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In thinking there should be more weekend childcare ?

(25 Posts)
Sofabitch Sun 21-Aug-11 20:58:34

So after the other thread I had a look aroun in my area to see what weekend/night care there is. And I was quite surprised to find that no nurseries do weekends and only 1 childminder (that had no spaces) did weekends. There were 2 that did nights but considering out of the hundreds that there are. Not really a lot.

Very few jobs these days are mon-fri 9-5 so should there be a bigger push from the government for weekend childcare. Even if it's only that the government nurserys open weekends. Should childminders be offered incentives to work outside the regular hours.

Is it really realistic to expect parents to work whilst the childcare structure within the uk doesn't offer variety and flexibility. Should the government address this alongside the drive to get parents back to work?

HSMM Sun 21-Aug-11 21:00:50

I am a CM and I work weekends, but I am very rarely asked to.

Most CM and nurseries probably close at weekends, because the majority of the staff are parents and their children are home from school.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sun 21-Aug-11 21:02:46

What government nurseries? Genuinely interested to know if there actually are any. I were in charge (ha!) that's the one thing I'd do. They managed to do it in the war when women were needed to work.

Ephiny Sun 21-Aug-11 21:02:53

If there was more demand for it, there would be more of it, I should think. It probably wouldn't be worth most nurseries opening at the weekends given the low demand. As for childminders - makes more sense, but then most childminders have children of their own and probably like having family time at the weekend. You probably should look into getting a nanny if you want childcare for non-standard work hours.

Not sure what other thread you mean, so maybe I'm missing some context here...

maxpower Sun 21-Aug-11 21:03:24

YANBU - I've often thought there's a market for nurseries/CM to provide weekend & in some cases, overnight care.

Sofabitch Sun 21-Aug-11 21:03:28

I'm wondering If it's a catch 22 at the moment. Parents can't take jobs because there is no childcare. So there ate no children to take the places. But surely with the government being so adamant that parents return to work when their youngest child reaches school age. If the childcare norms were changed then attitudes to takin weekend jobs might?

sunbear Sun 21-Aug-11 21:04:18

agree with op, would like to open more weekend provision for the over 6s

Sofabitch Sun 21-Aug-11 21:04:57

We have 3 nurseries in my town owned by the county council. Only 1 does babies/toddlers though. The others are pre schools.

An0therName Sun 21-Aug-11 21:05:23

I think although lots of people do work weekends its in general easier to get someone to cover weekends for free - say other parent/GP etc - so it is quite a small demand

Ephiny Sun 21-Aug-11 21:07:03

I still think there'd be quite low demand. For two parent families, there's a good chance the other parent would be off work at the weekend, and it would make more sense for them to do the childcare rather than paying for nursery. I can see the use for single parents, but even then they're more likely to have grandparents or other relatives available at weekends than during the week. I'm sure there are people it would be very useful for, but would think it's quite a small number.

NickNacks Sun 21-Aug-11 21:07:05

Agree not all jobs are 9-5 but majority are and so we work when the main demand is. I physically and mentally (and for the sake of my own children!) couldn't work 12hr days 7 days a week so I choose to have the weekends off. It would be a choice between 2 fulltimers mon-fri or one shift worker over the weekend, who often only want to pay for the hours on a PAYG basis, and the full timers are the more attractive option i'm afraid. sad

Ephiny Sun 21-Aug-11 21:07:49

Or, what An0therName said more concisely smile

GrownUpNow Sun 21-Aug-11 21:07:54

It would make my life as a single parent a lot easier if I could find childcare that does early starts, late evenings and weekends. Often I can't apply for a basic shop job because they require flexibility with shifts. Cleaning tends to be early mornings or later in the evenings. Factory work is on rotating shifts. It makes finding something to fit in with the children difficult.

NickNacks Sun 21-Aug-11 21:08:45

Sorry forgot to mention that i am also a CM.

GrownUpNow Sun 21-Aug-11 21:16:35

I do wish there was a bit more there for single parents. People tell you that you should be scrounging on benefits, that if it were them they'd take any job available, but the reality is that often you are applying for anything and you can't take a lot of them because of the shift requirements if you have a lack of support from family or friends.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 21-Aug-11 21:51:00

nannies are often more flexible but more costly

but maybe by hiring a nanny who is a mum as well (nwoc) you may find someone who will work less flexible hours

have a look on your local netmums smile

Tanith Sun 21-Aug-11 22:35:29

I'm a childminder that does weekends, too, but I'm hardly ever asked to. Just doesn't seem to be any demand for it.
Not every childminder prepared to work weekends explicitly offers them, preferring to have just their core hours advertised. It may be worth asking, even if the childminder appears to work weekdays only.

