There is a wide range of options available to you including nannies, childminders and nursery. It can, however, be difficult to decide on what will suit you and your family, and therefore, it is advisable to consider this as early as during your pregnancy, particularly as some nurseries may have waiting lists of over a year.
On the other hand, nannies and childminders have much shorter notice periods so don’t panic if you haven’t managed to sort out childcare early.
Other considerations when choosing your childcare is the need for ‘wrap around care’ as well as having a contingency plan for those inevitable days when your child is unwell.
Additionally whilst budgeting for your time off, you may wish to set aside some money to start your childcare a few weeks early, to allow you and your child(ren) to settle into the new routine and ease the stress of returning to work.
Information regarding Government help with childcare costs can be found on GOV.UK at www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator
The Health and Safety Executive Guidance recommends that employers provide a clean, healthy and safe environment for women who are breastfeeding as well as suitable access to a private room to express and store milk in an appropriate refrigerator9.
If you decide to continue breastfeeding on return to work, make sure you inform your Trust to ensure that suitable rest facilities are available.
Less than full time (LTFT) training
Many people returning to work after parental or sickness leave may wish to continue their training Less than full time (LTFT).
For further information on the different eligibility criteria, the different types of LTFT training and application process, as well as how this will affect your CCT dates, please refer to the RCOG page Less than full time training page.