Child care subsidies

Child Care

Maybe this is not the correct place for this and as a French resident probably not my place to comment but I do have several Grandchildren in the UK who are about to come onto the Jobs market, but here goes.

I was watching the news on the BBC t’other day and some Wimmins organisation was bemoaning the fact that Child Care costs were insufficiently subsidised to the extent that their supporters were unable to afford Child care in order to go out to work.

Did I hear this right; Women expect to receive a subsidy to go out to work so that someone else can raise their children? Why, if they can’t afford to bring up their children did they have them?

With hundreds of thousands of youth unemployed why are we subsidising older women to go out to work in low paid jobs?

If the job pays enough to justify a return to work surely the mother should pay her care costs not the tax payer. It doesn’t even make any sense if the mother is a single parent…………………, Women are entitled to a career whether it be in commerce or in Child rearing both are honourable pursuits and the choice between the two is open to most educated people today.

What I disagree with is that women) are subsidised by the state so that they can go out to work thus depriving youngsters of that vital first step. If you choose to live so that it requires two salaries to meet your expectations, bigger house, car, 2nd home, you should not expect the state to fund your childcare costs, this is an overhead you must allow for in you budget like food and mortgage payments. If the job doesn’t pay enough it is up to you as an individual whether you then chose to subsidise the job by paying your own costs or stay at home and do this vital job yourselves. I can’t say that I was ever a fan of St Margaret of Downing St but she did keep on thumping on about market forces.

If society values an occupation then society should be prepared to pay for it. If there is a need for (Say) Senior Nurses to return to work then that cost should be born by the employer.

I have seen the argument raised about council workers in Inner London ‘having’ to receive housing benefit (paid for by all tax payers) because of the high cost of housing in the area that they live and work. Surely the answer is not a national subsidy but a local weighting (paid for by the employer) so that if people, who live in high cost areas, expect services they should pay an appropriate wage (rates?) for that area?

I know that men also receive Child care allowance but it saves time to be non-PC!!!

I think the example set by John Lewis is Excellent, combining practical help with child care costs through their voucher scheme with assistance on a career path for people who are unable to follow a classic working schedule. Bravo.
Unfortunately this altruistic action does place them at a disadvantage against their competitors who do not contribute to the well being of their most important asset, their staff.

If the playing field is level then the ability of the employer to pay should also be level.Those employers who fail to attract and retain the right people have only themselves to blame when they fail. Companies such as John Lewis will continue to prosper because they attract and retain the best, their business model shows that they are not a low price operation but a high value operation.

I think that the point that you have been trying to make has been swept away by some earlier rather rash and inflammatory comments, unfortunately.

Child care is an issue that should be addressed by employers and the state alike in order to allow half the population to have gainful employment if they so choose though nowadays the choice rarely exists - be that at a supermarket, waiting tables - I did for many years - or in more fulfilling jobs with possibilities of advancement. Not all employers are in a position of being to either pay more for their employees or charging their customers more.

The whole point is that when I started out, my child was young and I needed childcare help as he was young. I would never have got to my level of attainment if there hadn’t been a system in place to help me do so. Children do not stay young forever and women that have been helped then pay back into the system that helped them. Rather like the pension scheme (though that is a whole other kettle of fish)

After seeing the benefits of the Canadian system - who also provided summer long camps to the envy of my English friends (again with tax credits) and in France, where schools follow more closely the work place timetable and people are encouraged to put their children in daycare early on as being beneficial to the child, I can see that England is far behind though some employers do recognise the need to help their employees be able to work - see Katherine’s post!

