Childcare for a large family

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    Due to my ex-partners unstable mental health I am now in the process of needing to find childcare for my children while I work.

    They already go to some childcare providers a few days a week (3 are at primary school and go to after school club 4 days a week and my 2 yo goes to a childminders 2 days a week). Their mum use to cover the childcare (watching them herself) the rest of the time but I fear she is now too unstable and unreliable to continue. I’m not going to prevent seeing the children, I just cannot rely on her for childcare on a regular basis and have pushed it too many times with work. I know they have to support to a certian extent which I am sure they will meet but it will mean taking a lot of unpaid leave at last min.

    I really want to try and offer the children the stability they need.

    I currently work full time (from home due to Covid but will be going back to the office at some point), so far I have beenable to claim back the 85% of childcare costs back each month, but now I am going to need to increase the care and it is going to have a huge dent in our finances which we are really going to struggle to afford. This is due to the cap on the universal credit amount of £1108 for 2 or more children..

    I am on a good wage so I won’t qualify for 2yo funding (which would have been starting in Jan if I had).
    I’ve been looking at funding but UC seems to still fund the most.
    I’m not complaining as I know people will be in much worse positions than myself.

    I’ve asked family and friends but everyone is working or long-term ill.

    If I had the money spare I would be willing to pay but at the rate below it would mean becoming bankrupt (I’m already on a DMP), having to move to a different house (private rental), schools etc. not just tightening up.

    Currently I am using a childminder (around £48 a day) and after school club (around £27 a day).

    Does anyone have any suggestions if I can cut my costs in any way around childcare or if I am missing any alternatives?
    If not, does anyone know someone I can call to see if anyone can help?

    Feeling very stuck and worried about the future 🙁

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