As a parent, one of the biggest monthly costs behind rent or a mortgage is often childcare. It is a topic that comes up time and time again in Facebook parenting groups and also discussions with friends as the cost of nursery or childminder costs are questioned and debated. For many the cost of childcare is weighed against the potential earnings of the parent and paid work doesn’t always seem worth it after childminder costs.
There are a number of ways to reduce the cost of childcare and this takes some organisation and forward planning on the parents part. The first thing to note is that there is some government funding available for those on lower incomes as an incentive to help parents back into the workforce.
In addition to this, all 3-year-olds are entitled to at least 15 hours per week, this certainly helps with childcare costs. However, these hours can only be used by providers who are able to take the childcare vouchers. This tends to be registered childminders and nurseries. They cannot be paid to auntie Jo who is doing it as a favour! Do make sure you check out what financial support you are entitled.
Childcare costs vary enormously depending on location and also the type of childcare you opt for. Childminder costs are often less than nurseries and can be more flexible if you work irregular hours or even shift work. I used a childminder when my teenagers were younger because it suited my hours better. I also only wanted to pay for term time hours and this suited both myself and the childminder I used.
With my youngest though I used a nursery setting because I wanted her to have more socialisation after being at home and in a spica cast for many months after surgery for hip dysplasia. Therefore it is about what suits the family the most at a given time.
What about childcare for school-age children?
If you have older children and need after school care an au pair may suit your family. They can live in or out and generally run the children to their after-school activities etc as well as doing some light housework around the house.
Finding wrap around childcare is challenging and many use after school clubs located at the child’s school, the downside though is that often these are sessional prices rather than per hour.
Where to find local childcare:
Finding the right childcare can be challenging, but thankfully Childcare.co.uk have made the process simpler by navigating all the local providers and putting them together for parents to browse. This ensures that no matter what your budget or requirements from nurseries to after school clubs you are able to see what is available locally and make the best decision for your family. On the website you are able to see Ofsted ratings and read reviews of providers which many use to help inform their choices of where best suits their child.
Childcare.co.uk is a multi-award winning online networking platform that helps connect parents, childcare providers, schools and private tutors. Over 1,800,000 people have used the website to find childcare or childcare work since they launched in 2009. You won’t find a larger choice of babysitters, nannies, registered childminders or private tutors anywhere else!
I think the site is really easy to navigate and quickly allows parents to search for the childcare they need. The site is great for both those advertising their services or for individuals like me who are looking for childcare solutions. It is free to set up a profile on Childcare.co.uk and free members can message. There is also a gold membership option which is the best tool for parents with an immediate childcare requirement or for childcare service providers seeking new customers as it is more immediate and responsive.
Having the right childcare for your needs really makes a difference to working parents. Once excellent childcare is in place, parents have peace of mind that means they can focus on work and making money to give your children the best outcomes that you can.