Planning for the future

Whether you stay a full time parent or not is mostly up to you, though you may be better off financially by returning to work or learning. Juggling the demands of being a parent, cooking and cleaning, spending time with your partner or family and finding time for yourself can be difficult enough, without adding another pressure of work/studying and childcare! However most parents find that having a balance of these things that suits them, makes them and their child happy.

Get advice about your options, and what financial help is available (for example tax credits are available for working parents, and may help with childcare costs as well) from places mentioned in the Benefits section. For information about what help may be available to pay for childcare if you return to education, see here

The Family Information Service can tell you about your returning to work options, about childcare available in your area and ways to reduce your childcare bill. See here for more information.

See here for employment rights as a parent. If you need to know more about the benefits you may be entitled to while you are pregnant and after the baby is born, see the Benefits section.

Need housing advice?

Starting a family often leads to changes in other ways. If you’re starting to think about moving – perhaps because you want more independence, or where you are living no longer suits the needs of you and your new family – then speak to someone from the Housing Options Team at the Customer Centre about your housing options. It’s a good idea even if you don’t need to move straightaway, as you can start to plan for the future now. See also here.

If you are being asked to leave by family or friends or being threatened with eviction by your landlord, you should go to the Housing Options Team as soon as possible. They can offer advice and assistance (for example to negotiate more time, or advise about your rights), and may have to find you emergency accommodation.

If you feel you need some support in living independently, you can get help from a tenancy support worker. See here for more information.