Childcare options

Even if you're not heading back to work just yet, it's a good idea to start considering your options when it comes to childcare.

Yes, you may not be going back to work for a few more months yet, but it's by no means too early to start thinking about what childcare option might work best for you, whether that's a nursery, a childminder, an au pair, a nanny or your relatives.

You might well be eligible for some financial help with childcare, too – either in the form of a tax credit or childcare vouchers via your employer. The website has more information about these options.

Friends with children are a great help when making this decision, so don't hesitate to poll your mothers' group or contacts from your antenatal class for ideas. You can also visit the National Childminding Association website to find registered childminders and nannies in your local area.

Once you've drawn up a shortlist of potential carers, book a visit with each to have a chat and look at the facilities. Remember that some nurseries have long waiting lists, so if that's your preference, you may even want to do all this whilst you're still pregnant! Having a back-up choice or two is always a good idea, just in case your dream option doesn't work out.