Monday, 24 May 2010

Child Trust Fund axed

As part of the government's plan to claw back some of the nation's deficit, the ill thought out and little used Child Trust Fund was severely cut back today, with an aim to completely axing it by 2011.

The scheme, which we partook in for Emily, gave new born children £250 to be invested in a special account under their name (£500 for poorer families). Ostensibily, this was to help pay for college or other life changing events once they turned 18. However, most critics pointed out that as the scheme was in the child's name, it could equally be used to pay for a massive drunked party as it could be to pay for further education and that parents were better off opening accounts for their children they could monitor.

Under the terms announced today, the £250 is trimmed back to £50 for the next year (£100 for poorer families) and then cut altogether.

To explain the cuts, a government official explained to BBC:

"At present, the child trust fund is based on the claim that young people will build up an asset which they can use later in life.

"But since government payments into the scheme are essentially being funded by public borrowing, the government is also storing up debts which will have to be repaid by the same young people."

We took the £250 and left it at that, so Emily when she turns 18 will get £250 plus 18 years worth of interest. There was to be a top up payment of £250 at age seven, but this has been axed as well.

It'll be interesting to see if any replacement comes about when the good (economic) times kick in.

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Monday, 17 May 2010

Terrible Twos in full terrible swing

As lovely as it is having Emily more receptive, she's getting a mood and attitude on her that's really quite shocking.

Having had a chat with Helen today, we ruminated over how headstrong and stubborn Emily's becoming and how she wants to do things her way or she flops a strop.

I guess it's up to Sue and I as parents to see past the new "personality" that's emerging and continue to steer her properly through life.

It can be quite hard when the simplest aspects of life - bath time, walking from the house to car, etc. - are met with floods of tears and the toddler equivalent of a "sit in".

This all comes as quite a full on shock considering how placid Emily was as a baby. She was happy, content and went with the flow.

To be honest, she's still all those things, but she's now realising there's a "her way" to doing things as well.

I really don't look forward to her teenage years. I have a feeling I'm in for a large amount of payback.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bib-free breakfast oversight

Two Weetabix in a bowl before milk is addedImage via Wikipedia
I put Em in her chair as usual for breakfast this morning and got her cereal ready.

As she was munching down on Weetabix, I hopped in the shower.

As I got out, I heard her smacking her bowl with her spoon which she usually does when she's finished eating and can't escape the high chair.

When I came back to sort her out, I realised I had forgotten to put her bib on and did that classic palm to the forehead "d'oh" action.

I know she's growing up, but non-bibbing Emily, especially at breakfast time is really a schoolboy error.

Thankfully the bix has soaked up all the milk, so I just had to hose down mulchy cereal from her front. 
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Thursday, 6 May 2010

More words from Emmers

We were in a playground in Purley at lunch today and Em launched a couple of new words on us.

Climbing the ladder up to a slide I was counting the steps for her and to my amazement, after I said "one" I got a "two" and "three" in reply. The last step, "four", failed to emerge from her lips. I've been trying to get her to expand her number-cabulary for ages, adding to "six", "eight" and "ten". I'm quite pleased with this late development.

Another oddity occurred today when I got home. Em was hissing like a snake. Not really sure what it was in aid of, but it was damn funny listening to her mooch around the house hissing at everything.