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Share your childcare tips with The Childcare Voucher Providers Association - £300 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(239 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 25-Sep-17 14:22:35

Sorting out reliable childcare can be a difficult task for any parent. The struggles of trying to organise appropriate childcare can sometimes turn your whole day upside down. With that being said The Childcare Voucher Providers Association would like to hear about the tips or shortcuts you have for arranging your childcare, whether you’re a working parent or not.

Here’s what the Childcare Voucher Providers Association has to say: “We are on a mission to ensure that working parents have the best support possible for arranging their childcare. And this includes a genuine choice in the financial support that best suits their families. We think it’s great that the Government is focusing on improving access to childcare support and we welcome the additional choice that tax-free childcare will bring to accompany the support that millions of parents have received from Childcare Vouchers.

However, the Government wants to close the voucher regime to new parents in April 2018. For many parents, Childcare Vouchers will provide far more financial support than tax-free childcare, including for couples with one working parent who won’t be able to claim any financial support at all under tax-free childcare. That’s why we think rather than closing one scheme, the Government should keep the voucher scheme open as well as tax-free childcare to give parents a genuine choice and access to the support that best suits their family. If you agree with this then please feel free to sign this petition to keep the voucher scheme open.”

Do you have any tips on managing your childcare around a busy working life? How do you manage when you have to drop your kids off at different providers? Have you got any tips that save you money? Or perhaps you enlist the help from family members as well as childcare providers?

Whatever your tips are share them on the thread below, where one lucky MNer will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck.

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Treaclespongeandcustard Mon 25-Sep-17 17:36:22

We each work a condensed working week to save 2 days of nursery. We also share our working day so that 1 of us does drop off while the other goes to work early, and the other parent does pick up whilst the other works later. We save approx £250 per week by doing this and makes nursery more afordable ... just!

CopperPan Mon 25-Sep-17 18:10:14

We moved closer to my family when the eldest got to school age. My mum was made redundant and more than happy to spend time looking after the grandkids. We were very lucky, but it was quite a big decision to make the move as they live in a more expensive part of the country, but it's all worked out pretty well. I'm happy that my dc have such a close relationship with my parents, and we'll be helping them when they get older too.

WelshMumof1 Mon 25-Sep-17 18:22:54

Unfortunately I can't currently afford to go back to work and pay childcare. The costs in my city are as much as I would make at work! If I had relatives who could help out I would definitely take advantage of them and I definitely think more needs to be done to support mums getting back into work if they want to. Taking years out of a career can be very detrimental long term.

honeyandginger48 Mon 25-Sep-17 19:03:34

When my son was a baby he went to a nursery part-time but the fees were so high that it wasn't really worth me working. I eventually gave up work and stayed at home to look after my son and then my daughter. I returned to work when my daughter started School Nursery which luckily did full days rather than half days. The school had a before and after club which was useful but always over subscribed. I occasionally needed help from friends with picking up and dropping off and in return would pick up and drop off for others.

WreckTangled Mon 25-Sep-17 19:24:18

Make sure your dc are really well behaved every time you see the only decent childminder in the village grin then nab her as soon as she has a space. Still £5 an hour per child though.

The uk has an appalling childcare system in place.

JemIsMyNameNooneElseIsTheSame Mon 25-Sep-17 19:33:39

I was very lucky to have an outstanding nursery open from 7.30am-6pm, 5 mins from my house, especially as I live semi rurally. Now DS is at school childcare is actually harder as a single mum with no family support as there is no wraparound care on site.

chewiecat Mon 25-Sep-17 19:45:54

We are probably going with a childminder but did look into nanny share as another option. In the end we found a childminder who we really like. It's important that both DH and I agreed regarding the childminder as it was a family decision

Sleepysausage Mon 25-Sep-17 19:50:38

My husband works a condensed week to look after our DD one day a week. I work three days which means we only have to pay for 2 days at nursery.
I often work extra at weekends so my husband can look after dd while I work.
We use the childcare voucher scheme and find it great for saving us money and it's so easy.

asuwere Mon 25-Sep-17 20:27:35

DH and I both condensed our hours so we each worked 3 days a week so we always had one of us at home, therefore no childcare. Worked well for us but appreciate not for everyone.

PeasAndHarmony Mon 25-Sep-17 21:08:30

I recommend seeing if you can be flexible with working hours.

I compressed my hours as leaving half an hour earlier means I'm not rushing to pick up the DCs.

DH works from home 3 days a week so he can drop the kids at school before starting work at 9.

We chose a primary school with wrap around care 8-6 and there's a fab holiday club open 8-6 at our local sports centre.

CherriesInTheSnow Mon 25-Sep-17 21:18:16

For us, with a 2 year old and another baby on the way, the only way we can afford to keep our head above water is to have a SAHP.

