Keira Knightley: Only wealthy women can afford childcare in Great Britain


Keira Knightley looks insanely beautiful on the December cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK. While I know some people are kind of bored with Keira’s beauty at this point, she’s still so stunning to me, and I actually gave a little gasp when I saw this cover. The interview is pretty interesting too. Since Keira became a mother last year (to daughter Edie), she’s been dealing with the sorry state of professional childcare and maternity laws in so-called first-world nations like the UK and America. And she’s mad as hell.

On why she thinks parental leave should be equal for both men & women: “I think paternity leave should be the same as maternity leave. It’s shocking. Because you need that option. And actually, when you’re thinking about an employer looking at a man and a woman thinking, ‘Well, at some point you could take nine months or however long off, and the guy doesn’t have to.’ Don’t tell me that that doesn’t come into it! You need to be a family unit, not just have the guy there for two weeks and then go back to work and the mother left desperately trying to figure it out. I think it’s archaic that there aren’t better options.”

On the cost of childcare: “One of the things that is so shocking in this country is that childcare is unbelievably expensive. It should be, it’s an amazing thing if you’re good at it. It’s incredibly difficult, it should be well paid. But there is no option for a woman to go back to work unless she’s being paid really, really well and can afford full-time care before [her child can] get into nursery. I think I’ve become unbelievably aware of that and how lucky I’ve been to be able to afford really good childcare, because otherwise it would be at least four years out of my career. I wouldn’t be able to get back to where I’d been if I’d taken four years out. I think that’s the same for most women. And I think that’s really hard.”

On embracing the changes to her body since the birth of her daughter Edie: “It’s a different body, as it should be, because it’s done an extraordinary thing…I thought I was going to go, “God, I’ve got to get back into shape.” I actually went completely the opposite. I went, “F**k that, I’m not putting that pressure on myself in any way.” So it’s taken me a long time to get back into my jeans. I’m nearly there. Not quite there, but nearly there…”

On her energetic daughter: “[She is] like a ballistic missile. She’s at about a million miles an hour from the second she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep. She doesn’t want you to help her do anything.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar UK]

With the issue of maternity versus paternity leave, she’s talking about two different issues. It’s true that some employers will see an advantage in only hiring and promoting men because employers worry that a woman will get pregnant and take leave for months. Increasing paternity leave won’t really solve that problem, although I do agree that parental leave needs to be increased and prioritized across the board. I also love what she says about getting into shape after giving birth, although let’s be fair – I bet she lost the weight pretty quickly, because that’s just her body type.


Photos courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar UK.

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74 Responses to “Keira Knightley: Only wealthy women can afford childcare in Great Britain”

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  1. Locke Lamora says:

    Here you get 270 days for women and then 90 days that can be shared between the parents. For twins or a 3rd child you get 3 years so I don’t know the ratio. But she is right about potential dangers of bias towards women because of that.

    Here it’s kinda different. You need to be pretty wealthy to be able to stay home.
    I was lucky my grandma babysat me so my mum never had to worry about these things.

    • swak says:

      One of the reasons I retired was so I could babysit for my grandchildren and my daughters didn’t have to worry about the cost of child care. Sometimes child care is so expensive that it is better not to work because the cost takes up most of your paycheck and you are no further ahead in the long run (other than you get to spend that time with your children).

      • Dani says:

        My mom took 18 months off to watch my daughter while I went back to work. I can’t thank her enough. Mom’s like you are awesome!! Thanks for being there for us!

    • Geekychick says:

      But, you know what sucks here:
      If you’re not employed in public service (IDK how to say it in Emglsh), your employer can fire you the minute you get back to work (and usually does)
      B) for years I tried to get paid internship for my profession. I finally got an opportunity a month ago. But I can’t do it bc I’m 30years old-no matter the fact that the last year I could not work beacuse I was (high risk) pregnant and gave birth. Now I’ll probably never get a job in my profession, bc I have no way to get official work experience (I have 5+ years of experience that is not state-recognized). Just because I gave birth. And our goverment is still spouting off about how we need to have more children.
      Baby bearing policy sucks in our country, but I agree-the maternity leave in USA is just cruel. I can’t imagine leaving my baby at home when he was a month or two old.

  2. RandomGirl says:

    It’s true the cost of childcare over here is nuts. My friend used to £700+ for her daughter’s childcare a month. That’s someone’s wage right there!!!

