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Child care for shift workers.

(12 Posts)
mothertobe789 Sat 15-Jun-19 00:22:01

My dd is only 4 and a half months old at the moment and I'm not due to go back to work for another 6 months but I know i need to get something in place soon and not leave it to the last minute!
I am a nurse and work 13 hour shifts both days and nights and my shifts are different every week, no set routine to them, I work 3 days a week (full time when doing the longer shifts). DH works mon-fri 9-5.
My mum is kindly going to watch DD once a week.
So I am going to need childcare for 2 days a week. Sometimes I won't if my shifts happen to fall on the weekend when dh is home.
The nurserys near me say i have to either pay to put her in full time (mon-fri) which would mean paying to have her there when I am at home some of those days. Or give them set days that she will be there, which won't work either as my shifts are different every week!
Really can't think of a way around this! Is anyone else in this situation and have any suggestions?

Youngandfree Sat 15-Jun-19 00:26:40

Is it possible AT ALL to get a set routine of shifts from your workplace?? Or ask to only work weekends and random day midweek? That way you only need to use your DM and DH?

Zoe2411 Sat 15-Jun-19 00:28:07

Childminder maybe , they tend to be more flexible x

mothertobe789 Sat 15-Jun-19 00:28:58

I really don't think it is something they will allow unfortunately. I could always ask but I seriously doubt it'll be allowed x

muddypuddled Sat 15-Jun-19 00:30:14

Hi, also a nurse with 2 children. I'm fortunate to be able to do 23hrs per week and put my children in nursery for 2 set days per week then told work they had a choice of 4 days (including weekends) that I could do my shifts. They have always been fine with this and I am very lucky to have not had any problems. Hope that helps

INeedNewShoes Sat 15-Jun-19 00:32:57

There is no perfect solution but nurseries tend to be quieter on Mondays and very quiet on Fridays.

I only have DD booked for 2 days aweek but they will always swap one of her days to a Friday if I ask.

On this basis, I wonder whether you should book nursery for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (as these are busy days for nurseries when they'll rarely have capacity to swap you if these aren't your fixed days) and then on the weeks your shifts fall on Mondays and Fridays your mum could handle the Monday and you could ask (very nicely, because they're not obliged to) to swap one of your booked days to Friday for that week.

I don't know if I've explained this well but it could be worth exploring.

I work unpredictable hours. As well as doing occasional day swaps with nursery I also employ a young lady (19) who is available on an ad-hoc basis and has been looking after DD since she was 4 months for a few hours a week. She covers weekend and evening hours for me when they crop up with calling in favours from friends and family as the next option.

Unfortunately I don't think you'll find a convenient solution. It will likely have to be something piecemeal like this.

smileandsing Sat 15-Jun-19 01:37:30

I'm also a shift worker working different days and time every week. DH works in a 'normal' hours Mon-Fri job. We have no family close by.
We have always had a childminder. We don't have to pay for a full time space, but we do pay a bit extra compared to her standard hourly rate for her flexibility in accommodating our variable hours. As a result we get flexible, reasonably priced home from home childcare for the hours we actually need to cover. And she gets a consistant, reliable source of income.

My advice is to go on and message all childminders in your area, regardless of what they state their availability for days and hours is, and ask if they would consider looking after your DD. Give an example of what a month's childcare requirements would be, and offer to pay a bit more (let them decide how much) for the flexibility. Perhaps you could pay for a minimum number of hours per month, so the childminder knows what their minimum income would be from you.

Another option is a nanny, but they are much more expensive than childminders so only really viable if you can afford it, or you have more than one child. Also, you are their employer, whereas childminders are self employed.

OldAndWornOut Sat 15-Jun-19 01:49:03

Are you allowed to swap shifts with other staff?
Our otherwise unreasonable boss allowed us to swap a week of shifts if we wanted to, as long as we asked, made sure the Rota made it clear who was in, and checked what activates were going on and accommodated them.

Leobynature Sat 15-Jun-19 01:59:13

I doubt that there is nothing you can do. I think you should look over the policy and speak to HR. They have got to account for childcare, what if you were a single mom? I’m sure employment law supports women with children under 5. I would inform your employer that you have to arrange childcare and request set days.
I work FT with a one year old. They need routine or they go nuts. It maybe difficult for your child if she has random days at the childminders some weeks and other weeks she is just with DH/nan.

OldAndWornOut Sat 15-Jun-19 02:06:56

I'm sure you'll be allowed to request flexible working, but whether you'll get it remains to be seen.

insancerre Sat 22-Jun-19 13:38:24

I think if you get your mum to commit to one day you will have to book 4 days at nursery, even if you don’t use the 4 days every week
I work in a nursery and our baby room only takes 6, so we can’t really take extra children in as we have 6 in already with 2 members of staff

Lazypuppy Wed 26-Jun-19 20:23:25

Mama bears does shifts. You pick your sessions a month in advance and can change as much as you want each month

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