LIFE-PLANNING platform Lifetise is offering parents a free childcare cost calculator to help remove the stress of finding affordable childcare whilst working.
Available to all parents across the UK, the Lifetise Childminder tool is designed to help families work out the optimal balance of working days and childcare costs, so they can negotiate with their employers and establish a more flexible and affordable lifestyle with their family.
With the cost of childcare now estimated to have risen by 5% since 2019, parents can expect to spend upwards of £6,800 per year on a part time nursery place for a child under two - a cost that many struggle to cover, especially when one parent opts not to return to work full time.
The Lifetise Childminder calculator allows parents to enter their salary, typical working hours and location before the tool brings up a range of childcare options and average daily costs based on the local area. Parents can then select their preferred form of childcare - from nurseries and nannies through to au pairs and family members - and use the gamified sliding tool to plan how many hours they want to work throughout the week
As the sliding tool changes, parents can see in real time how much this would cost them in childcare and how much of their monthly earnings they would be left with as a result.
Co-founder of Lifetise, Caroline Hughes, said: “Returning to work after starting or growing your family should be a really exciting time for parents, but it can also be quite stressful too. The thought of being away from your little ones can be worrying, settling back into your day job can take some getting used to - and that’s before you start factoring in the cost of childcare.
“We also know that it can be tricky for parents to work out whether returning to work on a part-time basis is actually more cost effective than returning full-time and paying for childcare every day.
“That’s where our Childminder tool comes in. It’s there to remove as much of the stress for parents as possible by giving a really clear and accurate picture of what their childcare is likely to cost and where it leaves them in terms of their monthly earnings.”
Lifetise co-founder, Nick Wasmuth, added: “Despite the fact that many parents are now working from home as a result of the pandemic, the need for childcare hasn’t gone away. If anything, we’re starting to see a lot of people using the tool to help them find cost-effective options so they can focus on getting their work done without the distraction that family life often brings.
“With the current cost of childcare rising faster than inflation, it’s important that parents have a clear picture of what is available to them so that they can make informed decisions that fit their budget & lifestyle.
“We’ve spoken to lots of parents who have said that using the Childminder tool has been incredibly helpful when negotiating their back-to-work packages. They have all the numbers in front of them to present to their employer, and they’re able to plan their time in a manner that suits their family’s schedule and their budget.”
Lifetise was launched in 2018 by couple Caroline Hughes and Nick Wasmuth, with the aim of helping Brits achieve their life goals through easy, simple and accessible ‘life-planning’ tools. As well as its Childminder calculator, Lifetise also offers consumers personalised home-buying plans through its innovative Homefinder tool - helping them save for a property in a much quicker and more achievable way.