A very interesting post.
What a good idea about tax breaks for child care, this allows men and women to continue their careers while employing someone to help them with their responsibilities, it removes the state involvement and reduces the argument for a subsidy to support returnees to their jobs.
Congratulations I believe you are the sort of person who will succeed whatever obstacles are put in your way, and your story is an inspiration to us all.
My comments about being paid enough to support child care really do not apply to your level of attainment, During my working life , not so long ago, I daily came into contact with working women, Many of whom were single parents, who were at the other end of the pay scale, seasonal holiday cleaners, Supermarket cashiers, care workers in the private sector, these women struggled daily to balance their need to obtain income, while not working more than 16 hours, fetching their children from day nursery etc etc.perhaps the next time you visit a Devon holiday rental you might like to think about how little the cleaner is paid and how much the Tax payer has had to fork out to enable you to spend two weeks in Rock :slight_smile:
Their actual wage was pitiful compared with the cost of child care and the effort these women put in to maintain hearth and home. My argument is that these sectors of employment are being subsidised by the child care allowance, no woman would be able to afford to work at these rates if the allowance was not in place ergo the employer is receiving a subsidy for his business, my point is that to continue in business without the subsidy he would have to either arrange child care places or pay a sustainable wage, which then could be supported by tax incentives. Society in general would thus gain, the full cost of the services that these (mainly) women provide would be shown on the balance sheet and the cost of employment would therefore be supported by the clients of the business, not the general tax payer.

I realise that I will now incur the wrath of the holiday industry here but thats the beauty of frank discussion, lets turn over some more stones!

As an aside - here’s a press release I’ve just been sent which might be of interest to those of you in the UK. has announced the winners of its annual Top Employer
Awards, celebrating the leading companies in diversity and work life

The Awards were presented at a ceremony at London’s Soho Hotel on 5 October
where the keynote speaker was best-selling business author Alison Maitland.

Winner of the Overall Top Employer award was the John Lewis Partnership. It
was praised by judges for the comprehensive and embedded nature of what it
offered on work life balance. Fiona O’Hara, Human Capital & Diversity Lead
of last year’s winner Accenture, took part in a panel discussion with guests
at the event.

Awards were presented for seven other categories. These included three new
categories this year – childcare, talent attraction and Working mums

Winner of the Top Employers Award for Childcare went to the John Lewis
Partnership. The judges felt the winner of this award had a comprehensive
and broad-based range of policies and practices which addressed a wide range
of childcare issues.

The Top Employers Award for Employee Engagement went to Prudential. The
judges felt the winner had enthusiastically embraced employee engagement and
made huge and innovative progress.

The Top Employers Award for Innovation in Flexible Working went to
Accenture. The judges felt Accenture was doing something on every front and
that everything about its flexible work culture was open and transparent.
For this company, flexible working was the norm.

The Top Employers Award for SMEs with 1-25 employees went to IT firm
Hireserve. The judges praised the winner for demonstrating clearly the
business case for using flexible working. Flexible practices were clearly
communicated, including at interview stage and part timers were considered
real employees with a career ahead of them.

The Top Employers Award for SMEs with over 26-250 employees went to shoe
retailer DUO. The judges praised the winner’s array of impressive policies
aimed at supporting working parents. They recognised the skills parents
brought to the workplace, were supportive if staff had sick children and
showed flexibility across a broad variety of roles.

The Top Employers Award for Talent Attraction, went to Virtual Sales Team.
The judges felt the winner demonstrated clearly and openly in job adverts
that flexibility was part of their business model and it was clear their
approach had boosted retention.

The Working Mums Champion Award went to Mia Brennan of recruitment
company Square Mile Connections. The judges felt the winner showed
energy and commitment in driving forward innovative policies and
clearly demonstrated that they were having an impact outside their own
company in the promotion of flexible working.

The Award judges were: Gillian Nissim, Founder of; Andy
Lake, Editor of; Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Coaching
Development at My Family Care; David Dunbar, Head of BT Flexible Working
Services; and Dr Caroline Gatrell, Senior Lecturer in Management Learning
and Leadership in the Management School at Lancaster University.

Alison Maitland, co-author of a forthcoming book on the future of
work, said: “Rapid social and technological change is fuelling a
revolution in work practices similar to that brought about by the
industrial revolution. The winning employers today and in the future will be
those that adapt quickly by empowering and trusting people to manage their
own work lives and by measuring and rewarding them on results, not hours.
This requires a shift in culture and attitudes, led from the top, but
results in major benefits for employers, employees and the environment.”

Gillian Nissim, Founder of, said: “Through these
Awards we hope to inspire other employers by offering them examples of
outstanding practice which clearly demonstrates the benefits of flexible
working and good work life balance policies and practice for both employees
and employers.”

