‘Do I take my children from BSO to save money or not?’

We regularly receive questions from readers about being pregnant, parenting, parenting and the problems and dilemmas parents face. That’s why we share a reader’s dilemma every week. This week Mireille (33) presents her dilemma: “We are in doubt: should we take our children from the BSO and work less ourselves or should we keep the places?”

“It’s like this: our two children now go to after-school care two afternoons a week. That BSO is located in the same building as the school, so they are picked up at the classroom and taken care of two doors away. With our work as a self-employed person and a job with irregular shifts, we often pick them up quite early. School is out at half past three and one of us can often pick up the children around four or half past five. On days when this is not possible, they spend up to five hours at the BSO.

This means that they only use the BSO for a few hours a week, while we really pay a fortune. It costs us hundreds of euros per month and the childcare allowance is already there. In fact, it is quite a waste of the money that we could otherwise save. Only to collect them from the shelter, we, or one of us, have to hand in during working hours. I’m probably self-employed, because it’s easier for me to catch my hours at another time. That would mean that I still work a few hours one or two evenings a week, or during the weekend.

Dilemma: taking children out of BSO to save money?

We think this is worth considering, because we will still save a lot of money. The downside is that if we take the children away from the BSO, we will probably never be able to get those places back, should we need to. For example, if I take on a big job that requires more hours, it becomes more difficult to cope with this in the evenings. Moreover, the places on the BSO are scarce. Our youngest has been on the waiting list for a year for the Thursday afternoon spot. So I realize all too well that I shouldn’t just give up.

They also have a good time there and can play with other children. They often go outside and do fun craft activities. They also often bake tasty things and there are many toys to play with. They are probably less entertained at home.

However, we can use the money. It is almost impossible to counter that. On the other hand, I also really enjoy my work and those BSO days are nice because I am really alone for a while and can continue working. So if we stop with the BSO, we save money, but then I have to stop working at two o’clock those days. The spots are then forgiven and we will not get them back soon. Both options have advantages and disadvantages and we are very curious to see how other parents do this. There are probably more parents who have trouble with the balance between work and the children and the money matters that come with it. They may have an alternative that we have not yet thought of.”

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