    • BabyJane says:

      Infant care in Wichita, Kansas = $10,000/year, and we’re talking basic baby-mill places like La Petite, not private or Montessori schools. Infant care. Changing diapers and watching them nap. 10k. Absurd.

      • Mel M says:

        Yep. I live in the Midwest and full time childcare for my son who was 2 1/2 when he started going is almost $1000k a month and this is not a Montessori school but it is a learning center so more then just straight up daycare. It’s even more expensive for infants. Thank goodness he’s potty trained now so that knocks off a few bucks a week. I don’t know how people with multiple children in daycare do it. You have to be making a lot to make it worth it right??

      • JustJen says:

        I quit working when I gave birth because childcare in Northeast Ohio was the same as a house payment. The “good” daycares started at $1,000 per month. It just wasn’t worth it. Throw in dry cleaning, fuel, car maintenance..forget it!

    • spugzbunny says:

      Where is this magical place???? It’s MINIMUM £1,000k a month where I am in the UK

      • Mel M says:

        Well for us $12k a year is a ton of money and the median income here isn’t very high. And even though my son goes to a learning center it doesn’t mean I haven’t had issues with some of the things that have happened there but we’ve learned to pick our battles. The problem is that where we live there are not many options at our price point. Same with pediatricians and obgyns so if you don’t like the two in town you have to drive to another town which means a simple well visit could turn into a half a days trek.

      • RandomGirl says:

        Down south. Gosport.

    • jocelina says:

      We live in the US (Minnesota, specifically), and we were paying $20k a year for my daughter before I quit to stay home with her. And it was a very basic daycare. I mean, the people were super-nice and I know they treated my baby well, but it was kind of an older, slightly shabby building. The fancier daycares are even more. And the workers still don’t get paid very well. Nationwide in the US, daycare workers are terribly paid and often have to use public assistance to take care of their own families, which is fucked up.

      • moomoo says:

        Where did all the money go if the workers weren’t well paid? I want the money to reach the caregivers to incentivize them to do an excellent job!

    • cd3 says:

      That seems really cheap to me. I’m in Vancouver, BC – infant care is MIN $1300 / month for a basic daycare. Way more for anything ‘fancy’ or progressive and the daycares usually nickel and dime you on everything. The exception is daycares that are subsidized (e.g. there are some great ones run by the YMCA – if you can stand a several years long waiting list) or run as non profits (e.g. our daycare is run through a Christian church as part of their ministry, but you need to be comfortable with a religious education component which many aren’t). It’s absolutely ridiculous.

      • Lee1 says:

        I don’t understand why more provinces don’t try a system like we have here in Quebec. I know it costs tax dollars, but it gives back so much to society. My brother in Manitoba pays more for childcare for his 2 girls than he does for his mortgage. Meanwhile, my daughter has a space in a subsidized provincial daycare here where the educators are required to have college degrees in early childhood education and psychology and there is an on site chef preparing healthy meals which are included and I pay just over 8$ per day. It is possible. For now though, I know just how lucky I am.

      • Vb1978 says:

        Can you specify what churches? I’m from Vancouver as well and agree with the prices you mention.

    • Fran says:

      I’m paying £1300 a month for full time nursery. That’s more than my mortgage now! I’m very lucky that my employer has paid me full pay for 9 months but that’s pretty rare. 6 months full pay is considered good in the U.K.

  3. Clare says:

    What? She is really showing her privilege and ignorance here.
    MILLIONS of women go back to work after having babies – yes childcare is very expensive, but millions of women in mid level jobs somehow manage to provide care for their children AND hold down full time jobs.

    As far as I understand, child care is also very expensive in the US? At least here we have significantly more maternity/paternity leave (which I believe can be shared between parents).

    • ell says:

      did you read what she said? she’s talking about a situation that’s specific to britain, as i wouldn’t know how it is anywhere else. she never said women cannot have both, she said it’s ridiculously expensive for many women to be able to afford childcare while you work, because it’s so expensive you end up working just to pay a nursery/child minder. and in britain, it’s true.

      • Clare says:

        Actually, yes, I did read what she said.

        ‘But there is no option for a woman to go back to work unless she’s being paid really, really well and can afford full-time care before [her child can] get into nursery.’

