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to think your child starting school can actually make it harder to go to work not easier

(66 Posts)
Pinkiemum Tue 13-Sep-11 18:07:38

I have read many threads that have said that once your child starts school you should be able to back to work. Considering that schools starts about the same time as people start work in the morning and ends very early in the afternoon do many people find this is really feasable unless they work part time only during school hours.

I currently work three full days a week and my dd starts school in January and her school starting time is the same time as I start work, therefore I would have to reduce my hours of work even if she goes to afterschool care.

I will actually be on maternity leave for the first few months of her starting school so that will be easy, but if I go back to work I will have to drop the baby at the childminders, take my daughter to school and still work, pick her up from after school care and then pick baby up. There is no way I could continue working the hours I do unless I work an extra day a week which increase my child care costs and make it not feasable to work.

(I appreciate I do not live in the UK and schools may have more flexability with drop off times than where I live. Also had problems getting her into afterchool care.)

So i suppose my question is it really easy to start back or continue to work once your child starts school.

Sorry so long

KittyFane Tue 13-Sep-11 18:12:45

Yes, I agree- luckily DD nursery does drop off and pick up from school otherwise it wouldn't work at all.

squeakytoy Tue 13-Sep-11 18:15:52

Well surely a childminder who looks after a child for an hour before school is cheaper than a childminder who looks after a child for eight hours of more each day, and working full time, while paying a childminder to cover the start and end of the day is not going to make it break even, you will have some profit out of earning after childcare costs.

worraliberty Tue 13-Sep-11 18:16:02

But some kids do a very long day at school..often starting in breakfast club at 8am and then being picked up from after school club around 6pm.

AnnieLobeseder Tue 13-Sep-11 18:16:03

Apparently the government is supposed to be creating more before- and after-school clubs at school, though I'll believe it when I see it.

The logistics may be more tricky once they start school, but since you don't have to pay for childcare for the 6 hours they're at school, in theory your childcare costs should drop.

tallulah Tue 13-Sep-11 18:18:16

YANBU. I have been FT for most of my working life. DD went to nursery from 8-5. She has just started school and I have had to go PT because there is no way I can fit school hours in and still get my work hours in sad

I could put her in Breakfast Club and After-School Club but as she is still only 4 and will end up spending at least 1/2 the school holidays in Daycare that didn't seem fair to her.

I'm hoping I'll be able to increase my hours again when she goes to secondary school.

slavetofilofax Tue 13-Sep-11 18:18:35

Many people choose schools based on whether they have breakfast clubs and after school clubs, or get a childminder.

Enough people manage it, so it can't be that hard. I'm not saying its always very easy, but it is doable.

southeastastra Tue 13-Sep-11 18:20:18

the government was meant to put in place extended schools but in reality this just didn't happen and certainly won't now as most have cut them completely.

SurprisEs Tue 13-Sep-11 18:21:06

Squeackytoy I may be wrong,as I haven't got to that stage yet, but I'm assuming the monetary help to pay for that hour won't be there. Tha's 5 hours a week at god knows what rate.

squeakytoy Tue 13-Sep-11 18:23:12

But "Suprises", why should you need monetary help for that hour? your wages will be there to provide that money arent they?

MagicFingerGoesPop Tue 13-Sep-11 18:24:57

I do always wonder how working parents cope in the first year with not only school holidays but also the staggered starts to reception. Half a day for a week then half a day plus lunch for a week then full days. At least when they are little you can have a whole day in childcare. Must be a nightmare.

SurprisEs Tue 13-Sep-11 18:27:23

If you're on a low income your wages pay for household bills and you rarely have any spare. Unfortunately for some that hour is not affordable.

