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Childcare parents

(26 Posts)
JadeFeather Wed 09-Mar-16 11:40:22

My parents have very kindly offered to help us with childcare when we have children. We are currently looking at buying a house. Unfortunately my parents area doesn't have good schools so we we were looking at two areas that are around 12 and 15 mins away. We havent found many properties coming up in these areas but now have found one which is about 20 mins away. It's 5 mins more which isn't huge but for some reason 20 mins seems so much more than 15! Just wondered whether others think this is ok and if anyone has regular childcare arrangements with parents at this sort of distance. Thanks

redshoeblueshoe Wed 09-Mar-16 11:53:34

20 minutes is fine. I think its actually a good distance, close enough to be helpful, but not too close to be round every 5 minutes.

LindyHemming Wed 09-Mar-16 11:54:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JadeFeather Wed 09-Mar-16 12:03:07

I won't be relying 100 percent on them. Just one or two days which should help reduce the costs.

Pootles2010 Wed 09-Mar-16 12:06:34

20 mins is fine, and I wouldn't plan on any childcare help at all - that way you'll know you're sorted, and any extra help is a bonus. If you rely on it, you end up being indebted to them, iyswim.

JadeFeather Wed 09-Mar-16 12:13:09

Yes I see it as a bonus if they are able to help. My mum is very supportive as it is but I understand people's circumstances can change. If she can help for two days that would cut our childcare bill by half which would be great. Also if emergency pick ups are needed from nursery and I can't get away from work obviously their help would be very useful.

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 09-Mar-16 12:14:21

who is it that is doing the 20 minutes? them to come to you or you to come to them? And does it always take 20 minutes, or do you need to factor in peak traffic times?

i.e. at the weekend I had to take my children up to their school to meet for something, it took me 10 minutes, that same journey takes 20 minutes on a weekday.

JadeFeather Wed 09-Mar-16 12:33:58

They would do it in the mornings (before rush hour) and we would do it in the evenings (probably around 6-7pm)

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 09-Mar-16 12:43:20

So they would be coming to you to collect baby and then go home? So probably near an hour in total when you factor in getting wee one into car seat and polite chit chat?

I agree that I'd prioritise the area I wanted to live in but if your parents are going to be impacted then it's worth checking that would still be okay if you moved further away than expected.

redskytonight Wed 09-Mar-16 12:48:35

Well surely the main point is whether your parents mind doing it!

Also, I expect they might well prefer to do childcare in their own house if it's a couple of days a week, so it's actually there and back i.e. 40 minutes in the early morning - which wouldn't be something I'd want to commit to on to then look after small children all day!

DisappointedOne Wed 09-Mar-16 12:54:01

My parents used to live 20 mins from us. Now they're more like 40-45. They still pick up DD (5) from school 2 afternoons a week and bring her back at bedtime (8:30pm). It's not a problem.

RumAppleGinger Wed 09-Mar-16 12:56:35

My DMIL lives 20 minutes away and has helped out with 1 day of child care a week since I went back to work after DS1. At her request we would drop DS off at hers on Sunday evening and should would bring him home on Monday evening. She loves it because she gets extra time with her DGC and gets to do bath time and goodnight stories etc and it saves us having to get up at a silly time to beat the rush hour traffic and still make it to work on time. It has worked out great for us. It worked Amazingly when we only had one DS and DH and I could spend some time together alone/go out to dinner/cinema etc. Sunday became the new Saturday! DS1 is now at school but we continue the same arrangement with DS2 (just without the boozy Sunday nights! ). Both boys have a wonderful relationship with their grandmother and are happy to stay over night away from us as it's been the norm since they were tots. I know not every parent is comfortable with over nights at such a young age and many grandparents might find it too much but for us it has really worked out great.

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 09-Mar-16 12:57:22

Disappointed, if I read correctly, your parents are spending 3 hours driving 2 days a week to get your daughter from school? I think that's a lot.

HPsauciness Wed 09-Mar-16 13:01:42

My mum used to do two days a week, 45 min drive each way. If you think 45 is a long commute, then it's a long way, she thought it was fine and did this for about four years. It goes without saying though that you need to ask them, perhaps they won't mind a 12 min drive but 20 is a bit too much, I don't think any of us can say.

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 09-Mar-16 13:02:19

Rum, my friends mum used to do similar, she would drive over and collect from nursery on a Wednesday afternoon and friend would pick up after work on a Thursday evening. So she did: Monday nursery full day, Tuesday morning only and MIL would pick up at lunchtime, Wednesday Nursery morning only and Mother would pick up as above and she didn't work Fridays.