        That is just not true. Literally dozens of women I work with have managed to have children and provide childcare for them without being ‘really, really well paid’. I agree that women get a raw deal – not least because we are consistently paid less than men for doing the same bloody jobs, but I’m sorry what she is saying is false. yes, it is true that childcare is ridiculously expensive, I agree with that. But to intimate that only women who are very well paid can go back to work, is nonsense.

        And we already have shared parental leave. The system is such that women are at a disadvantage, but I really don’t think she has a clue what she is talking about. while I agree with her that the system is NOT ok, and child care is expensive etc, I think her comments are insulting and do a disservice to women in ‘average’ jobs who manage to figure it out. I agree that they shouldn’t have to ‘manage’ and the system shouldn’t be such that child care/work balance is a struggle, but it is, and we manage, and we thrive, so please don’t pretend like we don’t.

    • Lennox says:

      Hm, I disagree. I think she’s showing awareness of her privilege.

    • Sixer says:

      She is! I understand that things aren’t equal but she doesn’t seem to know what the state of play is in the UK at all. To whit:

      We already have shared parental leave. Couples can share the year of maternity leave between the mother and the father (even though not at full pay but the £140 a week or whatever it is right now).

      Childcare in the UK *is* prohibitively expensive. But low paid parents get a 70% rebate via the tax credit/univeral credit system. Lots of things wrong with that system, but reimbursement of childcare costs ain’t one of them.

      • ell says:

        ‘But low paid parents get a 70% rebate via the tax credit/univeral credit system’

        you need to be veeeery low paid to get that. all the people in between, who are probably the majority, don’t get anything back and end up having to be pay a huge amount for childcare.

      • Sixer says:

        I just went to look it up because I know more about tax credits than Universal Credit, which is about to be rolled out.

        Childcare rebate for Universal Credit starts at 85% of eligible costs, which applies at minimum wage. Maximum of £150 per week however, and some childcare will be more than that. The withdrawal rate is 65% for pay above minimum wage.

        Not only that but everybody gets 15 hours a week of either free childcare or early years education for 3 and 4 year olds and low income people also get this for 2 year olds.

        Do not take this to be a comment about how generous the UK social security system is. I know very well how vicious and ungenerous it is. But let’s not pretend maternity and paternity arrangements are anything like as bad as in the US, or that Keira, whom I usually like, hasn’t shown total ignorance of it with her comments here.

      • squee says:

        Yeah thank GOD for the tax credit system (for this particular aspect of it). I would literally not be able to work if it weren’t for my government contributions to my daughter’s childcare!

    • Mousyb says:

      Thats literally what shes saying though…that its unfair how many people are forced to go back to work because they cant afford to take time off (because they dont have good maternity leave) and how many women have trouble finding affordable childcare.

      Yes, its the norm that millions of American women at low-mid paying jobs have to make it work somehow but as a result a lot are struggling and it shouldnt be the norm. Its become so accepted in our (American) culture at this point, something needs to change…

      • Sixer says:

        But she is saying this is the case in Britain, when it is not. We have a year’s maternity leave that can be shared between parents, a minimum level of maternity pay for that year (roughly £140 a week) and childcare is made affordable for the low paid through rebate via a tax credit system.

      • ell says:

        you don’t get a year, you get less. about 8 months iirc, because it’s divided between normal maternity leave and additional. and your salary is considerably reduced during additional leave.

      • Sixer says:

        ell, you get 52 weeks: 6 weeks at 90% of your pay and 44 weeks at roughly £140 per week.

      • Tana says:

        Hi I’m on maternity leave ATM, living in London. £140 for 8 months is nothing. Doesn’t cover anything not the mortgage, food bills, baby stuff or bills. We are really lucky my hubby gets paid well or we would have failed on our mortgage.

        Secondly going back to work in December. The only scheme available is kiddicare vouchers scheme. Which is something like £55 a week. Well the basic rate for a childminder is £45 a day. So you do the maths.

        Also the kiddicare voucher scheme is a salary exchange scheme. So no real savings.

        The only way I am affording it, is because I am working from home 2 days and the other 3 days we are using these vouchers.

        She is right that it is crazy expensive. If I wasn’t given the option to work from home
        I wouldn’t be able to afford childcare.

    • M.A.F. says:

      I would imagine for some women depending on the type of job you have as well as the location of which you live, child care may not be an option or if it is, it might be too pricey.

