Are you always broke, wondering how you’re going to find the extra cash for well, anything. If so, it’s likely you’re caught in the childcare trap like millions of other UK parents.
I don’t know about you but it didn’t surprise me to read that the Daycare Trust survey found working parents were spending up to £15,000 on childcare, while wages have risen by only 0.3%.
Nursery costs have apparently risen by nearly 6% in a year, while 44,000 fewer families are getting help with childcare bills since the April tax credit cut. The cost of childminders has also risen, by 3.2% and don’t get me started on the cost of having a nanny (even a part time one).
So why work, some of my friends ask? Well aside from the fact that finances are tight and every penny counts, my fear is if I give up work then five years down the line I will never be able to get another job. Something that many of my friends are currently experiencing.
All of this means I am currently only about £50 a week better off working and how ridiculous is that? While I am lucky to have found fantastic childcare that makes my children happy, it doesn’t make me happy that like many parents in the UK over 33% (more actually) of my income goes on childcare compared to an average of 13% in other EU countries.
Of course the good news is that this is a bill that won’t last forever but I do worry about the state of our family finances once our youngest finally does start school (and even then full time work looks out of question unless we find good after school and holiday childcare).
So what can be done? One thought is better family services for everyone. Nearly 50% of Denmark’s overall budget for family policy goes to services, and over three-quarters of mothers in Denmark are in work. This is because they have better childcare provisions for children, especially primary school-age children that allow parents to work without going broke in the process.
But what do you think? What would improve the situation for you? Let me know.