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

09:31 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.


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.”



  • How would changing the benefits system help this woman and her family? It would just put others in the same situation as her. Surely logic would suggest childcare costs need to be lowered, or the government need to subsidise them more? How about businesses paying a living wage to its employees?

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • This is one of the biggest issues for Couples . If you cannot afford to have children then you should not have any , in my opinion. But then we allow those that do no work at all to have as many as they want ! So at least this lady is showing how people should act , it is always better to provide for yourself than have someone else , the taxpayer , do it for you . It gives the child or children a good example too. The benefits system unfortunately causes these dilemmas and should be changed .

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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