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Mum / MIL doing child care when I go back to work

(62 Posts)
Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Sun 20-Jan-13 22:00:22

I'm due to return to work in a cople of months (part time mon-weds) DS will be just 3 and DD will be 11 months. DS goes to nursery 2 days a week and this will bump up to 3 days and DD will start at the same nursery 3 days a week too.

Well that was the plan but we are now considering a radical alternative! MIL is looking likely to be made redundant with no other viable job options. We had the thought that she could come down to stay with us (they are a 2.5 hour drive away) sun night to weds afternoon and look afterthe kids. We would pay her something like what we save in nursery fees which would be a help to DHs parents financially and the main benefit for us would be we wouldn't have to put Dd in nursery when I go back to work - despite the nursery nearby being outstanding ofsted and well regarded locally, we aren't over impressed with it and DS doesn't seem particularly happy there.  We'd prob try to get DS into a preschool but for less hours than he would otherwise do at nursery.

Is anyone else in such an arrangement and can comment on how it works for you?  Is it a real strain not having time to yourselves with DP in the evenings?  That's my main concern.  Also is it awkward or difficult to get your mums / MIL to look after your kids as you want her to?  Any other negatives I haven't thought of?  I have to say I'm cautiously keen as I can foresee lots of other advantages like being able to have the odd night out and not having to miss work if the kids are unwell! 

Thanks for any insights!

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 12:30:04

Child care vouchers - I used to pick up £100 less after £243 vouchers was taken out. Dh did the same so yes we did get £500 vouchers for £200. For well over two years

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 12:33:42

They are actually advertised as saving over £1000 per year and as parents can both do it, that's over £2000 per year. He much it actually affects your pay depends how much you earn or pick. But yes, I was only £100 worse off than normal after full vouchers taken out

Narked Mon 21-Jan-13 12:34:20

So you'd pay her for the 15 hours you get free for your 3 year old?

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:03:24

'we would likely stick with plan a, ie both kids in nursery'

Whatever you decide about your MIL, please don't put your 11 month old baby in a nursery you are not 110% happy with, and don't send your DS there if he isn't happy.

A nanny would probably cost slightly more than 2 nursery places, but can take childcare vouchers, you have the option of nanny-share or a childminder. Do look into these if you're not happy with the nursery.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Mon 21-Jan-13 13:08:16

We were thinking of using the 15 hours free to fund preschool. That way DS gets the benefits of preschool but without being at nursery for such long days. It would also take the pressure of MIL if she wasn't looking after both kids the whole time.

Tbh I wouldn't feel threatened by MIL taking my place, would just be happy the kids were being cared by someone who loved them... It is only for 3 days a week too, I guess it would b harder for someone who worked full time.

Lots of interesting comments and things to think about - thanks all.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Mon 21-Jan-13 13:08:54

Thanks zoo, that's a good point.

Charmingbaker Mon 21-Jan-13 13:30:15

I have a friend who has this arrangement with her own mum and it works brilliantly for her. She works 2 days per week, her mum comes Monday night and leaves wednesday night or Thursday morning. My friend loves it granny gets the kids ready on morning, manages to get some housework done and makes dinner for everyone! They've been doing it for just over a year. It has meant her 3yo can go to the nursey attached to local school in the mornings and now has loads of friends she will start reception with.
The granny loves it, she's a very active person who loves looking after everyone.
I think it depends on your relationship, I could do it with my DM, but my MIL is a nightmare, my DH would move out if his DM moved in!
If you and DP have a good relationship it could be ideal, but you need to long talk about it, with alot of 'what would happen if...' questions.
Personally, I think your DCs being looked after at home by a family member who adores them is ideal. (and any set up where you don't have to get DCs up, dressed, fed, and delivered to nursery before your working day starts has to reduce stress levels!)

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:32:38

My mum does my childcare and we temporarily live together, DH included.

