Wed 02 Jan 2019
Now that your life has changed with the addition of a child, how might this affect your options in returning to work and earning an income, and most importantly, how will this affect your child and family life?
This is the big question that most mums face whilst on maternity leave.
There is an understandably strong pull between spending precious time with your child, and the household need for further income. Many women enjoy working outside of the family home and making a valuable contribution to society, making use of their hard-earned qualification, plus the companionship and friendship one has and develops with equally dedicated colleagues.
A nursery might be one of the best options for a new mum in this position.
The nursery environment needs to be welcoming, where children feel at home, safe and welcome, which in turn is lovely for a mum returning to the working environment after, in many case, a year away. A non-corporate and down to earth environment can help one settle more easily into working life.
Hours might be long or short, full time, part time, permanent or temporary. This differs from nursery to nursery, dependent on their business hours. Some nurseries are open all day, all week, and all year, with only a short Christmas holiday break. Other nurseries are open term time only, with shorter daily hours. There is choice and variety within the sector.
This choice of flexibility could fit well into your family life when you have a child. There is no weekend nor night shift work in most nurseries, so your evenings and weekends are free. You don't work on bank holidays and still get paid.
Temping hours are flexible and the hours you work are your choice.
If you previously worked at a nursery full time, you can have a chat with the manager/owner about reducing your hours, to fit in with your new parental status. This could be long term or short term. It is a conversation worth having soon whilst on maternity, so that you (and in turn, the nursery), can make future plans.
Quality staff (whether qualified or unqualified) are to be treasured, and nurseries are generally happy to try and accommodate your needs if they can within their business model. The nursery will need to find a part-time staff member who will cover the time you are not working, to be compliant ratio-wise.
Many nurseries allow mums to bring their child to work. However, it is not encouraged that mums work in the same classroom as their child as the child might be confused or unhappy about sharing mum's attention with other children.
There is often a good staff childcare fee discount offered too.
So whilst your child is gaining invaluable life skills and thriving emotionally and socially (the most important areas of development at this young age) within the nursery environment, you are making a fee saving, and working... making a nursery an attractive option for back to work mums.