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Childcare - what do people genrally do?
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Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #1
10-06-2011 05:44 PM

I am a new mum to be - and although my baby is not even born yet - I am already worrying about the cost of decent Childcare. I think that I may have to go back to work when my baby is 6 months regrettably.

Looking at the cost of Childcare though, it is hardly worth my while returning to work. It is mind boggling.

How do people manage - is there a massive difference in price nursery to nursery.

Sorry if these are ignorant questions.

Thanks in Advance


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Posts: 120
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #2
10-06-2011 08:35 PM


questions are never ignorant. Costs of nurseries although important are not the only factor to consider. The biggest problem you will find is that there is not enough provision. Also due to regulations some nurseries do not look after babies less than a year old and there are long waiting lists for others.

Parents have to manage but it is usually with great difficulty. Tax credits used to help, although a lot less people now receive them and it is at a lower rate. One of the sad things is that you canít work out yourself how much tax credits you will get until you commit to the cost. (Not the answer you were looking for.)

So my advice is now save as much as you can, don't spend any money on baby stuff unless absolutely necessary. You will need all the savings once you go to work (or not) because your finances will be greatly reduced whichever way you decide.

Good luck with the birth.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
12-06-2011 07:55 PM

I think a lot of people either don't go back to work until children start school or pay out at least one of the partners earnings on childcare and do lots of financial squeezing elsewhere, and as someone said, subsidise their going back to work through savings. Our childcare bill is a part time teachers take home pay per month. There are tax credits but these are decreasing and the childcare element is minimal in comparison anyway. There is still the universal nursery grant for 3 and 4 year olds but there are few full day places in state nurseries and in private nurseries you still have to pay over and above that anyway. My partner and I are working even though we would be better off if we probably both didn't and even if one of us didn't but we want to preserve our jobs and pensions in these difficult times. We are looking forward to the day when the last of our children goes to school and we save £1400 per month!

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Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #4
13-06-2011 08:19 AM

Wow - a lot to digest - I just wanted to say thanks for the replies!


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Posts: 80
Joined: Mar 2007
Post: #5
13-06-2011 07:53 PM

my advice if going private is to put your unborns name down now with a estimated return date at all the nurseries. Then when closer to the time, just keep ringing all of them, on a daily basis if need be until you get a confirmed spot.

There are waiting lists but they are not generally run a first come first served basis as getting in depends on which room the availability comes in, how the children shift rooms when spaces become available, whether your needs, ie part time/ full time, fit with their availability etc.

My understanding is that baby spaces are the hardest to get due to ratios of staff to children.

Good luck.

As to cost, it appears that most of the private nurseries in the area are about the same. So visit as many as you can and see which ones you like the feel off.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
13-06-2011 08:41 PM

Ditto putting the child on the list now; we put our daughters on a list when she was 7 weeks old and she was nearly 3 and a half before she got in. We found a really good childminder in the interim with whom she spent 18 months.

We looked into putting our childs name down at several private nurseries until we realised that it would cost us £50 each time as a registration fee. Not sure if that has changed however you can apply for as many state nurseries as you like, but they mostly do half days at the moment due to demand on places.
If you are fortunate to work for Lewisham Council there is a council one for children of staff in Hither Green- we looked at that one and then my partner changed boroughs but it was less than half the price of most private nurseries so it would have been around £450 per month for a full time place- worth looking into. South Bank Uni have a workplace nursery however that is closing down. Some Childrens Centres run really good full time nurseries, some at reasonable rates. It really is worth looking around.

If I were you I would join the NCT and network amongst other parents as sometimes childminder shares can be the way forward. I' sure it will all come together in the end for you- it just seems difficult at the start!

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