I need to have a little rant.
As you may have gathered (I am aware I have chatted a fair bit about it…) Sonny Jim has started pre-school.
It’s only a couple of mornings a week. Just to get my shy two-and-a-half year old making buddies and being brave without mummy always there holding his hand.
After a few tearful drop offs, and a now much-repeated refrain of “no school day, mama, no school” he’s settling in really well and is having so much fun.
So much so, that I already know that as soon as he turns three, I’m going to add another morning, or even another two.
Why am I going to wait until he’s three? Because that’s when his free funding will kick in.
And it’s this funding situation that has really got me in state of irritation.
Pre-school is expensive. To send Sonny Jim to his lovely nursery Monday-Friday from 9am-3pm would actually cost more than I earn. When he turns three, the Government covers 30 hours a week childcare.Unless of course, I didn’t work (and didn’t pay tax or national insurance). Because then Sonny Jim would already be getting 15 hours of free childcare (which I wouldn’t actually need because I would be at home, not working, and able to look after my child).
How it is that mums are being punished for working? How did our system get so skew-whiff? How is it right that from the moment your (pitiful) statutory maternity pay stops when your baby is nine months, until they turn three, mums need to somehow conjure up about £1,000 a month to cover childcare? We’re actually penalising mothers for working.
Is it any wonder that so many talented, driven women disappear out of the workforce until their children start school?
Where is the incentive to go to work, just to pay for someone else to look after your child? How did this happen?!