A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

Babies at Work

I’ve just watched a BBC two programme entitled “Babies in the Office” which saw a London mini cab firm Addison Lee trial a Babies at Work scheme. They invited staff to bring their children to work, initially for a trial day and then for a month’s trial.

The idea being that if staff could bring their children to work there would be benefits for all concerned including:

  • Saving on childcare costs
  • Enabling parents to spend more time with their child
  • Enabling parents (especially mums) to actually come back to work after having children (a quarter of women who go off on maternity don’t actually return to work!)
  • Save the company money on recruitment costs for recruiting and training new staff when others leave for childcare reasons
  • Instil a sense of loyalty and productivity in staff

It was a really, really interesting programme and I can see both the positives and negatives that have come from it.

The average cost of full-time childcare in the UK is £385 / £5,000 a year and a study by The Daycare Trust recently showed that some working parents are paying up to £15,000 a year on childcare costs, with nursery costs having risen on average by nearly 6% in a year, whilst wages remain stagnant. With cuts to child tax credits, and a report from Aviva last year also stating that “The expense of childcare could make it more cost-effective for some parents to give up work and stay at home”,  schemes like this could mean the world of difference to the modern UK family.

The staff taking part in the scheme ranged from call takers in the call centre and administrative assistants to managers so those participating had really varied types of workloads, all with their different pressures, and the company “baby proofed” the offices ahead of the scheme and provided facilities such as nappy changing areas and feeding rooms.

The trial did have it’s high’s and lows and it wasn’t always easy for the children, parents and colleagues. Some days went better than others and if a child was over-tired, ill or under stimulated you can imagine the consequences. It seemed that the older the child (2+) the tougher it was but this is obviously because they need more attention and are more mobile.

There was a big variation on people’s views on the scheme initially, with many, especially male colleagues, very unsure of the scheme. However as the trial progressed it was interesting to see the change in views and the initial sceptics holding their hands up to admit their views had changed.

Babies at Work schemes have been running for some time in the USA and there are currently 170 companies running the scheme.

The Arizona State Department of Health runs a babies at work scheme. Will Humble, the director of the agency says: “We’ve invested a lot of effort in that middle management team and a lot of them are women in their thirties and they’re having babies and we can’t afford to lose them. What we gain is a long term increase in our productivity and we build and continue to reinforce the commitment we have with our employees, which helps us in the long run to retain those critical employees that may have made another choice.” (BBC – Eight Radical Solutions to the Childcare Issue)

I think that is an excellent and refreshing way for companies to think and frankly more companies should have that view! However I am also inclined to think that such schemes will have limitations in some environments, depending on people’s jobs and I can understand some parents wishing to have their parental / home life and work life separate. However I think to run a scheme like this and give people the choice is fantastic.

Addison Lee actually decided to introduce the scheme on a permanent basis and to combat the issue of older toddlers they have introduced an on-site nursery. One member of staff said it would save her £1,000 a month!!! I for one look forward to hearing how it goes and hope this is a step forward. In this time of austerity and with financial support for families being slashed something needs to radically change and I commend Addison lee for taking such a leap of faith! I would love to hear your views? What would being able to take your baby to work mean to you? Did you watch the programme? What did you think?

If you want to read more about the programme why not take a look at this Telegraph article or visit the BBC i-Player and take a look.


Friday Pick{ture Book} – Muffin and The Birthday Surprise (Clara Vulliamy)

The legendary and popular @HomeDad75’s #FictionFriday has now been replaced by #FridayPick{tureBook} being run by the fab Child Led Chaos so this week I decided to join in and share a fab book we have just received from a wonderful lady and author.

Many of you may have read my posts relating to Martha and The Bunny Brothers, written by the lovely and talented Clara Vulliamy.

Well we were recently very lucky and honoured to be sent two signed books by Clara “Muffin and the Birthday Surprise” and “Muffin and the Expedition”.

My daughter has LOVED them since they arrived and we just had to share them with you!

The book I am choosing to highlight this week as part of this new fiction linky is Muffin and the Birthday Surprise (Clara Vulliamy, Orchard Books, 2011)

The Muffin series is specially written for pre-schoolers and has lovely engaging and colourful illustrations to accompany the really fun stories!

Muffin and the Birthday Surprise

“Muffin jumps out of bed and hurries to the letterbox, an invitation has arrived!”

Muffin is going to his friends birthday and sets off with a big bag of sugar buns, but as hunger sets in en route he soon finds himself with an empty bag for a present!

How will Muffin get around this one??? Well with imagination of course!

I won’t share the outcome of the story but lets just say all’s well that ends well and it really encourages little ones to use their imagination!

It’s a lovely fun story, I’d really recommend this book (and the other Muffin books too!) to any mums with young children!

If you want to join in with the new Friday Pick{ture Book} linky why not hop on over the Child Led Chaos and link up your favourites


I am a Pretty.Little.Thing

Wow I am a lucky girl I have been awarded yet another picture of the week, this time by the lovely Lisa at Hollybobbs for my entry to Pretty.Little.Things last week.

The theme was Funky Footwear and I just couldn’t help but share this pic of my little girl wearing her winter boots with pride in the hight of the last heatwave we had!

I’ve been given this rather gorgeous badge to display. Thank you!

This week’s theme is “favourite bathtime toy”

Yes… you are seeing right… this is our fave bathroom “toy” at the minute… making bubbly potions in empty bottles with daddy using mummy’s bubblebath! No expense spared!!!

Now, why not hop on over to Hollybobb’s blog and link up your pics?


A Walk in The Park

Me, hubby our little girl and grandad had a lovely day out recently in between all the torrential downpours!

Because it’s rained so much everything looked so green, lush and full of life though.

We saw ducks, coots, swans, geese and all their little babies, it was great fun and really relaxing.

Here’s a few pics from our great day out

What have you been up to?



See it Snap it Love it – Candid

I am thrilled to have been chosen as Photo of the Week in See it Snap it Love it hosted by the lovely Lucy across at Dear Beautiful Boy for my Peace and Quiet entry.

Thank you so much I am very chuffed! *Doing a little dance around the room*

So now I have calmed down from my excitement it’s on to this week’s theme….


Well I have to admit I struggled on this one but looking through my pics it just had to be this…

simply known to us as ‘The Scream’!

Want to join in? why not hop on over to Dear Beautiful Boy and share your pic?



The lovely  Love From Mummy and Hollybobb’s are once again hosting the fab linky that is Pretty.Little.Things and this week’s theme is Funky Footwear.

I IMMEDIATELY again knew which picture I wanted to share and it just HAD to be this one taken a few weeks ago…

It was a red hot day and my daughter opened her wardrobe, found these boots and INSISTED on wearing them! She had a denim dress on and it looked hilarious!

Then when she climbed in her old bouncer, that she is now a bit big and we had actually got it out for her baby cousin,… well it just looked even funnier!

Kids really do make you smile!

If you want to join in Pretty.Little.Things it’s being hosted this week across at Love From Mummy’s blog 


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