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Panicking about finding childcare

(18 Posts)
Dancergirl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:16:55

After being a SAHM for 11 years I am about to go back to college to do a part time course. The first year it is just one day a week. I need someone to collect my younger 2 from school, bring them home and stay with them till I get home at about 5.45pm. Also to take my oldest dd to ballet at 5.15pm so they must be a driver.

The course starts at the beginning of Oct and I haven't found anyone yet and am starting to panic. My neighbour was going to do it but has pulled out due a change in circumstances. I asked a TA at school who thought she might be interested but she's come back saying no. I have put an ad on Gumtree thinking I would get loads of responses but the only people to respond so far was a lady whose English wasn't very good plus she had her own baby, and a really lovely lady who sounded perfect but we have a cat and she's allergic!

I haven't considered a CM because a) I really want my dds to come home after sch and b) people say its hard to find a CM for one day.

Any ideas? I am obviously completely new to all this!

Dancergirl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:33:22

Have also posted on

woahthere Wed 12-Sep-12 14:43:39

I think your best bet is a childminder. I doubt you will find a nanny to do something like this, which is what you would need if you wanted them to be at your house. Im sure they would be perfectly happy to go to someone elses house and childminders do have after school children just for one day a week, well i do anyway. not sure about ballet, any friends that go there that could take? you might be able to get a cm to do it though, it depends on what other children she has.

Dancergirl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:50:18

What's the best way of finding a CM? Have I left it too late?

Dancergirl Wed 12-Sep-12 14:51:11

I know my middle dd won't want to go to a CM so it's not ideal really.

HSMM Wed 12-Sep-12 15:21:09

But ... a CM probably won't be able to take a child to an after school activity if she is also looking after other children.

Is there an after school club? Can another parent from ballet help you out?

avivabeaver Wed 12-Sep-12 18:35:46

How old are the kids and does it have to be a drive to ballet? This is the sort of ad-hoc "babysitting" that my DD1 does- She is in the Sixth form and often has early finishes so is available for pick up and an hour or 2 until mum gets home. Friendly local teenager?

Dancergirl Wed 12-Sep-12 19:26:08

Don't think it would work. School is not walk able so it must be a driver. Similarly ballet is a good mile away and not really on a bus route. So I suppose it would have to be a nanny.

Julia1973 Wed 12-Sep-12 20:00:10

Some practical solutions:

- Phone an agency
- Advertise with a note at school
-ask a neighbour
-Look for an after school club (who ussually have very flexible hours

You could be lucky and find exactly what you want.

However, in my experience, childcare usually involves an element of compromise- something I sense that youre not too keen to embrace?

-Book ballet for a different night
- try a childminder

FantasticMissFox Wed 12-Sep-12 20:25:11

Where abouts are you Dancergirl?

PurplePidjin Wed 12-Sep-12 20:38:36

You are the parent, you're not abusing your middle daughter by making her do something she doesn't want to do for a couple of hours a week (significant SN excluded) especially something that will be so beneficial for the family in the long term.

A mile is a pleasant stroll, should take about 20 minutes. 4 yo dnephew can handle that distance with ease. For reference, school transport is only available to pupils living more than 2 miles from school at Primary age, 3 for Secondary.

Dancergirl Wed 12-Sep-12 22:40:06

Thanks for your replies but unfortunately for various reasons, I want the dc cared for at home. Ballet can't be changed, she does 3 classes on that night and she has a longer day now at secondary school, it's just not practical to walk. So I'm looking for a nanny rather than a CM.

fantasticmrfox I'm in NW London.

Julia1973 Wed 12-Sep-12 22:51:07

Have you contacted agencies? looked at child care. co. uk/?

pinkdelight Thu 13-Sep-12 09:20:54

Try Think they do regular bookings for stuff like this. Good luck.

homeaway Thu 13-Sep-12 10:38:03

I know that it would bump up the cost but have you thought about a nanny who could not drive and using a taxi ? I have friends who have managed school activities by booking a taxi so that the kids can get to them ? I think you are going to have to compromise somewhere you just have to decide what you are willing to compromise on .

Dancergirl Thu 13-Sep-12 21:00:31

After all that, I've had a bit of a change of heart. Found a lovely local CM who is highly recommended and has 2 small girls herself. I think my younger dd would really enjoy having friends to play with, plus she gives them dinner!

She said it will be £45 for both of them for 1 day, pick up from school 3.20pm and I would collect them by 6pm at the latest. Does that sound reasonable? I have no idea of costs.

lechatnoir Fri 14-Sep-12 14:46:27

I charge £20 per child for after school outside London do this sounds about right.

forevergreek Sat 15-Sep-12 16:06:06

i think a nanny with child may be found

Most nannies work full time or at least a full day at a time. you may find a nanny with a baby in the area, who maybe isn't ready to go back to work full time yet and just wants a few days/ hours a week. may fit in if they have other part time work

I know you say no to a childminder, but they or an after school club may have space

otherwise, do you have space for an au pair? they could do this evening, and maybe a couple of others whilst you study or pop out? im sure many would be interested especially if its less hours than average. (maybe 12-6pm one day- could cook for that eve/ sort some children's things if prepared to before pick up, then 2 evenings)

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