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Childcare

Discussion in 'Parents' Forum' started by njdbaxter, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. njdbaxter

    njdbaxter Active Member

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    there is an article on Yahoo title "Childcare costing £15,000 a year".

    its mainly about the rising costs of childcare and the increasing lack of affordability for parents.


    Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust said is calling on the Government to pledge to provide free childcare for all two-year-olds by the end of the current parliament."

    what i cant believe is the comments that people have left.

    one guy said he cant see why the taxpayer should pay for someone's kids to be looked after. He has five kids and his ex-wife stayed at home to look after them in there pre-school years. Surely his tax credits, child tax credits and child benefits would cost a lot more than a full time nursery place for a child, so in a way the tax payer enabled his ex-wife to be able to go off work.

    someone else said that he has no sympathy for couples that take on so many financial commitments or are so career obsessed that they both have to work so dump their kids in a nursery, and these people may as well just drop the kids and put them straight up for adoption they are not going to have any part in their growing up are nothing more than surrigates.

    there are loads of stupid comments like this such as

    > we have fewer real families (only one parent working is a "real family") :confused:

    > if one parent isnt prepared to quit work then you shouldn't really be having children.

    Basically these people are moaning that mothers are trying to work to support their families. They would also most likely moan if all these mothers gave up work and lived off benefits too?

    They say how you should not have children if you cant afford to support them by living off one wage, so basically theywant only the richest to reproduce.

    when these people were children the cost of living could be covered by one decent wage. Nowadays, with the cost of housing and gas,electricity, petrol and food going up faster than inflation, it often takes two wages simply to get by. Lots of women would love to just stay home with the kids, but in modern times this isn't possible.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  2. unique

    unique Moderator

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    the cost of childcare is ridiculous, with some costing as much as a full time take home salary

    considering the high unemployment at the moment, i can't understand why some better use of the unemployed can be made to help alleviate the childcare issues. surely there must be a reasonable number of unemployed who would be able to look after children at most reasonable costs to allow others to work?
  3. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    When waiting for my son to finish at nursery I sometimes hear child carers chatting about their work. The hassle, paperwork, checks, training that these people have to deal with all the time surprised me. Then you factor in the cost of insurance, a car to accomodate several children, snacks provided, activities etc. I'm not surprised they cost a fair bit.

    I used to wonder how someone who acts the same as a stay at home mum could cost near enough a full time wage per child but a mum doesn't have to pay insurance and training and accreditation etc.
  4. unique

    unique Moderator

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    if you look back a few years, it was common that other parents or extended family would babysit kids without needing cars and insurance, but that doesn't happen in the same way now. with so many people being unemployed and having time on their hands to do that, there surely must be some way of better utilising the resources we have in the country

    perhaps nationalised nurseries need to be put into place at schools, that are open from 7am to 7pm with carers working on a shift basis, and being able to accept a larger number of children to keep costs down that need to be passed to parents
  5. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    One of the reasons SWMBO gave up work was because the childcare costs were so high compared to her salary - it just wasn't worth all the hassle. We were also never that impressed with the nursery, and the thought of our kids spending 9+ hours a day there didn't fill us with joy.

    I don't think it would work using the unemployed to help with childcare - it's quite a particular role, particularly with the focus on security and safety.
  6. mjn

    mjn Active Member

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    Childcare costs of £950 a month rule out us having a 2nd child.

    No close family nearby to babysit or help. We could survive on oen wage, but then they'd be no days out, no holiday, no putting away for a pension, no decorating, no clothes, etc. It would be soooo tight.

    Not that bad, now the little one has started school, we just need wrap around childcare in the afternoon from the end of school until one of us finishes work.
  7. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    That's a shame. Between you you can get £500 ish of child-care vouchers per month out of your pre-tax salary - I guess that doesn't make a big impact.
  8. unique

    unique Moderator

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    but if you take a child carer and make them unemployed, that doesn't stop them being able to look after a child. at some point a current child carer had no job

    there surely must be thousands if not millions of people quite capable of doing it if you consider the millions of current parents who have to look after kids on a daily and often full time basis. how many empty nesters must there be who are out of work

    whilst there is a focused interest in the unemployment levels of the youth, there's a similar problem with the over 50s who find it hard to get work if made redundant after a number of years working. grandparents often look after their own families children to allow the parents to work, so surely they could do the same with other peoples kids, thus making good use of the availability and skills and experience that section of society hold
  9. unique

    unique Moderator

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    it's currently a maximum of £243 per person per month. and only if it still leaves you with earnings equating to the NMW afterwards, so not much use to low paid earners. it's another of the governments typical perks that reward the richer better than the poorer, with people in the 40% tax bracket saving twice as much as those who aren't
  10. its_all_Greek

    its_all_Greek Active Member

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    There are the voucher schemes that you can join that helps offset some of the childcare costs, but that needs your employer to sign up to one.

