Ready to Go Back to Work – What are Your Childcare Options?

If you’ve been lucky enough to have a baby recently, then you might also be lucky enough to be able to afford to give up working and be a stay-at-home-mum.  However, most parents these days find that it takes two incomes to run the average household and it’s likely that you will be looking at returning to work either on a full-time or part-time basis.  It’s not quite as simple as that though and it’s best to think long and hard about whether it’s best to go back to work with the added expense of childcare or whether to give up work completely for a while and just get used to living on a lower income.  For those who decide that going back to work is the best way forward, we take a look  at all-day childcare facilities as one of the childcare options available.

The first thing you need to decide on is how many hours you will work for per week – this will determine how many hours of childcare you need.  Some childcare options are not suited to full time work, so if you are going back on a full time basis, then you will probably need to choose an all-day childcare facility for your little one.  All of these facilities have to be rigorously checked and undergo regular inspections from Social Services.  This means that you can rest assured that your baby will be in safe hands while you’re at work.

All of the staff who work at a childcare facility will undergo regular CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks, from the owner right down to part time workers who are there on a college placement.  The building and equipment will also undergo regular inspections , not just on an appointment basis, but drop-in spot checks will also be conducted for added safety.  The number of checks that these places are subjected to nowadays should serve to put your mind at rest about leaving your precious little bundle there for the day.

Many of the all-day childcare providers will be open for long hours each day to make sure that they can cater to parents who need to factor in a fair amount of travelling time to reach work.  If you have to make a particularly early start, then many childcare providers are quite happy for you to drop off baby still in pyjamas – as long as you take a bundle of clothing for the day, one of the staff will usually wash, change and dress your baby ready for the day.  And at the end of the day, for parents who work late – they are often able to collect their baby already batched, changed and dressed ready for bed.  This means that if your little one falls asleep in the car on the way home, it’s just a matter of lifting him out of the car seat and popping him into bed.

All day facilities can be a great childcare option for busy working parents – your baby will get plenty of attention due to the legally required adult/child ratios.  The younger the baby, the more one-to-one attention will be available.  This means that your baby will not miss out when you’re at work – but will be cared for and given the same amount of attention as he is likely to get at home.

 

Registered Childminders as a Childcare Option

If you’ve had a baby in the past year or so, chances are that you have to look at the childcare options available to working parents in the UK these days.  You may already have children that are now starting school full time and you feel that the time is now right for you to go back to work.  Whatever your reason for returning to work – whether you’ve reached the end of the available maternity leave or whether you’ve been lucky enough to be able to afford to stay at home while the kids are small, the most important issue you will be facing is how to make sure your young ones are looked after while you’re out earning a living.

Until recent years, leaving the kids with a family member or friend was usually the cheapest option available to working parents.  However, the registered childminder industry has changed radically in recent years with government initiatives that have been designed to ensure that all working parents have some sort of suitable and affordable childcare available to them.  It’s even been made possible for grandparents (or other relatives) to register as childminders so that parents can take advantage of any benefits available to help with costs even if they are paying family members for this service.

Registered childminders how have to attend suitable training courses to make sure that they are up to date with childcare best practice.  After all, babies are learning from the moment they are born and it’s now recognised that the early learning years are some of the most important years in terms of child development.  This means learning through the medium of play and people who look after small children need to make sure that they provide relevant activities that will cater to all six areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
  • Creative Development

The training provided through nanny payroll services ensures that they are able to offer the children in their care age-appropriate activities, each of which should cater to at least some of the areas of learning.  By making sure that children take part in a range of activities, it’s easy to make sure that all six areas of learning are covered on a daily basis.

Not only do registered childminders now have to undergo this training, they are also subjected to regular inspections from Social Services to ensure that the environment in which they look after children is safe and suitable for the purpose.  As well as carrying out scheduled inspections, Social Services will also make an unscheduled drop in inspection as an extra level of safety.

This means that using a registered childminder as your childcare option is now safe as well as affordable.  For those whose children are in full time school, using a registered childminder can be the ideal solution.  Many mums these days choose to become childminders when they have kids of their own.  This means that they can pick up their charges at the same time as they pick up their own children.  Your children will then be taken to the family home (and usually given a snack or a meal, whichever you have arranged for) and can then be picked up by you on your way home from work.  They will have spent their after-school time in a comfortable family home and will be full of stories about their day in school and the fun they have had afterwards at the childminder’s house.

Nanny Payroll Services in the UK

Paying for childcare services is becoming a bit of a minefield in the UK.  If you’re employing a nanny (or indeed, any other types of domestic staff), then it’s likely that you’re having to deal with paying their NI and PAYE taxes.  This means that you may feel as if you need to take a course in accountancy just to be able to deal with your normal household bills!  Or, you could have a look online at some of the experts that are now available and offering nanny payroll services to take the burden off your shoulders.

You’re sure to want to find a service that is efficient and accurate, but also one that is affordable so that you’re not adding extra costs to your childcare unnecessarily.  You also need to be aware of the benefits that are available to you to help with childcare costs.  If you’re employing a nanny who is a registered child care provider, then you will be entitled to £55 (tax and NI free) from your employer towards your childcare costs.  You’ll also need to find out if you’re entitled to any other help towards childcare, such as childcare vouchers.

Whatever you’re entitled to and however much you’re paying out on a regular basis to have your children looked after while you’re at work, the whole process can be made a lot easier by taking advantage of one of the new nanny payroll services agencies.  They should take care of all of the paperwork for you, and will also make sure that your childcare provider is using the appropriate tax code.

Using a dedicated nanny payroll service can take the weight off your shoulders and leave you with more of your precious time to enjoy yourself and your family.  The burden of accuracy can be passed on to the experts – people who have been trained to do this type of work and deal with these issues on a daily basis as part of the services they provide.  If you work full time then your time spent with your family is all the more precious and you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you do not have to worry about making sure you comply with employer regulations as a result of your childcare options.