How to afford daycare

Daycare for your little darling can often be more expensive than your rent. That’s true no matter which area of the country you live in. In the UK, the average amount spent on a child’s fees per week is £115 for 25 hours of child care with a registered childminder. In London, the average cost rises to £152 a week. Finding out how to afford daycare when you’re on an average salary will make life a little easier.
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You have several childcare options including hiring a nanny, sending your child to a registered nursery or limiting your hours at work to allow you to carry out some of the childcare during the working week. Statistics from the Department of Education show that one in four families rely on the kid’s grandparents to help with at least some of the week’s daycare.

Cheapest option

The average cost of a registered childminder is lower than the costs attached to a nursery but you could also consider a nanny. Nanny’s are often cheaper to hire as they come to your home to look after your little one. As long as the nanny’s registered, you’ll be able to use childcare vouchers or claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, and they are often cheaper per hour than registered childminders. The downside here is that as you’ll be the nanny’s employer, you’ll need to deal with the carer’s PAYE tax and their National Insurance. Of course, the other issue is that the nanny could fall ill at some point which you’ll need to cover, and you also have to consider what you’ll do when the carer needs to take holiday.

Mix it up

Some nurseries offer a cheaper daily rate if you commit to the full week. The same can be true of registered childminders but your cheapest route is often to combine two approaches. Having a grandparent look after your child for a day or two can seriously cut down your costs. Also make sure that you take advantage of the government backed Child Tax Credits that allow most UK workers to take £243 from their wages before tax.

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