    If i remember rightly it works out as approx £900 towards your childcare costs a year, and that's per person so if both the mother and father are able to join the scheme that works out at £1800.

    What the governments haven't done is increased the amount you can put into the voucher schemes over the last few years so its "real Value" is going down.
  11. Loftusrd1980

    Loftusrd1980 Member

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    The cost of childcare is obscene, essentially somebody who requries very few qualifications or experience can earn a rediculous amount of money looking after other peoples kids.

    Although I dont agree with somebody else paying for the cost of my childs childcare I do not agree with the prices that are charged.
  12. mjn

    mjn Active Member

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    Unless you're a higher rate tax earner and just joining the scheme, its limited to £143. :eek:
  13. mattrixdesign2

    mattrixdesign2 Active Member

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    There should be a cap on price increases nurseries place! Each year our nursery would increase prices well above inflation, and I am willing to bet they did not pay staff price increases at the same rate! Now its a "down turn", and lower numbers in childcare, they have laid of some of the longer term, and more experienced staff :(. It is all behind us now though.

    We managed to get through it with a combination on wife working partime (3.5 days a week), my mum having the kids on one day a week + child care vouchers from work... so we didn't have the full impact of paying for child care, I do feel for people that do need to use it 4/5 days a week as the costs are shocking.

    I also have reservations about children being in child care 5 days a week, IMO it is not ideal, we were lucky enough to get a good mix. I would rather the govenment invest money to give parents (male or female) more choice to take time out to rear children at home with pay. I would have loved to be able to spend a few days extra a month to stay home and bring the kids up in there early years (0-4).
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  14. Mr_Wistles

    Mr_Wistles Active Member

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    I fork out a fortune. The wife had a good job until December which easily covered it though. Unfortunately she was made redundant and now has a crappy job which after childcare costs means she only takes home around £40 per day.

    I told her to quit but she thinks that if she is out of the loop for 5 years she will lose her career.

    Saying that she has two interviews this week at pre 2012 cash, so fingers crossed.
  15. nheather

    nheather Well-Known Member

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    When my children were in full time childcare (1994 to 1998) it was £200 per week with no discount on extra children (as they had a waiting list so could always fill the spaces). We had to pay for all weeks and bank holidays except for two weeks at Christmas when the place was closed.

    So back then we were faced with £20k per year for our two children.

    We did move to a nanny but that proved just as expensive. Although the salary was less we had to pay NI and later maternity leave and cover.

    What annoyed me at the time was that there was no tax relief on it. That what the government should do rather than giving handouts.

    This was especially annoying with the nanny. We were classed as employers so had to pay employers NI. But when we enquired about tax relief we were told we didn't qualify as we weren't employers :rolleyes:

    Cheers,

    Nigel
  16. mattrixdesign2

    mattrixdesign2 Active Member

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    To have to think that way is a shame, its a great opportunity to bring up the kids, and it could work out for the better.

    My wife has similar opinion about childcare vs. job prospects.
  17. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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    Well nobody stops unemployed people from becoming carers and charging lower amounts, surely they'd get all the business.
    The issue is that it's probably not possible because they need so much insurance and control and training etc.

    Parents aren't about to "dump" their kids with anyone so they can go to work. It can already be difficult to leave your children with someone qualified.

    If the level of paperwork and control etc. was lower I guess it could be cheaper but we want our children to be safe.
  18. Mr_Wistles

    Mr_Wistles Active Member

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    This is my biggest fear. If our nanny gets pregnant, I have to pay her maternity and get replacement cover.
  19. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    You claim SMP from HMRC don't you? Plus a little extra for 'comensation' IIRC.

