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Offer of childcare that I can't return

(14 Posts)
rabbitrabbitrabbit Tue 23-Oct-12 13:51:21

Not sure if this is an AIBU, or if this is more of a what would you do.

DD1 is 4, nearly 5 and settling into reception nicely. School is a lovely easy walk from our house. She wasn’t in preschool there but there are few children who have come from her nursery, she plays with them still and seems to be making friends in her class too.

At the same time I have started a new job, i was made redundant last year so i’ve taken this job full time, although there may be some negotiation in the future. The result of this means my DD is in after school club 4 days a week, which is working fine so far.

My DD has a friend from nursery, Z, who my DD loves to be with. They aren’t in the same class but they play together when they can and my DD will draw pictures of the 2 of them. Z lives near us and her family have picked DD up with Z when DD was first settling before she started at after school club.

Now Z’s family have offered to have DD after school one day a week. They have mentioned it before but I feel awkward, because we can’t reciprocate the regular support. However I know both girls would love it if this was a regular thing.

AIBU to say no? What would you do?

laurenamium Tue 23-Oct-12 13:53:02

Take it! Make sure you explain you can't reciprocate though, and maybe say you will have Z one day on a weekend once a month or something?

comixminx Tue 23-Oct-12 13:55:35

I agree, if you are upfront about not being able to reciprocate or at least nor precisely then that's fine. The suggestion above about offering something that you can manage sounds good too.

Scholes34 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:55:48

I'd want to be sure how easy it would be to get the after school club place back, should any arrangement with your friend not work out.

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 23-Oct-12 13:56:59

Are you happy with your DD being there that often? If you like and trust the family, I'd say do it, just be clear you can't reciprocate right now and you'll go back to paid childcare if they find it too much/the girls start falling out etc.
It may be that they find it easier looking after their DD when a friend is around.

I'd say go for it if your dd would enjoy it. If you're upfront about being unable to reciprocate then they can't be start about that. I've had a friends twins once a week after school for a few months. I don't expect her to return the favour, she's busy working, I'm here anyway, it seems like common sense to me. Occasionally she does take mine for tea which is lovely of her but I don't expect it.

redskyatnight Tue 23-Oct-12 14:06:35

Once a week potentially indefinitely seems an awful lot for them to offer. personally I'd suggest they had her every 2 weeks so the girls have plenty of time to play together but you keep your place in after school club. The worry with these sort of arrangements is that your friends will start to feel constrained by it (they can NEVER do anything else on that day) or that it will ruin your relationship. We take a friend of DD's home once a week before they both go to an out of school activity. We have her for all of 45 minutes, and yet there are some weeks when DD says "do we HAVE to have X today?" Not because they aren't friends but because just some days she doesn't want her friend there.

In terms of reciprocating I'd suggest the occasional day at the weekend or in school holidays (when you're not working).

mudipig Tue 23-Oct-12 14:14:58

I would also go with every other week and keeping your place at the after school club.

Otherwise, the problem is what do you do if they suddenly decide they want to do something else and leave you in the lurch? Or the dc fall out. They don't really have an obligation to help you with it not being formal childcare. They could just change their mind overnight.

Whilst it's a lovely offer, I would keep the back up of formal childcare still there if it were me. Unless you happen to have the back up of someone who can step in and help if that were to happen.

And there are lots of ways to reciprocate. Take their dd out somewhere at the weekend now and again. To the cinema or something.

rabbitrabbitrabbit Tue 23-Oct-12 15:37:07

Thanks for the comments

12 legged, yes they do think it is easier when the girls are together as they entertain each other. I'll look into how I would keep the after school place open too. I do have back up childcare too if it all went a bit pear shaped though. thanks

ENormaSnob Tue 23-Oct-12 15:42:20

I wouldn't tbh.

Not unless I could reciprocate in some way.

GirlWithALlamaTattoo Tue 23-Oct-12 15:47:21

If they're happy to do it even though you can't reciprocate, go for it.

My mum worked full-time, and was a single parent while I was at primary school. My best friend and I got our hearts set on a particular after-school activity that Mum couldn't have got me to as she was still at work. For a couple of years, I had tea at BF's house every Monday, her mum would take us to the activity and my mum would collect us afterwards.

In our teens, BF and I signed up for a different activity. For the next couple of years, BF had tea at our house every Wednesday, my mum took us to the activity and her dad brought us back.

A bit long-winded, but the point is you might be able to reciprocate in future even if you can't now, and if the girls and the parents are happy, why not.

lynniep Tue 23-Oct-12 15:54:32

I had DS1's friend after school one day a week all last year. I got fed up of it after a few weeks tbh for various reasons. I explained to his mum that I wouldn't be able to do it for Y1 so she had plenty of time to get him onto the out of school waiting list for this year and she was fine about it. If you have backup though, why not give it a go. Make sure you ask frequently enough (but not too often) if its still ok and going well. Its really difficult to say 'no actually' once you've offered which is why I ended up doing it all year!

naughtymummy Tue 23-Oct-12 16:07:51

We had this arrangment last year. I made sure I had the other lad for at least one full day every half term and holiday. Which was a PITA but helped the other parents out I think there must repreciousity (sp)

justmyview Tue 23-Oct-12 17:04:40

I think it needs to be a 2 way street or else eventually the other family will probably feel put upon and resentful. I would encourage playdates and sleepovers but steer clear of a regular arrangement

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