As you may have noticed the number of working mothers is decreasing more and more each year, but since flexible working conditions were brought into place it still hasn’t increased the number of women who choose to keep working after having a child. In the UK all women as entitled to paid, maternity leave but the amount allowed to take varies from company to company. On average a women will take 26 weeks maternity leave and an extra 26 are allowed to be taken if paid unpaid. Son on average a working mum will return to work when their new baby is just 6 months old, with a small minority who will return when the child is one.
The average weekly childcare cost in the UK is around £160 a week for a place in a nursery, the costs rise significantly higher if it’s based in central London. This means the average cost for putting a child into a nursery is £640 a month. Many women who go back to work are forced to go back part time as looking after a young child can be demanding so charging from £640 a month for a nursery place is an insult.
Child nursery places in central London can be as much as £345 a week in some places amounting to £1,380 a month. Babies are often more expensive to pay for as the level of care is greater, they need feeding and changing regularly as most toddlers can feed themselves and are in the process of being potty trained.
The UK has the highest cost of childcare in the world, the cheapest place to find childcare is Portugal as it costs as little as 4% of monthly wages compared to 33% in the UK. Childminders also charge as much as £152 a week or £400 in some parts of London. The only way to save on childcare costs on the UK is if you have parents that have stopped working and are able to look after your children for you. As the majority of people are having children later the chances of having free childcare is really slim as most grandparents will not be able to care for a small child as they are frail already.
Unfortunately unless you are on a low income there is no support for you, you have to bear the inflated costs of childcare or be a stay at home mum and let your partner bring home the money. In most cases women cannot afford to stay at home and need to contribute to the monthly expenses even if it means working for a paltry sum with most going on childcare.