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Sharing school pick ups / after school care with neighbours?

(16 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Fri 12-Jul-19 21:30:26

My son starts school in September 2020. We will need childcare on 2-3 days per week (husband is able to pick him up on the other days). Grandparents will be willing to help in holidays, and we will also use some annual leave then.

Wondering about a childminder on the 2-3 days a week we'll need. Alternatively we are wondering about sharing the load with other families on our street. All go to the same school and some of the parents are off on some weekdays. We wondered about suggesting an arrangement where we take it in turns to pick up the kids and look after them until parents are home from work about 5.30. Has anyone done this? Any advice?

Orangedaisy Fri 12-Jul-19 21:36:40

No, but I’m also thinking about it as an option. Is it legal as a regular arrangement or do you need to all register as childminders....??

ThePartyArtist Fri 12-Jul-19 21:43:25

No I don't think we'd need to do that - no money would change hands, it'd be like looking after friends' kids.

Orangedaisy Fri 12-Jul-19 22:37:09

Wasn’t there a case a while back though where 2 police officers looked after each other’s kids and as it was a regular arrangement were hauled up for it?

Orangedaisy Fri 12-Jul-19 22:38:45

Counts as payment in kind....

Bubblebrush Fri 12-Jul-19 22:42:10

Yes - in this situation each parent looking after other children in the parent's home would need to be registered as a childminder...

If a parent looks after another parent's child in the child's home then that's ok (but obviously not terribly convenient for the parent)

Drum2018 Fri 12-Jul-19 22:45:50

I wouldn't do it as ultimately someone will end up taking the piss, coming home later, switching days, not being available on the day they are supposed to collect etc.... Find a reliable childminder and pay them. That way you know where you stand.

MirrorHope Fri 12-Jul-19 22:47:01

Pay a childminder - it doesn't work - it won't work.

CottonSock Fri 12-Jul-19 22:49:09

I've done it for a year, 1 day a week swap each way. Works great and no I'm not registering as a bloody child minder. It's a play date basically

itsaboojum Sat 13-Jul-19 07:24:24

It would be good if people checked their 'facts' before posting.

The case of the two Aylesbury detective constables caused such an outrage that the then Labour education secretary instructed Ofsted to stop pursuing parents who shared mutual childcare arrangements for no other reward. That was ten years ago.

Ofsted’s guidelines on requirements to register with them have since been amended accordingly. You do not have to register with Ofsted if:-

...you provide childcare for less than two hours a day (even if doing it 'for reward')

Or..... if looking after friends' children for less than 3 hours

Or..... if looking after children in the children’s own home

Or..... if you receive no money, vouchers, gifts or service in return (ie not 'for reward')

These do not all have to apply. You are exempt from registration if any one or more applies.

That said, I would recommend using a registered childcare provider.

I’ve seen way too many of these 'friendship arrangements' fail. They can work, but they frequently don’t. They can put undue strain on the friendship, the children and even on extended families in all sorts of ways. I’ve known this sort of thing to ruin relationships. You have no guarantees and no comeback when the other parent lets you down. It will be nigh on impossible to find a short notice alternative when the other parent falls ill or suddenly announces they aren’t available next week, etc, etc. You name it, I’ve seen it.

Di11y Sat 13-Jul-19 07:29:54

it might work for a day a week, but before you know it dh is missing out on special time with DS, someone needs to work and can't do it, someone else wants to start swimming lessons and can't do Tuesday's any more, one of the kids is ill, the kids fall out...

NerrSnerr Sat 13-Jul-19 07:33:00

We do it as an ad hoc thing with neighbours usually once every couple of weeks. The children all do after school clubs on different nights so we'd struggle to make it more regular.

Pineapplefish Sat 13-Jul-19 07:55:26

I have seen this work well, but I think 2-3 times a week is a lot. Does that mean it would be every single night after school that your kids would be spending with the neighbours' kids (either picked up by you or their parent)? I think they might get a bit sick of each other!

ExpletiveDelighted Sat 13-Jul-19 08:02:35

I've only ever done it ad-hoc. It's a huge commitment to have someone else's children every week while they work, really restricting. As others have said, illness, kids falling out, swimming lessons, needs of siblings, after school clubs, dental appointments etc all get in the way.

SushiGo Sat 13-Jul-19 08:08:16

Honestly I wouldn't. My experience wasn't so much that the parents were unreliable but you will find the kids get fed up with each other it and because they're always at one or others home there's no good neutral way to deal with it.

On off occasions is fine, I don't recommend regular arrangements, especially if ur means all your 'free' days are now committed to other people's dc (and you asking the same from others)

ExpletiveDelighted Sat 13-Jul-19 08:10:43

It really does remove one of the main benefits of working part time, which is being on hand for all the things I listed.

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