    • Lightpurple says:

      I think she is showing great awareness of how fortunate she is and how others struggle. She goes even further with the discussion of hiring practices. In the US, it is illegal to ask a prospective employee if children are in the future. It is illegal because employers asked and discriminated. And they STILL do. She is definitely not showing ignorance

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      “Somehow managing” can be very hard and very costly. It shouldn’t have to be a struggle. I don’t think she’s showing privilege, it sounds as if she’s wondering how other women do it and aware of the toll it can take. Yes, child care is very expensive in the US and quality child care harder to find than it should be. It’s usually a patchwork of somewhat unreliable arrangements. Some government subsidy would be welcome, as well as on-site daycare, because it is still important to have clean, safe facilities and properly trained early-childhood professionals, as well as regulation.

      As well, it shouldn’t be only “women” managing to find care, it should be men or both parents managing to find care. Women are doing heroic things to raise children, yes, but should they have to? No. Normal child-rearing is demanding enough.

  4. Lucy says:

    I see her point on parental leave however one of the main reasons why women get/take longer is because we have to physically heal from the process of birthing a child. Medically it takes a woman’s body 18 months to return the the state it was before she got pregnant, but I do agree the father’s need more time, it’s impossible for a woman to rest and heal when she has a baby to care for. I got 1 year here in Canada and my husband took 3 months off work (vacation and sick days he had accumulated over the years) so I was lucky, I don’t know how women in the US do it, going back to work a few weeks after is archaic and absolutely disgusting. The men who put these laws in place have no idea what the female body has to endure and go through to give birth, I was in pain from the fissures I had, and healing from emergency surgery, for almost 2 months I couldn’t imagine having to work.
    As for childcare, sadly it’s the case here in Canada too, we pay $1700 a month for pre-school, and honestly we opted on a private pre-school over daycare because it was only $100 difference a month so may as well have her learning French and Spanish if we’re shelling that kind of money out

    • Sasha says:

      “The men who put these laws in place have no idea what the female body has to endure and go through to give birth”

      It would seem the American women who do know still don’t care enough to demand maternity leave. It always puzzled me. But the reason the politicians don’t bring it up is because the idea doesn’t have the popular support in the US.

      Many people in the US argue that having children is ” a choice”, and therefore the parents are fully responsible. And, well, if they find it hard working while having children, they can stay home and be good little housewives!

  5. Cee says:

    I read this interview a few days ago and I loved it. I agree with her. Giving paternity leave could even things out in the working force, plus men also have the right to spend time with their newborns and help the mother out. Childcare should be affordable and inclusive.

    Where I live women get 3 months of paid maternity leave with the option to take an additional 3 months w/o pay. Men only get 2 weeks, which is ridiculous. I don’t know how much childcare is.

  6. paolanqar says:

    I still stand behind my opinion that only those who can afford babies should in fact have them.
    I see so many people with precarious jobs and no stability have 3, 4 or 5 kids waiting for the government’s help or struggling with dressing them or finding the money to feed them. That is just selfish and irresponsible.

    I agree with her here though, we want gender equality, why not give a father the same time off work as a mother.
    This is one of the reasons why people still think that women belong at home with the kids and men can work and have careers despite the fact they have a family.

    • M.A.F. says:

      It has been like that throughout history and it won’t change-the well-off have less or no children while the poor have more. More than likely has to do with education, the availability to jobs, and/or cultural background. Could that be fixed? Sure but that takes money and resources.

    • Timbuktu says:

      I actually have more friends who have 3-4 kids than friends who have 1-2 kids, and I don’t see ANY people among them waiting for government help. Of course, there are such people, but I have a feeling that most of us here on CB do not live in areas (of the US) where such people are the norm, so are you sure you actually “see” those people, rather than “assume” them?

      • paolanqar says:

        I do not live in the US so yes.. i know many people who struggle but for whatever reason they think hat a child is always a blessing no matter what.
        I disagree with that statement.

    • lisa says:

      i agree, the baby wont be born with a check in its fist to pay your bills

      dont have it if you cant pay for it

    • Gr8k8 says:

      My daughter is 8 weeks today. I took 6 weeks (unpaid) from work. My husband earns 40k a year salary- he took three days off work when our daughter was born and they docked his pay because of it. I earn $15/hour and it was essential that I had to return to work asap. Fortunately, my retired parents live ten minutes away and therefore we don’t pay for childcare. I would LOVE to be a stay at home mom…. or even just take three damn months off work… but no, 6 weeks was all we could do! It is what it is. I detest what a PP said about only have kids if you can afford it. Our family doesn’t earn much, but we are great parents and deserve a child just as much as anyone else.