    I am paying maternity at the moment ;)
  20. Mr_Wistles

    Mr_Wistles Active Member

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    To be fair I haven't looked into it.
  21. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    Oh right - well yes you just claim it back. I do feel slightly guitly claiming it for SWMBO, but there you go :devil:
  22. kav

    kav Well-Known Member

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    Well use a condom then. ;)
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  23. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure this is chump change to you, but there's many a family would like to be left with £800 a month after they've paid their childcare costs.
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  24. kav

    kav Well-Known Member

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    It depends on his salary, surely? I have three kids, wife doesn't work, and we get less than £200 a month for the three of them. If government plans stay as they are, that will drop to £0 a month in April 2013.

    In my opinion - which I fully expect to get slated for - a lot of people are unwilling to drop their standard of living below that which they were used to. There's an expectation that they can have kids and still maintain the standard of living they were used to before having kids. When we had our first child, our combined income was £40k, roughly £20k each. About £20k of this (or one full salary) was disposable income, or near enough to it - any costs from it were easily done without. We therefore decided to half our household income - my wife gave up her job and concentrated fully on raising our child.

    The next few years were not pleasant - we cut back to one car, cancelled all the fun things we used to do, were more careful with what we ate and where we shopped, did not treat ourselves to new things, and watched every expense like a hawk. Any unexpected expense like car repairs was met with panic as to how we were going to pay for it - we didn't have a penny to put by for things like this.

    However, on the positive side, having a parent at home did our daughter the world of good, and helped us to feel that we were doing the best by her (and subsequently our other two children) that we could. As time passed I progressed in my career, to the point that we are now probably classed as comfortably off. It took several years of struggling to get to this stage though.

    I am not trying to pass judgement on any individual specifically when I say the above - we all need to raise our children the best way we know how. I do feel though that many parents are unwilling to make this kind of sacrifice and would prefer to maintain their earning power at the expense of spending less time with their children. I know it's cheesy but ultimately kids aren't going to remember all the cool stuff they had growing up, they are going to remember how much time their parents spent with them. We were lucky in that our expenses were (just) covered by one salary - it's crap that so many families need two salaries just to get by.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  25. Liquid101

    Liquid101 Active Member

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    We finished with childcare in September after 7 years of paying around £5/600 a month. They're both in school now, so it's nice to have the extra change to rattle around in the pocket. :)

    We used a nursery with our first, but private childminders (which were cheaper and much better) with our second.Took advantage of child are vouchers for both of them. Didn't save much, but over the years it adds up.

    It was difficult as we had no family to lean on locally. Luckily we both work for somewhere which is supportive of families.

    Now, my partner only works until 3pm so she can do the school run. I do the morning run and get into work at about 9.20.

    Not sure what the long term answer is - perhaps a better tax break for working parents, or more support for parents who want to take a career break.

    Either way, having children is always going to be quite expensive. You may as well get used to it with childcare costs. What we've saved in nursery fees we're spending in ballet classes, football training, cubs, music lessons, school meals, books and the constant flow of new clothes and shoes. :D
  26. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I'm still confident that the ludicrous child benefit rule changes due to be implimented in 2013 are overturned once the date nears and more pressure is applied by all and sundry.
    I'm all for it being abolished over and above a certain household income, but that's not the way they're doing it.:mad:
  27. unique

    unique Moderator

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    thats precisely what needs to be reviewed. the level of paperwork etc required that prevents people from doing this. if you look back a few years, neighbors would regularly look after peoples kids, perhaps for free even. it's obviously not as appropriate to do it in all cases these days, but with so many unemployed people available who could do this, and others who say they can't afford to work without the childcare, it's an issue worth investigating
  28. Liquid101

    Liquid101 Active Member

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    Can I ask - do you have children?
  29. nheather

    nheather Well-Known Member

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    Yep happened to us. Pain because

    (a) she doesn't have to say when she is coming back but you have to keep the job open.

    (b) you have to find a replacement who is happy taking on a temporary job

    (c) in my experience, Nannies demanded a higher wage for a temporary position.

    You can claim SMP but it doesn't necessarily cover the salary that you have to keep paying, and certainly not the NI. My experience is that you got less than you were paying. But I am PAYE - perhaps you have more flexibility being self employed.

    Plus SMP doesn't account for the holidays that she is accruing whilst on maternity leave. Not to mention that the replacement is accruing holidays at the same time.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  30. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    What salary do you 'have' to pay above SMP?

    You actually get a few % more than SMP to cover the NI. Or you do now at least.

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