Working part time: 5 short vs 3 longer days ?

(7 Posts)
helenske Wed 10-Jun-15 20:37:44

I will be returning to work after the summer from maternity leave, working part time totalling 21 hours. Ds1 will be starting in Reception class in September & ds2 will be going to nursery. Trying to decide if I should work each day but within the school hours or do 3 longer days & have 2 days off.

With the former ds1 would see me more after school each day, whilst with the latter ds1 would need to go into pre & post school childcare for 3 of the 5 days but ds2 would see me more. I'm thinking x5 shorter days is the best option. I will be doing all the drop offs / pick ups.

My question is, if you could choose your working work with a pre schooler & one in infant school, what hours & days would you do?

BadgerFace Wed 10-Jun-15 21:02:23

I work three days and DD goes to nursery 8am-6pm. I don't currently have the school dilemma but I have thought about it and when she gets to school age I think the issues to think about are:

Are commuting costs a consideration? Train/tube would work out more expensive for 5 days.

Three days would be easier to find cover for in the holidays I think?

How stressful/last minute deadline orientated is your job? I would struggle to get out of the office some days working a shorter day due to the nature of my job.

It is so nice having 2 days a week off, going in every day means it's harder to switch off from work I think (again I think this is quite dependant on the sort of job you have).

Hoe flexible are your work? Could you start with one and then switch to the other to see how both suit you?

OccamsRaiser Thu 11-Jun-15 05:17:43

Another thing to consider is the cost of the nursery vs out of school hours care - I know our OSHC is a fraction of the price of nursery, so working three longer days would definitely be a cost saving.

But then depending on how old your DS2 is, how will he cope with long days? I know my little guy (12m) is often pretty ratty by the time I get home at 6pm to him and it's not 'quality' time on those days

redskybynight Fri 12-Jun-15 18:52:13

I did 5 short days at that age but had colleagues that did 3 long ones.

The main differences we noted
- I spent more time getting to and from work, luckily work was close by, I'm not sure I would have picked this option if I'd had any distance to travel

- I never had "off" time as I was always at my paid job or looking after DC (even when the youngest got to school age).

Having a whole day off especially in school holidays gives you more options with what to do.

but ...

- I never had the rush of getting in after work, sorting dinner, trying to catch up with DC etc.
- I got to spend some time with both DC every day
- I could generally factor in the random daytime events that turn up with school
- much easier to cover illness as DH could agree to work flexibly round my hours

What DH can do also has to be taken into consideration- can/will he also do school drop offs etc?

iliketea Fri 12-Jun-15 19:03:44

Personally, I would opt for 3 longer days unless school hours is term time only. Because you'll end up having to pay for childcare in the school holidays.

Or see if you can negotiate school hours during term time, and 3 long days during the school holidays if your job is flexible?

Nevercan Fri 12-Jun-15 21:48:35

I do 3 long days and I find it easier when taking holiday, enjoy the full days available to do stuff and seem to get plenty of work done once I am in the zone grin

CountryLovingGirl Mon 15-Jun-15 22:42:26

I have done both but, in the end, stuck with 3 days as it worked better (cheaper) for childcare. My job also moved 20 miles away (busy commute) so it takes me 2 hours in travelling a day.
It is nice to have 4 days a week off :-)

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