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UK Survey Shows 36% of Parents Consider Not Working Cheaper than Childcare

A recent survey by Computershare Voucher Services (CVS) polled 1,000 working parents to discover some remarkable facts about childcare!  Have you ever considered not working and staying home to care for the children?  Do you spend most of your paycheck for daycare or nanny services?  If you said yes to one or both of these questions, you are not alone.

More than a third (36%) of parents surveyed said they doBig Headed Woman consider staying home because "they feel unable to cope with childcare costs." 

Simon Moore, managing director of CVS, said: “Many parents consider it may be more cost effective not to work than to pay for childcare. With reports that childcare costs in the UK are higher than in any other country it is a position that is easy to understand. What we do not know is the number of people who decided it was more cost effective not to work than to pay for childcare."

Working conditions, the economy and childcare needs are very similar in the UK as they are here in the United States.  Parents who are still working wonder if that second paycheck is worth it, when they consider the cost of daycare or nanny services. 

Many middle class parents report that more than 1/2 or more of their paycheck goes towards childcare.  Then, when you add on travel expenses, gas, business clothes, breakfast and lunch, etc., there may not be enough money left to justify that second job.  

Is it worth it?  How can a family squeeze those extra dollars out of their paycheck?

You can cut back on a major expense, like childcare, by joining the cultural exchange program.  Hosting an au pair is one of the most cost-effective childcare options today.

For about $325 a week (everything including program fees, stipend, education fees, flight, etc.) you can host an au pair.  An au pair can cook light meals, keep your home organized and neat, do the children's laundry and make the lunches.  Driving your children to their after school activities is part of the au pair's responsibilities.  How great is that?

If you could reduce your childcare bill by half, would you consider hosting an au pair?  Most parents I talk to say "yes!"  If you are not sure, you should research au pairs carefully and look at all the 12 agencies.  Visit their websites, call them, sample their features online and look at their au pair profiles. 

Go online and search for au pair agency reviews and ratings - read host family comments on Complaints.com, Viewpoint or here, on the Clearinghouse. Talk to friends and colleagues. 

If you like what you hear about au pairs, maybe its time to consider switching from expensive childcare choices, like daycare or a private nanny, to a government supervised agency that carefully recruits au pairs and assists you in getting the match that fits your lifestyle and your childcare needs.   


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