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East Anglia: Working mum Rachael Gordon questions whether it pays to go to work

PUBLISHED: 09:31 04 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:27 04 March 2014

Rachael Gordon works full time, which just about covers her childcare costs and household bills.  Pictured here with her three-year-old son Jasper.

Rachael Gordon works full time, which just about covers her childcare costs and household bills. Pictured here with her three-year-old son Jasper.

Archant

The cost of part-time childcare in our region now exceeds average monthly mortgage repayments, new figures have revealed.

Like thousands of mothers in Suffolk and Essex, mother-of-two Rachael Gordon, juggles working full-time with childcare.

With a substantial percentage of her earnings being spent on childcare, she is often left wondering “does it pay to work?”

Mrs Gordon, 29, from Great Blakenham and who is expecting another baby in May, said: “We chose to have children and we pay for those children ourselves.

“However, we have very little disposable income by the end of each month. I know some mums who choose not to work and have more disposable income than we do.

“It annoys me that I work all hours to pay for them. It doesn’t seem fair that I work very hard and am totally shattered by the end of the week for less money.

“Both of us need to work to cover our bills. I barely see my three-year-old.”

Mrs Gordon works 50-hours a week as global marketing director for Lifesaver Systems in Marks Tey. Her husband, Rob, also works full-time in Ipswich.

She describes her childcare situation as “massively stressful”.

“It’s very difficult and expensive and massively stressful, especially as you also have traffic to contend with to get to work on time or back for childcare.

“Childcare for one day a week is £200 a month, for two days it’s £400 a month for our three-year-old. It’s so expensive and his early years funding doesn’t kick in until Easter, which is free for 15 hours a week, but that only covers 9.30am and 5pm for two days so we will still have to pay on top of the free funding.”

She added: “We certainly couldn’t survive without the help of grandparents.”

The long-awaited visit of the Flying Scotsman to Ipswich on Saturday has been thrown into doubt after a fault developed on the legend’s journey to the region on Wednesday.

Another Suffolk community is preparing for battle with its district council over proposals to build hundreds of homes which would change its character forever.

A bestselling author who has a love for Suffolk has described how much of an influence the county’s landscape has on her work as part of her address receiving an honorary degree from the University of Suffolk.

An 80-year-old cyclist says he is ‘devastated’ after the bike he has ridden for 20 years - nicknamed Ed - was stolen in Stowmarket.

A 23-year-old man has been charged with eight burglaries in Suffolk and Norfolk.

An environmental group is hoping to raise more than £57,000 in just three weeks to buy a tract of land for a nature reserve.

A Yoxford woman who has been raising money for charity from a jam and chutney stall outside her home for 20 years says she is ‘sick and tired’ of people taking a jar and not paying up.

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