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Both parents in full time work - what are our options?

(12 Posts)
InnercityPressure Thu 16-Nov-17 09:07:45

For the last few years I have been fortunate to have been working in an interesting and very rewarding part-time role. I've been able to do school runs etc, as well as earning a 'good' wage.
Before that I have worked full time (or almost full time) but that was when kids were nursery age/at a school with good after school provision, and DH had some flexibility.

Our current situation is that DH has a new job in which he will have to work hard for the foreseeable future. There is some flexibility around working arrangements, but working hours can't be reduced.

For reasons which aren't relevant, I will have to leave my job at the end of December and have been looking at alternative options. It is likely that anything I am offered at the right level of seniority will be full-time, and there's a reasonable possibility that I might have work in time for January. I have two children, one of whom is in Year 6, the other is a few years younger. Their current school does not have any after school provision, and childminders seem to be a rarity - most families have a SAHP.

I was thinking about it, and actually I think I can count only 2-3 families that I know with both parents working full-time. One manages with a childminder (but to be honest they barely manage) and another has a great arrangement with an after-school nanny, which seems to work well. But I don't know anyone in this situation locally, and I'm not sure how to find out what the options are.

The kids are on a waiting list for a school with wraparound care, which I think would be our best option if it became possible. But otherwise if you are in a family with two parents working full-time, what works best? And if we need to find a nanny/childminder/au pair how do we even start and what are the pluses and minuses of each??! I'm considering that if I get a full time role with some flexibility that I might work two days a week, say, 7am to 3pm so that I could pick up from school at least sometimes. Again, if you do this, does it work?

nannynick Thu 16-Nov-17 13:03:02

You could start by looking on childcare listings sites like to see if there are any nannies in your area looking for before/after school work.

jannier Thu 16-Nov-17 13:06:22

Have you contacted your local children's information at your civic centre? They have lists of registered childcare including child-minders and afterschool clubs.
I would be very surprised if only 3 children have both parents working, unless its a tiny village school or very well off area.
Why do you say the one using a child-minder is barley managing? Has this childminder got any spaces?
A registered childmidner will collect from school take to her home and feed snacks / dinner according to their policy, have activities, may well support homework and will often continue to be a base for senior school children not yet ready to be home alone. A goo one will also support your child if they come out of school with worries and be able to reassure them that things will be okay, contacting you if necessary so you can make phone calls to school if its a real problem, like bullying, while also comforting your child. They can become part of your extended family.
Like all registered care they are Ofsted inspected, have first aid etc.
I also help children with projects and we do research on things that interest them.

ninjapants Thu 16-Nov-17 13:16:21

We both work full time, we use a childminder. This may be your best solution.
Do you work the same hours as each other? Do you both work weekdays only? Because these things are relevant when it comes to working out cost effectiveness and options. Could you each adjust your hours to minimise the amount of childcare you need?
Try for local options, and message people directly, don't just go by their profile

AndersArms Thu 16-Nov-17 13:22:23

What about an au pair OP?

jannier Thu 16-Nov-17 13:22:49

If you do use be very clear about your needs - which school, hours needed, rough ages...this helps people decide if they can help.

InnercityPressure Thu 16-Nov-17 16:40:52

Thanks all for your input so far. To clear up a few things that I didn't explain well - it's the family with the childminder which generally isn't coping, probably nothing to do with the childminding arrangement. And we've moved so are no longer nearby to those families.

I had a quick look but can find only one childminder offering pickups from our school. I guess one is enough if they have space and we get on. I'm sure there are loads of families using childcare around here but we are new to the area and it appears that at the school most families don't need/use any wraparound care, hence no after school club and few childminders.

Hours: generally we will both be working normal office hours but could flex them a bit if necessary.

insancerre Fri 17-Nov-17 19:18:56

Ring all your local nurseries and ask if they do after school clubs
Many do but don't advertise it

StuHunter Mon 27-Nov-17 19:26:49

My wife died in March this year and I am now back at work full time. I have 2 girls aged 7 & 11. I don’t want to put them in after school clubs if I can help it after what they have been through. I feel the eldest is too young to come home (walk in to town and catch a bus) on dark winters nights. I am usually home by 17.30. What does everyone else do please?


InnercityPressure Tue 28-Nov-17 09:43:08

I'm really sorry for your loss. What are your current arrangements? I think in your situation I would be looking for a nanny to bring the girls back to your house. Failing that a childminder.

Gergana83 Thu 07-Dec-17 08:09:44

Hi there does any one know anything about co-op babysitting or babysitting swap in Cambridge , I was reading about this , parents with children looking after other child when they are off work and the other parent takes the children when they are off ?

Fridayschild Sun 31-Dec-17 11:26:59

We use a student for after-school care. DC2 was 10 when this started and we are near a couple of universities. It's babysitting with child-feeding duties, not "proper" nannying, but now the DC are older this works well for us. The first few were in their final year at uni so we just had them for one year; this year's student has just started and I think if he wants to carry on we will be happy to employ him for a number of years.

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