The ball and chain that is childcare cost

I started to write this the other day when I’d just read a passage about wraparound childcare being made free for some people in Scotland so that they can attend training courses or get out there in the workforce. I think it’s a great idea and I’m sort of thinking that it wouldn’t be a bad thing. I love that the Scottish Government has formally taken a step to support people who want to work- I hope that decent subsidies and access to good after school care is available for all working parents though. I say this as someone for whom there are months where childcare is more than the mortgage.

I had to stop writing it though, because at the start of the week, I was sort of drowning in childcare. Because this week, this week of all the daft, busy weeks that exist and neither me nor Mr Dr Ross has ANY wriggle room in our schedules… This week, nursery had to close because of COVID! It’s no-one’s fault, just one of those things that we have to deal with in present times. We had to call Team Newton into action- my parents were amazing and came down to save our bacon and look after the Little Dude. What makes that particularly amazing, is that my folks live 2 and a half hours drive away and are ridiculously busy!

But it has also made me realise how much we, as a family need childcare and how much the Little Dude benefits from it. We have a lovely balance with him seeing us 3 days a week and then he has nursery 4 days a week. But the cost… the cost is just back-breaking and we are really fortunate!

Paying for childcare is a financial ball and chain around our legs. It is absolutely killer. Mr Dr Ross and I both have to work full time to be able to pay for childcare so that we can work a little bit to pay for the house and whatnot. But we are lucky with our resources- not everyone has the capacity we do. I am so angry that people (so often women rather than men too) have to choose between work they may love and caring for a child; for some it literally does not pay to use childcare.

What makes me a better parent is that I have work I love and I am a person who happens to have a lovely small human. The same is true of Mr Dr Ross. We have things that are us and ours outside of looking after the Little Dude and we are able to work really hard at them. Then we have amazing time with the small person and enjoy that because, largely, we are both happy in our work. But costs of childcare are not doable like that for everyone, and I think that’s really not good.

Scotland seems to have found a way to address it though! I reckon we should perhaps ‘be more Scotland’ in England at times!

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