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To think childcare should accommodate varying shifts?

(187 Posts)
Somanyproblems Tue 17-Nov-15 07:46:46

I'm really struggling. Expecting first baby next year and am starting to look at childcare options.

(A nanny is not even a remote possibility, neither is an au pair.)

I have to start work quite early - at 8. The good thing is that I finish fairly early as well. However, this massively limits my childcare options. There is only one nursery that I've found we could use that opens before 8, and it really doesn't look very nice at all sad

Is this what people have to do - leave their baby somewhere they aren't happy with?

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Tue 17-Nov-15 07:47:39

8 is a very standard time- try finding on that opens six am when you do early shifts!!

BoboChic Tue 17-Nov-15 07:48:16

Yes, this is what many people have to do sad.

OddBoots Tue 17-Nov-15 07:48:03

Generally speaking this is a situation where childminders work best, have you looked at those?

MsJamieFraser Tue 17-Nov-15 07:48:42


Yes it difficult, however nurseries are business and the people who work in them also have children and families outside working hours.

NotSayingImBatman Tue 17-Nov-15 07:48:47

Have you looked at childminders? Not great if they're poorly and your holidays for the year may end up being largely dictated by when they want annual leave but they tend to be a lot more flexible with start/finish times.

BertieBotts Tue 17-Nov-15 07:50:01

Childminder? Have you looked at nurseries both near home and near work, and in between, if it's far? Do you have a partner/is baby's dad involved? Can he start later to cover your early starts? Can he look at nurseries near his work (or in between, again), or do drop offs?

Somanyproblems Tue 17-Nov-15 07:50:24

I know sharon, that's why I'm shocked! After all it is early but not that early, so I thought nurseries would be more flexible.

I have looked at childminders thanks but unfortunately they don't seem very reliable and also stipulate 8 o clock until 6 o clock as the time they will accept children.

iwantgin Tue 17-Nov-15 07:51:18

A childminder may be the best option for your hours.

One near me starts at 6.30am and finishes at 7.30pm. So does at least cover some slightly early and late starts.

Micah Tue 17-Nov-15 07:53:59

Does your workplace have a nursery? They're sometimes best placed to accommodate hours.

But yes, this is common for all shift workers. Dp had to make arrangements so he could take to nursery, I picked up.

Hotpatootietimewarp Tue 17-Nov-15 07:56:58

Yy to a childminder. This was the route we had to go down with me working in healthcare I start at 7 but OH helped with drop offs and pick ups.

Somanyproblems Tue 17-Nov-15 08:01:32

Unfortunately, local childminders also appear to work the 8-6 pattern.

Plus, my friend used a childminder and ended up in a dreadful situation where she got 4 hours notice to say the childminder was ill - luckily my friends dad was able to leave work to pick her daughter up from school but if that had happened to me I'd be utterly stuck. So I'm a bit reluctant to go down that route.

Oysterbabe Tue 17-Nov-15 08:05:45

Can you change your hours? Employers are often quite flexible for returning mums.

Somanyproblems Tue 17-Nov-15 08:08:31

No, unfortunately - I could possibly drop down to 4 days but that would still leave start times as an issue.

Groovee Tue 17-Nov-15 08:13:32

From experience in the private nursery sector, timings were dictated to the nursery by the organisation who inspected them. I remember we were limited in our nursery due to complaints from a neighbour.

So it may not be so much the nursery but conditions imposed by their registration.

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Tue 17-Nov-15 08:14:28

Are you and your DC's dad together? -What time does he start work? Can his employer be flexible if yours can't?

I start at 6.15am some days, and DH does the morning run on those days - just means he has to leave later (as he usually leaves the house by 6.15am too to beat traffic and finish early, but he doesn't have to).

A childminder may start earlier if you ask them - visit and get the feel for some. I used to child mind and was happy to take one of my charges earlier than my published hours sometimes because both parents worked shifts but could tell me a month in advance when both of them had unavoidably been scheduled early, and they didn't mind if I wasn't fully tidied up and in work mode and let the DC watch a bit of beebies if they dropped her at 7am instead of 8am when my "working day" officially began.

Helenluvsrob Tue 17-Nov-15 08:17:14


Otherwise you would presumably expect to pay a premium for " antisocial hours " childcare - and as such nannies are also available.

Child care workers are not paid well and to expect them to start at 6am for min wage

marmaladegranny Tue 17-Nov-15 08:27:17

Have you visited any nurseries OP? My DD needed to find an early starting one and, when she visited, found that some advertised their core hours as 8am-6pm but would accept a child at 7am or 7.30am by arrangement and as a chargeable extra.
This is within London commuter area though...

Rinceoir Tue 17-Nov-15 08:28:29

It's really tough isn't it. I work in NHS frontline and can obviously get stuck in late if a patient is very ill, and work nights etc. I also initially looked for a childminder for flexibility but as you said in my area they were not flexible at all. I interviewed some nannies and despite offering a good salary and conditions (fully paid week off every 2 months on my "zero hours" week post nights and for a few days each month when family visit) I had trouble attracting people who I would trust with my daughter. Most people want office hours. Luckily my DH is a city worker, and has been able to adjust to doing most of the nursery drop offs/collections (nursery right beside tube) and can take work home if he's busy.

SharkSkinThing Tue 17-Nov-15 08:34:32

Childminder is the way to go! DS has been with his since he was one and still sees her for school hols, and he adores her. A much nicer, friendlier setting, and much more flexible and personal for your child. I used to drop at 7.30am and collect at 2pm and tweaked as he got older. She is family as far as I am concerned!

Keep looking, you'll find the right one! Xx

Somanyproblems Tue 17-Nov-15 08:36:22

Oh, I certainly wouldn't expect 6 am starts but I am surprised by the rigid 8-6, as AFAIK many places of work expect you to start at 8, so by the time the child is dropped off you are already late!

A small handful advertise 7:30 starts - making it tight even then - but that really does limit my choices unfortunately, and I really don't like the nursery that starts at 7:30; unfortunately it seems to be my only choice sad

FishWithABicycle Tue 17-Nov-15 08:37:04

The problem is that nurseries are also employers. For them to open at 7:30 so that you can get to work on time their shift workers would have to start work at 7 - which would mean they would have to lobby the breakfast club of their children's school to open at 6:30 so that they can get into work on time. And then what does the person who works in breakfast club do - they need to find childcare that starts at 6:00??

It's a nightmare getting this stuff balanced but you can't solve it by making childcare providers start earlier - unless you start having 24-7 childcare options and that sound needlessly dystopian.

Fratelli Tue 17-Nov-15 08:37:08

Yep childminder would be best probably. My oh and I work in health care so our shifts never work with childcare times and they change all the time! I have to fit my shifts around his so one of us can look after our son. We hardly get any time together but unfortunately there are no other possibilities. It's the sad reality for many working families now. It's rubbish!

Somanyproblems Tue 17-Nov-15 08:38:54

Well, possibly Fish, but then again, if we have a 24-7 society (which we do!) then perhaps not 24-7 childcare but certainly childcare that allows for a small commute within normal working hours would be helpful!

It is very tricky.

Jibberjabberjooo Tue 17-Nov-15 08:39:37

I'm really surprised, all the nurseries near us start earlier. The dc's nursery starts at 7.30 and there's even one that opens at 6.30. Certainly helps shift workers like me.

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