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If your older DC is in childcare and you are pregnant...

(35 Posts)
MulledWineAndScully Thu 13-Dec-12 16:39:42

... what will you do regarding the older DC whilst on mat leave?

What I mean is, will you take older DC (lets call them DC1) out of childcare and look after both children?

Or will DC1 stay in childcare so you can 'concentrate' on the new baby and not disrupt routine of DC1, and also keep place at childcare.

I don't know what's normal. Sorry if it's a stupid question!

MyLastDuchess Thu 13-Dec-12 16:42:32

My DC1 is at day care 2 days per week. He loves it, and I love the break!

Maternity leave here is only 3 months though, and we have to pay for the day care place regardless.

They recommend here (NL) that you keep up your normal routine with your older children.

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 13-Dec-12 16:43:06

I'll def try to keep DD at nursery (3days) to keep things normal for her. Haven't looked at the finances though! She'll start school after about 5mths of my mat leave ,so it's not for the whole time.

MulledWineAndScully Thu 13-Dec-12 16:48:02

Yes I would like to keep DD1 at her CMs too but also depends on finances (I get paid for 4 months but then on SMP). Plus I am not sure if I will go back to work full or part time, if I reduce my hours to part time then she'd have a change in her routine anyway so I might as well do it earlier and save money IYKWIM.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Thu 13-Dec-12 16:50:39

I kept DS in childcare 3 days a week when I had DD.

He loved it and it gave me 3 days when I could rest while DD was sleeping.

Conversely, now DS can't go to childcare due to long-term illness, DD still goes so I can spend 3 days a week concentrating on DS.

redwellybluewelly Thu 13-Dec-12 20:06:38

DD has nursery four days a week, we'll drop that to two days a week once baby is here in the summer.

(Trazzle - think of you both often)

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 13-Dec-12 20:18:45

(Trazzle thinking of you and mini trazzle)

DC2 being delivered a week tomorrow.
DS went to nursery 3 days per week whilst i was working, At significant cost. Due to the horrid nature of my job i was signed off for quite a while, during this time DS still went to nursery (but I collected early). He has however recently changed to a preschool environment from a nursery. He bladdy loves it! (He was not very happy at the nursery) if he was at nursery he would of been doing 2.5 days to save some money, as it is currently he is doing 2.5 days at preschool moving to 3 days with preschool in jan (only his second week but he has settled really well).
He will keep to these hours/ days term time post DC2 as he enjoys the socialisation and activity of preschool and it gives Dc2 some mummy time, plus I can do the more boring jobs without boring DS, and financially is saving us a small fortune, plus cost of meals an petrol as the preschool is walkable.

By keeping an existing child in some form of childcare I think that this keeps them in a routine, and gives the parent responsible a break, which for me means im re-energised and a happier mum.

Pochemuchka Thu 13-Dec-12 20:24:09

When I had DS I didn't put DD into childcare as the thought never occurred to me!

This time when DC3 is born DD will be in nursery 3 mornings a week and so will DS. They both really enjoy it anyway and it'll be lovely to spend some time asleep with DC3 smile

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 13-Dec-12 20:27:52

I kept my oldest at nursery for 2 days a week partly because it gave me a break and her some alternative company and partly because I knew it was going back to work a year later and the nursery was oversubscribed and I couldn't afford for her to lose her place, nor not have one for ds.

bigkidsdidit Thu 13-Dec-12 20:28:50

DS is at a CM four days now. I'm going to keep him going two days as

1 he'll be going back to four days after my six months and I don't want to stop start
2 she takes him to a CM - only playgroup which he loves and obviously I can't do
3 I want to take the baby to baby groups
4 watching me bf for hours will be boring and at te CM he can have lots of fun

I get full pay for 18 weeks so we should manage it.

All this is only possible though because the CM lives on our street do I can pop up in the morning with DS on his bike. If it was a longer journey I might think twice

BuntysFestiveCollocks Thu 13-Dec-12 20:31:12

DS will be staying in nursery, but going to 3 days a week to keep his routine (and place!). It'll also give me time alone with dd.

SamSmalaidh Thu 13-Dec-12 20:32:51

I am purposefully waiting until DS gets his free nursery place (will probably go 2.5-3 days) before having DC2, for this very reason grin

BikeRunSki Thu 13-Dec-12 20:40:02

I am just coming to the end of ML with DC2 (in fact, she had her first settling day at nursery today ). DC1 was at nursery 3 days a week before she was born and has continued to go these days. He got his early years funding the same month that I stopped getting paid salary in mat leave, this, combined with childcare voucher (work continued to pay thus when I went on stat mat pay) means that DC1's time in nursery hasn't really cost us anything since I have been on mat leave. If you get childcare vouchers, then your employer has ti carry on paying them once you go on stat mat pay.