HollowYourFart Wed 09-Mar-16 13:06:11

Depends how much they want to do it I think.

My parents do a 1.5 hour commute (there and back!) one day per week to look after my children in my house. It's their decision as they like to have regular contact with their grandchildren, but I do think they are a bit mental.

It's worth having a chat about what happens with holidays though...DH & I can arrange to work from home every so often if they are away, but not so easy for others.

Twixthecat Wed 09-Mar-16 13:38:38

I wouldn't rely 100% on parents for childcare and especially not buy a house specifically around that assumption. Particularly if child hasn't been born yet.

It is bloody hard work and you have respect them if they turn round and say actually no in the end. Different children have different personalities and really don't like being left, even with grandparents. That's a really hard thing for your parents to deal with.

My mum does 1 day every 6 weeks for my sister's 2 kids and she says that's enough. It's a lot harder than she remembered!

Also what about the practicalities of times you'd need to get up, out the house, to work etc?

Personally for us distance is really important. When DS went to nursery it was 300 metres away. Now goes to a childminder about 50 metres away! When have to be in work for 8, it still means really early mornings. Trying to wrestle grumpy baby into buggy for the 5 minute walk to.nursery was bad enough with screaming all the way, a 20 minute drive would've been hell. But that's just us, he's not a morning person.

However childcare is about £60-80 per day around here so the option of free childcare would be very tempting. Is it worth it for an extra 20mins drive.... depends if you can afford to choose??

DisappointedOne Wed 09-Mar-16 14:01:20

Disappointed, if I read correctly, your parents are spending 3 hours driving 2 days a week to get your daughter from school? I think that's a lot.

Well, they're back and fore between old house and new anyway. (It only takes me 30 mins to drive to the new house but dad prefers to stick to speed limits. ;))

But yes, they value their time with her enough to drive that where necessary. Sometimes they swap a day and have her for a sleepover, in which case either DH or I will pick her up.

Mind you, we drive for 4+ hours each way for her to have any contact with DH's family, so 40 mins doesn't seem too bad for mum and dad!

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 09-Mar-16 14:09:42

Thanks - obviously it suits them, it just seems a lot to me. we never had any parental support though so I don't really know what the norm is. neither of our sets of parents could drive. DHs dad died before we were married. My dad died when DS1 was a couple of months old. DHs mum died when they were toddlers. My Mum broke her hip about the same time and has struggled with mobility and is now elderly. We live about an hour or so away and see her probably once a month. DSs are teenagers they don't really have a strong relationship with any of our family being honest. DH and I both have older siblings who had their children fairly young so they are all a fair but older than our DC. They've probably missed out a lot.

JadeFeather Wed 09-Mar-16 14:33:47

I'm not relying on parents 100 percent but obviously if there's a chance they might be able to help its better if we are closer by to them.
I work full time. I could probably get one day working from home. Would be looking at 2-3 days with a childminder or nanny (have to get train at 7am so that excludes most nurseries) and 1-2 days with my parents. If we had a live in nanny I guess we could see if she could do drop offs to my parents to make things easier for them. It would be a real struggle for us to afford a full time nanny so even if my parents can do one day like some of yours are doing that would really help.

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 09-Mar-16 14:50:31

If they were happy to do an overnight that would be better as it would be a lot less travel. They could pick up one morning and drop back at lunchtime on day 2 to nursery or child-minder and that would save a day and a half costs but more importantly it would save 2 early mornings. You save a further early morning by working at home where you could drop off later so that's just 2 days where you need an arrangement that starts before 7am. and in fact if you were able to work longer on the day that baby was away for the night, maybe you could start a bit later on one or both of those two mornings?

caravanista Wed 09-Mar-16 15:03:17

I look after my DGD for two consecutive days a week. They live an hours drive away, so I usually stay over, but I don't find the drive an issue.

JadeFeather Wed 09-Mar-16 15:03:42

Thanks. Overnight is definitely an idea worth considering. Will need to see if I have a child who sleeps through the night, if not I don't want to put that on my mum. Even one day with a nanny is over £100 so it really makes a difference.
We are hoping to start trying for a family in another year and in the next 3-4 years I think I should be able to get something close to home or go part time so hopefully this arrangement will only need to be short term.

redskytonight Wed 09-Mar-16 16:33:36

I wouldn't worry too much about schools if the DC aren't even born yet!! You're looking at a minimum of 5 years away, the school situation is likely to have changed drastically!

JadeFeather Wed 09-Mar-16 16:43:36

It's not just the schools I'm afraid, the whole area that they live in has been going slowly downhill in many ways over the last 20 years. It's important for us to buy in a "good" area.

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