Regulated private childcare costs

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My son is 7 months old and I am due to return to work in 5 weeks time. I have been looking for a nursery place for him so I can return back to work.

I work full time as a nurse for the NHS. I love my job and as much I would love to stay at home with my baby, I am looking forward to return back to work. However, I am now a little anxious about after having found out how much childcare is going to cost me.

The cost of a full time nursery place ranges from £195 to £256 per week, with most asking for a deposit upfront. How can this be right? With the sparse amount of statutory maternity pay I have received for the past 3 months of the leave, I don’t see how mothers returning to work are expected to pay the amounts required by private nurseries in order to secure childcare for their babies so they can return to work.

I am now stuck between whether I can afford to return to work as most of my wages will be spent on childcare fees leaving me with little and most likely hardly any money once the remainder of the bills have been paid.

I’d like the UK government to look into and regulate the amount being charged for children under the age of 2 for private childcare to make it easier for mothers returning to work.

It is not an easy decision to make to leave your small child to return to work but this decision is made harder by the high costs of childcare, forcing parents to choose between returning to work or giving up a job they love.