Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to think you need a total household income of >£120k to be able to afford a nanny?

(78 Posts)
SESthebrave Sun 16-Jun-13 21:35:45

I'm back at work after DC2 and currently both DC are in nursery. This costs £1500 per month.

In September, DS starts school and we will need to arrange care before and after school 4 days per week. We also have DD (just turned 12mo) who will need care 4 days a week.

There is an after school club associated with the school but it closes at 6pm and I can't guarantee being back by then. There is no breakfast club.

A nanny seems a good solution and I have met one I like and I think would be great for us as a family. She charges £10ph net. I can understand why she charges this but by the time we've paid tax and NI and insurance and anything else, I don't see how we can afford it.
Our combined gross income is approx £110k each year. We do have a fairly hefty mortgage costing £1700 per month.

Am I just doing my sums wrong or do you need to be earning more?

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 17-Jun-13 15:05:54

WhereDo, the OP said "I don't see how we can afford it" - that does not seem like self-entitled moaning to me.

A lot of the sarcastic posts are not because of bitterness or jealousy about salaries, it is about the assumption that it is salary that matters, rather than what one spends it on.
Many people have nannies on far less than £120k per annum. If one wants a nanny, isn't the usual way of doing it to see how it can be afforded rather than saying its because their salary is £10k short? (which is what comes across as entitled moaning in the OP)
I earn less than £120k, as most people do, but I own my house outright so I imagine my disposable income is quite high, there are far too many variables to claim it's just about salary.
Anyway, it's all moot as the OP has received some very good advice about affordability.

needaholidaynow Mon 17-Jun-13 13:00:06

That is a real shame OP. how very very difficult it must be for you.

Hi OP.

We were in a similar situation to you, and for a few years, childcare costs were massive. I was effectively a single parent (DH was abroad a lot) and had to leave c7am, returning c6pm for work in central London. We used ft nursery for 2 DSs, plus an AP. DS2 was 1 when this started, but the AP only had sole charge for limited periods.

This worked for us, but we were lucky enough to have space for the AP.

A dedicated nanny was not something I ever wanted - and the costs are eyewatering. I was 110% happy with the nursery we chose, and the boys loved it and got a lot out of it. Some of our APs have been fantastic, others less so - but given the boys had the stability of nursery, short term AP problems have been less of an issue.

I think you have had a hard time on this thread.

BettyandDon Mon 17-Jun-13 11:16:52

OP, my before children income was about £65k, my partner about £50k, so together about 115k. I worked out how much of my salary was left after childcare and decided not to go back. My specialism is quite unique and am confident I can get a job again when I want (well I still have recruiters calling me and it's been 3 years).

Our mortgage was 1450pcm. I actually think thats really quite low for around here in London.

Just highlights how different people's lives are around the country.

I think very few people can afford a nanny without 2 very large salaries or an expat package or something, or money in the family or being mortgage free or by having a low mortgage due to gaining a lot of equity with the housing boom. Most people probably don't admit the last 3.

specialsubject Mon 17-Jun-13 10:41:05

the OP has a job that involves long hours and massive journeys - that's the modern culture in London and the SE. These jobs (hopefully) pay well but are simply not compatible with childcare. So the OP needs help, and only a nanny will cover the hours needed. The 'presenteeism' thing has got much worse over the last twenty years, too. With the internet, skype etc there should be less commuting, not more - but it hasn't happened.

and as someone else points out, the nanny is paid for from taxed income, and then the employer pays the NI etc for the nanny. So it gets pricey.

jollyhappy Mon 17-Jun-13 10:37:38

Ofcourse it is not a ridiculous post.

I think that some people with small mortgages have no idea how expensive it can be to buy a house and then pay a mortgage these days.

My husband and I are on the same and we were not able to save anything. As once mortgage (ours over 2K) and nursery plus working long hours.

I think you need to earn 50 to 60 K gross to pay for a nanny in London.

