Childcare support when returning to work

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  • #50387 Report


    Hi, does anyone know if there’s is any support available towards childcare costs for a 9 month old when I go back to work.

    Situation is : single mum, was working full time before baby arrived, on maternity leave now, have a mortgage and pay my own bills. I’ve never claimed any benefits before now (only getting child benefit), I get maintenance but it’s not going to cover the nursery fees. I’m just worried about how many days it’s going to be worthwhile to work and how many days to put my son into nursery.

    Also, is there any other financial support that I could apply for to help towards bills ie reduced council tax (I already get single persons allowance). I just feel lost and don’t know where to start because I’ve always been financially independent and had a full time job… please help!

    #50466 Report

    Hi Mammabear

    I’m Michelle one of the Moderators here in the forum.  Great to see you posting.  There’s lots of information within the Gingerbread site that may help answer some of your questions.  You find the Information Pages via this link:

    Information – Gingerbread

    The Gingerbread Single Parent helpline may also be able to guide you in looking at your options.  Here are the contact details:

    Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925

    Opening hours:  Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4  They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered

    I hope that helps



    #50470 Report


    Thank you @gingerbreadMichelle

    this will really be helpful 😀

    #50746 Report


    Hey…very new here…and just found out I’m pregnant.

    Unplanned…I’m single and the father just says he doesn’t know what to say or what he wants…and neither do I to be honest.

    But I am like you, currently work full time, have a shared ownership property…pay everything myself and I just don’t know how I would be able to afford a baby on my own.

    Did you manage to find out what help you could get when going back to work…because if I carry on with this pregnancy I would definitely want to go back to work.

    Also…how have you coped? I’m just so scared right now…I haven’t told anyone but the docs and the father.

    I want to tell my parents but I’m just so worried…im 33 so not exactly young but still…I know how hard it will be…and just don’t know right now.



    #50749 Report


    @Kk hey congratulations on your pregnancy and sorry you’re going through this dilemma.
    I’ve not had a chance to call the gingerbread helpline which Michelle sent me the info on above, it’s on my to do list for next week.
    I told my family quite early on as I needed all the support I could get as my ex was messing me about from the minute we found out I was pregnant. I’m sure your parents will be over the moon and supportive.

    I won’t lie, it’s been tough but he is the best thing that’s happened. Babies give so much joy and I wouldn’t change it for anything. The first three months are the hardest as you are hormonal, tired and on top of that if the father isn’t involved, it is stressful. Take all the help from family and friends you can get. We are at 4.5 months and we are slowly getting into a routine where I try to nap when my boy does – it’s the tiredness that is the killer.
    I started saving some money while I was pregnant and any maintenance money I got in a separate account for when I go on SMP so I can have 9 months with my son. I’m contemplating going back to work 4 days instead of 5. Mum will hoped have him 1 day and nursery 3 days. Not sure how it’ll work but maintenance will only cover some of the nursery cost plus I lose money for dropping a day – will ask work if I can do it on a trial basis first. I know work does tax/Ni free childcare scheme so I need to look into it – all the benefits stuff seems like a minefield to me.
    I can message you on here once I get a bit more info if you want?

    I really do hope things work out for you x


    #50750 Report


    Yeah that would be so helpful please…I am looking through things but like you say its a minefield.

    Yeah I need to bite the bullet and tell my family…only found out yesterday so trying to get my head round it first.. let alone my mums 😫

    I just don’t know what to do for the best x

    #50752 Report


    Only you can decide hun, it was the best decision I made for myself to keep my baby. Every day is getting easier and I can’t imagine life without him.
    Finding out yesterday is not long to get your head around it at all. Do things at your own pace and don’t let him put any pressure on you to get rid of the baby if you don’t want to – that’s what mine did. Although now he wants to be involved in our sons life but we are not together. Will keep you posted x

    #51359 Report


    @Kk so I called the helpline and the only thing I’m entitled to is the tax free childcare option which is done through the government website. I need to look into it but it sounds like you put the money in an account and you get 20% off childcare every 3 months up to 2k per year. I guess it’s better than nothing!

    hope you’re well and pregnancy is too.


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