DC1 would have been bored to tears hanging out with a baby all day, andvthe baby would have been even more overlooked than she already is if DS did not go to nursery (and I would have died of exhaustion! ). DS and I both also need a break from each other from time to time.

DialMforMummy Thu 13-Dec-12 20:43:51

I kept DC1 in nursery full time for 8 weeks after the birth of DC2 and 3 days a week after that. It was longer and more than I expected.
As it turned out, the birth of DC2 was pretty tough, DC1 was 2ish and pretty active, DC2 hated going out (never met a baby who hated being in the pram as much as him). Having DC1 in full time child care was a life saver for me, it gave me time to recover and it gave DC2 time to adjust, I could live my days at his rate (DC2's) rather run around packing in activities for DC1. It also gave me time to bond with DC2.
I must admit I did not feel great to have DC1 in childcare whilst on maternity leave, but he was happy. His routine did not change, I think that was a good thing.
On the other hand, it also meant that he did not have to re-settle into childcare when I went back to work.
Financially it was a bit of a squeeze but worth it.
Oh, and some people did judge.
Keep your options open if you can.

Chinateacup Thu 13-Dec-12 20:45:40

We reduced DS at nursery just to the 15 free hours. If I did it again I'd probably top it up to 2 or even 3 days as when he was home I don't think he was getting quality attention ( doesn't seem too scarred by it though!).

tourdefrance Thu 13-Dec-12 21:12:59

Ds was in full time childcare when I went on mat leave. He turned 3 soon after and I reduced it to 3 days school hours which was mostly covered by the free 15 hours ( private nursery).

He was still going to be there when my mat leave ended and he enjoyed it there. It was good to have a routine and reason to get out of the house on nursery days as having worked full time I didn't know loads ofother mums.
Also meant I could nap with dc2 in the early days which helped a lot.

enjay0811 Thu 13-Dec-12 23:42:15

Reading through your posts is really interesting for me as I'll be in exactly the same position next yr. Dc1 is in school, dc2 is currently in private nursery and dc3 due in April. We plan to keep dc2 in nursery for a while after the baby is born for routine, to allow me to bond with dc3 and keep dc2 occupied n not at home bored! Not decided on how long yet but mainly depends on what we can afford. Dc1 will be on summer hols too unless we can get her a place in playscheme as I don't think I'd cope with all 3 at home!

naughtymummy Thu 13-Dec-12 23:49:35

Imo it is your reward for working hard. DH paid for Ds to attend nursery while I was on mat leave as a present for me

MulledWineAndScully Fri 14-Dec-12 12:25:58

When do they get a free place at nursery? [clueless]
DD is 14mo and will be 21mo when the baby arrives. I have no idea how we will afford ft childcare for both and thought one of us might have to take a career break. If some is free then it is more doable.

SamSmalaidh Fri 14-Dec-12 12:34:23

They get 15 hours free term times, the term after their 3rd birthday.

Eletheomel Fri 14-Dec-12 14:02:51

My little boy normally goes to childcare 5 mornings a week (when I'm at work) but when I go on maternity leave, I'm planning to have him in childcare for 2 full days a week.

My work operates a childcare voucher scheme, this means that once you go on statutory pay or unpaid, your work has to keep paying the vouchers on your behalf, so the vouchers I claim should cover all his childcare costs for those 2 days.

My little boy is really happy with his childminder and I don't want him to miss out on that when the new baby comes, especially as i wont be able to give him teh same amount of attention and it means I'll have 2 full days when its just me and the new arrival :-)

MulledWineAndScully Fri 14-Dec-12 14:20:15

I'm starting buying childcare vouchers in January but the max I can get is £200 per month or something ridiculous, and I've no idea if work pay it for me once I go on mat leave [still clueless]

Eletheomel Fri 14-Dec-12 14:24:04

If you get childcare vouchers, your work has to pay them for you when you go down to statutory pay, there was some kind of ruling in the european court a few years ago about childcare vouchers, which means that your work is not allowed to deduct them from your statutory maternity pay.

I think the maximum I can get is £243 a month, no way it would cover a full-time place, but it's enough to cover me for 2 days a week - and every little helps.

