Feeling overwhelmed(23 Posts)
So....my DD did not get a place at any of the primary schools we chose. I moved to a new town with my dd and new partner last September just before I gave birth to DS . Dd settled with a new childminder and has made friends there ...she is a lovely, bubbly, happy child. The childminders have been very supportive and flexible with DD going for her 15 free hours a week. They were going to take DD and the baby with the other children to school and pick her up. I would leave the hospital to collect them when last patient seen.
I have to return to work in eight weeks to a busy job running a specialist team at a local hospital. I start at 8am and finnish at six with a forty minute commute and need to allow twenty minutes to park. DP is between contracts but they often involve working away.
So...my problem is I have been offered a place for DD at a local school which has a breakfast club which opens at 8 am and an after school club till six. My current childminder drops off at the school we did not get into. I need to be starting my commute at 7.20 at latest and this in part as there will be no parking anywhere if I set off later. I have looked into other childminders but they cannot take the baby. This still leaves me with the headache of how to get DD to and from school.
I told DD yesterday that we could take a walk over to look at her new school and put baby in pram. As the crow flies it should be ten minute walk but the only access is hundreds of steps or a drive round the estate. Nobody locally has said anything positive about the school and many locally drive their kids to the next village. The estate and school do not have a good vibe or reputation.
I feel numb with the complexity of returning to work, childcare complexity, the feeling that I have let DD down again as we didn't,t get in to better school with friends. The baby doesn't,t sleep so maybe I am low due to that......any advice much appreciated!!
Not sleeping is a killer and when you are knackered even paradise would look a bit shabby. 💝
Get on the waiting list for the school you want places may come up.
Start to look for a childminder that does the school you have been allocated, either just to do drop off and pick up of older child and baby continues at current childminder or to do both. Start now as schools have been allocated and people will be sorting childcare arrangements. Consider doing same for breakfast and after school club at school in case.
As you need to leave the house at 7am and don't get back till 7pm, even with a good childminder many don't cover those hours and it's a heck of a long day in childcare for a new school starter. Can you vary your Woking hours, submit a flexible working application? Presumably you don't do those hours 5 days a week?
Think you just have to cover off every option. It's really tough, you may get place at school you wNt.
You might need to get a nanny to cover those hours unless you or your partner could work more child friendly hours. I think 7-7 is a long time for both to be out of the home for them.
What about a nursery based near work for the baby? Are there any independent schools in the area? If you take out the cost of before/after school care it might not be ridiculous...
A nanny sounds like your best option given your working hours. You also have the issue of school holidays and a nanny would be ideal then too.
Thanks mouldy ! I am a shambling wreck this week due to lack of sleep! We are 6 number on waiting list! Everyone is shouting appeal at me ! I just feel I must have mucked up the application as everyone else got first choice! I have explained appeal based on childcare unlikely to succeed!
I would love a nanny but although senior in my nhs role myself and dp only just get by! Will explore other childcare. I will come under fire for leaving a junior in charge to leave at 4 pm but I agree I need to review length of Dc day!!
What kind of work does your partner do? Could he look for a 9-5 job? It might be a pay cut but you'd save money on childcare.
I just feel I must have mucked up the application as everyone else got first choice! I have explained appeal based on childcare unlikely to succeed!
You are right that appeals based on childcare are not likely to succeed but if there's been an error processing your application, then that would be a strong basis for appeal if it cost you a place.
Normally schools use siblings and distance to decide who gets the places if they are oversubscribed. Do you suspect you've wrongly been overlooked for a place?
As you haven't got the place you wanted, they should explain why in the letter you get but if not ask them so you can be sure it has all been processed correctly.
You can ask:
1. "Which category was my child placed in?" (i.e. distance or faith or siblings or whatever applies to your circumstances)
2. "What was the last distance offered in that category?"
3. "What distance have you calculated we live from the school?"
Then check whether you agree. If they placed you in the "no siblings" or "no church attendance" category is that correct?
If distance is the tie breaker and some people in your category got in but you didn't, ask the council what the distance to your home is. Does it sound about right? There's no point quibbling over 10m because their system is more accurate but if they seem to be 900m out then something has potentially gone wrong.
Finally ask where you are on the waiting lists because you may be near the top of other local people have places already. They move quite a lot in many cases so, if you are it the top few, you could have a preferred school offer within a month or two
Nanny share? Childminder plus wrap round care for those hours has got to be a lot of money anyway, surely?
