Childcare costs - have they prevented you taking on more work?

(14 Posts)
CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Jan-14 15:41:35

Today the Resolution Foundation - in association with Mumsnet - have published a report on a survey they conducted with us on childcare costs. Key findings were that 2 out of 3 women cited high childcare costs as a barrier to work. Do you agree? Would be very interesting to hear your experiences.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 23-Jan-14 15:45:42

Not work so much, but retraining - I am going to retrain completely for a new career, but will have to wait until youngest is in school to start because of the cost of childcare.

And I suppose one of the reasons I am looking to retrain is that my old job was fairly poorly paid (think 25kish for a graduate post with postgrad training needed as well), and once we'd paid for my commute and childcare, we'd have nothing left from my salary.

Simsim1 Wed 12-Feb-14 22:33:09

Yes I agree. Just today enquired at my local private nursery about their fees (it has a very good reputation). I would be paying £910 per month for my 2 year old for three full days per week. The chances of me being able to find a job to make it worthwhile are slim.

lotsofcheese Wed 12-Feb-14 22:39:38

Childcare costs are prohibitive. Almost all my salary is taken up by childcare - 40K for 2 DC F/T. So I've reduced my hours to part-time, but it's 20K pro-rata & by the time I pay travel costs, I work for nothing. And that's on an above-average salary.

I'm one of the lucky ones who is able to afford childcare relatively easily. The things that make this possible:

1. We only have 1 child. I think that I might only break even with two. If we have any more, it may well be when our DD goes to primary school, so our childcare costs for her will have fallen significantly.

2. Our nursery charges by the hour and is close to work, so I only have to pay for a little longer than my work hours.

3. I am a qualified professional and I deliberately waited until I was qualified to start a family.

The thing that irritates me about the SAHM/WOHM debate is that people often say "you have chosen..." when the reality for many women is that they haven't chosen to be a SAHM or WOHM, they are just forced to by their economic circumstances. I do have the choice and I am well aware that it is a luxury not available to all parents.

noisytoys Wed 12-Feb-14 23:01:06

70% of my childcare is paid for with Tax Credits, the remainder is about £350/month. I can easily afford to work full time.

TheArticFunky Thu 13-Feb-14 00:39:48

We have struggled with childcare costs. Lots of people on MN say that childcare costs should be viewed as a family expense rather than a cost for the mother. That is all well and good if the father earns a lot more than the mother and there is lots of disposable income but if you are on similar incomes with high outgoings it's irrelevant.

Another cost that you don't factor in when deciding on having a family is the cost of your child being ill. If your baby has a day away from nursery due to illness you will have to take a days unpaid leave but you will still have to pay nursery/childminder fees. Having two parents in regular 9-5 jobs in the early years is impossible in my opinion.

JugglingChaotically Fri 21-Feb-14 07:22:03

My job includes a long commute and long hours and we have no family to help and no wrap around care at school (though doubt it would be long enough anyway) so we have no choice but to have a nanny.
But as my nanny's costs including employers national insurance are so high then once they are paid I really work for my pension and to keep my job for when DC are older.
I hate it. So do DC.
(I wish the costs were tax deductible.) DH was unemployed at one point and work in his area is up and down and we need my salary too to cover the bad times.

JugglingChaotically Fri 21-Feb-14 07:25:48

Sorry. To answer the original Q.
The childcare costs cause huge stress for limited benefit - so they may well cause me to stop work.
I know others in a similar role who have quit as childcare costs are just too high.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 21-Feb-14 07:31:29

Childcare hours are also restrictive 8-6 am or so mon-fri is the most common and jobs outside these hours aren't well catered for.

Proseccoisnotrah Fri 21-Feb-14 07:31:46

Yes. I went into a jobs are I returning from maternity leave with my second dc and was recently asked to go back fulltime. After nursery fees for two extra days for my youngest, I would have been sixteen pounds per week better off but then had to think about petrol and lunch and wrap around care for my oldest who has just started school so would have been way down after costs. I work for my local authority and claim no benefits or tax credits.

Proseccoisnotrah Fri 21-Feb-14 07:32:46

*jobshare. My phone is being interesting this morning.

IpsyUpsyDaisyDo Fri 21-Feb-14 20:36:47

We pay £1,300pm for ft nursery (8-5.30) for 1 dd, not yet 2. I had to cut my hours by 1 hr a day (in order to make nursery pick-up, DH needs to be able to work late at short notice) and lost 15% of my salary. Combined household income is just short of £80k, and we both get childcare vouchers. We have next to nothing left over at the end of the month (although are paying for a mortgage & both have pensions). Logistically I have no idea how I'd be able to up my hours again to what they were - even though I'd like to - and as for having another child....shock DH would like one, but the COST of 2 full-time at nursery.... Makes me feel ill just thinking about it! confused

Casmama Fri 21-Feb-14 20:45:06

My job is non-negotiable so as a result of childcare costs we have a bigger age gap between children than would otherwise have. This means that dc2 will be born just before DS goes to school and we only have one in full time childcare.

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