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Thread: Childcare costs etc for dummies

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Redshoes's Avatar
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    Childcare costs etc for dummies

    I'm not pregnant, firstly lol My DH works full time and I'm considering going back to full time education. All children will be in full time school. Do we have any entitlement to help should we need before or after school childcare? Also, I've never used childcare before being a SAHM, how does it work if you don't need them one day or one week, due to work/education hours not always being the same, and you being at home to care for your children over the school holidays?

    I really know very little about all this, any advice or links greatly appreciated xx

    mama, wife, friend, doula
    DS is 10♥ DD is 8♥ Banana Bear is 4♥ Still always broody!

  2. #2
    Childminders are cheaper and more flexible in my experience.

    Generally you will have to pay for set sessions, and if you don't need it one week you still have to pay.

    Can't help with the help with costs aspect really, we get help from tax credits though

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  3. #3
    If you use wraparound at a nursery you still have to pay at easter / christmas etc
    I'm a teacher and this bugs me! The nursery I use doesn't charge me in july or august, I just pay for days I need in those months.

    I've not had great childminder experiences, but if you find a good one then you're onto a winner.
    I like using the nursery as I can 100% rely on them, I can pick up any time until 6 and it's all very straightforward!




  4. #4
    I found a term time only childminder, which was brilliant - I still had to pay a small retainer in the school holidays, but being term time only really really helped.
    DD1 is nearly 11 years old DS is nearly 9 years old DD2 is 16 months old

  5. #5
    I'm a childminder. We all work differently as we're self employed so set our own rules. For example, I only have one term time only contract for after school (as I focus on early years) so I don't charge a retainer in holidays as I'm happy to be a bit quieter with my own children at home.

    I only have one full time child. All my other contracts are 2/3/4 days and I just fit kids together so I maintain ratios. I won't do less than two days though and if it's contracted you have to pay for it even if you don't use it.

    Depending on your household income you might get up to 70% of your childcare costs back through tax credits if you use an Ofsted registered provider (all childminders that care for under 8s are but some holiday clubs for example aren't.)

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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Redshoes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slinky Sarah View Post
    Childminders are cheaper and more flexible in my experience.

    Generally you will have to pay for set sessions, and if you don't need it one week you still have to pay.

    Can't help with the help with costs aspect really, we get help from tax credits though

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    Thankyou slinky, what would happen if you paid for a month of before school and then the following month your timetable changed and you needed after school? If you know that is x I get child tax credits, do they say you get that so no help with covering childcare costs? Obviously being a student means no more income so if there's no help there we need to know what sort of costs we'd be looking at before lol
    DS is 10♥ DD is 8♥ Banana Bear is 4♥ Still always broody!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmac View Post
    If you use wraparound at a nursery you still have to pay at easter / christmas etc
    I'm a teacher and this bugs me! The nursery I use doesn't charge me in july or august, I just pay for days I need in those months.

    I've not had great childminder experiences, but if you find a good one then you're onto a winner.
    I like using the nursery as I can 100% rely on them, I can pick up any time until 6 and it's all very straightforward!
    We may need school run/collection too so I don't even know if this is possible! I like the pick up anytime until 6 format!
    DS is 10♥ DD is 8♥ Banana Bear is 4♥ Still always broody!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Redshoes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTPR View Post
    Does your school offer wraparound care, like breakfast clubs and after school clubs? Round here they're the cheapest option and you can pay with childcare vouchers which we buy pre tax.

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    They only offer pre arranged before and after for 1hr, so it wouldn't be suitable for days when DH cannot collect until 6pm. Who are the childcare vouchers from? I know DH was saying he could get some sort of discount through work but we really are clueless with it all, he could be wrong!
    DS is 10♥ DD is 8♥ Banana Bear is 4♥ Still always broody!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by valentine View Post
    I found a term time only childminder, which was brilliant - I still had to pay a small retainer in the school holidays, but being term time only really really helped.
    That sounds great V, I've had a brief look into childcare and tbh I'm scared, where to start etc!!
    DS is 10♥ DD is 8♥ Banana Bear is 4♥ Still always broody!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie84 View Post
    I'm a childminder. We all work differently as we're self employed so set our own rules. For example, I only have one term time only contract for after school (as I focus on early years) so I don't charge a retainer in holidays as I'm happy to be a bit quieter with my own children at home.

    I only have one full time child. All my other contracts are 2/3/4 days and I just fit kids together so I maintain ratios. I won't do less than two days though and if it's contracted you have to pay for it even if you don't use it.

    Depending on your household income you might get up to 70% of your childcare costs back through tax credits if you use an Ofsted registered provider (all childminders that care for under 8s are but some holiday clubs for example aren't.)

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
    I don't think it's going to actually be possible to find what we may need. I think we will possibly have to pay for the whole of term time and if we're home we just take a hit because I don't see how flexible a childminder can be as like you say they're self employed and cannot just have your children when you want! I was thinking more about if you had changing shifts, would they bend to mornings one month but after school the next? I guess it's about asking around, but if it's changing study timetable and I don't even know myself I cannot give much notice :/ Therefore it will just be pay for before and after regardless, so at least I can then get a max figure if nothing else! I've not even looked at the cost yet eeeeeek You weren't always a childminder were you Julie? Or am I making that up lol xxx I like the idea of cashback haha We do get CTC x
    DS is 10♥ DD is 8♥ Banana Bear is 4♥ Still always broody!

  11. #11
    I look after a 1 year old whose mum is a student nurse and I have him different hours every week. I just ask for her rota as soon as she gets it (which is generally a month in advance although sometimes less).

    Over 8s don't count in a childminder's ratios so I tend to be more flexible with them as ad hoc is much easier when they're not taking up one of my spaces!

    I charge for what you need to the nearest half hour but lots of childminders do a flat rate of after school until 6pm regardless of when you collect.

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  12. #12
    Super Moderator Redshoes's Avatar
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    I'll have two 8+ and a 4yr old so that's a plus point for their ratio hehe Thankyou very much Julie, what a wonderful career to have xx

    mama, wife, friend, doula
    DS is 10♥ DD is 8♥ Banana Bear is 4♥ Still always broody!

  13. #13
    I may be wrong about how it is now but you used to not be able to get tax creds help with childcare costs if 1 working and 1 studying. It had to be only if both parents worked or 1 worked and 1 is a carer. hopefully changed now but defo check. some educational places esp. uni may have their own childcare assistance though. My cousin gets some funding for hers and a bursary x
    Gemma 23 Sean 13 Leo 11 Isabella 7 Tayler 5

  14. #14
    Childcare vouchers are where money goes straight from your salary to your childcare provider, so you don't pay tax.
    You can put a maximum of 243/month into vouchers. Your OH's payroll department would set it up.




  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by kmac View Post
    Childcare vouchers are where money goes straight from your salary to your childcare provider, so you don't pay tax.
    You can put a maximum of 243/month into vouchers. Your OH's payroll department would set it up.
    If you're a basic rate tax payer. If you're on higher rate it's 124. You can also save vouchers up and pay with multiple vouchers (they expire after 12 months). I just had a mum start who saved them up over her maternity leave and is just using vouchers each month at the moment.

    You can't use vouchers and tax credits though so check if you're eligible for tax credits first as they'll save you more.

    I read somewhere about all working parents being able to claim childcare vouchers now (or the amount it comes to) via a government scheme if their employer doesn't offer them. I'll see if I can find it.

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