Crashing head-first into The Glass Door

Away with the glass ceiling, trying to get a foot in the door is hard enough when there are no affordable options for childcare.

In early March I quit the Teacher Training course I was pursuing just before the start of the third term. It might’ve been perceived as a rash decision but ultimately student finance were not prepared to help with childcare and the course were unwilling to implement any changes that would make the last term tenable for a parent with an 11 month old baby. I quit because I received my itinerary and thought how the **** is being a parent of a young child meant to fit in with all this . Maybe they were right when they told me that I would have to make a ‘choice’.

I love spending all my time with my daughter but fuzzy days filled with Bing, Mr Tumble and a truck load of nappies will not last forever, and I will want to reboot my career at some point in the future. I’ve been making small steps to get a foot in the door but instead I’m smacking head first into the glass, faced with the prospect of paying at least £1300 pcm of childcare.

I thought I’d look into government schemes to help with the costs of daycare. The results were underwhelming to say the least. As someone who is starting out, it would be fair to say I would be stuck on a fairly frugal wage. Therefore ‘up to’ £2,000 pa of tax free childcare probably wouldn’t be enough to justify working. I then looked into Universal Credit and Will from Basildon (not real name) told me that because of the way my partner got paid I would end up getting help with childcare every two months – they were clear they could not assist me with the months in-between.

After ploughing through all my ‘options’ I was limited to shift work on the weekend or anti social hours. This could be little more than a means to an end and certainly wouldn’t help me get a foot on the ladder. With a government so obsessed with getting people ‘back to work’ this was surprising . I was finding myself smacking head-first into a glass door, forget the glass ceiling!

The fact of the matter is is that until childcare becomes more affordable or there are more schemes in place for women like me then many of us will end up as statistics. Stuck outside the opportunities turnstile. For now, I will continue my search with Lala and Po in tow.

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