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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.

ceeveebee Wed 27-Jun-12 11:20:16

Boffin you make some good points, however I personally think a state run crèche from 3-6 months would be a better solution. It works very well in France. Children become socialised from an early age, parents are fully supported in returning to work, the crèche workers are qualified and regulated, and it is far more efficient (therefore cost effective) to have all children attending a crèche than to have nannies in everyone's home.

ceeveebee Wed 27-Jun-12 11:21:14

When I say 3-6 months I mean this as the starting age, to be attended until starting school.

Strix Wed 27-Jun-12 13:27:44

Disappointed to see I missed an opportunity to respond to this survey. But, now, I am marking place to come back later.... Just have to go find my soapbox...

I want all of the income which I use to pay for childcare (which is in fact incurred for the sole purpose of going to work) to be tax deductible. That is every penny I spend on childcare should not insure any income tax/ ni from me. Fine for my employer to still pay, and fine my nanny (if i had one) to still pay her income tax / ni.

More later... Must go earn some tax to pay.

Strix Wed 27-Jun-12 13:29:30

Ps totally opposed to state run crèche. They can't run anything else we put them in charge of. Hands off my kids' early years!

Rubirosa Wed 27-Jun-12 14:26:15

There are already lots of state run nurseries, and they provide excellent care (better than private nurseries in general). They take babies and are open 8am-6pm, but are not any cheaper than private nurseries. In my city they are around £45 a day, most nurseries are £40-£50.

WantAnOrange Wed 27-Jun-12 14:43:08

I know I'm a couple of pages behind now but I wanted to answer Duchesses question.

£3.60/hour (per child) is not what I earn in wages. It's my gross income. From that I have to take out all my expenses (premesis, gas, electric, water, council tax, food, travel, outings, toys and resources, cleaning supplies, toiletries, training costs, Ofsted fees and insurance).

I could earn a fair wage easier if I stayed at home all day and did nothing but I offer quality childcare. We go out everyday. I provide all food. My fees are all inclusive.

So my actual wage at the end of the day is considerably less than £3.60/hour/child.

Also, the £3.60 is the same rate whereever you go in the country, but this does not reflect childcare costs. Most nurseries in my area charge around £4.20/hour. I don't know how they could get round this and still be fair tbh.

Want2bSupermum Wed 27-Jun-12 15:04:03

I think state run nurseries are not ideal. So many on here complain about state schools so I can't imagine the uproar about private vs state nurseries. I also think small groups work better for young children. DD is in a small class of between 4-12 children age 3-24 months depending on the day. When we were looking, a local daycare they had 33 6wk - 18 month babies in one room. It was too much and I know a couple of the babies who attend that nursery. Those kids get ill a lot more than DD does and there have been more incidents. Personally I don't think there should be more than 16 in a class with a ratio of staff to babies of 4:1. In the name of cost I fear that state run nurseries would result in bigger classes.

Overall, I do think that the UK needs to think very hard about where they stand when it comes to supporting a family. This isn't about supporting the parents so much as supporting the development of the children. It is vital that our children turn out to be productive members of society. I currently live in the US and there is much more support here through the tax system, state programs and community charity for families with children compared to the UK.

Rubirosa Wed 27-Jun-12 15:08:52

Want2bSupermum - the ratio of under 2s is 1:3, 2-3s is 1:4. In the state nurseries I know of, the group size in under 2s rooms has been 6-9, and in 2-3s 12-16.

nannynick Wed 27-Jun-12 19:05:34

What question was asked which resulted in the finding

Half of parents (50%) of parents felt that childminders should be able to look after a maximum of three children under the age of 5 (in-line with current regulations), while 20% believe it should be a maximum of two.

20% want a childminder to be only able to care for two children under age 5? Really? That's hardly going to help reduce costs.

Twit Wed 27-Jun-12 20:10:32

What about opening schools all year round? Teachers & kids could take the same amount of holiday per year as parents. Also School hours have to be longer than average work hours so that we have a chance to get a decent shot at a decent job.

Want2bSupermum Wed 27-Jun-12 20:28:47

Ruby My fear is that if care for preschool children becomes state provided by the taxpayer that this will change.

The ratio as per the state of NJ is 4:1 for babies up to 2yrs. The local place with 33 under twos in the one room has a ratio of 3:1. I looked into both places and observed the class for half a day via video for the local place. Music time was done with all 33 children. It was chaos. This local place is more then $400 a month cheaper than their competition. The bigger classes have enabled them to reduce costs while maintaining staff ratios.

Flisspaps Wed 27-Jun-12 22:01:57

nannynick That was my thinking too, plus I personally would then be screwed (as would many other childminders) with 2 under 5s of my own!

That would make it impossible for me to make enough money to live on as a CM so I'd have to WOH - only with 2 under 5s I'd have to find a CM with no under 5s of their own, and no Early Years mindees to care for, and what I'd be contributing to the family pot after we'd taken out childcare would be around £0...