I would love to send DD to nursery but as we're not entitled to the 30 free hours (which is fair enough), keeping more options open to families with different setups sounds really good to me. We should be broadening options for parents, especially as the funded hours are not always as clear cut and simple as one would think they should be!

CheeseEMouse Mon 25-Sep-17 21:18:25

Set your red lines and don't feel guilty when you have to go and do pick up. Also both DH and I have the ability to work properly at home which means that we can catch up in the evening if we haven't got everythibg sorted in the day

ErinSophia Mon 25-Sep-17 21:19:59

Myself and my husband picked a nursery that was further away for our daughters as it was the best nursery and luckily less expensive. I drop the girls off on my way to college and my husband picks them up on his way home from work so the girls have a bit of normality, we also moved closer to our families as our parents very kindly offered to watch the girls a day each per week which keeps the childcare bill down.

rupert23 Mon 25-Sep-17 21:45:59

I have five children and over the years as a working single mum i have had childminders nurseries and after school clubs that have fitted in with my family and work. the most important thing to remember is do not get too stressed if the childcare arrangements have to change at last minute. i have had brilliant childminders who have moved away and after school clubs closing down etc. i have just had to work out a different option. As long as my children are happy and it fits in with my work its been ok. I now use a club at school for my youngest son that is very good and he is not too anxious there as he has ASD.

purplepandas Mon 25-Sep-17 21:50:21

We work overlapping hours and shift patterns to make it work. Means very little time for DH and I (we are both wokring now, I am at home) but it makes life easier childcare wise.

WhosTakingDeHorseToFrance Mon 25-Sep-17 22:26:28

Use your maternity leave to go and see the childminders in action at a few toddler groups you'll soon see which one you'll want to use for your childcare...

wwwwwwwwwwwwww Mon 25-Sep-17 23:47:04

I really looked around and found out about my nursery opening through a local Facebook group. I found babysitters by asking local mum's and at the gym crèche. I found you needed to be persistent after initially rejecting a few options.

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 26-Sep-17 06:58:48

Neither of us has any family in this country so any childcare that we use, we pay for. I am sometimes envious of friends who can reply easily on parents and other family members. Fortunately, the DCs school has good wraparound care and we make use of breakfast and after school clubs. I book holiday clubs as soon as they become available in January for the summer ahead, putting aside money to pay for them which puts our minds at ease. I work .8 so I can do drop offs and pick ups one day a week and DH is also flexible. When someone falls ill, it's a disaster for us and very difficult to manage.

NerrSnerr Tue 26-Sep-17 07:28:32

I think you need to go with your gut feeling when it comes to nursery (as well as checking out the practical side). We have been so lucky to find a great nursery, I have reduced my hours so work 3 days so it's a lovely balance.

Falconhoof1 Tue 26-Sep-17 07:32:48

When mine were at nursery we going childcare vouchers to be amazing. Having your tax reduced due to these makes a massive difference.

theresamustgo Tue 26-Sep-17 08:36:16

I used our workplace nursery....every workplace should have a nursery. It was not too expensive and it was very close to work, so I could always pop in, we even had a night version for a while. Good days. Let us all fight for better provision. also let us be sure that those working i nurseries are well trained and correspondingly wel paid. All too often I have found demotivated and underqualified staff in the private sector. Like all childcare, from crèche to university, we should have respect for those to who we entrust our children rather than treating them as dogsbodies,

I have appreciated the childcare voucher scheme and will be sorry to see it go.

Quietvoiceplease Tue 26-Sep-17 08:55:56

Our secret is flexible employers, who allow us to start late/leave early and/or work from home on occasion. This means that we can share drop-off and pick-up between us.
It takes formidable planning to ensure that the requirements of our employers are not compromised, and flexibility between us so that we can accommodate meeting requirements and so on.
Email is our friend: most days we are sending emails to each other about work commitments and each others diary requirements.
It works, (until someone is ill)...

kateandme Tue 26-Sep-17 11:19:57

grandparents are a godsend and I don't no what we would have done without them.
don't be fearful of standalone carers either.since the devastating climb or affordability and places available at nurseries lots of mums or hcw have open up childminding service on their own often in own homes.i was dubious of trusting these at first but have actually been the answer to our prayers.small group of kids.dedacated and trained carer comfortable setting.excelent.

ButterflyOfFreedom Tue 26-Sep-17 12:09:54

Me and my DH both work part time so only need to cover child care 3 days a week which helps financially as well as getting a work/life balance right for us all. At the moment one DC is in school whilst one is in nursery so there are 2 different drop off / pick up points which does make it a bit trickier. Luckily both mine & DH's jobs are flexible so we can work round this. I'm not sure how we'd manage otherwise.

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