Need nursery place but don't know times...

(9 Posts)
Cldillon Mon 09-Sep-13 12:47:45

So next year in September 2014 I'm going back to uni, little one will be 18 months and daddy is working full time. The problem is we need to sort out nursery I don't have my timetable yet for university, I have emailed them and there is simply no way they can let me know the timetable before august 2014 because they don't write it till then!
I have emailed a few nurseries and am visiting a few next week, but what is best to do, book a full time place and then take him out as I need/ want to, or book party time place and hope the nursery can change some hours if there's a problem.
I get a childcare grant from uni so only have to pay 10% of nursery fees, so could have a full time place paid for but not use it? but then I feel cruel taking a full time place from someone who genuinely does need it?
At the moment the nurseries just seem to inflexible!

Spindelina Mon 09-Sep-13 14:21:26

It's a right royal pain, isn't it?! Does your uni have its own nursery? If so, they are often more flexible, and give priority to children of students.

Otherwise, getting a full time place light be the only option. You can use some of the extra time to study / have a break / get stuff done, so you can focus entirely on LO when you are looking after them.

Barbeasty Tue 10-Sep-13 08:35:38

Are you going back for just one year or would you face a different timetable each subsequent year?

If the latter I would arrange a full time place.

If it's just for one year I would arrange a full time place for now, so you know it's covered, but be open with the nursery and say there may be scope for reducing days once your timetable is confirmed. It may help them to be able to offer hours to someone else later, it may turn out that your hours are so scattered (a lecture for 1hr most mornings and a lab/tutorial for 1hr most afternoons as an example) that in practice you need the full time place. And don't forget to allow yourself time for self-study and essay writing without a demanding toddler distracting you.

It's easier to reduce hours than increase at a popular, full nursery.

meditrina Tue 10-Sep-13 08:47:14

You'll surely need to study beyond the prescribed contact hours, and to do so effectively you need time when you are not engaged in childcare. Cramming it all into late nights once DC is asleep will seriously limit the amount of down time you get.

I suggest you put DC in full time. You can always seek to reduce it after your first term when you know how the course is working out in practice, rather than trying to guess what you need.

Cldillon Tue 10-Sep-13 20:36:02

You're all making perfect sense and perhaps I'm being a little naive about how easy it will be!! Just feel a bit rubbish about putting him in nursery full time when I might actually be around a fair bit, but as you say it's easier to reduce the hours. I thought I might run the scenario by the nursery last on my list and see how they react.
No nursery at uni, which I wasn't expecting to be honest!
My timetable will changed in January again which is an even bigger pain! So full time is probably sounding like the best option! I know 18 months isn't young and I shouldn't feel bad about it, I'd probably feel just as bad even if it was part time... sigh has to be done though!

insancerre Tue 10-Sep-13 20:43:30

take the full time place
that way you have complete control over when you send him in
just because you have a full time place it doesn't mean that you have to send him fulltime- but you have the peace of mind of knowing that you have free study time too
the nursery won't mind- as the fees are paid anyway

AnythingNotEverything Tue 10-Sep-13 20:51:35

What degree are you doing? Do you know what your contact hours will be?

Some degrees are all day every day, and some (like mine!) we're 8 contact hours a weeks with 20-25 hours reading per weeks. Each require very different childcare solutions.

Make sure you have time to do your prep and library time. And have some down time too! The best way to ensure success is to treat your degree as a full time job.

DS was 4 when I started degree. It was hard work, but it was worth it. I was told children were welcome in the uni library, as long as they didn't eat their crisps too loudly wink

I used to take DS in at a weekend to change books and do photocopying. He had a favourite corner where he played with his cars!

slightlysoupstained Tue 10-Sep-13 20:52:27

Bear in mind that coursework load may vary quite a bit over the term. You might have a few weeks which don't seem so busy followed by every single tutor assigning massive projects all due on the same week, where you need every minute of that full-time place.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 10-Sep-13 21:40:00

I forgot to add, they ought to know the second trimester timetable by the time you get your first trimester timetable.

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