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Primary schools - will I be the only one?

(103 Posts)
winterwhite Sun 08-Dec-19 07:20:17

DC1 is due to start school next year.

Local primary doesn’t offer any wrap around care so we will need to enlist the help of a childminder. However, this means my contact with the school will be very minimal. I won’t be there for morning or end of day pick ups.

AIBU to be a bit worried about this? I’m concerned that I won’t be part of her life as much, that play dates won’t be arranged and I won’t know the other mums or be able to speak to her teacher.

Trafalger Sun 08-Dec-19 07:23:30

Well I will be the same when our child goes. I don't know the answer to it, I assume if their were issues they would contact via phone or letter.

I doubt you will be the only one. More and more parents are working full time, after school clubs are getting busier and busier so I think a few parents will be in the same boat.

PooWillyBumBum Sun 08-Dec-19 07:23:31

I never manage to make it to the school due to work commitments. Luckily there is a class rep who sends out messages about social meetings etc. When DD was small, if she mentioned certain kids a lot, I’d put a note in her bag for passing on with my number to arrange play dates. We muddled along okay.

SimonJT Sun 08-Dec-19 07:26:51

You won’t be the only one. Our school does wrap around care, a lot of children are collected by childminders when the wrap around care ends. On fridays I drop off and pick up at school start/finish time due to not working. There is only one other parent doing the same on a friday. You definitely won’t be the only one:

Stickybeaksid Sun 08-Dec-19 07:27:42

You can’t be the only working mother in the area. I rarely see my kid’s teacher and a lot of kids get picked up by a nanny or child minder

winterwhite Sun 08-Dec-19 07:29:55

There’s definitely a cultural thing sticky - I know no one, not one person, with a nanny.

Of course some mothers will work, but some will be able to sometimes pick their child up. I won’t. And if they can’t the child will sometimes be collected by grandparents which won’t be the case here. So I am worried about it.

QuietCrotchgoblins Sun 08-Dec-19 07:31:08

I work part time and do 2 drop off/ picks ups. The other ones the childminder does. Tbh most of the peoplepicking up are grandparents by my school. You will meet other parents at parties. Getting to know the teachers may be more difficult.

BellaBellaBelle Sun 08-Dec-19 07:32:26

My dd started school this year and my situation is a little different because I’m on maternity leave so there for every drop off and pick up. My view is that you won’t be at a disadvantage. They get invited to lots of birthday parties in the first year as most of them are all class parties (dd is going to her 5th party today since the start of Sept!). Along with other school events (Christmas fayres, assemblies etc) those are your opportunities to meet other parents. We’ve also got a WhatsApp group and meals out/drinks have been arranged. My dd also had a cinema play date with a small group of friends arranged by one of the parents that realised they had formed a nice friendship group.

I would say being around to pick up/drop off is useful to pick up on things that the school might not be so good at communicating (what they need to wear on school trips etc) but I’d just be extra careful to check newsletters, the website etc. Our school have also made it clear that you can arrange a time to meet the teacher in person or receive a call if you need to and you’re not around at pick up.

From September your life will revolve around school admin and your daughters new social life so enjoy your free time in the meantime smile

MoltoAgitato Sun 08-Dec-19 07:36:03

Our school will use a home-school notebook if you can’t make pick up or drop off regularly. Also feel free to ask for meetings with the teacher, precisely because you won’t see them at all otherwise.

To be honest I would seriously consider another school with wraparound care. A small village close to us has a school with no wrap around, which was fine when there were a few childminders in the village. Now the childminders have all moved on or retired and there are no wrap around options. Facebook is full of parents asking for ad hoc childcare, which sounds like a complete PiTA.

guiltyofa Sun 08-Dec-19 07:36:17

Honestly - I used a school with no wrap around care and I was one of very few parents who didn't collect. There was a massive culture of additional parent activities at the school and I was rarely able to attend. Details of presentation awards etc were sent through the night before, or my child had a slip come home in his book bag.

Later moved to a larger primary with wrap around care and the culture was very different and there were many more parents who didn't do both drop offs. I think some areas/schools do have a much higher proportion of children with one SAHP, and a clue to this is the wrap around care offered.

AJPTaylor Sun 08-Dec-19 07:37:03

My kids did miss out on playdates to be fair. And in those days it was letter that somehow never made it into bags
With dd3 at least it was a once a week email with all the news.

winterwhite Sun 08-Dec-19 07:40:04

I won’t be able to attend assemblies or anything like that either sad it’s a bit shit, really.

I could consider a wrap around care school but then it would involve a drive and a big fuss in the morning. Just seems so much better for everybody to be as local as possible.

Kuponut Sun 08-Dec-19 07:44:01

Lots of people are in that situation - I'm lucky in that our school has good wrap around care so I just use that but there are weeks at a time where I have to relay discussion with the school via email or notes in organisers because I just don't get to make it in.