LineRunner Sun 21-Aug-11 22:42:00

I agree with you. I've been asked to stay on for late emergency meetings, but who can get a childminder at 10pm?

I've been asked to go to weekend training - but where are the childminders?

ChippingIn Sun 21-Aug-11 22:46:03

Maybe try looking under babysitting or part time nannies - there are lots of people willing to do it, it's just not as well advertised. Of course, it's much harder if you work shifts on a rota - those are the people I really feel for when they are looking for childcare (esp if they can't afford a nanny).

TotemPole Sun 21-Aug-11 23:13:14

It isn't just pre-school childcare that's needed for unsociable hours.

Maybe the companies that need staff to work evenings/weekends/shifts could be encouraged to offer something on site.

Not everyone has GPs nearby to help out. Even if my parents lived closer, I wouldn't want to ask them to help on a regular basis at the weekends.

Muckyhighchair Sun 21-Aug-11 23:23:00

Sofa bitch,

That would solve all my problems, Saturday c/care would mean I wouldn't of got passed over for a fair few jobs

BimboNo5 Sun 21-Aug-11 23:25:15

I would love to open a 24 hours nursery, think i'd make a killing.
I have a childminder who agreed to take the kids from half six and DH picks them up at about 5pm. Otherwise i'd be buggered and if me and DH ever split i'd have to give up work as im expected to work lates/nights/weekends.

ravenAK Sun 21-Aug-11 23:29:33

You could try

Dh is in a band who tour a fair bit, & some of our childcare needs are for overnight or for full weekends if I fancy tagging along grin. Our CM will have the dc at hers (but then she is generally amazing!) - however, she can't always, so we're always on the lookout for someone who'll do an overnight or even a weekend at our house.

I found quite a few possibilities on the site above - haven't needed them yet as I've got a student friend of a friend - but it was full of eg. nursery staff looking to supplement their income by child sitting at weekends.

CardyMow Sun 21-Aug-11 23:35:54

It is MUCH needed. But not just for dc that are pre-school, at nurseries. With the new benefits rules I will be expected to find work as soon as DS3 turns 5yo. If there's nothing I can get childcare for, that my disability 'allows' me to do, then they'll cut my benefits. hmm. Looking forward to that. At that point, DD will be 17yo, have left school (with no qualifications, more than likely, due to her SN, that DON'T qualify for DLA...), and not only will I be supporting her with no money coming in for her, I will be trying to feed, clothe etc, a 13yo, an 11yo and a 5yo...but if I can't find a job, I'll get less benefits.

I'm already looking, have now applied for 12 jobs in 11 weeks. None of which I've been offered an interview for. And I'm not even putting my disability down on the form, just the hours that I can work is counting me out (I assume) when there are 200+ applicants for EVERY job in my town. Not being able to work Saturdays puts me at a HUGE disadvantage, which would be solved by better state-organised childcare.

And NO, I can't get childcare quals and set up my own (have thought about it before tbh) because my disability bars me from looking after vulnerable adults and young children in case I have a seizure. I wish someone else in my town would. And maybe throw in some SN childcare that isn't hideously expensive. In fact just HAVING some SN childcare for dc over 11 would help....

TheDetective Sun 21-Aug-11 23:37:00

This is one of my biggest problems in life!!!! I was a single parent for 2 years, working full time in the NHS working a full range of early, late and night shifts. Luckily for me my mum stepped in to help me when I was newly single, as I was in the fortunate position of her being the headteacher at DS's school. It meant she could take him home after school, have him over night etc. I quite literally would have been in the shit. His school is 7 miles away too, and no local childminders would have taken him there even if they did happen to do unsocial hours childcare!!

I'm in a new relationship now, but my mum still has to help me out, as even though my DF works more reasonable hours, he still works between 8am-7pm depending on what he is rota'd for, as well as every saturday. In fact the lack of unsociable and unflexible arrangements for childcare are what stop me having any more children. Quite simply, I can't afford to pay full time childcare when me and DF might not need those hours, with us both working shifts on a rota. And when we also need later evening childcare, and weekends. I can't rely on my mum again, as its only that DS is school age that she is able to help out the way she does. I could never expect that of her again, certainly not for a baby who is far more demanding than my 9 year old.

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