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Please Help I'm SOOO Confused

I am due to go back to work at the begining of November and am just starting to look into child care. My parents have moved abroad and my oh is form Canada so also has no family here, so obviously we will need to rely solely on paid childcare. The first problem is that in my job i have to work until 6:30 most nights and also most weekends as does my oh. I have been through all the registered childminders/nurseries in the area and none of them work weekends or past 6 o'clock!
I would be happy to take a lower paid job with less hrs with my employer to try and get around this problem somewhat (tbh i would be happy to have less stress!) but i do not know if i can afoard to do this. I have contacted Tax Credits to find out what childcare help i would get & they told me they cannot tell me until i have arranged childcare and know exactly how many hrs i will be working!! How can i posibly decide how many hrs i will work and what childcare i need if i don't know how much help i will receive???? ARGHH!
It would be far easier for me to just find a new job with better hrs but my employer paid me additioal mat pay over and above SMP so as far as i know i have to go back there or they can make me pay the money back? Anyone know how this works exactly?
It's such a big stress right now that i don't need with a new baby, i cannot even enjoy the mat leave for fear of what's going to happen when i go back!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • I may not be much help but have you spoken to Citizens advice or Working Families. How old you baby? Have you asked work for flexible working hours? As you have a small child you are entitled to ask. I went back to work and have gone back parttime and more suitable hours, to fit in with childcare.
    What type of work do you do if you work late every night and most weekends?
    Have you enquired into working less hours you need to think about how much time you want to spend with baby, espcially if they still little. If you working late and weekends you wont see much of baby and if baby is still little you will obviously not want to miss out. Also I asked for less hours so I could spend time with my son and be able to get him home at a reasonable time to enable us to play and then bath and bed. Dont mean to be quite so direct with questions?!?!? Hope you get things sorted, please enjoy your time with your baby till you go back to work as they are only small for such a short time.

    30 weeks pregnant with ID Twin Boys and Mum to Luke 1 year and 2 weeks

    [Modified by: soda on August 31, 2008 04:41 PM]

  • Don't know how much this will help you but guess it's worth a try.

    As far as I'm aware if you got paid the extra mat money you have to return to the same employer - this doesn't mean the same job though as for example I am going back to do 3 days instead of full time. But I think it's to stop people taking the money and quitting their jobs or something!!

    As for childcare, I know it's difficult but I would look at finances and discuss with oh if you can afford not to have to work so much as leaving a lo in childcare for so long will be hard on you, like soda said, you only get a short while of them being little. I don't know where you work but my personnel team were really helpful in telling me how much I'd get paid for working for different amounts of part-time so I could see what I could do. Then you can ring Tax credits and give them senarios, i.e. earning x amount of money and baby in care for x hours a week - compared with earning y amount of money and baby in care for y hours a week. If you get what I mean!!

    Also, I would definately speak to your boss about alternatives now, legally they have to have a good reason for not letting you reduce your hours or work flexi-time so you can still care for your family.

    Hope you get it sorted, it's not a nice thing to have to do to be honest!
  • try i think it may help.
    also be careful giving tax credits a scenario. i told them exactly what i would be working and what my childcare costs would be. i was told i was entitled to 80% of the costs but after i took the job it turned out i wasn't entitled to anything. I originally worked evenings and weekends but this was opposite my husband so i didn't have any childcare. as you can imagine i wasn't very impressed when i found out i was working 2 days in a second job and not earning enough to cover my travel and my childcare! Is there anyway you and husband can take it in turns to be home early enough to collect your lo? take a shorter lunch break or something? i start later on a monday than my colleaguesbecause of childcare but so i can still get an 8 hour day they asked if i wanted to have a half hour lunch instead of an hour and i finish half an hour later too.
    could you advertise for a nanny to collect in evenings and cover weekends? maybe you could get an au pair!!
    I think its really irritating that you can't make an informed decision about your job/finances/childcare because its so unclear what tax credits will or won't award you!
    good luck - let us know how it goes.
  • Thanks for the replies, all advice is appreciated!
    Since my last post i have found out that i will get no childcare help from tax credits if i return full time which makes it absolutely pointless. As for part time i will still get next to nothing, it seems ridiculous, i don't know if they actually help anyone??
    Fortunately i have managed to find a friend a friend who will help out as long as it is 3 days PW max and another who will help occasionally with weekends. This is great but i hate relying on people like this and worry what i will do if either can't manage one day?
    As for my employer, they are being very difficult.
    I have been trying to get a hold of the appropriate manager for 3 weeks now to discuss my options & no call back so far. I have now found out that they want 8 WKS notice of me coming back (i have 6 WKS pay left), this is news to me as i have had no communication from personell advising of procedures e.t.c. not even when i sent in my MAT B1 form when i was 25 weeks pregnant!
    I feel like they are just trying to be difficult and am going to have a fight on my hands.
  • hi

    i know exactly how you feel, both me and my husband have to work, else we wouldn't even afford the mortgage but in guernsey (where we live) there are no tax credits/child care allowance/relief on anything and a nursery, full time for a lo from 6 months is around ??1000 - ??1200 a month. we physically can't do it but i can't not work. i am 22 wks and get 6 mnths maternity from work so will be going back to work next september but we are considering our options now!

    have you considered a nanny or au pair? do you have space for them to live in? if so it might be worth considering as you pay about ??60 a week for an au pair but obviously provide their food and accomodation.

    this is the website my friend used, she has a live in au pair and pays ??60 a week, she has 3 children and a forth on the way.

    just a thought hun, good luck xx
  • Thanks for all the advice;
    I have been back at work now for a month now & they have actually been suspiciously accomodating??? I negotiated 3 days per week in my old position so no drop in salary (ex. now pro rata). They are even working out my shifts so my oh can look after lo on my days off & no childcare costs. Not sure if this generosity is due to the rather threatening letter i sent HR after trying to sort my return to work with them and being blatantly ignored for months?
    As for Tax credits... what a bloody waste of time! I eventually found out i would get next to nothing for childcare (hence above arangement) and it now seems regardless of my drop in hrs & wages i get no more child tax credits & i think i may even be receiving a little less!

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