If you intend to work as a home tutor or indeed, study under one, you may want to consider the cost of childcare as it takes up a large chunk of your time and your budget. Its a wonderful idea to return to work and be your own boss but it’s essential to budget carefully for your childcare costs and claim all the help that’s available. In Britain, the average cost of sending a child under the age of two to nursery is £122.46 per week part-time and £232.84 per week full-time. This varies depending on the type of childcare and where you live.
Part-time childcare costs
A registered childminder (25 hours for a child under two years old) on average costs £107 per week, or around £145 in London. The day nursery equivalent is £122 per week or £164 in London. A part-time nanny for 25 hours a week can be between £264-£434, but you can add around £80 per week “pocket money”, plus room and board.
Full-time childcare costs
A registered childminder (50 hours for a child under two years old) on average costs £218 per week or around £285 in London. Day nursery equivalent is £232 per week or £305 in London. A live-in nanny for 50 hours a week can be between £434-£718, plus around £80 per week “pocket money”, as well as room and board, tax and national insurance.
Whether you choose to work full-time, part-time or be a stay-at-home parent is up to you, but there's a good deal to consider. One important factor is the impact on income and costs, both now and in the future, so it's best to create a budget planner. Obviously, there’s help available when you have a baby, so find out what you are eligible for.
You don’t need to be on a low income to get help with childcare costs — you might be able to get help from your employer in the form of childcare vouchers, or the government via the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit or the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.
Free early education or childcare
All three and four-year-olds in the UK are entitled to some free early education or childcare, and how much you can get depends on where you live. In England all three and four-year-olds can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare every year, and most people take this as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks. You can use these free hours at nurseries and nursery classes, playgroups and pre-schools, registered childminders and Sure Start children’s centres.
A further 15 hours is available, bringing the total to 30 hours each week, for families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone-parent family). To qualify for this, each parent must earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage, as long as it's less than £100,000 a year.
Three and four-year-olds can get 600 hours of free early learning and childcare every year. This works out at around 16 hours every week for 38 weeks.
Three and four-year-olds can get ten hours of free early education a week for 38 weeks. If you live in a Flying Start area, you might be able to get free part-time childcare when your child is two. Children are entitled to at least 12.5 hours of free pre-school education a week for 38 weeks in the year before they start Primary One.
Please note that the information provided, and figures quoted are correct at the time of writing.