I am just trying to work out childcare. I already have two beautiful DC, 9 and 5, and am (just found out) expecting number three with my new partner. Am still very shocked and panicking over logistics.
We are totally skint and I would need to return to work once my maternity pay stops at around 6 months. A good friend of mine has always used au pairs for her childcare, so I was wondering if au pairs care for young babies?
I could probably afford my current arrangements whereby DC go to breakfast club and then after school club, but I can't afford a nursery or nanny for DC3 - my head is going to explode
Au pairs aren't supposed to have sole charge of children under 3, and shouldn't work more than 25 hours per week so wouldn't cover full-time childcare anyway, unfortunately. In theory, you could probably find someone willing to do it (depending on where you are in the country) but if you pay them an au pair rate then you're likely to get terrible quality childcare and run risk that they won't know what they're doing.
Au pairs live in too - if you have a spare room, could you maybe get a lodger to help cover costs?
Would you let your 6 month old baby to an inexperienced person who just arrived in a new country?
Also are you planning to make her work full time? An Au pair doesn't work full time
well I am not helping you there. First congrats (and breathe ) . I don't think an Au pair is a good choice, unless she is an older Au pair, with baby experience/qualification, and she has limited time with the baby(for example , drop off/pick up from childminder until you come back an hour or two later).
She could come before the end of your maternity leave to spend time with baby before you go back to work.
If you want someone full time, who will drop the kids off to school, take care of the baby during the day, get the kids back from school, paid £100 a week, that's not possible that's slavery
If you want FT childcare you're not going to be paying AP rates of £70 a week, which then means that the choice is between someone who may be qualified in their own country and may speak decent English BUT may also feel homesick or isolated and not stick it out or for the sane money a newly qualified live in nanny who will be younger and less experienced, possibly still homesick but easier to get home and more likely to be focused on nannying as a career so more motivated to stick it out. Not an easy choice.
You need to do the sums and work out what you can afford really and whether you can have someone live in.
If you are skint as you say you will be eligible for help with payments towards childcare .... up to 70% of the cost. The childcare must be Ofsted registered so you're looking at nanny, live in nanny, childminder or nursery. An au pair for a baby? Never in a million years!
I am a qualified nanny with several years experience - yet even I found some days with a 6 month old baby; lonely, stressful, monotonous. However I had the support of a nanny network, spoke the same language as my bosses so was able to be contactable to ease their worries or contact them/chat to them about the baby - weaning issues, behaviour, chat about medical problems/concerns, give medicine etc etc.
I think it could be extremely stressful for a foreigner to deal with a small uncomunicative baby, with no support network.
Congratulations! I don't know about your area, but in my area breakfast and afterschool club for 2 children full-time is about 720 pounds. Aupair is about 450 pounds including food, extras etc. If you have the space, I would look for aupair for your older two, and full-time nursery for your little one, so you can have a back up if you delay from work. Also apply for tax credits (universal credits) and you can use it towards the baby's childcare. I can imagine what shock it could be, I have two of my own and just came out of massive childcare bills.
Seriously, I'm 40, never thought I would be in this position again. I split and subsequently divorced two years ago from DC dad. My new partner is younger than me, but we are very happy together and slowing getting used to the idea of being parents together.
Childcare I have no idea. I only get a tiny proportion of tax credits now due to the amount of child care I pay, am massively in debt from ex, partner doesn't earn great and I earn too much for additional help.
I would say a live in nanny is probably best. Depends on where you live, but assuming outside of London £300-400 a week.
You could also look at ways of reducing hours needed. Could you start work later in morning and partner earlier, or reverse. And then one finish earlier and one later. That way instead of needing childcare say 8-6pm, you could reduce to 10-4pm or similar.