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When you had DC2 did you take DC1 out of childcare?

(14 Posts)
AntoinetteCosway Sat 20-Oct-12 11:21:56

This is really worrying me an affecting our decision about when to have another baby. DD goes to nursery 4 days a week at the mo as I work part time. If we had a second DC, without my salary (during mat leave that is) we wouldn't be able to afford to continue sending her. I'm worried about this because a) I think it would be confusing to her if she suddenly had to stop seeing her friends and was stuck with me and a newborn all day instead and b) I'm petrified about how to handle the newborn stage (which I found very difficult last time-PND etc) with a toddler around too, and also of DD not getting the attention she needs.

The only way I can see round this is to put off ttc until DD is entitled to her 15 free hours, which would mean having a 3.5 year gap between DC-and that's assuming I get pregnant immediately. Ideally we'd rather have a smaller gap of between 2 and 2.5 years-we're both broody! And would also like DC to be close in age. But 15 hours would mean that she got some continuity, could see her friends, have preparation for school etc, and I'd have 2 days of the week where I could largely concentrate on DC2.

Does anyone have any experience of taking older DC out of childcare when a second baby was born? Was it ok?

ThePinkNinja Sat 20-Oct-12 11:56:45

Ds1 only goes 2 half days .... And we are still sending him. Is there anyway you could go ahead with dc2 and pay for dc1 to go part time?

I'm sure others will come along soon with good experience and advice x

ThePinkNinja Sat 20-Oct-12 11:57:45

A point to think about is my ds1 actually no longer wants to go. He wants to stay home with "mummy & baby" ..... Your dc1 might actually feel the same?

DontmindifIdo Sat 20-Oct-12 12:04:41

can you reduce it to 2 half days? That way it's much more affordable until your DD hits 3.5.

Also remember, her friends might not all stay there, DS is 2.5 - a lot of his friends who were at nursery have left now as their parents are using private school pre-schools which start at 2.5 - also some of the council run pre-schools offer 2 mornings a week free from the september before they turn 3, this is also an option for you, you could put her name down now to be on the safe side.

motherinferior Sat 20-Oct-12 12:07:31

I kept it going three days a week. New babies are very boring for their small siblings (I distinctly remember this from my own experience). It was very nice for DD1 to keep going with her own life and friends and stuff to do, and then come home to the baby and mummy.

AntoinetteCosway Sat 20-Oct-12 12:59:04

Part of the issue is that our nursery doesn't do half days. So we could move her somewhere that does, which would be a pain in itself, or leave her where she is but have to do full days. I think 2 days a week would be fine but DH's salary wouldn't cover it sad I'm racking my brains for ways to continue making money while on mat leave!

MuddlingMackem Sat 20-Oct-12 14:19:40

I wouldn't take her out of nursery completely, we cut down DS's days when DD was born, but our nursery did do half days.

What about the school she will be going to? Does it have a children's centre attached with nursery provision so that you could move her but only once as she'd be going to that school anyway?

I know what you mean about having to wait, we were in the same situation and could only afford two at nursery once the eldest qualified for the 15 free hours. It's not the end of the world, it's just how it is, and very few people get their ideal age gap anyway, generally you just have to take what you're given. grin

Whether you move her in preparation for school or leave her where she is, is there any way that you could put some money aside each month from now to cover nursery for maternity leave if you do cut down her days. To be honest, you probably won't want her to do as much as she does now purely because you won't want to have to trail out with a newborn to do the nursery run that often, but she will still need that continuity.

nextphase Sat 20-Oct-12 14:31:03

We cut it down to 3 days/ week from when I started ML til baby was going to be at least a month old (ie 6 weeks after due date, and 3 weeks before). Then we cut it down to 2 half days, but I occasionally put him in for extra sessions if DH was travelling a lot, and I needed to nap with baby!

Are you claiming childcare vouchers? They are ON TOP of SMP, so if you don't get an enhanced maternity package, you get SMP and £243 of childcare vouchers each month. We kept mine and DH's vouchers going while I was on ML, and so our 2 sessions a week were "free", and when I went back to work after a year, we got about 3 months of nursery fees out of vouchers without having to top up with cash.

IA71 Mon 22-Oct-12 10:27:11

I've got a 2 and a half year old and a 7 month old and I have kept my older child in nursery by using childcare vouchers and saving money before I went on maternity leave. I have managed it fine (coming to the end of maternity leave now sad) and didn't ask my DH for any extra money even though I am the higher earner and went down to basic SMP. Maybe you could do two days nursery? I think its necessary if you want to spend time on a one to one basis with your younger child. When I have both of them they both lose out on attention.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 22-Oct-12 10:47:39

My employer doesn't offer childcare vouchers. (And refuse to do so. They are a school!!) DH's does, but we can't really save them as we need to use them at the moment. My salary pays for the leftover £400 odd that's due in nursery fees each month. I think it's probably possible if we save lots from now onwards, it's just difficult to do so as we're also saving for the house. I think we'll just need to do some juggling. GOD knows how we'd then cope when attempting to put two children into nursery though. I think I'd have to be a SAHM.

ShushBaby Mon 22-Oct-12 13:44:45

We are just about to have a 2.9 age gap, and luckily I get 4 months full pay so that will tide us over until just before dd qualifies for her 15 hours. So she's going to go to childcare for 2 days/week. It has meant extreme penny-pinching (dp's salary won't cover everything, even without childcare)- I've had maybe £50/month free on top of food/bills etc due to saving for mat leave. But it has been fine actually. And if you start saving as much as possible, and cutting out any luxuries, before you start trying for a baby, you will probably be able to save enough to cover it.

nextphase Mon 22-Oct-12 14:00:35

But if DH keeps claiming his vouchers, you can cut your nursery bill down to less than £243 a month when your on ML? You don't need to save them in advance?

MousyMouse Mon 22-Oct-12 14:03:49

we did 2 full days (from 5 full days) for continuity for dc and rest for me. part of that were from the nursery allowance, so only paid 15£ per week.

IA71 Mon 22-Oct-12 14:51:18

It is very full on in the first few weeks of having a newborn and toddler as you will probably be able to tell from reading some of the threads on the subject and for all the reasons that you say. I didn't go out on my own with the both of them for 4 months! However after the initial 'OMG what am I going to do' you, like every other mother, will find her feet and cope. Women are built to cope! It is very very tiring but I can already see the seeds of a close tie between my 2 children and I know that it will be all worth it in the end. I do strongly recommend you try and keep your older child in nursery for part of the week.

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