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Childcare for school-age children?

(18 Posts)
Catilla Thu 09-Jun-11 14:08:38

Come September, both my DCs will be in full-time school. We've had a very good few years of using a nanny to cover all our childcare needs (I work 4 days/week) but clearly I can't justify continuing it.

I'm just wondering what everyone else does for care before and after school, and during holidays? Can it really be true that you are all constantly juggling different arrangements eg. dropoffs & pickups on different days, favours from friends, week with granny in the holidays etc?

I am thinking of rearranging my hours so I can do the school wraparound 3 days per week which means on 2 days I need before & after school care. It will be quite a long day as I have to travel to the office (can work from home on my shorter days), which means the school club doesn't really work, and many childminders would finish too early - plus I don't really want to have to walk them home from somewhere after such a long day. Is it realistic to look for someone to do 7.30 - 9am and 3-7.30pm twice a week? Who would want that job? Are there students out there who'd want more in the holidays and could do those limited hours in term time? We're in London so I guess we should have as good a choice as anyone.

I'm really interested to get some different points of view on this.

HSMM Thu 09-Jun-11 14:39:21

I childmind children who use after school clubs in term time and come to me in the school holidays. Does that help?

HSMM Thu 09-Jun-11 14:40:50

and... There are CMs who do school runs and work early and late.

happyfaceschildcare Thu 09-Jun-11 17:14:09

I childmind children before and after school and during school holidays, they need to be children who attend the same school as my own children but that's what most childminders do, so maybe worth checking with your school and seeing if they have any childminders names they could give you.
Also don't be put off by childminders hours, alot of them have set hours just as a guideline and can be flexible, that's the benefit of a childminder over a nursery I find is the flexibility so always worth an ask.
Good luck

pollywollyhadadollycalledmolly Thu 09-Jun-11 18:00:29

As a cm i have worked until 8pm some evenings. But in my hours it says i work until 6pm. If you dont ask you wont know smile

Catilla Sat 11-Jun-11 21:29:09

Thanks for your thoughts.

DoubleDegreeStudent Sat 11-Jun-11 23:40:49

I'm a student in central London and, timetable permitting, I'd be willing to do that. You can PM me if you want, or if not just know that we do exist!

fridayschild Sun 12-Jun-11 08:49:55

This is not what you want to hear but we are still using a nanny. Ds2 is about to go into year 2....

However I need childcare in the school holidays too, and I see you are thinking about term time only. That might make a difference.

FictionFanatic Tue 14-Jun-11 22:17:01

If you've got a spare room, get an au pair. I work three days a week and have 2 kids in primary school and have had au pairs for several years. It works brilliantly - flexible, personal, friendly and reliable. Only drawback is that kids share a room to enable this to work in our house, but in fact they are very happy with it. Our oldest (now 8) says he wants to carry on sharing till he is "in double figures" so I've got 14 months left to enjoy it . . . Then, advice on what to do next, please MNers . . . Is it possible to get a good nanny to just do 2 or 3 after-schools per week in term time and 2-3 days per week in hols? And is it frighteningly expensive?

Catilla Wed 15-Jun-11 22:04:56

fridayschild actually yes it's very interesting to hear how lots of families manage...do you pay your nanny for all day? What does s/he do during the day?
I may be lucky that my existing nanny would like to do holidays on an ongoing basis, but that won't last forever as she's going to train as a teacher.

Thanks FictionFanatic - if we had more space I would consider an aupair, but our spare room is also my office, and the kids have their own rooms but they are tiny - no toys in bedrooms in this house! I'm interested in the aupair concept (ie. limited hours / and probably foreign / here to learn language & experience London / potentially young) but without the live-in. I'd be happy to pay more than the minimal aupair amount in exchange for live-out, but I don't get the impression this is often done. If I'm honest I

DoubleDegreeStudent thanks, it's very useful to know that students might be interested. Where would be good to find them? I've had good success finding nannies on Gumtree... would students look for work there?

cat64 Wed 15-Jun-11 22:20:31

Message withdrawn

Catilla Fri 17-Jun-11 20:31:37

Hi cat64 can you say more about the rules you might be thinking of?
As far as I'm aware, while childminders (ie. Working in their own home) have to be registered, anyone looking after children in the children's home is at the discretion of the parents and any registration is entirely voluntary. Sad,y though I have lots of Childcare vouchers mounting up as my current nanny's registration has been a series of hassles, so I may be looking for someone registered for that reason alone!!

cat64 Fri 17-Jun-11 21:06:56

Message withdrawn

nannynick Sat 18-Jun-11 14:27:26

cat64 - Childcare Act 2006 would apply if the care is provided in the home of the carer (so a Childminder). A nanny (in England) does not need to be registered with anyone - though can optionally register with Ofsted to enable parents to use Childcare Vouchers / Tax Credits as a payment method.

Catilla - what is happening about your current nanny? Are they leaving... or would you be making the position redundant? If they have been employed by you for over 2 years, then check out Redundancy Pay.

I would say that you need to look at childminders, call/email them and ask if they would consider the late finish time. You never know you might find someone who would... and they may also be able to do holiday care as well.

cat64 Sat 18-Jun-11 14:40:36

Message withdrawn

Catilla Mon 20-Jun-11 18:00:29

Hi Nick, thanks for clarifying.
Do you also know what the outcome was of the case with the policewomen who were providing care for each others children on an exchange basis? This is something I'd love to find too!

And re my current nanny, she's been with me less than a year but also would be my first choice to keep the job at fewer hours (and nannyshare is something I'm investigating) but I don't think she will choose to - she needs the money as she's saving for teacher training. We had hoped she would find a TA job at our school and stay on but sadly that hasn't happened. If she finds a job in a different school she would still be keen to cover holidays.

I'm currently considering any and all options as my current nanny's situation isn't yet clear, but am also aware that during the summer holidays it may be quite hard to make arrangements for September!

nannynick Mon 20-Jun-11 18:43:03

The outcome was The Childcare (Exemptions from Registration) (Amendment) Order 2010 which says
that care of "a child or children in the course of a friendship with the parents of that child or children; and the provision is not made in exchange for payment” then it is exempt from registration. (note: my highlighting of word and and I've made the legal bit a little more readable, so click the link to see precise wording).

It then goes on to define “payment” as meaning "a payment of money or money’s worth, but does not include the provision of goods or services." Not sure what money's worth means though could be something like a voucher. It specifically excludes goods or services, so providing childcare for a friend then the friend providing childcare for your children is permitted - you are exchanging services.

Catilla Tue 21-Jun-11 13:58:52

Thanks, that's helpful.

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