    • Jennah says:

      Hi paolanqar, with the utmost respect for you (and I agreed with you the other day that many, many people have children just because it is the thing to do or for very selfish reasons), I also struggle with with the idea that having children should be a right of only better off people…

      I am for distribution of birth control to any female who wants it, and yes, the environment suffers from having too many people, but having studied both sides of the coin – forced abortions versus no access to birth control or abortion, I have always felt the important thing is to have choices available for women, whatever their choices may be, and that those of lesser means deserve choices (to have a family or not) just as much as those of more financial means?

      I am not saying it is simple but perhaps there are a lot of conceptions around welfare and the working poor which could be challenged.

      • paolanqar says:

        Hi Jennah
        i am not in any way saying that people with less money shouldn’t have a choice.. but maybe instead of 3 or more kids maybe they could settle for less.

      • Jennah says:

        Thanks paolanqar! I see. From history it seems to get thorny when the state starts to assign limits, but perhaps we can agree to disagree there.

        I guess I tend to not want to blame the women or even their partners as I have known those whose circumstances have changed drastically since the births versus a decade down the line (i.e. A loss of income or increase in debt due to chronic illness, office or plant closing down, cancer, schizophrenia, celiac, – illness upends life for sure!)

        And where I live they saddled planned parenthood, and have made abortions difficult, and many insurance plans are still backwards with respect to birth control. It is sad.

        All this to say, women’s right to reproductive help – whether for a family or not – is of utmost importance and Hopefully we can agree on that!

      • GemslieKnope says:

        It’s not always a simple as saying don’t have so many kids, I saved up to cover the cost of having a baby, then got pregnant with twins! I fully agree people should live within their means but life gets in the way sometimes. My childcare costs for a nursery would have been £1000 a month if I worked day shifts as a nurse so I was lucky to be able to work nights (still do) and use a childminder which was cheaper but that still cost £500 a month just for two days. And no tax credits for us either as we earned too much! Was hard work, I was made up when they turned 3 and they got free childcare.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      And where you live, is there open access to reliable contraception and safe abortion for more than women who can afford these medical services?

      • paolanqar says:

        I don’t know why you want to make this subject so personally complicated.
        I clearly said it is just my opinion that people who cannot afford children should’t have them. It is not some crazy idea. If you have children and have to struggle all your life and have them struggle with you, isn’t it selfish?
        Isn’t the world already filled with too many people and decreasing resources? No jobs, diseases, pollution?
        People should adopt more and stop reproducing like bunnies.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        It’s not that it’s personally complicated. It’s that many women “reproduce like bunnies” against their will and preference due to external factors beyond their control. Many women/parents know damn well they can’t afford another child but contraception is hard to find or they are prevented from aborting unwanted pregnancies.

    • Cait says:

      I underestimated the cost of parenting.

      My husband and I are both college educated, and we both work full-time. We make decent salaries. But:

      1) We live in New Orleans, where the cost of living has exploded astronomically over the past 7 years (and because of the nature of our work, we’re here or bust at present).
      2) More than a quarter of our take-home pay goes to childcare, because it’s incredibly expensive all over the place.
      3) This is a common refrain across the U.S., but despite the cost of living steadily rising, our salaries are not necessarily commensurate with the CPI. We could have lived on my husband’s salary 30 years ago. Today it takes both salaries to pay for insurance, housing, food, utilities, childcare, etc. – and we’re not big spenders beyond that. We simply can’t afford to be.
      4) I also have 3 (THREE!) freelance jobs to help pay for extras, like birthday/Christmas gifts, gymnastics, soccer, etc.

      We’re in a more fortunate position than many would-be parents, but it’s still a struggle – and frankly, no one ever realizes how much a child costs.

    • Imqrious2 says:

      When I started teaching, I was working in a school in South Central Los Angeles. The average family size (I’m going by siblings in my classes) was 4-5 kids per family. That’s *average* size. One family I taught had five siblings, each with a different father. The 11 and 12 year old 6th graders would talk about how they couldn’t wait to get pregnant so they could get their own welfare check and get their own apartments. So sad.

