"I think we'll end up with a rich/poor divide on childcare"
Megan, from Olney in Buckinghamshire, is a trained auditor but no longer works because the cost of childcare for her two children Bethan, two, and James, one, is too expensive.
“When I looked at going back to work the cost of childcare as well as petrol, parking and clothes for work meant I was going to be losing money,” she says.
“If the Government want parents to be able to go back to work they need to address the cost of returning to work without reducing the quality of childcare.
“I think we’ll end up with a rich/poor divide where rich people can send their children to good quality nurseries and the rest of us will end up with a poor carer to children ratio.”
While her husband Tim has a full-time job as a senior software developer the family are still struggling on a tight budget. To save money Megan now cooks more meals from scratch and buys own-brand food and baby products whenever she can.
“Before I had the children I’d buy Bird’s Eye as opposed to Asda. Now there’s four mouths to feed and only one salary! Just because it’s not a branded product doesn’t mean it’s not good quality. And I find Little Angels nappies even better than Huggies, much more absorbent. We even use Asda bath products for our son who has eczema and he never reacts to them.”
Megan does most of her shopping online with Asda and also visits our Milton Keynes store about once every two months. Like many mums she now plans her meals in advance and sticks to a shopping list, trying not to buy extra things during the week.
“I find it easier to keep track of what I buy and what I spend online, andd I’ve got all my favourites stored,” she says.
The family have also tried to cut their utility bills by installing a water meter and buying individual heaters for the children’s bedrooms so they don’t have to heat the whole house at night.
Megan also says she uses her car less to save on petrol “My family live in the next town about a 20 minute drive away. We’ve gone from going 2-3 times a week to visiting once a week, purely because of the cost of petrol.”