Getting back to work

Returning to work after a break caring for children

If you want to get back into work after taking time out to care for your children, then retraining or learning can be the first step into employment. Support is available to help parents manage their childcare arrangements around work or learning.

Options available

For parents or carers who are thinking about returning to work after taking time out, there are a number of different options to consider. Many parents choose to change jobs so that their working hours allow them to have a better work-life balance. Some parents  choose to retrain in a different career – the option to learn part time is often the preferred choice. You can find information in the Lifepilot section Changing job or career.

Support with childcare

When considering going back into employment and/or learning you may need advice on finding suitable childcare and support with this financially. There is a lot of information online – including on GOV.UK – and through colleges, universities and other learning providers.

Funding for childcare often depends on a number of factors including the age of your children and your financial circumstances. There is free early education available for children aged 3 and 4 and, if you claim certain benefits, you may be able to get free education and childcare for 2-year-olds.  

The Family Information Service (FIS) in your area (search on the Family and Childcare Trust website) will be able to give you information about local Ofsted registered and other types of childcare along with advice on costs and funding. You can also search for different types of childcare through

More information on childcare and funding for students can be found in the Money matters section.

Advice for parents wanting to return to work

More general advice on returning to work or learning can be found through sites such as Netmums and workingmums.

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