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Shift work and term time childcare, please help!!

(17 Posts)
TheLittleMe Fri 19-Oct-12 12:37:40

I have been on maternity leave for 4 months now, and my SMP is just about to kick in. We have saved up and cut back on things to ensure that we are going to have a comfortable Christmas, so not considering going back to work before then. I work in a secondary school, and when I go back will be working term time, Monday to Thursday, 8-5. My DP has just been taken on as a trainee Paramedic, and is hopefully going to start in December. He will be doing shift work. I've been to look round some nurseries, and they have all said that I would not be able to change days, and I'm basically looking at having to put my daughter (who will be around 7 months) into full time nursery for the 4 days I will be working. I would rather my daughter went to a CM. Do you think that there would be any chance that a CM would entertain letting me pay a higher daily rate in order to change days and just do term time?? My DPs rota would be given to us in advance for 10 weeks do we could give her the dates needed in advance? Every time I think about this I get panicky, as it affects my decision about when to return to work. Any advice?

Laquitar Fri 19-Oct-12 14:31:41

Why do you need to change days? Do you mean that dh will drop and pick up?
Where are you?

TheLittleMe Fri 19-Oct-12 17:18:43

I mean change days as in my dp will be working different days each week, so for example week 1 we might need 3 days childcare, week 2 we might need one day, week 3 we might need 4 days and so on! In south west london

Dordeydoo Fri 19-Oct-12 18:08:40

I'm guessing most childminders would ask you to pay for a set amount of hours a week/month

Norem Fri 19-Oct-12 18:13:30

Hi thelittleme I have a similar child care requirement that changes every week. I found the best was was to advertise on gumtree jobs stating exactly how variable the days and money would be week to week.
I had 25 replies in 24 hours ( am in Glasgow ) I was shocked as I didn't think anyone could be that flexible!
I have a fab nanny who is totally flexible, she has another job ( not nannying) and she tell them when she can work after I have my shifts sorted.
Yours might suit a mum who does not want to work during the holidays at all.
Good luck smile

scurryfunge Fri 19-Oct-12 18:20:06

Can you afford to pay for the full time childcare but only use it part time? I was in a similar position a few years ago. It was expensive but there was no flexibility with any child care arrangements, so had to pay regardless.

TheLittleMe Fri 19-Oct-12 18:58:46

Norem that gives me hope!!! At the moment I'm just delaying going back as I am not sure what to do. Will definitely be doing this.

Scurry we can't afford full time childcare unfortunately!!! Paying for 3 days a week is pushing it, as it is £60 a day sad

blondiedollface Fri 19-Oct-12 19:05:08

Hope you find something that works LittleMe :D

Dordeydoo Fri 19-Oct-12 19:05:44

If I were you I'd ask local childminders to see.

Dordeydoo Fri 19-Oct-12 19:06:18

Posted to early.
To see what they do as some may cater for you

sleeplessinderbyshire Fri 19-Oct-12 21:04:55

£60 a day sounds extortionate for one child. A nanny wouldn't cost much more! I pay £32 a day for 10.5hrs inc all meals but not nappies. Are you sure it is that much? I pay for 4 days nursery but often use only 3 or 3.5 that is just the way it has to be. Don't underestimate the need to do housework/sleep whilst child is at nursery and your OH is not working especially if he is on nights.

Flisspaps Fri 19-Oct-12 21:09:23

I have a client who works shifts. I charge her a minimum of 22 hours per week.

She can have more if necessary and pays extra for those - but on weeks where she uses fewer, she pays for 22 anyway. That is the bare minimum I need to operate and that is the average she needs so it works well.

I am given hours maybe 2-4 weeks in advance, it works for me. The days vary from week to week and I like it.

TheLittleMe Fri 19-Oct-12 21:15:17

Thanks Blondie ;)
Dordey I plan to do that, just wondered whether it was in the realms of possibility
Sleepless unfortunately that is the price in the Richmond area. Extortionate I know.
Flisspaps thats encouraging, how did the woman find you if you don't mind me asking?

NAR4 Fri 19-Oct-12 21:42:32

Childminders are often cheaper than nurseries. Lots of childminders where I live will provide term time only care and part time hours, but most would at least charge a retainer fee for days you don't use one week but may need the next.

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 19-Oct-12 22:17:53

I have a family whose Dad works 4 days in 4 days off. So they pay me for four days whether they use me 2/3/4 days.
I obviously have to leave space everyday, but I was thankful for the work.
I am relatively new to CM though so I need the work. I'd probably do it for you for a set fee and then hope your days fell right for a day off for me smile
I live up north though.

Flisspaps Fri 19-Oct-12 23:30:33 smile

lechatnoir Fri 19-Oct-12 23:55:38

I have a mindee with me 3 days 1 week and 2 days then next alternate weeks and just charge for the days she is with me (£55/day so not far off you) - I like having an easier day every other week so didn't feel the need to charge any sort of retainer or fee for the3rd day. I'd be amazed if you can't find someone (might be harder until your LO turns 1 due to Ofsted space restrictions)

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