Going back to work after having time off with your new baby will be an adjustment for you both. Alongside the practical concerns finding and paying for childcare and getting back into work, you might feel a range of emotions leaving your child with others – enjoying being back at work or maybe guilt or sadness. It is important to understand the emotions you may be feeling and accept them. Your first day back at work will be the hardest but you and your child will adapt to the change. Working mums is a great place to find out full of tips, ideas and advice on boosting your confidence for all parents. Let your employer know in writing if you plan to continue to breastfeed when you return. Employers have an obligation to support you, speak to them and come up with a plan together. Find out more at Beside You or Start4Life.
Finding suitable childcare is a big decision, and one which depends on your family’s personal needs and circumstances. There are different types of childcare available and it can be confusing what works best for the needs of your family.
You can contact the Family Information Service for a list of registered childminders and nurseries in your area. It's always a good idea to take a list of questions (the Family and Childcare Trust have a helpful information available) to ask childcare providers and also have a look at a copy of their most recent Ofsted inspection. Start looking early, before your child actually needs childcare, and don't feel under pressure to take the first provider you find.
There are schemes for working families including Tax Free Childcare, Tax Credits for Childcare and Universal Credits for Childcare. Families will find the Government’s Childcare Choices website a useful source of information on the schemes including a childcare calculator which helps families work out how much help they might be entitled to.
You may be looking at family or friends to help out or organising care in your own home. This does not need to be OFSTED registered, but make sure your carer is experienced and trained to care for babies.
- Childcare and pre-school – find local information on childcare options including entitlements to free childcare from Kent County Council.
- Family and Childcare Trust – with guides to help you find, choose and afford childcare near you.
- Benefits and support for single fathers from Workingdads.co.uk