Can't afford childcare when I'm on mat leave....will this be detrimental to dd?

(21 Posts)
LittleMonster100 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:24:29

Dd is 17 months and in nursery full time as dh and I both work full time. Am 23 weeks pregnant with dc2 and plan to reduce dd1s nursery to 3 mornings a week for the first 2-3 months (while I still have full pay) to I've me some time with the newborn and to keep continuity for dd1.

After this though will have to take dd out as I will be on smp then nothing so will look after them while on leave. Once dc2 is around 1 I will return to work and dd1 will be back in Nursery say 3-4 days a week, as will dc2.

Is all this too disruptive for dd1? What else can I do? I can't pay over £1000 a month when my salary is cut or nil while on leave but worry she will suffer.

I'm very good at taking her to activites (messy play, soft play, rhyme time etc) newborn will have to fit into this.

Has anyone else done this?

quietlysuggests Fri 26-Apr-13 09:27:33

Personnaly I think its cruel and bizarre to still send a child fulltime to childcare when a new baby comes!
It will be her little brother or sister!
Let her stay home as part of the family, you'll all have a lovely time together and she and her sibling will get to know each other.

Fuckwittery Fri 26-Apr-13 09:30:59

Do you get childcare vouchers through work as there is a loophole where these continue and cannot be deducted from smp. Lots of threads on employment topic about it. It might enable you to keep her on for 1 or 2 sessions a week for continuity and a break for you!

Childcare vouchers? They continue through smp. Also does your DH's employer offer them? He can claim too.

motherinferior Fri 26-Apr-13 09:33:37

Second at least one or two sessions; I kept three days of childcare going when on my second maternity leave and it made a huge difference; DD1 got her own space and friends and didn't have to be with the new baby all the time!

Crazycake Fri 26-Apr-13 09:33:51

3 mornings is hardly full time! Did you read the original post? I think your DD will gain the most from you gradually changing her routine as you plan to do, it will also give you and new baby a few hours together and DD some time out with her friends. She will love spending time with you and the new baby and it's not as if you plan to stay at home with them all the time. Good luck and congratulationsthanks

And to actually answer your point - I reduced DS's childcare provision but kept some during mat leave. It was hard actually - I didn't like him feeling abandoned and actually stopped once baby was a few months old. However I needed the break - it was bloody hard. I stopped doing classes etc as tricky with a newborn.

orangepudding Fri 26-Apr-13 09:35:44

I would make the most of spending time with both the children while you are on mat leave.

Beatrixpotty Fri 26-Apr-13 09:54:08

I kept DS1 at the childminder 2 days a week when on mat leave.Then when I went back to work a year later both started at the same private nursery instead for 2 days per week,they were 2.5 &1.So there was a change in arrangements but after the initial couple of weeks it was fine.Your DD will love having more time at home with you when you have the baby.As both DCs will be going to the nursery like mine did it will make things easier for her when she returns,so I wouldn't worry too much about your plan.Just make sure you give the nursery loads of notice so they actually have places for both!

LittleMonster100 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:30:35

Thank you all...dh and I both claim childcare vouchers, but even the minimum session 3 mornings a week is £300 a month which dh alone cannot afford once my pay runs out. We need my smp to pay towards the rent and supplement outp mortgage as the tenants do not cover the full amount.

You should get vouchers on top of your smp?

Fuckwittery Fri 26-Apr-13 12:21:46

You should still get 243 per month childcare vouchers plus smp.... Your employer must continue to provide the benefit but can't make any deductions from smp. So you'd only have to find 57 a month. Post in employment for the links to the relevant info re smp and childcare vouchers. Or could you change to a cheaper playgroup or preschool once your dd is 2? As nursery sounds expensive!

RubyrooUK Fri 26-Apr-13 12:51:44

I am currently on maternity leave. I normally work full time and DS1 (2.7) is in nursery.

I can only take off 6/7 months and childcare round here is oversubscribed so I had to keep DS1 in nursery part time to:
A) Keep his place
B) Keep him used to going to nursery because I didn't think he would cope well with stopping and restarting
C) As a bonus, give me some alone time with my newborn. This is especially important to me as my maternity leave feels so short.

I am on SMP but that means my employer has to provide £243 of childcare vouchers that aren't deducted from my SMP. Hurrah. That has really helped financially.

It is working brilliantly so far. DS1 is really enjoying his time at home with me. He also really loves his days at nursery as it's a different pace from time with his mum and a baby (he especially did during the early days when I was a bit incapacitated and couldn't play with him). I get most of my chores done during my time just with DS2 when he is sleeping, so we have more fun times when DS1 is around.

Obviously everyone is different but I've found this really good for all of us (and affordable thanks to childcare vouchers).

RubyrooUK Fri 26-Apr-13 13:18:51

But will being at home with you full time be detrimental to your DD? No way, you're her mum!

flowery Fri 26-Apr-13 13:22:13

£300 is easily affordable if you both continue to claim childcare vouchers throughout.

flowery Fri 26-Apr-13 13:22:59

And in answer to your question, yes I would definitely keep her in for the 3 mornings, to maintain her routine and contact with nursery, and give you a break from having 2 to look after.

Beatrixpotty Fri 26-Apr-13 13:32:40

Can anyone clarify about where the money for childcare vouchers comes from when you are on mat leave?Obviously when working it comes out of gross salary.First few weeks of mat leave in my job are a proportion of my salary.Then it becomes SMP which is not paid by the employer.So if I continue to get childcare vouchers of £243 per month when I'm on the SMP bit amI right in thinking the employer is paying for the childcare vouchers?And if so, what happens if I don't go back to work in that job at the end of mat leave but get a job somewhere else?Do I have to pay back the money given as childcare vouchers? If anyone knows the answer I'd be grateful or if you could point me in the right direction that would be good but posted on this bit as quite a few of you seem to know a bit about it.Until I read this thread I had no idea childcare vouchers were not deducted from SMP.Thanks

flowery Fri 26-Apr-13 13:42:46

Yes the employer has to provide the vouchers and no you wouldn't have to pay them back if you don't go back after maternity leave.

They are a contractual benefit, so the same as if you were entitled to, say, private healthcare, a company car or similar, you'd get them throughout maternity leave.

Beatrixpotty Fri 26-Apr-13 13:58:27

Brilliant smile thanks flowery,you've made my day!

lynniep Fri 26-Apr-13 14:04:21

I think it sounds fine. I did it and it was the best solution.

Tailtwister Fri 26-Apr-13 16:09:21

I think it's good to try and maintain some continuity with nursery, especially if she's going to be going back. The last thing you'll need is having to settle 2 children when you return to work. I would definitely reduce her hours though.

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