SmethwickBelle Tue 13-Sep-11 18:30:08

Can your (existing) childminder not take your older daughter to school? I use a childminder either side of school to make it possible for me to complete a normal 9-5 working day.

inmysparetime Tue 13-Sep-11 18:30:25

The weekly childcare costs do drop, but getting childcare for inset days and school holidays is a logistic nightmare. Lots of "choice" in holiday care, but only from 9:30-3:00, less than school, and £30-£40 a day per child. Once you add wraparound care to that it comes to more than nursery fees.
They also tend to run only in Easter and summer holidays, leaving 6 weeks to find alternative childcare for. I work 2 days a week so DH can cover holidays with his annual leave.

donthateme Tue 13-Sep-11 18:31:57

For people who have worked when their children are 'pre-school age, its a blessed relief when they start school as it all gets much cheaper. Yes, sometimes the logistics are tricky because it might mean changing from nursery to childminder who can do drop offs and pick ups. But definitely much cheaper than paying for all day care

IME it's mainly women who haven't worked when their kids are under school age but expect to breeze into a job which fits totally around school hours and will require no paid childcare who have a bit of a wake up call.

So, while I see where you're coming from, and juggling before and after school and holiday care takes more setting up than simply dropping your baby at the nursery or childminder, it is all so much more worthwhile financially to work once the kids are school age that I can't totally agree

SurprisEs Tue 13-Sep-11 18:32:26

At least nurseries don't close for a week every 6.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Sep-11 18:33:47

I seem to remember that the childminder's rate for taking and picking up was equivalent to half a day's rate.

Cocoflower Tue 13-Sep-11 18:39:47

Some childminders charge you even when the child is in school- because they see it that the child is still in their care if they had to pick child up if ill etc. I spoke to my local council and they said childminder was within rights

Mine did anyway making it no cheaper sad

donthateme Tue 13-Sep-11 18:41:30

Even a minimum wage job is worthwhile when your kids are in school. Unless you literally have about 8 kids to pay out of school care for. But tbh if you have a family that size, you've made a lifestyle decision you can presumably afford

Miggsie Tue 13-Sep-11 18:42:00

Yes, it was easier when DD was at nursery, 8am-6pm childcare all year except for a week at Christmas.
School was first term half days only, the drop off at 9, pick up at 3, massive long holidays...the logistics of organising and paying for after school clubs and holiday camps takes up so much bloody time!!!!!

donthateme Tue 13-Sep-11 18:45:49

Coco- I bet most childminders wouldn't do that, because they'd be undercut by others. When my kids were at nursery I was charged 51 weeks of the year full rate. When I was on maternity leave and on a reduced income, I still had to pay full rate to keep my dc1s place. Then when dc2 came along the nursery fees cost all of my income. It really was a welcome relief financially when they started school. My childminder charged for the hour before and the two hours after school only- I thought id died and gone to heaven!

SmethwickBelle Tue 13-Sep-11 18:46:22

My new childminder works school holidays (with the exception of her own holiday), and will take DS on full days then, it was a prerequisite, not all do so one of those things you should check if embarking on finding one for the first time (even if your baby is tiny in due course it will be a factor when they start school).

I neeeearly went with one childminder, she was lovely..... then it turned out she charged for holidays but didn't even work them shock. Obviously totally up to her how she runs her business but it was a first class deal breaker for me.

Cocoflower Tue 13-Sep-11 18:48:22

I guess if they know there is a shortage in the area, leaving no choice if they can do it they will!
Not suggesting all CM do this- think I was just awfully unlucky

jellybeans208 Tue 13-Sep-11 18:49:26

It will be easy I think breakfast and after school club open 7.30 til 6 for 51 weeks of the year.Tax credits pay the fees and it will be loads cheaper than nursery.

Dont think it makes a difference though also even if you have to pay breakfast, after school and holiday clubs are dirt cheap.

inmysparetime - I dont know where you live but its a lot cheaper here than nursery 4 pound for brekfastm school drop off and up to 2 hours care. At night its 6 pound for 3 hours care with tea, bus home and all activities. Also our holiday clubs run 7.30 - 6.00 every day except xmas week

theITgirl Tue 13-Sep-11 18:50:11

I am not sure that secondary school is much better.
DS will have just turned 11. Before school I am OK about him walking by himself, after school no problems with half an hour by himself before I get in - but 2 hours!!
Then what about holidays? All day, every day by himself.

And there is no standard childcare for that ime.

Luckily I have just managed to get a term time only job.

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