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After childcare, how much is left....?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by wormburger, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Apologies for this rather personal q but I'm hoping for some advice. Our childcare arrangements are changing mid year due to several unforseen circumstances and I'm trying to work out whether it's still going to be 'worth' working. At the moment I work .4 over 2 and a half days, LO is in nursery for a day and a half a week and my Mum has her 1 day. So far so good. I have about £500 pm left after nursery fees which is mine to pay for LO's swimming and music things, our clothes, trips out, midweek supermarkets sweeps, my mobile phone & contact lenses etc. MY OH earns lots more than me and had the house before we were together so he pays for everything else. I know I'm very lucky.
    However, my contract has been changed for the summer term to .3 over 3 days and at the same time my Mum is having an op and is no longer able to look after LO for us. So I've worked out that after childcare I'll have about £150. And LO will be in nursery for 3 days a week. Now I'm not really happy with this as it seems very selfish not to look after her myself for the sake of £150. I don't massively love my job but am lucky enough to work in a very local, relatively cushy private school so if I'm honest it's prob as good as it's going to get jobs wise. However, they also mess their staff about big time! I'm torn. My heart is telling me to hand my notice in but my head sayd there's a recession on and that would be silly, any job is better than none and maybe they'll give me a better timetable next year and not mess me about. My OH thinks I would go bonkers without the adult company a couple of days a week.
    I'm in a quandry! Any advice welcome x
     
  2. Apologies for this rather personal q but I'm hoping for some advice. Our childcare arrangements are changing mid year due to several unforseen circumstances and I'm trying to work out whether it's still going to be 'worth' working. At the moment I work .4 over 2 and a half days, LO is in nursery for a day and a half a week and my Mum has her 1 day. So far so good. I have about £500 pm left after nursery fees which is mine to pay for LO's swimming and music things, our clothes, trips out, midweek supermarkets sweeps, my mobile phone & contact lenses etc. MY OH earns lots more than me and had the house before we were together so he pays for everything else. I know I'm very lucky.
    However, my contract has been changed for the summer term to .3 over 3 days and at the same time my Mum is having an op and is no longer able to look after LO for us. So I've worked out that after childcare I'll have about £150. And LO will be in nursery for 3 days a week. Now I'm not really happy with this as it seems very selfish not to look after her myself for the sake of £150. I don't massively love my job but am lucky enough to work in a very local, relatively cushy private school so if I'm honest it's prob as good as it's going to get jobs wise. However, they also mess their staff about big time! I'm torn. My heart is telling me to hand my notice in but my head sayd there's a recession on and that would be silly, any job is better than none and maybe they'll give me a better timetable next year and not mess me about. My OH thinks I would go bonkers without the adult company a couple of days a week.
    I'm in a quandry! Any advice welcome x
     
  3. Could you wait until you get your timetable for next year and see how you feel then? Or do you need to make a decision now? If you enjoy your job and the adult company then I'd wait and see what happens when they sort the timetable for next year - if you're not that bothered then hand in your notice. I don't know what the jobs situation is like where you live, but you could perhaps pick up some private tuition in the evenings if you want some extra money or teaching some adult education classes which would give you some much needed adult company!
    I have a childminder rather than a nursery for many reasons, but one bonus is that where I live a childminder is much cheaper than a nursery and I only pay for the hours that I use - if you did want to carry on working is this a possible solution to cover you for the extra day and while your mum has her op?
     
  4. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Just a few random thoughts...
    1. Whilst it might not seem worth it money-wise now, teachers who give up work sompletely when their children are little often find it hard to get back into the jobs market after a career break, so it may be worth hanging on to your job. Also when your LO is at school you have the holidays vs non-teaching jobs where this can be tricky.
    2. I'm a firm believer that nursery is good for socialisation, all areas of development and independence- if you choose a nursery you trust and are happy with. It was hard to start with at first but my LO loves it now (2 days a week) and I think she learns a lot there.
    3. When babies are ill, is when it really pays to be a stay-at-home mum (or non-working mum, if you prefer). Nursery germs are rife at first but I'm told it settles down!
    4. Could you try the new arrangements and give yoruself a time-limit to think how it's all going?
    5. I would also go bonkers without work, hard as it can be with a 5.30 wake-up time with LO, getting both of us ready and out of the door by 7.15am, both of us ill and general work annoyances... for me it's worth it!
    6. I take home £520 after nursery fees per month. We could survive on OH's salary alone- he is well paid, but things would be tight.
    x
     
