Maternity allowance

Hi all,

my wife left her previous job before finishing her 1 year maternity leave in anticipation of us moving to a different area. She was waiting until we moved to find a new job but subsequently fell pregnant and with the move being very prolonged she is now nearly 30 weeks pregnant and we have only just got settled in our new area. She feels it would be too overwhelming to seek employment at the moment whilst pregnant and with no childcare arrangements for our toddler as of yet.

With our next baby due in April she will not want to start work for at least 6-12 months so as to spend time and bond with the new baby. We want our older son to attend nursery 1-2 days a week to make this easier for her and also so that he can develop social skills etc. with other toddlers.

Given that she does not work it seems she is not eligible for any SMP or maternity allowance at all from the government which seems a bit unfair. Is there any other financial support we might be entitled to or at least help with the cost of nursery? My gross wage is £51,000 pa which I know is generous but once deductions for tax/pension and the fact we live in an expensive area with a high mortgage it will be difficult to support the family and pay for nursery costs etc.

The other thing I had considered was whether she might be eligible for job seekers benefit whilst she is pregnant?

Thanks in advance!
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