Returning to work after a period of maternity or paternity leave can be tough. Whilst you might look forward to finally finishing a hot cup of tea, there’s going to be some decisions to make and routine changes to consider. Here are our Kids Planet top tips for making the return to work as smooth as possible:
• Get as much rest as you can!
Not easy with a little one if you’re tired and emotionally drained but try to get as much rest as you can and if possible, do some exercise each day, even five minutes is better than none!
• Start back mid-week
That first week might be exhausting as you get back into new routines so if you can, ease yourself in gently with a shorter week.
• Find support from other mums and dads in the workplace.
Lean on other parents who have similar experiences who might be able to help make the transition that bit easier.
• Talk about flexible working options in advance
Flexible working doesn’t just mean part time; it could be delayed start or finish times, a job share, working from home or compressed hours. Some of our nurseries now offer flexible hours for working parents so do ask about options available to you at your chosen childcare setting.
• Ask for help
It’s okay not to feel okay and it’s important to ask for help if you need it.
• Know your rights
If you’re returning to work after less than 26 weeks, you’re entitled to return to the same job. If you’re returning after more than 26 weeks’, you still have the right to return to the same job unless your employer has a good business reason why not. For breastfeeding mums, your employer should provide somewhere suitable for you to rest. And, whilst they’re not legally required to provide somewhere for you to breastfeed or express milk at work, you could ask if they can organise something for you such as a fridge to store the milk or a quiet, private room.
• Plan regular reviews with your line manager
It’s good to make time to talk through issues on a regular basis.
• Sort out the logistics
Feeling happy with your childcare decisions will help you feel more settled as your get closer to that first day back. Ask for a nursery tour, talk to the staff and look at their social media pages to get a feel for what the nursery is like and the activities your child will be involved with.
• Plan your nursery settling in sessions
At Kids Planet, our nursery visit programme allows us to introduce your child and yourself to the nursery and to the staff caring for your child. By the time you take up your place at one of our nurseries, both your child and you feel totally comfortable with your nursery and its surrounding. We recommend that a minimum of 3 separate visits are essential to enable your child to settle into nursery.
• Do a childcare trial run
It’s always good to prepare and plan of that first day of your new routine. Trying a dry run will give you the opportunity to sort any foreseeable problems.
• Ask about childcare apps
All Kids Planet nurseries use Parent Zone, an interactive app that allows a safe network to access information about their child’s day at a time that suits them. Our staff upload videos, and photos and parents can log on to view their child’s activity. We understand that parents want to be able to get a full insight into their child’s day when they are not with them.
If you’re a new parent considering your childcare options or are about to return to work, get in touch. Our nursery staff would love to show you around one of our award winning nurseries to help make the transition as easy as possible for you and your family.