The (very) high cost of childcare
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  1. #1
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    Wink The (very) high cost of childcare

    Browsing through the Nmums 'childcare/work' message boards in an idle moment I came across one of those (many) "it's not worth going to work what with the extortionate fees those evil grabbing CMs charge" threads. You know the type.

    It took me a while to figure the mum didn't quite mean what she said when she erroneously typed into her laptop: "my childcare bill irradiates my entire salary".

    At least, I hope she meant "eradicates" or she's going to be passing some dangerously radioactive £notes onto her CM.

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    Off to have a look. Haven't been on ***** for months...
    Need a laugh? Visit my website: www.unclegargy.deviantART.com

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    Fees are going to be forced up if hmrc continue its witch hunt against self-employed childminders and reduce or cut their benefits

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    When I had my third child it wasn't worth me going back to my office job as I'd have been paying out more than I earned on childcare.

    I never for one minute thought it was because childcare cost too much. I always accepted it was because my job paid too little!

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    Some parents/carers complain the cost is too high but what I do is point out the long term cost taken over the whole of a parents working life which on average is say 45 years, most professions if you take a prolonged break to have say 2 children 6-8 years you would have to completely retrain for including our own, by using child care for a relatively short time they don't need to take a break, retain their skills and level of working, are able to go for promotions etc. I'm sure if our "high" cost were worked out over this time scale they wouldn't be seen as so bad.

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    I hate the way childcare costs are promoted as too high or sooo expensive.


    Mums these days are so lucky, they can be off for up to a year and have their job held open (it was 29 weeks when I had my two)

    They get paid for longer than I was (6 weeks statutory Mat pay ) that was it the other 26 weeks were unpaid.

    No funding at 3 so I had to pay for my children's Playgroup fees (this was what they were called before Ofsted Inspected them) and certainly no free childcare at 2!

    No childcare vouchers so no Tax relief on childcare fees.

    Now they get much more money when they are off.

    They get Childcare Vouchers and if they are registered when they are pregnant their employer has to continue to pay into the Voucher account as part of the Maternity benefit so that is a potential £3000 banked in Childcare Vouchers while you are off!

    Only paying full fees for childcare from at most approx 8-9 months old to 3 years old. I had to pay from 6 months old until they were in School full time in the year the turned five.

    So I had childcare fees for 4.5 years and now the most a parent is likely to pay full fees is for 2 years and a few months!!!

    You would think they were being asked to pay a second mortgage for 25 years!

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Browsing through the Nmums 'childcare/work' message boards in an idle moment I came across one of those (many) "it's not worth going to work what with the extortionate fees those evil grabbing CMs charge" threads. You know the type.

    It took me a while to figure the mum didn't quite mean what she said when she erroneously typed into her laptop: "my childcare bill irradiates my entire salary".

    At least, I hope she meant "eradicates" or she's going to be passing some dangerously radioactive £notes onto her CM.
    The only thing this woman has been 'irradiated' with is govt's propaganda and rhetoric!
    She seemed to have swallowed it in one gulp.
    I wonder what she gets paid per hour compared to those who receive as little as £3.50 to care, nurture and educate her child!??

    Considering the changes that are taking places I think some parents may have a rude awakening soon!

    Fees will definetely rise across the sector and the govt can only blame itself for walking around with blinkers on.

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    When my DS was a baby and I was a single mum I would have been better off financially giving up work and staying at home, getting my rent paid and receiving social. BUT, that's not in my nature and I wanted my child to see that you have to work and be paid for working so I went back to work when he was 4mths old. My childcare bill along with my other bills did mean I had virtually nothing left but at no time did I think about not working, and neither did I resent the money I paid to my wonderful childminder. We are now in a catch 22 situation. Parents and the government want low cost (free) childcare and yet the same government will soon be forcing us all to considerably increase our fees because they will be taking away any little financial help they might be giving us to help us. What exactly do they want us to do

    xx

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    The problem is that people want something for nothing nowadays. They still want their mobile phone contracts, nice cars, holidays, gadgets, cigarettes, drinking money or whatever 'treat' they need and they expect to pay peanuts for childcare.

    Working on minimum wage and being stressed with this work get me down every now and again. Maybe if they tried it they wouldn't moan as much?
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

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  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrakers View Post
    The problem is that people want something for nothing nowadays. They still want their mobile phone contracts, nice cars, holidays, gadgets, cigarettes, drinking money or whatever 'treat' they need and they expect to pay peanuts for childcare.

    Working on minimum wage and being stressed with this work get me down every now and again. Maybe if they tried it they wouldn't moan as much?
    One of the main reaction to all the changes is to address exactly what you say about wanting something for 'nothing'
    The free entitlement is just that but it is not that simple...it is apparently given for nothing but there is a lot behind it....including our subsidy.

