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To wonder how the heck schools expect working parents to cope with this?

(628 Posts)
Worriedaboutdog Thu 21-Jun-18 21:56:35

Apologies this may be a rant. DS1 is due to start school in September. We have therefore put childcare plans in place based on him starting school on the first day of term in September. School have just announced that:

a) reception start a week later
b) as a summer birthday, DS actually will do half days for another week after that, and ‘must be picked up at 1.30pm’.

No mention of either of these things was made when we looked round the school. We have already juggled the time off we have available to look after him over the summer. As it happens it’s probably easier for us than most parents as DH is a shift worker so can cover some days, but we were relying on him going to school at the beginning of September, and being in after-school club on days DH isn’t at home until I can get there to pick him up. Wtf are parents who both work Monday-Friday meant to do about two extra weeks?! This was all announced today in a meeting (I couldn’t go, because it was at 3.30pm, but DH did), and when he asked the class teacher if they had to go home at lunchtime or could stay and then go to after school club, she said they had to go home and we’d have to get ‘a grandparent or someone’ to pick them up. So we’ll just magic up a grandparent physically fit and willing enough to do a whole week of half days childcare, who is actually able to drive to the school, then. hmm

He can possibly go back to his current nursery for the week he isn’t in school at all, but the half days are stumping me. I think I probably am being unreasonable to be cross - I realise school is not designed to be childcare, and therefore not run for the convenience of the parents, BUT they must know that parents make assumptions (based on the information on their website!) about the dates of terms and the length of the school day, and make arrangements accordingly. And that this just isn’t feasible for everyone, and if they don’t bloody tell you about it until June then plans (and budgets) for September childcare are already in place! Argh.

SluttyButty Thu 21-Jun-18 21:57:59

That's been standard school starting for all of mine.

pinkbobbles Thu 21-Jun-18 21:58:43

That is really annoying.

TheCheeseStandsAlone Thu 21-Jun-18 22:00:35

I suppose they think they’re being reasonable as there are still a few months to go to get childcare sorted (I’m not saying it’s easy!)

But the “a grandparent or someone” is actually pretty offensive. DH and I are very lucky to have all our parents still around, but an awful lot of adults don’t (or cannot ask them/trust them to help.

Wellthisunexpected Thu 21-Jun-18 22:00:41

There was another thread similar to this and the crux was basically that you can insist he goes full time from the very first day of term, by law.

CantCumWontCum Thu 21-Jun-18 22:00:46

Legally you are entitled to a full time place from the first day of term. The school have to make a provision for it if you request it.

It is a totally nightmare if you're both working.

NotSinisterAtAll Thu 21-Jun-18 22:01:22

I don’t know of any local schools near me that start full time reception on the first day in September so your school isn’t unusual.

StealthPolarBear Thu 21-Jun-18 22:01:26

There's another very similar thread which says you can insist on them starting full days. Yanbu, school is not childcare but parents of school aged children are expected to work!

nuttyknitter Thu 21-Jun-18 22:01:42

Staggered starts are there to ensure the smooth transition to school for the children. They're based on years of experience and professional expertise. School is education not childcare.

BathshebaKnickerStickers Thu 21-Jun-18 22:01:54

Schools don’t look at how childcare may happen.

Schools generally look at their education authority “phase in” policy.

When I was in P1 it lasted up until the October holidays. Now most places do it over 3 weeks.

It’s up to you to work it out - children have never gone in full days immediately.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 21-Jun-18 22:01:57

Legally they have to offer full time from first day of term. If you look on Primary board there will be someone there who can quote the correct part of the admission code.

Worriedaboutdog Thu 21-Jun-18 22:02:36

SluttyButty DS1 is our first and none of our friends really have kids - I had no idea!

trilbydoll Thu 21-Jun-18 22:02:36

He can definitely go to nursery the first week, one of dd's fríends stayed all September!

Could be worse, one local school does 3 weeks of half days. Half days are harder than full days I think.

BTW, you might need to adjust your expectations if you think June is short notice. For schools, 3 months is excellent grin

Buzzlightyearsbumchin Thu 21-Jun-18 22:03:09

As annoying as it is, it's pretty standard. All of mine have been phased into school.

You have 10 weeks or so to plan something so I don't think the school are BU, they are just trying to do what's best for the kids.

Growingboys Thu 21-Jun-18 22:03:15

It's annoying but we both work full time with no family nearby and we just had to suck it up, taking holiday and asking friends/paying nannies or au pairs to help us out.

ocelot41 Thu 21-Jun-18 22:03:37

They really should have told you and I feel your pain as a working parent. At the same time, they are EXHAUSTED at the start of school. Mine regressed to sobbing like a 2 year old on the way home, lots of tantrums and difficulties. I really wasn't expecting it as DS had been in nursery and was used to full days. Can you do swopsies with a friend? Take some unpaid leave?

applesandpears56 Thu 21-Jun-18 22:03:52

I agree - why can’t they just say * please note reception have a staggered start - dates to be confirmed. On the website with the term dates.

Fairtatas Thu 21-Jun-18 22:04:08

My children ( both summer born) did full days from the start- the whole class did. I know lots of schools don’t but was so grateful ours did!

SpiritedLondon Thu 21-Jun-18 22:04:11

It is annoying but it is standard - certainly in my part of the South East. In fact my daughter did 2 weeks of half days which pales into comparison with my friend who had to manage up until Christmas. In defence of schools it is knackering for reception children just starting and this is obviously designed to ease them into school life gently. The whole issue of juggling school holidays doesn’t really go away either so best to start now working on some alternative childcare now I think.

Metoodear Thu 21-Jun-18 22:04:53

I know I dredding it when dd2 starts school she starts two weeks later than everyone else at half days

So me or sh will use two weeks holiday and barley have enough to cover just the summer

massivelyouting Thu 21-Jun-18 22:04:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OublietteBravo Thu 21-Jun-18 22:06:32

I feel your pain. DD has a summer birthday - her school expected her to do half days for two terms in reception. It was a nightmare.

StealthPolarBear Thu 21-Jun-18 22:06:33

Everyone kept saying how tired mine would be after their 'long day' but there was no difference

Longdistance Thu 21-Jun-18 22:07:04

We had this with dds. We juggled the first few weeks, and then had a word with the teacher as dd2 went from full time nursery to just mornings 🙄 obviously wasn’t designed for working patents.

We spoke to the teacher and the breakfast club, and they took dd after 2 weeks. Had her in ft.

MyNameIsNotSteven Thu 21-Jun-18 22:07:19

Can you request parental leave to cover this? Interesting to know about the law on this but really, the school's priority is settling new children in gradually. It would be difficult for your DC to be the only child in his year group there for the first week and half the second if you insisted on it.

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