Anyone balance supply work with childcare-if so, how?

(17 Posts)
cleoteacher Mon 23-Sep-13 09:38:46

Starting back to supply this week after 9 months maternity leave and ds is going to a cm. No work today so have kept ds with me and told the cm he's not coming. However, we are still paying for the cm. Don't want to get into a situation where we are paying the cm but I am not getting work. Currently I've committed to two days a week with the cm and one day ad hoc where we don't have to pay if I get no work. Not ideal but a fairly good deal.

How do other freelancers deal with the prospect of paying for childcare when they aren't getting work themselves? How do you balance your mornings when you re waiting for that call for work?

NotAsTired Mon 23-Sep-13 13:58:52

It's a tricky one. When DS was little, even if I did not get the call in the morning, I would still take him to nursery but it was only three mornings a week. I was lucky that if I got work, my parents would pick him up after lunch or I did, if free.

Perhaps take him to the cm anyway? So that DS gets into a routine? That's how i would look at it. Not ideal though, is it? Maybe take him in for half day, if you don't get the call.

Talk to your agencies about getting as much pre-booked work as possible. I only do pre-booked days, but then I've been a supply teacher for a few good years.

cleoowen Mon 23-Sep-13 15:58:41

Thank. I ve been doing supply for a long time too before maternity leave so have always had between three and five days a week. But feel might take a little while to build my reputation back up after ml. Already wasted £50 today paying cm but not working and will,be £100 if don't get anything tomorrow too. I really hope it picks up as cannot afford to pay out for cm when making no,money.

Did you find you were doing this lots?

MiaowTheCat Mon 23-Sep-13 16:35:16

We did the maths and it wasn't going to be viable financially for us when you considered needing to run a second car etc with the amount of work and daily rate slashing that had been going on locally.

cleoowen Mon 23-Sep-13 18:39:58

What did you do instead miaow? Tried to do the maths but it's tricky when you don't know how much you're going to earn or how many days you will get. As long as I make what I was getting on ma should be ok.

NotAsTired Mon 23-Sep-13 19:11:21

did you do this lots?

In September and early October, it was a lot. But by Spring term, it was once every couple of weeks or so.

cleoowen Tue 24-Sep-13 08:02:56

No work again so that's £100 now. Going to take ds to cm anyway today as needs to get used to it.

Should have had longer ml at this rate as although no ma atleast I wasn't loosing money!

Think will have to stop thinking on a day to day basis and just work out how much earnt and paid cm at end of each month. Can't sustain this for long though. Really wanted supply Teaching to work out as not sure what I'll do instead.

MummyCoolski Tue 24-Sep-13 08:11:10

I'm freelance and our nursery (Co-operative Childcare) allows you to add extra sessions with about a week's notice. So my DS goes two mornings and then when I have a project booked in, I request the extra sessions atnursery. The slots aren't guaranteed unless they are your usual slot, and the later you leave booking, the more likely you'll miss out add they try to get staff ratios correct for the number of bookings & shifts are arranged in advance.

cleoowen Tue 24-Sep-13 08:26:01

Mummy that sounds a better way of doing it. Do you find you're paying for nursery much when you have no work?

My cm wanted me to committ to two days a week and then wed ad hoc so we're lucky with that, atleast not paying for three days.

CremeEggThief Tue 24-Sep-13 08:32:31

I paid childcare for two days a week for ten months. I got just ten days work in that time, before I packed it in.

NotAsTired Tue 24-Sep-13 11:42:00

cleo working it out monthly is a good plan. Remember, September is always quiet.

As an aside, how many agencies are you with?

cleoowen Tue 24-Sep-13 12:16:38

Yes, always panic abit and join more agencies and then it picks up. Just loosing money now got cm to pay for rather than just not making any. Been supplying for years so should know by now. But it does seem to be slower and slower every year.

I am in south west and have re joined three agencies who I got plenty of work through before ml. Which one are you with notastired?

NotAsTired Tue 24-Sep-13 14:26:19

Yes, I am tearing my hair out here with boredom and trying not to get anxious about money. I know it will pick up. I have been fairly lucky in the past two years as I had long term maternity cover supply work, I had forgotten how quiet it is at this time of the year, actually. Just have had to re-train my brain. What age range do you teach?

I'm with 2 local companies and since I had to get the new DBS check done with its update service, I am about to re-join another. I am seriously thinking about taking TA supply work as well.

cleoowen Tue 24-Sep-13 17:39:24

I teach reception to year 6. Just looked at my diary from last year and had,had two days a week every week by now. Got two half days ppa cover at same school so that helped.

uselessinformation Sun 06-Oct-13 10:01:06

when I did supply I was a single parent with no other income so had to take every job that came in. no family childcare so I had to pay the nursery fees whether I worked or not. It was stressful but I got by for four years before I got a permanent job.

Cynderella Sun 06-Oct-13 10:32:18

I would err on the side of caution. Last year, we hardly saw a supply teacher in our staffroom because we employed another cover supervisor and courses etc were almost forbidden. This year, even worse with two of our HTLAs doing cover when needed. My friend used to get regular supply until last year and she will take anything. Since Easter she has only been offered supply on cover supervisor rates and is applying for CS jobs because she is desperate for work. This is in the south-east so things may be different elsewhere.

MiaowTheCat Sun 06-Oct-13 12:34:47

These days I do private tutoring on an evening (we can time it so DH walks through the door as I need to leave) and things like SATs marking to pay the bills.

Generally though I found September to be total loss territory unless you were known and had regular schools who'd ask for you, and up till October half term to be thin on the ground. November into early December was OK - last couple of weeks of term you'd expect nothing unless you had things like sickness epidemics in a staffroom or volcanic ash clouds (phone rang off the hook that week!). Jan through till about late April was ok and come mid-May and SATs being over and things started to die off a bit again. The picking up of work in September was getting later and later every year I did supply though.

Since our numbers just about add up over the course of the month - I'm just gonna enjoy our lovely girls while I can - much more fun than being fobbed off with the "we're just about to get really busy" crap from agencies on the first week in July (no you're bloody well NOT!)

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