As well as tiggy's points consider how big the intake is. 6th if the intake is 15 might never come about, 6th if the intake is 90 and you might be in by June. Also bearing that risk assessment, when is your daughter's birthday? I would accept the place offered but consider deferring it until she HAS to start to buy a little more time, leaving her with the childminder. You can also ring round other schools (village schools are sometimes undersubscribed) and see if any of those are better and if the logistics might work there. 7-7 is a long day to find cover for a reception child though.
Apologies for asking a stupid question but how are people finding out what number they are on waiting lists? Our council has a note saying they will not reveal this - is this even allowed?
So sorry for diverting the thread a little but thanks if anyone knows the answer!
Just to add, we were 4th on the waiting list for a 30 intake with our DD1 three years ago and we got an offer mid June. There can be alot of movement over the next few months.
Jackish, I know that some councils aren't telling parents yet where they are. Is that the case with yours. If it is then they should have a date published when the info will be available. In the cases I can remember it was about 2 weeks.
You need a nanny OP or shorter hours.
That day is far too long for your DC.
Have a look at Childcare.co.uk - I found my nanny there. There are lots of superb ones - mine was a student teacher . There are lots of part time nannies who are university students that would come and look after your DC in their own home - which imo- is a lot kinder for your DC.
Thanks snerr dp is surveyor and does contract work all over south west and very early starts. Unfortunately we do not have much locally that would be family friendly hours! He has plans to take a contract working away part of the week to keep money coming in!
Thanks Tiggy that is a massive help! Will put that in appeal. Will have to focus on distance bit!
Jacking I am in Devon! I rang up the number given on the email and was told straight away and sent an appeals pack! I imagine you have the right to now so you can plan accordingly! I am no 6 on waiting list for intake of 60! I live in a small town but it is obviously full of 4/5 year olds. There is also a faith school 30 places and the one we got ( which nobody wants) 30 places but probably undersubscribed.
When I made the application the baby was 2 months old and very needy as EBF and so I would type in supporting info and it would time out after 20 mins. On repeat. Dp has said today we should have sat down and done the application together! he was in newborn baby shock as his first dc and I was doing everything childcare,shopping,cooking,cleaning,sleepless nights waiting for shock to subside and c section recovery! An explanation for not putting in a more strategic application!!
They don't read the supporting information so don't worry about not doing that. The only thing they may have noticed is if you mentioned a sibling but forgot to tick the sibling box.
Unless any of your supporting info would have put you in a different category (child with documented SEN for example) then don't worry about that, the supporting information is irrelevant and not taken into consideration when awarding places. Admissions have to follow the published criteria. It doesn't matter what you write unless it is evidence to put you into another admissions category.
Given the intake is 60 in the school you want, the appeal will be ICS and thus very hard to win. You can only win if the LEA made a mistake (hence checking your distance), if the admissions criteria were unlawful, or the decision not to admit was so unreasonable no sensible person would have made it (the bar for this is very high).
From what you've said, you don't have grounds for an ICS appeal. You lose nothing from appealing, so its entirely up to you, but you need to be aware that your chances are very low.
Thanks Patricia! I am not sure what Ics means and need to clarify intake! Is this the same as places available ??? Work have contacted me today as team are struggling to cope in my absence! This is giving a bit of added pressure but I feel I need to get on with organising alternative childminder for DD! The hospital nursery is always oversubscribed but will check anyway! You need to put your name before you get pregnant. Realising the cost of living somewhere everyone else wants to live too!
Apologies - ICS means Infant Class Size. Classes in YrR,1,2 are legally capped at 30, and appeals for those years are very hard to win. If the school you wanted had 60 places available, I would be very surprised if it wasn't ICS as those children will be split into 2 classes of 30 children.
Longer term, if your partner works away a lot, do you need to live in your current town? Would it be possible to live closer to your work?
Thanks! I moved from a home closer to work just before I had the baby last year! Dp wanted to live in his home town.......he is starting to realise all the things I will have to juggle to make my life work. He discussed the possibility of me going full time and him a SAHD
My dp is a sahd and I love it...if he's up for it it is great. I also think if you are worried about the school having dp around to help with reading etc at home would be great...
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