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Money coming in after maternity

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hundreddolla | 12:05 Fri 18th Feb 2011 | Jobs & Education
36 Answers
Hi all,
My wife is currently on maternity pay, and had originally thought that she would return to work at the end of it with the childcare taken care of by her sister and Mum. Both have now let us down and stated that they won't be able to help out with the childcare. As my wife only earns £16,000 a year and myself £30,000 it is not economically viable to pay for childcare. My question is this, on my wage of £30,000, will my wife receive any unemployment benefit or tax credit? Can anyone tell me what the approximate amount we will receive in tax credit / unemployment benefit monthly / weekly? A "ballpark" figure would be great.

Also any alternative suggestions as to how to we could bring in some extra cash would be greatly appreciated.




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Hiya, will she be looking for work? I gather from your post, no so she wont be able to get unemployment benefit. You also need to check that she didn't recieve anything more than the minimum from her employer re: maternity pay. If her employer has a scheme that pays more than smp, it often comes with the provision that you HAVE to go back for a certain time after. do you actually know how much childcare is? Have you looked at childminders, which may be cheaper than you think. I am sure you will be better off with her working and paying for childcare than stopping working altogether (there is no way childcare should come to £16000 a year) or perhaps a mixture of part time so she can do some of it? Don't forget you will have child benefit of £20 a weeks on top of that £46000
Question Author
Hi thanks for the swift replies. I have used the calculator and it states that we will receive £141. I'm guessing this is £141 per month? I can't seem to find anywhere that states how often the £141 is paid.
tax credits will pay towards your child care cost, plus many employers offer child care vouchers, which means you can buy them via your wages prior to tax (another good saving)

Perhaps you should look into the child care side of things a bit more if you cant afford your wife to give up work.
Question Author
Thanks again for all the help. My problem is this: My wife earns £16,000 a year before tax. Let's say approximately £1000 a month after tax. She would have a travel cost of £190 a month, so that takes her down to £810 a month, and the working tax credit, plus child benefit takes her her back to £1030 a month coming in. Childcare from 8am until 6pm is approximately £46 a day (8am - 6pm). £46 x 5 days a week is £230. £230 a week x 4 weeks a month is £1120, more than she would have coming in. Almost £90 more than she has coming in. I erroneously stated in my original post that i am on £30,000 a year, it is more like £25,000 a year, with some overtime. My wage pays all the mortgage, utility bills, council tax, phones, tv and all the monthly bills. It doesn't cover food, clothes, presents, entertainment etc, etc. It seems that it really isn't worth my wife going back to work?!!? Does the £46 a day (8am - 6pm) childcare sound excessive? We live in Buckinghamshire, if that's any help.
have you called around various childcare facilities to see if thats a true figure. You can also put in that cost into the tax credit calculator to get an idea of what they'd pay towards it.
the vouchers via employers save you about 20% on the cost too.
is it a nursery?
Have you looked onto cheaper options?
does your/her workplace have a subsidized nursery?
£46 sounds about rightish for a nursery place
Question Author
Hi ya,
Thanks you've all been so helpful!
To answer your questions:
1. Her work doesnt have any creche facilities, she's a careworker for people with learning difficulties.
2. The £46 is for a nursery and includes "food"
3. Just added the £230 childcare fees into the Tax Calculator and it still stayed at £141 a month.
Hiya. Sounds similar to my situation, although I work part-time, so your wife earns a bit more than me. We get some child tax credit and child benefit. I am definitely better off working. You may be able to get some of the Childcare costs paid and you get some hours of free childcare (preschool/nursery) when the child reaches 2.5.
There are some very good Childminders in Bucks too. Social services can give you a list. Part-time may be better for your wife until your child starts preschool? Some of my friends with young children work nights, to eliminate the cost of childcare. May be ideal with her work. Is it a Residential home?
what about your work - any nursery there? you can also buy the vouchers from your salary sacrifice scheme (if you have one)
Question Author
All great suggestions cheers!
Unfortunately there isn't a crèche where i work either! ...and they don't do the childcare vouchers scheme at my workplace.
Question Author
I just cannot see how it will EVER be viable for my wife to go back to work. Our baby's childcare plus my wife's travel is just over what she earns. Even with tax credits and child benefit she'll just cut even. She'd basically be working AND having to come up with another £90 a month.

So basically this is how it looks to me (any solutions or suggestions greatly appreciated!!)

If she stays home and looks after the baby herself, we'll have £141 tax credit and £90 child benefit coming in. A total of £231 per month.

If she goes to work we'll have £1000 wages and £231 coming in a month, but have £920 in child care and £190 travel going out. £1231 in / £1110 out. A total of £121 a month.

She'd be £120 a month better off staying at home looking after the baby.

Is this correct? Or am i going number blind!?!?! ha ha ha!
Question Author
Oops should have deleted this part...."She'd basically be working AND having to come up with another £90 a month. "
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a childminder will be significantly cheaper i would say (probbaly by about £10 per day
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Question Author
redhelen said "I don't mean to sound harsh - but should you not have considered this before having a child?"

Oh beleive me, i did think about this before having a child! I understand it's not going to be easy. I'm not that naive! I really just wanted to know whether my calculations and assumptions were correct. I'm not complaining about the situation we're in, just commenting. I know it's a lot worse for other families!
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redhelen said "I don't see why your wife should give up a good job and income to receive tax credits - there has to be another solution - other family members?"

That's exactly how i feel. We've neither of us EVER claimed a penny from state, and don't want to either. Unfortunately there are no other family members as my wife's sister and Mum have both now said no, and all my family live abroad.
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Pixi said "are you sure you would get that amount of tax credit a month? when i was with my ex he earned maybe £24,000 a year and i earned maybe £7000 a year and all we got was £10.32 "

According to the tax / child credit calculator. That's what we are entitled to.
Question Author
bednobs said "a childminder will be significantly cheaper i would say (probbaly by about £10 per day"

Not according to most of the places I've looked. Childminders seem to charge £4.50 - £6.00 an hour. Even £4.50 an hour (the cheapest i found) at 10hrs a day comes out to £45.00 a day.

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