Notes for editors:

  • Shortlisted for the awards were:

Childcare - John Lewis and Workplace Options. This Award covers
childcare support, such as emergency childcare provision and childcare

Employee Engagement - John Lewis and Prudential.

Innovation in flexible working – Accenture; Buckles Solicitors; and
Workplace Options.

SME 1-25 employees - Clink Ltd; Hireserve; Square Mile Connections; Viva
Live Music; and Work Clever Recruitment.

SME 26-250 employees - Buckles Solicitors; DUO; and The Curve Group.

Talent Attraction – Hireserve; Virtual Sales Team; and Linen at Home.

Working Mums Champion – James Phipson of Clink Ltd; Karen Ovenden of
Hireserve; and Mia Brennan of Square Mile Connections.

Media partner of the Awards was ri5.

Alison Maitland, a former Financial Times journalist, specialises in
leadership, gender, and the changing world of work. Her book Future Work:
How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work, co-authored
with Peter Thomson is published in October. It sets out the compelling
business case for a change in organisational cultures and working practices
to allow employees more freedom and flexibility.

To find out more about the Workingmums Top Employer Awards 2011 go to or contact Mandy Garner on 07789
106435 or

well said :wink:

I have been reading this link with increased amazement at some of the comments but now feel like I just have to jump in in response to this particular one…

I object to your comment that women only go to work when ‘desperate’ to take ‘slave labour work’ - excuse me but some of us are actually well educated and able to hold down ‘real’ jobs

How can an ‘equal playing field’ be created when you are saying that employers should pay more to hire women that have children???

And last time I looked it takes more than a woman to ‘breed’…I always considered my child the product of his mother and his father.

I want to have a life which includes the oh so selfish ‘aspiration’ of having a career just as my child’s father does. Life does no longer stop for women when they bear children, as in the good ol’ days, we can even vote now!

I am a working woman with a child who was born in France. I returned to England and realised that I could not work as I couldn’t afford child care and, as English schools finish so early in the working day, could not see any future for a career.

In Canada, where I moved to, child care was provided at a cost (off set by taxes) before and after school allowing me to start a career whilst my son was at school not at home. If I hadn’t started a career, I would have been claiming off the state for staying at home to raise a child who was at school. And as he is now nearly 18, what on earth would I be doing now except being apt for a ‘slave labour job’. Instead I am running my own business, soon to be employing someone else and living a rewarding and fulfilling life. Just as my child’s father is.
And thank goodness for that as he left me to raise our child by myself with no financial support whatsoever. I am proud to say that I have brought my son up to respect the work ethic and have supported him financially by myself with no state aid.

Way too many sexist comments going on to reply to…shakes head in dismay!

No amount of forward planning could foresee Mortgage rate of close to 15% in the thatcher years…as for latch key kids, we arranged that there was always a responsible adult to collect them from School and to provide stimulation and support until either of us arrived home and often one of us was at home anyway.

You don’t seem to have considered the child care cooperative idea between Friends?

I know that in many areas now a days People commute, 9 or so hours at work, an hour and a half travel at each end of the day, doesn’t leave much time for a social life, so it must be hard not to be able to build or join a true social network, we didn’t have 3,500 virtual friends on Facebook, we had 35 real mates to talk to. These were all factors we considered when changing location and changing jobs, What is the move going to give us?, will we have a net improvement in our quality of life?, salaries are only money, if it costs your life too much to earn the high salary you are only deluding yourselves. I guess these are things you as a generation have not been taught, We never had a cushion of the State to fall back on, you survived and prospered with the help of family and friends.

point taken but still annoyed by the … but I’m talking about Britan answer I was given earlier when I chipped in about the system here!

I know, I know… i don’t have to get involved in a thread if I don’t want to but this one’s aroused too many people’s feelings including mine!

I’ve pointed out on other threads the ridiculous situation of going on about something that has nothing to do with France, especially as I don’t even know what Roger’s going on about as my kids were born here so I only know how things work in France - my other half (french) can’t even believe this conversation is even taking place!