  5. Kittens, I totally agree with your points. And taking home roughly the same as you do now it seems worth it, it's just when things change that I'm wondering about it all. I agree that a non teaching job would be really hard because of the lack of hols, esp as my OH teaches too. Unfortuntely, LO has been quite poorly and we're all ill at the mo so think I'm not in the best frame of mind to make a rational decision. My fear is that as they're cutting hours now, midway thro the year, I won't have a job at all come Sept and then I will have spent this year keeping my foot in the door for nothing!
    I think we've decided to think about it over the Christmas Holidays and make a decision then. Keep the thoughts coming! x
     
  6. Hiya
    I can't really add much more than kitten mittens to be honest but just wanted to share my thoughts. I ve been having a similar debate, due our 1st in 3 weeks and currently work 3.5 days a week. Our baby will be in nursery/child minder care for all of that as our family don't want to help out. It will leave me with approx £500 a month which isn't too bad. I am keen on the idea of hopefully having no 2 close to this one, and if all goes to plan obviously child care costs will double. But, I know so many teachers who took 4/5 years off to bring up chn and cannot get back into a perm job for love nor money. Especially a part time one. It is difficult, but if you anticipate at some point being a teacher again, I think it could be very risky to leave your current job. On the flip side though who knows what life could bring you in the next few years...I'm trying to view working with little uns and not having much to show for it as an investment in my career future basically, **** hey!!
     
  7. Just a few additional thoughts:
    Are you intending to have a second baby? If so even if you would not go back to work you would qualify for maternity pay again. It might help in terms of the sums?
    There is some funding for nursery when they reach the age of 3. They get 15 hours per week free for 38 weeks.
    Is there a chance your mum will be able to help out again once she is recovered?
    Could you find a cheaper nursery? Round here they vary massively and my daughter is in the cheapest. She loves it and I think its really very good.
    Can you see the nursery fees as being a joint liability rather than just yours? They are also needed so that your husband is able to work.
    Does your or your husband's employer have a child care voucher scheme because that can save about £50 per month each in tax. Men can also claim them but he might not have thought about it!
    I think that it would be a good idea to have a discussion with your line manager about your difficulties. In addition, if you are able to see a way around it (perhaps by swapping sessions with another teacher) you have the right to put in one flexible working request per year. This is not just to request part time but can be to request a change in hours to make things more manageable for you.
     
  8. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Very good points Brettgirl2, all things I have been thinking about since returning to work. There's no easy answer, it's great to be able to work part time but there's always some sort of compromise.
    Yes you can request a change even if you are part-time already, may be worth a try?
     
  9. Thanks people, really useful stuff. Brettgirl, we are not planning to have any more children, but who knows! These things happen.
    I have booked a meeting with the Head to explain that .3 over three days is not really financially viable for me so I'll see what she says. It would be better if they were taking different lessons from me as then I could have another whole day off, but I think the issue is that the teacher who has lost the hours is full time so she has to pinch hours from me as and when she's free. She's not happy about it and is my Hod but imo is being a bit gutless and not really sticking up for her dept or even herself. I think in the current climate everyone is a bit scared of having no job at all so are keeping their heads down.
    Brettgirl, my OH would be more than happy to pay for nursery. However, I kind of feel that unless I can cover the fees and have a bit left over it's pointless me working! I'm paying them out of principal but he feels strongly that I should work for my own sanity so I know he would be more than happy to pick up the tab for everything else. In terms of finding another nursery, we have one on site at school but they only take from 2 and a half and my daughter is 15 months. I have thought about asking the head whether they will take her for my two half days at a reduced fee but then I'd be dropping my collegues in the nursery in it by leaving them with a much younger child. I'm really happy with where she is now, it is relatively expensive as I work in a 'posh' part of town and the nursery is very local. She took a long time to settle but now loves it so I'd be reluctant to move her, even tho I know a childminder would be much cheaper considering the crazy hours I've now ended up with!
     

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