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 17-Jun-13 10:31:30

well thank you very much Mimishimi! grin

TheSmallPrint Mon 17-Jun-13 10:24:52

A nanny share was the only way we could afford it. It does cost a lot otherwise.

badguider Mon 17-Jun-13 10:17:16

To answer the question in the thread title - If the nanny is living on £10ph net then surely to be able to afford her you only have to be earning £20ph net between you? One to pay for her and one to have the same standard of living she has.

What is that in terms of a yearly gross salary? something like £40-50k?

But... when talking about mortgages etc, it's clear that the question isn't about affording a nanny but about affording it on top of other things like a large mortgage etc..

SHarri13 Mon 17-Jun-13 10:09:41

I meant 3-4

SHarri13 Mon 17-Jun-13 10:09:17

I don't think £1700 is a particularly huge mortgage for where I live, pretty average for a large 3-5 bed house.

OP, a friend of mine pays her Nanny £1500 for three days a week and she's in the Surrey area. I think they're pleased with the set up, I think it worked out at approx the same prices as a nursery for her two.

Mimishimi Mon 17-Jun-13 09:53:44

HappyasEyeAm's post is generally excellent. If you will be paying £1300 a month for childcare anyway and a nanny will cost £1500, it's worth paying that extra £200 just for the flexibility. A childminder won't help supervise homework, do outings, cook some dinner for the children/family ( unless that's part of the arrangement), help keep things at home tidy and it might be difficult to find a flexible childminder in an expensive area (since they are few and far between, they have more clout to be strict with hours etc).

I don't understand why governments across the Western world do not make childcare tax deductible when they are panicking about 'native' birthrates and not enough young people to provide 'labour market flexibility' (cheap labour, cannon fodder etc) currently and in the future.

primallass Mon 17-Jun-13 09:22:02

What about school holidays?

A childminder sounds best for you. Your daughter has settled once and will settle again

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 17-Jun-13 09:08:57

I don't begrudge our nanny her salary.

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 17-Jun-13 09:07:30

We have a nanny, and are in a very fortunate position to eb able to afford it. She works three 11 hour days a week looking after DS1 (5yo) and DS2 (1yo). It is the only form of childcare that works for us, as DH works long and unpredictable hours, I leave early in the morning and I sometimes have to work late. We both have a 2 hour commute each day.

Childminders don't start early enough every day or work late enough on occasion to be an option. Nurseries and before/after school clubs aren't an option for the same reason. Our nanny is great. We also don't have problems covering school holidays and she will look after our DC if they are unwell, take them to the doctor etc. She has also on occasion taken them for haircuts, new shoes, have passport photos taken etc, and she is a great help to me at home with doing the DC's laundrty, some cooking etc. Its flexible care, and it works really well for us.

I don't want to say our combined salary on here as I know it will get peoples backs up. As I say, I know we are in a fortunate position. I don't begrudge our nanny our salary (and I understand that you wouldn't either OP). She works hard and she deserves that salary. My gripe (obviously not directed at her at all) is that we have to pay her salary and NI out of already taxed income. Unlike a business. I think this is something that the government should change.

Also (and I get that you see this too OP), I think everyone should look at childcare costs as coming out of the parents' combined salaries. Childcare is a shared expense. It should not be seen as just coming out of the mother's salary. Very often I see mums saying something along the lines of "I earn £X, and I pay £Y in childcare which means that I work for £Z per week". If you have a career, or a job you enjoy or need or whatever, you are working so that you have that job or career in the future, when your childcare bills may have reduced. And work is about more than money.

Have you thought about having a live in nanny? Their wage would be reduced as they have their rent etc paid. Might work if you ahve a spare room.

Also, look into you and your DP being paid the maximum anmount you can be in childcare vouchers, and employ an Ofsted registered nanny so that you can pay her/him partly using those vouchers. It makes a difference.