    • Iknowwhatboyslike says:

      I would suspect that access to birth control has a lot to do with it. That’s why organizations like Planned Parenthood is so important for low income families. Also, plenty of families start out being able to afford their kids and hardships happen.

  7. ell says:

    agree with everything, 100%. my friend had a baby last year and is now back to work, but spends more than half of her salary on childcare. it’s way too expensive.

  8. Suzie says:

    I’ve always found Kiera, along with Rachel Weisz, incredibly beautiful. When she was younger she used to annoy me with her constant pouting, but she was just very young and self-conscious. I really like her now. I like her personality and sense of humor. I don’t know why but all the celebs I find hot happen to be British: Kiera, Rachel Weisz, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Zayn Malik, and also, but he’s Irish Michael Fassbender. Years ago I had a thing for US celebs: Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Matt Dillon, River Phoenix… but not any more. I’m not sure why.

  9. Coco says:

    Ditto about the body image postpartum. I’m five weeks out from an unplanned c-section and have had body issues pretty much all my life. I always thought my body after pregnancy would be really hard to deal with but I feel completely the opposite. My body has been so strong and even though it will never be the same as before, I’m pleasantly surprised how much I don’t care how long it takes me to “bounce back”. All in due time!

    And yes, childcare is something else. We are lucky enough to be able to choose whether I stay home or not and be a one income household for the foreseeable future. My career has taken a hit and I had to turn down two job offers while pregnant because of traveling. I’ll always remember the day when it actually hit home that priorities were going to start shifting and that everything I’d been working towards career wise would be affected in one way or another. My husband had to be back at work while I was still in the hospital, it would have been wonderful if he’d been able to take some paternity leave. And I watch so many family and friends pay a huge chunk of their income to childcare. We really need to find a way to do better by families.

  10. Here's Wilson says:

    Childcare is ridiculously expensive in the US. I had my daughter in my early 20s. Even with two working parents making middle-income it was difficult. I was fortunate that I also was going to college full time and we have a program in our area discounted specifically for that. Even still I had to lean on the help of my family when I worked weekends. I couldn’t have done it otherwise. You’ll often hear new mothers that are lower/middle income say it’s cheaper for them to stay home than return to the workforce.

  11. Mikeyangel says:

    I worked for a Fortune 500 company here in the US, and got 6 weeks paid at 100%, and xould take any remaining vacation or floating holidays in top of that. My husband, who also worked for a Fortune 500 company, could take up to 12 weeks unpaid (FMLA), but only took a week of vacation. It is disgusting. Thank God my mother watched my kids when I was working, or else I would have been working for maybe 400$ a month after childcare costs (more than $350 per week for two kids). I paid my mom $200 a week which was a steal for two kids.

    I think Kiera is so beautiful! She acknowledges her privilege, which I appreciate, and brings some attention to something that certainly needs more.

  12. Malificent says:

    In the US, you are guaranteed 12 weeks off, but only if you work for a company with more than 50 people — small businesses are exempt from the Family Leave Act. And no company, regardless of size, is obligated to pay your salary during leave. I got 6 weeks paid by my employer, which was considered pretty generous. Some of the larger tech companies are offering better leaves, but that’s considered “progressive” and is entirely voluntary.

    Many of my friends went back with a 6-week-old or younger at home. I took all 12 weeks, but didn’t have any income at all for the last 6. (I’m a single mom by choice, so it’s just my income, but many of my married friends chose to go back after 6 weeks because it was too hard on their budgets as well.)

    Between unpaid lwave (or none at all), the cost of child care, and the cost of college, they hAve us coming and going in the US.

    • Cait says:

      Yup! I work for a tiny nonprofit, so they’re not required to comply with FMLA. Each of my children started daycare at 6 weeks.

    • Sasha says:

      Let’s also mention that those 12 weeks are unpaid, even for those who get them.

  13. Jayna says:

    I watched a Netflix movie she was in, Last Night, or something like that. I couldn’t take my eyes off her face and her hair. The camera does love her.

  14. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Please, please, Keira, you are beautiful- but for god’s sake- close your mouth now and then for photos

  15. Elian says:

    I love Keira. I think she’s an amazing actress and one of the most beautiful women in the world.

