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Have childcare vouchers to use up - tell me how!

(5 Posts)
toomuchtooold Sun 23-Feb-14 13:09:39

So, I'm on extended mat leave with 22 month old twins who were about to go into nursery. My OH is being made redundant, probably (don't want to jinx it) taking a new job in Switzerland starting some time in the summer, while I will be quitting my own job to continue as a SAHM. We have about £3000 of childcare vouchers to use up and I'd like your advice about how to use that for the best. I basically just want some time off to get the house packed up and have a bit of a rest myself, while making life as easy as possible for the girls.

One option is nursery. They were supposed to be going into nursery and have just started settling in sessions but the first couple didn't go particularly well. I could just put the girls in for the morning and bring them home for their nap - I'd probably have to pay for the full day though as they don't do half day places.

The other thing I was thinking was temporary nanny/mothers help, someone to come and help me with them and in time look after them alone for the odd day. But it seems like an enormous faff to find someone, and I'm not sure my 3 grand would go very far.

What do you think?

apotomak Sun 23-Feb-14 15:35:31

Have you considered a childminder? It may be a better option as you will actually get time away from your children to get on with whatever you want. Childminders are usually happy to be paid per hour (some charge daily fee but do ask around).

toomuchtooold Sun 23-Feb-14 15:36:53

I was thinking it would be nice to have someone come to the house so they can nap at home, but I might think about a childminder for a half day session if I can find someone nearby. Thanks for replying!

NomDeClavier Sun 23-Feb-14 15:42:51

£3k will get you quite a bit of PT help in your home if you are flexi on hours.

nannynick Sun 23-Feb-14 15:54:15

Sounds like you won't be in this country long, so you don't want to start getting bothered with being an employer, doing payroll, that stuff.

Options:

1. Nursery
2. Childminder
3. Trying to get vouchers put back through payroll.

1. Try doing late start, early finish. So you can have a relaxing start to the day, give them breakfast, then they can do activities at nursery whilst you are sorting out stuff at home. They get lunch, have a nap (maybe) and then you pick them up mid-afternoon.
Yes, you would pay for an all day place but that is not a big issue, as you need to use up the vouchers.

2. Finding a childminder who can take twins at short notice may be tricky. Same as with option 1, you don't need to use all day. However you will need to fit around what the childminder does, as unlike a nursery they will be out and about quite a bit.

3. It may not be an option at all. Voucher company will be able to advise about if any of the vouchers can be returned. Being made redundant may be considered as a valid reason but it might not. If they do accept them back then the salary becomes taxable, so may mess things up taxwise, so ask now before end of tax year.

>have just started settling in sessions but the first couple didn't go particularly well.

Same could happen with going to a Childminder, or care at your home. It's something new to them, so they will take time to adjust.

It is not going to be long term as you are moving (would it be wise to wait until you know for sure that you are moving?) and it will allow you to do the packing of the home whilst then with luck have fun.

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