How on earth would that be a workable solution?

Flisspaps Wed 27-Jun-12 22:04:03

Twit How would that be possible in terms of ensuring that all children were taught the full curriculum? It would be impossible to plan!

InMySpareTime Thu 28-Jun-12 06:25:40

Twit I would feel awful making my DCs go to school for longer than working hours, with no holidays! While I agree the disparity between school holidays and work holidays needs addressing, there are better ways than making DCs work more than adults.
Perhaps more flexibility from employers, so parents can work e.g. 3 days in school holidays, 5 days term time, or reducing core hours to 9.30-2.30 so parents can choose to work early or late to reduce childcare. Also, given the prevalence of the Internet, more work could be done from home or at unconventional hours to fit around family life.

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:35:48

I think we're making a mistake if we think it's the job of schools to provide childcare. A school is there to provide an education. The only childcare provider able to do long, flexible hours is a nanny, and even then you have to work around holidays, sickness, maternity leave etc.
I've got a novel idea. How about parents look after the children they weren't bullied or bribed into bringing into the world themselves? Is that really so outmoded and unthinkable, for those who are able to afford it?

duchesse Thu 28-Jun-12 11:40:10

Heck of a lot more expensive in terms of lost income, job prospects, etc for children to be looked after at home by a parent. Obviously there are very many positives to having 1-1, 1-2 or 1-3 attention but it's not a solution without cost, either to the family, or to the economy/society. And this is NOT a WOH/SAH debate, more a debate about the practicalities or otherwise of existing childcare situations. Shall we keep it that way?

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:44:13

I didn't know you were in charge of steering the discussion a certain way duchesse, LOL!

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:45:30

I made a perfectly valid point which was pertinent to the subject.

duchesse Thu 28-Jun-12 11:46:52

No, no you weren't. The thread is about how to improve childcare. Your solution is "child care shouldn't exist". How does that help?

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:53:21

I didn't say that. You said that.
I said it's not the job of schools to provide childcare.
Their job is to provide an education.
The root of this problem is not the lack of childcare, or the cost of it. The real problem is that employers are inflexible and expect parents to fit their children around a 40 hour a week job, 52 weeks a year. The real issue is that companies don't offer enough flexibility, home working, term time working, working around school hours etc. That's the real issue for government, not trying to arrange 24/7 childcare cover to pander to the whims of unreasonable employers.

lowfatiscrap12 Thu 28-Jun-12 11:55:10

and there's been plenty of thread drift throughout this discussion. Funny how you took objection to my drift though because I said something which challenges your world view?

bubbles11 Fri 29-Jun-12 17:22:16

havent read the thread but in response to the survey results - so relieved to discover it is not just me
Since i returned to work in January 2011 I have been poorer than i have ever been in my whole life including when i was a student - at least someone is looking into it - thankyou

Want2bSupermum Sat 30-Jun-12 00:20:37

lowfat Employers are not going to change to suit working parents. They need their employees working during business hours. Most professional careers don't allow for flexible working or working part time. The real problem is the cost and hours available. Nurses and doctors need care available to them 24/7 to accomodate their shifts.

Strix Sat 30-Jun-12 09:45:07

I agree that the purpose of school is to educate and not to provide childcare. I would therefore like the government to stop claiming they have assisted with my childcare by providing me with a primary school.

I don't need or even want my employer to give me part time / flexible working. I an just as committed to my job as the single blokes without young children who sit around me. But I do want to live in a society where normal peopl can reasonably expect to have children, and go to work in order to support them.

Regarding the comment about why don't parents look after their children themselves, I provide for my children by going to work. Without the money that comes in from this job, we would not have food, clothes, a variety of children's activities, etc. This is my chosen approach to raising my children. Others may have a DH who pays all the bills and choose to stay home with their children. That's great... For them.

What I want is a system which allows parents to make the choices which suit them. I do not want the government to tell me how my children will be looked after (I.e. state run nurseries where I have little control over how they are run, what activities are provided, and let's not even think about what they would feed my children). I want choices which are reasonably affordable to normal people who want/need to work.

BoffinMum Sat 30-Jun-12 09:59:49

Nobody is really saying that schools and teachers should provide childcare, but it seems extraordinary that our massive investment in school buildings lies unused for 1/4 of each year and 1/2 of each waking day.

BTW for those that say teachers should have the same holidays as everyone else, they aren't technically entitled to any holidays at all! They are just entitled to be absent from the premises during school holiday periods. You will find most of them pop in and out during the holidays and so on, and also do a great deal of their termly lesson planning and paperwork then. A McKinsey study commissioned by the Government a few years back added up all the hours teachers worked and found they were equivalent to most other professional roles, but concentrated into more intense periods (i.e. mainly term time). It's an odd sort of job.

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