    I strongly believe many parents do not actually understand what is behind the 'free' 15 hours of childcare...how it works...how it is funded and, most important, what providers get for this so called free scheme.

    What we do know though is that the govt is helping 'hard working' families with the cost of childcare while ignoring the very reasons why cost of childcare has risen to current levels...that is the result of govt's own policies, turning childcare into a market, withdrawing LAs support and funding and asking providers to fend for themselves.

    My action would be to review the 'pre-prep' first visit when parents come and look at our settings
    This should be an introduction based on what providers offer and also evidence of what parents can access for financial help.
    so pointing out to parents that they will benefit by £5,000 when the Tax Free Childcare comes in
    The benefits of Childcare Vouchers which save parents money and ...up to now...the Working Tax Credits parents can claim...these will be cut in future for both parents, EY employees and Cms....all in it together as the DWP cuts the Welfare State even further.

    It also means giving information to parents on how the 'funding' works, who gives it to us and how much or 'how little we get having followed the bureaucratic procedures to claim LA funding and its Terms and Conditions.

    I think only by reviewing this initial interview we may stop parents from making crass statements such as the one Bunyip spotted on that site....forewarned is forearmed...or so I believe the saying goes!

    Last but not least is making parents understand that...like any other service provider...we will review fees annually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    One of the main reaction to all the changes is to address exactly what you say about wanting something for 'nothing'
    The free entitlement is just that but it is not that simple...it is apparently given for nothing but there is a lot behind it....including our subsidy.

    I strongly believe many parents do not actually understand what is behind the 'free' 15 hours of childcare...how it works...how it is funded and, most important, what providers get for this so called free scheme.

    What we do know though is that the govt is helping 'hard working' families with the cost of childcare while ignoring the very reasons why cost of childcare has risen to current levels...that is the result of govt's own policies, turning childcare into a market, withdrawing LAs support and funding and asking providers to fend for themselves.

    My action would be to review the 'pre-prep' first visit when parents come and look at our settings
    This should be an introduction based on what providers offer and also evidence of what parents can access for financial help.
    so pointing out to parents that they will benefit by £5,000 when the Tax Free Childcare comes in
    The benefits of Childcare Vouchers which save parents money and ...up to now...the Working Tax Credits parents can claim...these will be cut in future for both parents, EY employees and Cms....all in it together as the DWP cuts the Welfare State even further.

    It also means giving information to parents on how the 'funding' works, who gives it to us and how much or 'how little we get having followed the bureaucratic procedures to claim LA funding and its Terms and Conditions.

    I think only by reviewing this initial interview we may stop parents from making crass statements such as the one Bunyip spotted on that site....forewarned is forearmed...or so I believe the saying goes!

    Last but not least is making parents understand that...like any other service provider...we will review fees annually.
    I agree, but for some parents, they don't get past the first enquiry of 'how much' and then often a shocked gasp!

  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I agree, but for some parents, they don't get past the first enquiry of 'how much' and then often a shocked gasp!
    Never tell parents what you charge when they first contact you....something most would not ask in an email.
    If they are genuine they would want to see what is on offer
    If they gasp then you can say a cheaper fee would not mean 'high quality'...don't all parents want high quality?

    High quality costs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Never tell parents what you charge when they first contact you....something most would not ask in an email.
    If they are genuine they would want to see what is on offer
    If they gasp then you can say a cheaper fee would not mean 'high quality'...don't all parents want high quality?

    High quality costs
    and that's what I tell them, and usually ask them to come and visit me first, however, some people are on a budget, and I appreciate that, and if they ask, then I tell them my hourly fee, whilst mentioning that it includes all meals/outings etc and that apart from their child and nappies, I do not expect them to provide anything else.

    one mum recently said 'that makes you the most expensive CM in the area', and I said yes, but also one of the most experienced and qualified! She still came to see me, and when she knows what she is looking for , hopefully I will be able to accommodate her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post

    and that's what I tell them, and usually ask them to come and visit me first, however, some people are on a budget, and I appreciate that, and if they ask, then I tell them my hourly fee, whilst mentioning that it includes all meals/outings etc and that apart from their child and nappies, I do not expect them to provide anything else.

    one mum recently said 'that makes you the most expensive CM in the area', and I said yes, but also one of the most experienced and qualified! She still came to see me, and when she knows what she is looking for , hopefully I will be able to accommodate her.
    I've had so many enquiries the last couple of weeks and it is so frustrating when the first question is how much? I had one lady with twins and she said i take it that's for both and not each..... eerrr no!
    What can I say when they ask how much, I feel that they right me off without either meeting me or knowing about my experience and what I have to offer! It's getting frustrating now. Any ideas?
    Ps sorry to hijack the post! X

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    I answer the question how much with that depends on the sort of service you require if you'd like to come for a visit we can discuss your needs in more detail X I don't discuss charges over the phone. Has worked for me x

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    Quote Originally Posted by watford wizz View Post
    I answer the question how much with that depends on the sort of service you require if you'd like to come for a visit we can discuss your needs in more detail X I don't discuss charges over the phone. Has worked for me x
    I'll try that next time thanks, hopefully something will come soon.