    I’m in the US in California. I got 12 weeks through FMLA. I used the state disability program for the first six weeks. That got me 55% of my salary and then my employer ponyed up the remaining 45%. For the second six weeks I used the state’s Paid Family Leave program so I continued to get 55%. My daughter is almost 12 weeks old and starting at the same daycare her brother goes to. We will now be paying $515/week for both of them. Trust me that in our area this is an incredible deal and still way cheaper than a quality nanny.

    It’s still almost $27k that we will be spending on child care just this year. That’s half my salary but thank goodness my hubs also has a well paying job. I love my job passionately and we also get our insurance through my job.

  16. NeoCleo says:

    I’ve never had to use child care since I never had children. But I do have a dog that I need to keep at a daycare facility because he is young and would destroy my house. I gladly pay $380 dollars a month to have him in a facility that keeps him safe and allows him to play supervised with other dogs his size.

    Extrapolating that further to children, I would gladly pay top price to make sure my children were kept safe and happy while I’m at work. But my gosh is it punishing cost-wise. I don’t know how most people do it.

  17. Angel says:

    Other side of the coin: When you are paying people to raise your children are they not worth a high wage? daycare workers and nannies across the board are not well paid. We must stop seeing it as an expense but as the most important job we will ever pay someone to do.

  18. squee says:

    I think she’s showing good awareness of what it’s actually like: that most people don’t have enough money NOT to work, and once they do go back to work they send nearly all they earn on childcare. It is exorbitantly expensive here: my daughter’s nursery is £53.50 per day (so for 3 days per week it is £700-750 PCM (would be around £1200 for full time). I earn around £70 per day, so after a reduction of £53.50 as well as £6 for petrol, i would be left with about £10 per day after working a full day and driving around for 2 hours. It would not be worth me working. It is literally only feasible for me because the tax credits system pays for 70% of my nursery bill! I feel so sorry for people who earn just above the cut-off and have to manage those bills somehow. I’m glad I work, I get fulfillment from work and it gives my daughter a chance to earn stuff at nursery and make friends. But financially speaking, if you’re in the grey area betwen low-income and rich, you’re screwed.

    • Sasha says:

      It is the same in the US. For people with 2 and more young children it doesn’t make sense for the woman to work, economically speaking. Most of her salary goes to pay for daycare. Not to mention the fact that the American workplace is pretty hostile towards family. And so many drop out of the workforce, because they feel it is not worth it. And then they cannot get back other than in some menial jobs. It affects the whole culture and the gender perception in the US because there aren’t enough women in highly paid professional jobs.

      I remember reading information a few years ago that majority of female Harvard MBA graduates weren’t working. They were stay at home moms. Even on that level women are forced out of the workplace. And their daughters are going to grow up thinking it is completely normal.

      For myself I chose to preserve through the lack of the maternity leave, unfriendly workplace and most of my salary going to the daycare, in order to keep my professional skills current. I work in IT, and there is no way to get back if you take 2-3-5 years off to raise children. Your skills will become obsolete and you’ll have to start over. But most women in my situation chose to stay home since the husband’s salary is enough to support them.

  19. Ghoulish_moose says:

    I’m from the UK, and at the company I work for, they allowed me to have 9 months paid maternity leave. It was full pay for the first 3 months, and then it went down to 80% for the next 3 and then down to 65% for the final 3 months. You’re entitled to 12 months but they don’t pay you for the last 3 months. I took that option because thankfully I was in a position to do so.

    But the paternity leave policy is that you’re allowed to take 4 weeks off, but you’re only paid for 2. I understand what Keira is saying. Why do the men get so little? It’s their baby too. Aren’t they allowed to spend time with them and bond with them too? Men get a bad rap with paternity. It’s a shame they’re allowed so little time with their new babies.

  20. Hanka says:

    Of course it makes a big difference if men also stay at home on parental leave for half a year or so. Here (in Sweden) we have 480 days. 90 days are reserved for each parent and the rest can be shared. For an employer it doesn’t matter if he or she employs a man or a woman as both are likely you stay at home with their kids.

  21. Mikey says:

    She’s beautiful. Be jealous.

    As for parental leave, the differences between male and female allowances our society recognizes can be a problem. My wife travels for her work. I don’t. When she does I need to stay with our daughters and it is a problem for my employer who seems to think only my wife should be making adjustments to her schedule for our children. Attitudes are changing, but not always as fast as some of us would like.