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Sun 08-Dec-19 07:45:41

Agree, Your DD will definitely not be the only one.

But could you possibly arrange with work to be able to do at least one pick up? Like work a half day on a Friday or something like that? Or work from home and do the drop-off? I used to be like you in that my children had to go into wrap around care most days but I had every other Friday off so I could do the school run, arrange play dates etc. But even that didn’t really feel enough and I felt out of touch with school.
At our school there are very active class WhatsApp groups, so at least you have some idea what’s going on, who is in your DD’s class etc. Also, at that age there are often whole class parties so you will meet other families there.
And you could actively arrange play dates for your DD at the weekend.

BlackSwanGreen Sun 08-Dec-19 07:46:36

OP, I appreciate that if you work full time this may be the last thing you want to do in your free time, but you could consider joining the PTA as a way to meet other parents? It depends if the meetings are during the day or in a pub in the evening.

EarlyMorningCoffee Sun 08-Dec-19 07:50:51

If your child's teacher has children of their own they will almost certainly be in the same position as you.

I honestly wouldn't worry and you certainly won't be the only one.

Is there a reason you can't make assemblies etc?

Ohhgreat Sun 08-Dec-19 07:54:01

Honestly - the wraparound care wont be staffed by the teachers, so even if your child went to that rather than childminder you wouldn't get any more contact with teachers. It's a non-issue, and you'll avoid all the playground politics!!

SnuggyBuggy Sun 08-Dec-19 07:56:30

As said the wraparound care will be different staff anyway. I'd be more interested in trying to find out if it's one of those schools with a higher percentage of SAHPs and high expectations of parental involvement. It might not be a good fit if that's the case.

winterwhite Sun 08-Dec-19 07:58:54

I’m not sure snuggy but everyone keeps insisting DD won’t be the only one.

To be honest, she probably WILL be the only one who is never dropped off or collected by a family member. Not necessarily the mother of course.

I suppose there’s nothing I can do about it.

fitzbilly Sun 08-Dec-19 08:01:27

I'm a childminder and I collect and drop off at least six children a day, as do the other childminders. You won't be the only one that's for sure.

I don't see how do around care at the school would change anything. You still won't see the teachers.

My mindees end up being good friends too.

orangeteal Sun 08-Dec-19 08:05:52

I became a school governor for this reason, helped me engage with the school. My work allows me special leave to attend (lots of work places do for public duties).

Isleepinahedgefund Sun 08-Dec-19 08:06:02

You definitely won’t be the only one, and it will be fine.

Avoiding the playground politics is an excellent bonus to the situation too! Would strongly advise not joining the PTA personally (that might just be a reflection on our pta of course!)

If there is a WhatsApp group join it urgently, if not then start one - this will be invaluable as you’ll always be able to contact her friends’ parents to arrange play dates. Have the play date at a weekend - there’s no rule to say they have to take place after school!

You won’t be the only one who misses events. Schools tend to give absolutely minimal notice of events too, so I’d say that most working parents are not able to drop everything and come in at 2:30 on Wednesday (notified on Monday) to look round the art room or whatever, unless their employer is extremely flexible. I’m lucky that mine is, but I’ve still had to miss a few things because it’s too short notice and I’ve got meetings booked already. On this point I would pressgang the school to give more notice - they almost always have them planned well in advance but are still incapable of giving more than 36 hours’ warning.

ImportantWater Sun 08-Dec-19 08:07:12

Will you be able to accompany DD to parties at the weekend? I didn’t do any pick ups and that is where I met other mums.

Namechanger23455 Sun 08-Dec-19 08:07:19

My DS uses wrap around care four times a week, we use an after school club (private) that collect from the school and walk them to their location. There is a school one however it doesn’t offer summer holidays too. He is four.

I pick him up and drop him off once a week, although this will change in the new year to none at all.

The only thing with it is that he is shattered by the time the weekend comes, more so when he did nursery 5 x a week 7.30 until 5!

On the day I get him I only see a teacher stood at the early years gate, and there is no interaction other than a smile. I don’t know his teachers other than one I spoke to for 5 minutes at parents evening.

I would imagine I’d only have interaction with them if DS had an issues at school.

In an intake of 60 ( 2 form entry) there are 5 kids who use the private after school club, 7/8 who use the school one. The rest are picked up by parents / grandparents and child minders.

Cultoffortnite Sun 08-Dec-19 08:08:18

You won’t be the only one. Most parents where we are work but they do have some flexibility with kids which they’ve built in to their routines. And that’s the dads as well as mums. can you or your DP arrange with your work for a day a week where one of you can drop off/pick up? Here it’s Friday’s or Monday’s when most of the parents are around and it is a nice thing to do when you can.

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