I have two offers from two good companies. I am in US. Both the companies are mid size. one is a consulting offer and the other is a permanent offer. Pay is more in permanent offer (not much difference but they have year end bonus.)
In company A(consulting-9 months chances of extending the contract but not necessarily), the work will be mostly development (JSP, servlet on JBOSS) In company B (permanent) the work will be mostly support and testing (not QA type but mostly finding out the problem why the application is slow, why it's not running properly , go through the log files, you should know the whole system to figure out the problem, once the problem is known, then it's the developers responsibility to fix it, some enhancement development etc). I have development experience in my previous project.I am very much confused, as the work involved in both companies is different. Money wise offer B is very tempting, but after all most important thing is good work.
I would suggest with the Option B, the permanent one. Since you have a family you can be settled, and you will have all benefits.
Moreover I feel there is not much difference between Development and Maintanence. You can learn in both, but many people here say htey want only development projects. So its ones personal wish on what they want to be.