Dad-to-be needs advice

(11 Posts)
julianrcrump Sun 24-Jan-16 10:39:16

Hello-
This is my first time at this. I need some advice please. I am expecting a new baby with my partner who lives and works in Wiltshire. Baby is due in early April. I work in Central London, and unfortunately do not live with my partner. Although my house is on the market, for the time being I live in Hertfordshire.
My partner wants to use some of her maternity leave for a second job to top up her income, and insists that I take responsibility for childcare on those days, which might be 2-3 days /week from June onwards. She's not intending to work every week, but maybe for a total of five weeks before the end of the year.
We have a nursery place near my partner's home for January 2017 onwards when she goes back to work. I am not sure how best to take care of my son on the days when I need to look after him.
i) I could base myself in Wiltshire on those days and try and take him to a local nursery, but that would mean getting to work late and leaving early (to get the trains). I wondering if a childminder would be able to do longer hours than a nursery or could do wrap-around care for me.
ii) I could take my son into London each day with me on the train, but then I'd need to find a nursery or childminder near my work.
iii) I could collect my son and bring him to Hertfordshire when needed and find a local nursery, but I'd still need him to be in care for long hours and there is the problem of getting him to and from Wiltshire mid-week.
In either case, the problem is the fact that I won't need childcare every week. Has anyone been in this situation before and what would you recommend? I have just started my own business so I can't afford to take much time off. Do you think my best bet is to find a nursery, a childminder or a nanny? Should I look for care near my partner's home in Wilts and commute from there when needed or near my home in Hertford? Or should I commute with my son (the world's youngest commuter) and find childcare in Central London? I have looked online but it is hard to see the wood for the trees. I don't know whether any nursery or childminder would accept such irregular days.
Any advice would be gratefully received!
Thank you.

HSMMaCM Sun 24-Jan-16 12:21:09

See if the nursery you are using from next year would be able to help? It could be a sort of extended settling in period. You may have to pay for set days each week though. Ask them first and see if they have any flexibility.

julianrcrump Sun 24-Jan-16 12:31:31

Thank you!

TheFlyingFauxPas Sun 24-Jan-16 12:35:20

You've just started a new business. Could you consider setting a fabulous example and provide a crèche for employees? 😊

starsinyourpies Sun 24-Jan-16 12:35:45

Do not try taking a baby on commuter trains! And yes childminder may be able to do more flexible hours e.g starting earlier.

ChesterCake Sun 24-Jan-16 12:36:03

Hi Julian, I think this is going to be a really struggle for all 3 of you as a family. You cannot work whilst receiving SMP so your partner isn't going to be able to have a part time job whilst still receiving maternity pay.

ChesterCake Sun 24-Jan-16 12:38:24

Your partner will have 10 KIT days (keeping in touch) which she can work during her maternity leave, but these must be worked for her current employer not a new employer

Littlefish Sun 24-Jan-16 12:39:20

My understanding is the same as ChesterCake - your partner won't be able to take a 2nd job whilst she is receiving SMP. Has she checked it all out thoroughly?

Hamiltoes Sun 24-Jan-16 12:39:39

Yes I was just going to say that, does your parter know she can't work while on maternity leave?

If she does want to work it may be more worthwhile asking her work if she can do a phased return for 3 days per week after say 6 months. The wage will probably be more than SMP anyway?

EdithWeston Sun 24-Jan-16 13:36:29

Agree with the previous posters. You DP needs to find out more about the rules for returning to work (whether for same or different employer) and how that ends maternity leave.

If she does find a way it can be done legally, then of your childcare options only the ones based in London or Wiltshire will work, as you will may need to pick up early or whatever. Hereford only works if you have a rock solid available person to be the emergency contact, who is someone your DC is happy with and who both parents know is suitable. In Wiltshire, it would be your DP and in London it would be you. And yes that does mean that you need to leave work, no matter how inconvenient, if you are called to pick up.

For either a nursery or a childminder, you will need a regular attendance pattern. This might mean paying for weeks you do not need to use.

julianrcrump Sun 24-Jan-16 23:12:53

Thanks everyone for the kind advice. I appreciate the time taken to write replies. Good point about working while on ML. We will look into that. Thanks again.

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