Roger keep barking up your tree - we’re all sitting comfortably, state aided of course :-O, up a different tree

Never worked out the percentages of our incomes, We both worked, me full time initially for someone else, latterly for ourselves, Mary was employed part time and worked at home as a ‘homemaker’, a function you cannot put a price on. We both contributed to our life and any money has always gone into a common pot from which bills and the occasional luxury comes.It has never been a case of my money and her money, always our money ie true partnership.

One of the greatest causes of disharmony between partners is financial stress. I was lucky we could always discuss our fears, when we were younger we also found that my reasonable salary wouldn’t stretch and so we rearranged our life, called in favours owed and lent on doting grandparents to help with the kids in a family environment, even put into place a baby sitting, school and after run rota between friends, The concept of job sharing is well established, I guess we put into place a parent-sharing scheme thus Mary returned to work. This is what families did. no grants, no subsidies, no state aid, just shared need. I believe that this experience strengthened all of us, Parents long now departed felt closer to their Grandkids, Friends (including the kids) became bosom buddies and we all prospered emotionally and financially.

Why is this discussion on this forum, the original point (clearly made by a Conservative Englishman of a certain age) had nothing to do with France?!
Another thought though as my heckles are up, presumably one or two of the initially mentioned grandchildren seeking jobs are female who quite possibly have been through further education - subsidised still, despite student loans, by the state - and what a waste of money that then proves to be if they are forced to drop all that accumulated learning and experience as soon as children come along? Or perhaps we should go back to not educating women at all because they place is in the home!!

…and I’m off to take the kids to school and nounou in a minute before getting stuck into a translation :wink:

agree - marraige or a relationship should be a partnership based on equality.

the vast majority of working parents live very very modestly, it’s more a case of surviving! you have to be bloody well off or have a very good income to survive on one wage.

In an ideal world…But women can’t afford to be that dependent ( just look at the posts on the femme site). Women who entirely give up work leave themselves too vulnerable to abuse or abandonment by partners. And the children of such women are often forced to live in poverty when marriages break down. I know that we shouldn’t have to think like this. But as a woman, I have to face reality. It’s important to keep that job even if only part-time so that you have the skills and the work experience to support your family if you need to.

Did I say something? :slight_smile:

I have a problem with the abuses contained within the benefit and PC culture not with working women (I married one!) Please don’t pull the usual trendy PC ploy, try to discuss racism and you are a racist, open up a discussion on ‘gay’ rights and you are homophobic, try and discuss Child care allowances and you are anti working women.

Collins Dictionary defines breed vb 1. to bear(offspring) bring up,raise produce or cause to produce by mating. etc

Not rude just plain English.

5.3 Million X £800 pm X 12 months in a year = £50,880,000,000 all from the tax payer. On one benefit and that to Full time employees.And how many part time jobs, bashing a till in tesco’s, working for min wage in child care and care homes.
Child care allowance allows desperate women to take slave labour jobs, the rogue employers know that the tax payer will subsidise his/her business. The true cost to society should be borne by the employer, not the tax payer, If you need to employ Working Mums you should pay them enough to fund their costs, either in hard cash or in kind. This would provide an equal playing field when it comes to gender in society. Women want to have both a career and children according to the chattering classes OK no problem But don’t expect a subsidy to pay for their aspirations, let them wait until they have a sufficient pot of cash behind them before they start to breed.

James …Did you do your degree in psycho-babel?
PS as a web designer what does :- There was an error generating the navbar:
‘WpNavBar’ is undefined :-?

Para i Some one here asked me if I lived in a cave …Are you that naive?

Para ii Mothers on low incomes receive a raft of incentives to return to work including child tax credits etc. the key words here are living modestly.

para iii The great raft of PC househusband benefits are totally un affordable to both employers and the benefits service and were politically motivated to placate the wimmins/equal rights lobby. As for anyones career that insisted in taking vast sabbaticals during their critical years I will leave you to imagine.

PS as an aside, If Child care is paying £1600 per month Is that Each? perhaps there is a business opening near you? Four Kids, a room and a Norland nanny should show a break even.