There are a number of childcare options available to you, which you may want to consider, especially if you’re going back to work after having a baby.
It is worth weighing up all your options carefully, as it’s important you use a route that you feel comfortable with and one that suits you financially.
Below, MMM has listed some of the main options available to parents today.
A nursery provides care and education for children from as young as 6 weeks to age 5, although some only start taking children from age 2.
They typically open from around 7am to 6pm all year round, except for public holidays.
What’s the cost?
Unfortunately, nurseries aren’t cheap. The cost very much depends on where you live, but can range from £50 to £80 a day.
Every nursery has its own rules, but you will normally have to commit to a minimum of two sessions a week, and once you pick the days, you cannot move them around as and when you please.
A whole day usually counts as a one session, but for some nurseries, a morning or afternoon counts as one session.
You may get a discount if you have other children also attending the same nursery.
If your child does not attend a session for whatever reason, you are still charged. Equally, if it’s a public holiday, you will not be given your money back if it happens to be your child’s set nursery day that day.
Childcare is expensive, but there are ways reducing that cost. If you or your partner are working, you can get help from your employer with childcare vouchers.
You can use them for payment toward nurseries, registered childminders and if you have older kids, then you can even use them to pay for after school and breakfast clubs.
Few people seem to know about the childcare voucher scheme and are potentially missing out on up to £243 each month towards their childcare costs.
It is basically a salary sacrifice scheme, so either you and/or your partner will give up some earnings in exchange for childcare vouchers. However, you make savings on tax and national insurance in return –basic tax rate payers can save up and higher tax rate payers can save up to £52 a month.
Your employer will also make savings of up to 13.8% on national insurance – so everyone is a winner.