This factsheet has some info on it: http://www.payingforchildcare.org.uk/data/files/Childcare_during_maternity_leave_April_2012.pdf

lynniep Fri 14-Dec-12 14:32:13

When I was on maternity leave, I kept DS1 in nursery but on reduced hours. He didn't have funding yet (he was 2.8) but we didnt feel it was in anyones best interests to remove him from nursery completely - he needed the continuity (and we needed to keep a place at nursery) plus I needed the time with the new baby DS2.
I can't actually remember how much I reduced his hours by - i was doing 2.5 days at the time so I think it went down to 1.5 days.

BuntysFestiveCollocks Fri 14-Dec-12 14:39:40


What happens when you go back to work, then? Do they then deduct what they've been paying out in childcare vouchers from your full salary at that point? i.e. I salary sacrifice £243 a month at the moment. I will be on full pay for six months, stat for 3 months, and no pay for 3 months.

Will I then have 6 months of childcare vouchers (£1458) deducted from my first full wage when/if I return to work?

Eletheomel Fri 14-Dec-12 14:43:31

I'm the same as you, I get full pay for 6 months (during that time I'll continue to pay for my own childcare vouchers) then I get SMP for 3 months and 3 months unpaid, and during those last 6 months, my work will have to pay the vouchers.

I do not have to repay the vouchers, as it is my works obligation in law to continue paying them, they cannot reclaim them from me due to the kind of benefit they are.

So, when I start back, I'll just go back to paying for my vouchers again as I need them.

At my old work, there was no contractual maternity benefits, so my colleague paid for her vouchers for 6 weeks, but for the remaining 46 weeks of her maternity leave, her work covered her vouchers for her (she had to fight them initially, as they were unaware of their responsibilties, but that was a few years back, I think employers are more informed now, and there is info on gov websites to advise them.

Does that help?

BuntysFestiveCollocks Fri 14-Dec-12 14:47:38

Oh, that is interesting, thank you eletheomel! I'm hoping/assuming my work will be the same. That'll certainly take some of the financial pressure off!

rrreow Fri 14-Dec-12 14:51:38

DS1 will stay at nursery as if we took him out we'd lose our place (state nursery). He goes 9.30am-3.30pm 3 days a week. Once DC2 is here it'll give me some time to bond with him/her without having to worry about DS. Glad his place is part time though as I will be able to spend time with him on the other two days (& weekend of course) as I don't want him to feel like he's being shipped off & not as important as the new baby.

Eletheomel Fri 14-Dec-12 14:52:54

Bunty I know, I wasn't aware of this at all, until I was speaking to my former colleague and she told me, as I was wondering how she was still affording to keep her eldest in full time care, as I knew the maternity provision there was just the basic.

It's going to make a huge difference to me, and is a weight off my mind knowing that when you're struggling the last few months, at least childcare isn't something I'll need to be worrying about.

This link is to a UK Gov factsheet advising employers (in case your work need a bit of 'prompting' :-)


SeeYouSoon Fri 14-Dec-12 14:53:29

Dropping it to 3 days from 3.5, I want him to carry on with his normal routine as he loves going, and also want some 1-1time with the new baby.

I kept DS1 in his childcare routine. It was better for him (he loved his nursery) and meant I could breastfeed/relax and have quality time with him when he was at home.

I was also made redundant and found another job whilst pregnant, so only qualified for MA rather than SMP, but had been paying into a childcare voucher scheme which carried on at my employer's expense whilst on leave - so it also made financial sense.

SeeYouSoon Fri 14-Dec-12 14:56:53

Dont forget you and your oh can both claim the vouchers, so £243 each a month

NewRowSees Fri 14-Dec-12 15:35:34

We've decided to keep our nanny while I'm on maternity leave - financially it's a huge consideration, but DS loves spending time with her and at playgroups etc, so I wouldn't want to deprive him of his routine for 6 months, even if it means taking less time off than I would otherwise. We'll just have to be quite frugal for a few months...

BuntysFestiveCollocks Fri 14-Dec-12 16:28:26

That is fab, eletheomel, thank you! Bookmarked it for easy access!

Mutley77 Tue 18-Dec-12 20:57:09

Depends on your child I think. When DS was born DD carried on with her routine which included nursery. However when DC3 is born I will primarily have DS at home as he is such a different child and I really feel like he needs to be with me / at home as much as possible, not sure why but their personalities are very different.

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