  25. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    and that's what I tell them, and usually ask them to come and visit me first, however, some people are on a budget, and I appreciate that, and if they ask, then I tell them my hourly fee, whilst mentioning that it includes all meals/outings etc and that apart from their child and nappies, I do not expect them to provide anything else.

    one mum recently said 'that makes you the most expensive CM in the area', and I said yes, but also one of the most experienced and qualified! She still came to see me, and when she knows what she is looking for , hopefully I will be able to accommodate her.
    Of course parents are on a budget...but so are cms in order to achieve sustainability? And while making up the shortfall in funding!
    Parents receive huge amounts in financial help from the govt
    You could say your hourly fee depends on what they require....some may not want meals...so you can flag up 'flexibility' and catering for individual needs

    Some cms charge less for after school care, more for babies and less for older children....or term time care
    What we should do in my view is match the fees with other providers then flag up our additional perks which we can only do when they visit.

    If a parent says you are the most expensive cm what is she comparing this with? Experience, size of setting? A one-room nursery environment where children are stuck 10 hours a day each day?


    I would be suspicious if the first question is 'how much' rather than 'what do you offer'?

    I hope Bunyip won't mind we are extending this thread.....as his post was 'the very high cost of childcare'

    Last thought...if I were to approach a decorator, dress maker or such like I would ask to visit and give me an estimate....never ask 'what do you charge'?....it should apply to parents looking for childcare too but then...some are expecting a lot for very little remuneration maybe backed by govt's policy that childcare is very expensive

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post

    I hope Bunyip won't mind we are extending this thread.....as his post was 'the very high cost of childcare'
    I don't mind at all.

    I find it frustrating that the top 3 (usually the first 3............ sometimes the only 3) questions parents ask at the initial enquiry are:-

    1. Do you have a vacancy for the times I need?
    2. How much?
    3. How close are you?


    If anything, I find question 3 far more irritating than question 2. I can understand people having a limited budget, and it does make sense not to overstretch themselves. But it's very frustrating that parents can't be bothered to add as little as 5 minutes to their journey-to-work time to find decent childcare. I've known plenty of parents send their darlings to the most dreadful settings simply because they are on the doorstep or have a car park next door.

    I've had parents from the next town to me visit and then say "you're too far to come". They drive. I walk past their houses several times a week to take mindees to toddler group, library, shops, children's centre, etc. It's pathetic.

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    I see both sides I have to say -

    From my point of view we provide an excellent much needed service for very little per hour really

    But for parents it soon adds up and I do wonder how people on more modest incomes afford childcare

  29. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    I see both sides I have to say -

    From my point of view we provide an excellent much needed service for very little per hour really

    But for parents it soon adds up and I do wonder how people on more modest incomes afford childcare
    I see your point but not everyone provides an excellent service...it depends how you describe that? but most strive for that of course

    A needed service....yes but not always calculated per hour as cm are not 'waged' and per hour payment is not the right way to look at it...income is more appropriate terminology....for me.

    What we provide is a service which is individual to the Cm who offers it...contrary to nurseries where many of the procedures are fairly similar as no 2 Cms houses are the same but few take account of the environment from where they offer this service.

    We decide how much we would like to be paid in fee...our choice and many cms would argue against being paid little as they charge an adequate fee for their business accounting for skills, experience and also ....size of setting.
    many Cms keep their fees low to compete with nurseries...I think that is not wise...my view of course.

    Yes childcare adds up...just as fast as our costs do and recently they have doubled...those who have been in childcare prior to Truss et all will verify that...a quick look at our past accounts will soon tell us.

    Parents are on modest incomes? well some are low paid but that depends on the hours worked and much more ...BUT...all can expect a Minimum Wage which is going up in April...that is compulsory

    Parents on modest incomes receive the same amount of financial help from the govt as those who can earn £100,000 and still claim from subsidising providers.
    The problem is the govt policy is built around parental employment not around children.

    Plenty more will come out soon as policies are revealed further

 

 
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