IME, nanny shares can work very well. But be aware that a nanny working as a nanny shre will command a higher salary than a nanny who works for one family (even if she is looking after the same number of children). Sure, it would be less that you would pay for sole charge, but it won't be half.

SESthebrave Mon 17-Jun-13 08:55:48

The thing is, although I believe we are fortunate, I don't feel we are indulging in lots of luxuries. It is more how our life is set up. I think as I've said, that we'll look for a CM we do feel happy with.
We reviewed our Sky package 18 months ago and are now on Freeview. We haven't had a holiday abroad since our honeymoon 7yrs ago. Instead we travel to visit ILs in Ireland 2 or 3 times a year. We do have a cleaner once a week (£30) and we pay £20 a week for someone to come and walk the dogs whilst we're both at work. The dogs are another expense - food, insurance, grooming.
We also both spend a lot on fuel as we travel a lot with work. We are able to claim some of that back.

I'm tempted to delete the above though as I think this thread has now helped me to accept the reality of how we would need to change to afford a nanny and we will keep DD in nursery and look for a CM.

Redbug Mon 17-Jun-13 08:39:10

We earn a lot less than that and have a nanny, but we are in the SW and housing and nanny wages are cheaper. However, I would say that of you can make some cuts to afford it, it is SO worth it. Our nanny keeps our house tidier than I do half the time (she is not a cleaner, but loads dishwasher, hangs out laundry, tidies up after kids), I don't have to rush to get the kids out of the door in the morning, and they are always having adventures together. We haven't been abroad in five years however...

MarshaBrady Mon 17-Jun-13 08:37:33

It's interesting to think about what the second earner in London has to earn to make it worthwhile. As whilst household income goes up, so much goes on tax and childcare.

It gets better when school starts, although all those holidays and a long break might not work.

amandine07 Mon 17-Jun-13 08:34:04

I would say that a mortgage that size is definitely not unusual in London.

It won't be for a mansion either before people start jumping up & down about excessive lifestyles. I have friends who own a 2 bed terrace and pay a couple hundred less than that.

It's a shame that a poster can't just be open about their situation & earnings on an anonymous forum, for fear of getting someone's knickers in a twist with jealousy or bitterness. confused

MarshaBrady Mon 17-Jun-13 08:31:54

It's very expensive to work (and obviously live) in London. I'm not surprised you arrived at that amount.

amandine07 Mon 17-Jun-13 08:28:18

Wow, all the sarcastic, bitter posts.

I got the impression that the OP is trying to work out where she can make a saving and see whether she's paying over the odds for childcare.

I don't have children yet, but I'm dreading the day we need to sit down and work out childcare.
Giving up your career is not an option for everyone, although I can see how somebody may change their mind once they have kids & reality kicks in.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 17-Jun-13 08:20:18

Leave your DD in nursery and look for before/after school childminder.

Switch to interest only on your mortgage for a bit?

Nanny share or nanny with own child might be cheaper.

I would try for an older au pair living in, you still may have to go over their allocated hours for the week, perhaps your younger child could attend some nursery sessions during school hours?

You will have to suck it up to a certain extent and remember this is an expensive phase WRT childcare. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when youngest became eligible for 15 funded hours and then again when youngest started school. Now it is just the school holidays which are a struggle, whereby I basically work for free, but essential to keep my job/career going.

MammaMedusa Mon 17-Jun-13 07:56:23

Our mortgage is £1700 pm for a modest house which, while broadly sound, needs updating throughout. That is what happens if you have needed to buy in London recently. We need to be in London for all sorts of reasons - we're not in Chelsea or anything either! We are in a green-ish part of Zone 3. We waited and waited for the market to fall. It never happened. Mortgage companies were starting to look askance at my husband, as he no longer had 25+ years to retirement to pay off a mortgage - that was only going to get worse.

So all you saying £1700 is enormous, yes it is, trust me, we feel it! But it is not necessarily the case that someone with a mortgage that large has made a ridiculously extravagant purchase.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now