work, FFS. How hard can it chuffing well be for this country to achieve economy of scale and a professional setup for all this??? Instead of making every woman in the chuffing country chase her tail trying to make it all work. FFS. angry

duchesse Wed 27-Jun-12 00:00:01

Just give up all hope of paid work and run the Big Society instead, Boffin. You know it makes sense. Women, know your place!

montmartre Wed 27-Jun-12 01:04:25

Indeed- they need women to leave the workplace so that all men can be employed hmm

lollystix Wed 27-Jun-12 06:19:52

Couldn't agree more. Can't help thinking Cameron wanted us all back in the kitchen making Jam.

flubba Wed 27-Jun-12 06:57:03

I'm also SW London, and with three kids under the age of 5, I couldn't afford to go back to work after the birth of my 3rd, as I calculated needing to earn at least £37k to cover childcare costs (and that was with one in school!), but as a teacher my hours couldn't be flexible during term time, so we would have needed childcare before and after school every time.
Shocking really, this childcare situation so many people are finding themselves in.

lollystix Wed 27-Jun-12 07:34:21

It's like there's no template in the UK for family life. Everyone is just struggling along trying to do what they can to get through the years with LOs until they hit school (and that in itself brings more care issues) and relying often upon grandparents to step up. And then we all bash each other about our choices to be SAHMs or go to work and often they aren't choices. It's completely unsatisfactory and I think the government couldn't give a shit tbh.

Cokeaholic Wed 27-Jun-12 10:02:05

I'm shocked at people's lack of grasp of reality !

47% said that Employers should contribute more to childcare costs shock

Come on folks, how the hell will this enable parents to return to the workplace, get jobs etc when it is cheaper to employ someone without children because as amployer you don't then have any contribution to make towards childcare costs.

Did people switch of their social conscience and think only of themselves and their own situation when responding to the survey ?

In the long run, say 10-20 years from now when the economy has recovered I'd like to see childcare costs tax deductible in full at an approved rate per hour but only to cover the number of hours worked. This could be done via payroll but with the taxpayer and not the employer responsible for any fraud.

BoffinMum Wed 27-Jun-12 10:37:25

I would like to see a situation where home based childcare was the norm for children between 0-2.5, and this was tax deductible or even refundable according to a set of banded pay scales and rates (metropolitan areas, urban/suburban areas, rural areas, remote areas). This would deal with the whole gross pay/net pay nonsense in one fell swoop, and also standardise what was available. I would ditch the OFSTED approved childcarer stuff (as it is effectively meaningless in terms of children's development and the actual quality of care) and only inspect childcarers for 'elf n' safety. So anyone running a childcare business, passing the 'elf n' safety checks, and paying tax would be able to join the scheme. All childcarers providing home based care should be self-employed so parents do not have to manage payroll etc on top of everything else they have to do, and so they can deduct transport and equipment costs from their tax payments.

Childcarers taking their own children to work would face a reduction in pay in proportion to the number of children they were caring for, so if there were three children altogether and one was the childcarer's, they would face a reduction of 33 1/3% in the official rate (gets around the Spanish practices that go on where childcarers are able to work for a full salary and yet effectively get free childcare for their own children at someone else's expense, where the employers' children are experiencing reduced contact time).

Then children would move to nursery or some form of group childcare from the age of about 2.5, depending on when parents thought they were ready. This would also be tax deductible and heavily subsidised as well, so parents weren't paying more than abut 10% of their take home pay per child. Workers in specific key industries would have anti-social hours payments specifically for additional childcare costs, which would allow them to have some out of hours home based childcare as required (I am thinking of doctors, nurses, fire fighters, police and that sort of thing, as well as shift workers and air crew, to name a few examples).

In terms of school aged children (4.5 to 16), they should be cared for in school and any child requiring a place should be entitled to one. However the model for out of school care should be as domesticated as possible, with children being able to change into home clothes, have food and drink when they like, call staff by first names and generally have a more relaxed environment than during the school day. Again, no parent should spend more than 10% of take home pay per child.

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