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Free Child Care. Making Mortgages More Affordable

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I was listening into this on R4 today as the employment minister justified why households already earning £150k a year need taxpayer funded benefits of £600 per month to cover childcare costs. I suspect the answer lies in housing costs and mortgage affordability rules. A 600 quid gift is equivalent to a £1000 per month pay rise to a higher rate taxpayer. It means they can afford a bigger mortgage when they need a bigger place and it will pay a fair chunk of the interest. Poor people don't buy houses, so will not be in need of such taxpayer largesse in the form of benefits.

Just another example of the benefits system being geared to support the property pyramid. The whole machinery of government is devoted to producing increasing house prices.

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Apologies typo on subject line, sent from mobile device

Apologies not acceptable, just a public flogging!!!!

Incredible that people earning £150k need "free" child care, however in a debt based economy interest costs end up being crippling.

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"Free" child care is one way to look at it I suppose - but you could also take the view that someone on £150k has spent probably £40k on tax, and this is a tax-payer funded public service. So I'm not getting too outraged by this one.

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As another poster said, much of Cameron's household oriented financial policy is driven by the needs of his circle of friends. In that respect £150k is an everyday income, and it goes down will with his constituents in Whitney too.

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thought the extraneous 'b' stood for a swear word :)

so far as I know the free child care is for 30 hours per week only (3 and 4 year olds) and is only available to working parents (whereas the 15 hours previously for 2 year olds (term time only) was for everyone (working or not :o ))

the original 15 hours is for 'getting ready for school' education.

still think if your household is on £150K (deemed relative poverty in London) I am justified to resent my taxes being given tax-free so that one of the household can work 30 hours and get free childcare.

Edited by olliegog

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...Incredible that people earning £150k need "free" child care, however in a debt based economy interest costs end up being crippling.

Incredible that society pays builders £20+ p/h and someone to look after their child ~£4 p/h.

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Incredible that society pays builders £20+ p/h and someone to look after their child ~£4 p/h.

Building is a skilled trade these days for all but the bottom end labourers. I suspect an experienced builder would make a better fist of childcare than a nursery nurse would of modern building. The pay disparity may well be in the correct ball park.

Edited by Si1

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Building is a skilled trade these days for all but the bottom end labourers. I suspect an experienced builder would make a better fist of childcare than a nursery nurse would of modern building. The pay disparity may well be in the correct ball park.

I'm not a builder or nursery nurse but think what you say in terms of assessing price vs value sums up a lot of what's wrong. The value of a good child care worker and well raised children far outweighs the value of a good builder and well built house (likewise for bad).

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It won't happen without nursery's to provide the care.

At the moment the government pays between £3.40 and £4.51 an hour per pupil per hour.

With a 3:1 ratio of children to staff, building costs, insurance, admin and equipment a typical nursery is losing between £0.50 and £1 per child per hour on the current funding levels.

There simply won't be any nurseries or child care centres who will join the scheme without a MAJOR increase in funding.

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I heard Priti Patel questioned on R4 by Humphries yesterday - just kept parroting that it was "the right thing to do".

Also, when questioned about the funding levels having already been fixed, said that there would be a "review" to get it right.

They are in a mess on this one - the current 15 hours "free" is funded at less than cost so the nurseries etc subsidise it by charging more outside of those 15 hours. They also match the numbers of children with their physical space and their staffing matches the numbers of children. In most cases there is not the physical space to give children 30 hours each, and even if there were, most nurseries couldn't take the financial hit of more hours at a loss, and consequently fewer hours at a profit.

Like the Help to Buy for HA tenants, it was a political promise to get the votes of an important demographic in marginals.

Y

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why is it right that today, with all the automation and efficiencies we have enabled over the years, that we now must have both parents working and unable to do what nature intended....earn a crust for all the family AND look after their offspring.?

I think it has something to do with debt repayment.....financialisation in other words.

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Si1, love the analogy.

The UK has cripplingly expensive childcare costs. Where I live, with 2 kids, we basically need to pay to go back to work in the first 3 years and then 15 hours a week is not going to give us much respite due to the way it can be calculated.

I understand the costs are due to high rental costs so there are not so many options without nationalising infant care (which would be even more expensive). Friends in Germany and New Zealand (although smaller cities) and in Tokyo pay much less than home counties/ greater London, and childcare costs have increased way over salaries in the last few years so it must be impacting the UKs economy and productivity.

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As I understand it single parents don't qualify....they are the ones I would have thought would need it most.....must be two working parents, totally unfair policy.

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Si1, love the analogy.

The UK has cripplingly expensive childcare costs. Where I live, with 2 kids, we basically need to pay to go back to work in the first 3 years and then 15 hours a week is not going to give us much respite due to the way it can be calculated.

I understand the costs are due to high rental costs so there are not so many options without nationalising infant care (which would be even more expensive). Friends in Germany and New Zealand (although smaller cities) and in Tokyo pay much less than home counties/ greater London, and childcare costs have increased way over salaries in the last few years so it must be impacting the UKs economy and productivity.

well, a mate of mine runs a nursery group...has done for 30 years.

They have their own health and safety person, they have their own legal eagle, they have regular inspections, and they need to constantly recruit and train staff, at ever increasing levels of staff v children, qualifications and numerous other things, like planning targetted learning, security and all the other stuff a totally paranoid community now demands.

And the parents moan about everything....its like their guilt of not being there means they have to ensure the nursery have to more than make up for their failings, and they certainly let them know about it.

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well, a mate of mine runs a nursery group...has done for 30 years.

They have their own health and safety person, they have their own legal eagle, they have regular inspections, and they need to constantly recruit and train staff, at ever increasing levels of staff v children, qualifications and numerous other things, like planning targetted learning, security and all the other stuff a totally paranoid community now demands.

And the parents moan about everything....its like their guilt of not being there means they have to ensure the nursery have to more than make up for their failings, and they certainly let them know about it.

There was a popular playgroup next to where I used to work. It had been going for ages but the woman who ran it packed it in recently - she said all the paperwork and cr*p from Ofsted made it just too much hassle.

Re crap from Ofsted, someone I used to see regularly was a childminder for just two 2 year olds. She was sternly berated by Ofsted for having no books on disability/diversity to read to them. You couldn't make it up.

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it will be available to single parents (provided they are 'working') - is there a bottom limit on the number of hours - e.g. a single parent only has to work 16 hours to get wtc ?

how will this pan out with wtc childcare costs

it is only term time so unless you are a teacher - not a lot of help!

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There was a popular playgroup next to where I used to work. It had been going for ages but the woman who ran it packed it in recently - she said all the paperwork and cr*p from Ofsted made it just too much hassle.

Re crap from Ofsted, someone I used to see regularly was a childminder for just two 2 year olds. She was sternly berated by Ofsted for having no books on disability/diversity to read to them. You couldn't make it up.

My wife was advised to learn some Slovak nursery rhymes to sing with a couple of children that she childminds. Apparently the fact that both parents are Slovaks who exclusively speak Slovak to their children at home and also send them to Slovak Saturday school, isn't enough to meet their cultural educational needs. No, it's necessary for her to learn a fourth language to converse with a child in a language which they are already fluent (for their age) in. Additionally, their parents expressly want her to only speak English with their children (and correct their mistakes) because they want their children to integrate successfully and speak better English than them.

Ofsted must die.

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