I think the first thing to say is that you don't have to pay tax or NI for her. She would register as self employed and file a tax return. HMRC wok out how much tax she is liable for. She can pay voluntary NI contributions. Wrt to the childcare vouchers making childcare cheaper, perhaps you need to look into how much it would cost that way and see if it is a doable wage for MIL at that rate.

Secondly I don't mind if my kids are really emotionally attached to my mum...I think it's nice.i accept that other people want to be the most special person in their DCs life, so you need to think about which camp you fall into!

Re living in, my mum has her own living room and bedroom, so can be quite separate. This works well as everyone gets their own space.

Also as my DCs get older, my mum does the before and after school care, which is fab. I come home from work, they are fed, entertained, often bathed and in their pyjamas, meaning I get stress free time with them, which is lovely. She also does homework!

It can be difficult at times, especially if we disagree about something to do with the kids, but we try and be adults about it.

Can you discuss all of your thoughts in detail before you start?

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:33:59

Oh, I took so long to type, I missed your post. I see which camp you fall into re emotional attachment to GPS!

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:40:01

'I think the first thing to say is that you don't have to pay tax or NI for her. She would register as self employed and file a tax return'

Check this for your own situation. The rules for being self-employed are very strict and nannies (which is what she would be I think) are very, very rarely able to be self-employed.

It may be different for doit as her mother lives with her.

Generally to be self employed you need to dictate when you work, what hours you work, how much you charge etc. In your situation it seems your MIL would be needed on days set by you and for times set by you, and would be paid a rate set by you so I'm not sure how that fits with self-employed status.

Imsosorryalan Mon 21-Jan-13 13:42:08

I did this about a year ago when I returned to word two days re week. Although MIL had my dc one day and nursery the other.
Don't want to repeat othe rpoints mentioned but just to add, what would your back up be if She was I'll one day?
My MIL naturally caught a cold etc from time to time and didn't feel up to taking my dc that day. Was a pain as she was my only option so I would have to miss a day working.

Apart from that it worked for us.

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:43:08

Zoo, I don't think set hours or days have anything to do with it. It is no different to employing a self employed cleaner every weds for example.

Worth checking though, but I don't see how it would be an issue.

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:43:46

Do you really need to fill in tact return etc as my friend pays her mum cash!?

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:43:56

Tax return

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:47:43

Technically, yes, even if your earnings are below the personal allowance threshold. Pita, but better to be legal! Cash means nothing....it still needs declaring!

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:51:52

'Zoo, I don't think set hours or days have anything to do with it'

It does, that's one of the 'tests'. Here

Indications that a worker is your employee

An individual is likely to be employed by you if most of the following statements apply to them.
• you can tell them what work to do, as well as how, where and when to do it
• they have to do their work themselves
• you can move the worker from task to task
• they are contracted to work a set number of hours
• they get a regular wage or salary, even if there is no work available
• they have benefits such as paid leave or a pension as part of their contract
• you pay them overtime pay or bonus payments
• they manage anyone else who works for you

It does say that 'relatives working in your home' come under 'different rules' and you should contact HMRC.

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:52:25

Of course! But in reality I expect many don't smile ( or maybe that's just my dodgy area!)

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:53:06

oh and cleaners also come under the 'different rules'.

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:55:43

Fair enough, but I suspect in this case registering a self employed would be legal and acceptable. Like I say, worth checking.

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:56:32

Did you check Doit or did your mum just register self-employed?

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:56:41

No, sunny, I expect many don't....but you know it would be me that was caught out and not them! grin

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:57:59

My mum is self employed for other reasons, she just declares the tiny income from me on her tax return.

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:58:14

Without sounding even more dodgy!!!... How would anybody know though? If it was between family and cash, how could anyone say or prove?!

SunbathingintheRain Mon 21-Jan-13 13:58:21

I would do this above sending them to a nursery you're not happy with. If you think it could work then go for it! But if not, is there another option?

Eg a nice childminder who could have your DD all day and eg pick up your DS from preschool after the morning?

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:59:42

I don't know how anybody would know, but I guess there are ways and means!

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