Every day in Britain, women are faced with the Catch 22 dilemma of choosing between staying at home to look after their children but having no money or going back to work, paying for childcare and having no money. Sadly, thanks to what seems like forever rising childcare costs and equally expensive commuting costs, many people would simply not be any better off financially by going back to work after having a child. However, there are other factors at work here that mean some women will take the financial hit or lack of financial gain to go back to work to prevent losing money later on. It’s a very difficult situation for many parents but there may be a solution for some.
Why Stay off Work?
The average bill to keep a child under 2 in nursery full time is £11,000 a year. A government thinktank recently suggested that two-thirds of unemployed mothers aren’t going back to work because childcare is too expensive while 67% of working mums stated that the cost of childcare stops them from working longer hours. One survey, conducted by Mumsnet, found one in five mothers had refused a job offer because of childcare costs and one in eight has left a job because of it.
Why Go Back to Work?
David Finch, of think-tank the Resolution Foundation, states that women will go back to work for very little financial gain to avoid losing earnings from being away from their careers for an extended period of time. He said, “That way, when their children are school-age and their childcare costs come down, they’ve kept their careers and maintained their earnings potential.” Research suggests that women’s earnings decrease by 4% each year they remain at home. Another incentive for some parents to return to work is the recent increase in help from the government to provide free childcare for children aged 3 or 4. Some parents can claim 15 hours a week and others can claim 30 hours a week depending on whether they are working at least 16 hours a week and earning at least minimum wage.
It isn’t all about money though. Some parents return to work because they want to. Whether they find their job fulfilling or miss the challenges it presents or want to be around people more, they live with the cost of childcare to return to work.
Is There Another Option?
Fortunately, thanks mostly to modern technology, there are indeed other options. Flexible working has allowed many people to work from home for some or nearly all of the working week which can have a serious impact on childcare costs. For people who want to almost completely remove the childcare costs and maximise the time they can spend with their family, then being self employed and working from home is the ultimate solution.
As being completely self employed can be very difficult and stressful, especially for people who are new to it, often the best option is to look at running a franchise business where almost all of the set up is done for you and there is initial and day to day support to help you build your business.
At Raring2go! we have a network of 30 dedicated franchisees who are working hours around their children and earning a meaningful income supported by the head office team and the other franchisees around them.
Our franchise business is a magazine and website for parents of primary school aged children which is why so many mums and dads speak to us as it is so relevant for them and in a “world” they know.
Franchising is a great stepping stone between being employed and being self-employed while others just find it a very useful way to make money, get job satisfaction and be completely in charge of their own time.