It’s no surprise really is it, that the rising cost of childcare is having a huge impact on families, working parents and how family life is working. I’m just about to go on the air with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to talk about it, as it’s a huge issue for so many people that I know. The survey says that the soaring cost of childcare is pushing the poorest out of work and children into poverty. Research from Save the Children and the Daycare Trust has revealed families on low-incomes across the UK are having to turn down jobs or are considering leaving work because they can’t afford to pay for childcare, according to new . The survey also found that parents, regardless of income, say they can’t afford not to work, but struggle to pay for childcare. And despite many parents cutting back their spending, almost a quarter have got into debt because of childcare costs. Parents in Britain spend almost a third of their incomes on childcare – more than anywhere else in the world. Of those families in severe poverty, nearly half have cut back on food to afford childcare and 58% said they were or would be no better off working once childcare is paid for.
The cut to the working tax credit has also dealt a massive blow to hard working families struggling in severe poverty with four in ten of those affected considering giving up work because they will no longer earn enough to cover the childcare bill. The cut has added on average £500 per year onto the childcare bill for half a million families.
Now I’m not saying for a moment that our family is in poverty in any way shape or form. But the problem is clear when I list the maths around returning to my old job. I was on around £38,000 a year gross, as a full time salary. This translates to £28,500 a year after tax, when working 5 days a week. So if I’d gone back 3 days a week, as I’d planned to, I would have generated £17,100 ish of take home – net pay, per year.
Liz net earnings for 3 days a week = £17,100 ish, per year
Cost of private nursery for 3 days a week for 2 boys = £52 a day, per child. This is £16,244 per year.
Cost of petrol to get to work for 3 days a week, for a year = £1,560
Cost of sandwiches for 3 days a week, for a year = £312
This is a total of = £16,244 + £1,560 + £312 = £18,116
Liz earnings (£17,100) – Cost for Liz to go to work (£18,116) = Total cost to go to work for 3 days a week of £1,016
It just doesn’t add up, does it. Thankfully we are living a very different life to the one detailed above but so many people I know are relying on family members for childcare but I don’t think that’s fair either, as for a start, it would be my inlaws who did it as my parents are 3 hours away in the car and it’s not up to them to bail us out when they should be in their retirement having looked after other people for so many years themselves!
It’s nuts. I have no solution. I don’t know what the solution should be. I just think it’s rubbish that so many people are in this situation.
Shall I get off my soapbox now?
*Image courtesy of topnews.net.nz
Update at 6pm on Wednesday 7 September:
1. If you are someone who is trying to work out how you can contribute to your family’s finances but aren’t sure how to do it, check out www.businessandbabyshow.com which happens on Saturday 1 October and is a great way to find out about all the business opportunities available to you which will work with your family life.
2. There’s a good link on the Guardian, with an article on this very topic…