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High Childcare Costs - work for negative money?

82 replies

Camomila · 07/09/2020 06:31

Just wondering how many people end up doing this?

I'm on mat leave atm, I earn £67 a day, a baby place at nursery is £63. Add in the train fare on rainy days and I'm going to work for zero extra money in the pot.
But...there is a massive recession and I should hold on to my job shouldn't I?

Please tell me what to do wise mumsnetters!

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Gizlotsmum · 07/09/2020 06:34

Does baby's Dad work? Is he contributing to the childcare? If not why not? If you assume he is paying half of the costs you are earning some money and it will get better.

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jujubeany · 07/09/2020 06:38

This was me initially (although childcare costs were looked at from the point of view of total family budget). However I liked the break from the dc & was still paying NI & pension. I've now had a couple of pay rises & dc are in school so definitely worth it. Because I've been there a while I also have flexibility.

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toomanyspiderplants · 07/09/2020 06:38

Well there are other reasons to work, but why would you do this purely looking at the financial side?

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Camomila · 07/09/2020 06:39

Ah yes sorry I put 'pot' meaning family pot - we'd both pay equally for childcare but as a family we wouldn't be financially any better off.

So I'd be working for my NI contributions and to not have a gap in my CV.

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Camomila · 07/09/2020 06:42

In mormal times I think I would have resigned but the impending giant recession/Brexit is making me think I'd better stay...

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FlipperSkipper · 07/09/2020 06:46

Are you eligible for tax free childcare? That cuts the cost by 20%.

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Goostacean · 07/09/2020 06:47

I’m going back in a couple of months after my current leave with DC2. I’m relatively junior in professional services in London and we opted to have children young. I earn a very good salary (apologies for how that sounds), and even that won’t cover childcare for my two- and family have them 1 day a week! It’s totally obscene. I thought my next promotion (within 1y) would push me over the boundary but no. I’m very upset about the whole situation, but I’m going back regardless. Between the upcoming (well, ongoing) recession, what I read on here about relationships going sour, and my own ambition- going back is 100% the right call, but I’m playing a very long game. However, in 20 years time my children will hopefully be off at uni living their best lives and all that- I want to be in a senior role and feel fulfilled as more than their mother. I’m viewing it as a big investment, basically.

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Arrow03 · 07/09/2020 06:47

Does the £67 for nursery take into account a scheme like Tax Free Childcare? That would save you 20%, which admittedly isn't going to make a huge difference, but might at least mean you aren't losing money!

Where I live, childminders are considerably cheaper than nursery so that might also be worth investigating.

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orangejuicer · 07/09/2020 06:50

It worked out cheaper for my DP to give up work and be a FT SAHD. YANBU to think it's ridiculous.

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Zarara · 07/09/2020 06:53

I think working is so much more than about the money and if you’re sharing the cost you’re not really working for zero financial benefit. In normal circumstances I would suggest taking a career break if you really don’t want to go back but we are entering a deep recession if you give up your job then you may find it really difficult to find another job. Also what happens if your DH loses his job?
Are you able to work part time? Are you going to be working from home going forward because you’ll save on train fares etc I think you really need to have a good think about it given the economical uncertainty.

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yikesanotherbooboo · 07/09/2020 06:54

My salary was swallowed up by childcare for years. I felt an obligation to work and it preserved my professional skills. It must be the case for a lot of families.?

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Camomila · 07/09/2020 06:55

I think DH has kept his childcare vouchers account open from work, not 100% sure how much we'd save but better than not saving anything!

I have found slightly cheaper nurserys but DS2 is only going to be 10m, so I want to send him to DS1s old nursery as I know/trust them, especially as visits/settling ins will be different atm. DS1s old, lovely key worker is now in the baby room which I find extra reassuring.

I have 2 months to decide anyway so it might all be moot due to coronavirus if cases go up lots etc.

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Flynn2019 · 07/09/2020 06:58

Not the case for myself but I do feel for the parents that need to pay for childcare. I have been very fortunate in that I have family that looks after my LO when me and husband are working but if I had to pay the prices for nursery I would probably either cut hours or not go back to work. I am not sure myself but a friend of mine used a childminder and I think this was a little bit cheaper.

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OneForTheRoadThen · 07/09/2020 06:59

What about your pension contributions? Important to keep those up too.

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Gizlotsmum · 07/09/2020 07:02

Adding to my earlier post... Check what help you are entitled too, as they get older the 30 free hours kick in and you might get a pay rise, it helps to think of family money rather than just your wage being used for childcare. It helps protect your future if you can keep working.

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Trews2019 · 07/09/2020 07:06

You earn £67 a day and your share of childcare is £31.50, not £63. Change your thinking first of all. Your salary will (hopefully!) increase with pay rises and promotions and childcare costs will only go down.

Don’t even consider giving up work if your reasons are just due to this temporary situation.

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Nquartz · 07/09/2020 07:10

Rinse the childcare vouxhers, get the max DH can. Only saw it mentioned once but keeping a pension is so important.

It will only be until you get the 30 hours free, then drops again at school

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Treesofwood · 07/09/2020 07:12

I don't understand why people think it's worth working for negative money? You could do that through the baby's early years. Along with the stress and exhaustion, time off when they are ill, miss important things and you could be made redundant anyway. Why not give up your job and look after you child, are you planning anymore? I know very few people who regret staying home in the early years and lots who regret going back to work.
You could find that something better comes along, or you could try to build a business of your own that works around your child.
If you add other associated costs of work, including potential unpaid leave, work clothes, additional nursery costs you could be massively out of pocket.

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SnuggyBuggy · 07/09/2020 07:14

If you can afford to work for a loss as a family and you feel that this particular job is worth holding on to its not an unreasonable decision to make.

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AdriannaP · 07/09/2020 07:16

@Treesofwood that’s short term thinking.

What about pension contributions?
OP hold on hold on hold on.
In a year or so, when Brexit and recession hits you will struggle to find a job with a gap in your CV (unless your have a very special skillset). Can you consider a childminder, which would be much cheaper? Working pt? A family member to cover one day?

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PlateTectonics · 07/09/2020 07:18

It's hard to find a job when you've had a few years out of the workplace. I'd hang on to it if you can. Is part time an option?

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SnuggyBuggy · 07/09/2020 07:21

I think it depends on the industry. I've worked with plenty of people that have had a couple of years out with kids and not had too much trouble returning. Obviously the OP should have at least some idea whether this is the case for her.

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mindutopia · 07/09/2020 07:23

Yes, it’s worth it. We had about £100 left over per month after the contribution of my salary when I went back to work after my first. 7 years later and another dc and mat leave, I went back to a salary that was nearly 3x that. Dh and I work flexibly and we’ve never struggled to be at all school assemblies, plays, been home for sick days and we still manage the school run with no wraparound care. The easiest time to work is when they are little though. Their schedules are much more demanding at school age so I’d put in the time now while you can.

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JoanJosephJim · 07/09/2020 07:24

For most it is a short term hit for about 3 years at the end of which you have retained your job, pension, NI contributions etc. You have to think long term. If you become a SAHM then getting back into the workplace is harder than if you were part time and then wanted to increase your hours back to full time should you want to.

I am a long term SAHM due to health reasons. Lots of people struggle for a few years and then come out the other side.

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EasterIssland · 07/09/2020 07:27

For me it’s more the thought of do you want to be financially independent or want to rely on someone ?
Also in 2-3 years it’ll go down the childcare cost cuz of 30h. How likely would it be to get a job with same salary?

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