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Flexible childcare- does it exist??

(19 Posts)
FiMcC83 Tue 05-Mar-13 10:24:57

Hi everyone, just joined Mumsnet to see if there is any advice out there for me! We are currently looking for childcare for when I go back to work but so far can't find anyone that can cater for a monthly shift pattern. What do others do in this situation? I keep hearing that the likelihood is that ill have to pay for all 5 days, and only use the days I work? Any advice would be great!

FireOverBabylon Tue 05-Mar-13 10:30:15

Sorry but I agree that you'll have to pay for all 5 days. I had an option for flexible working of 1 full day off every 2nd week, but it was useless for us as the nursery couldn't book someone else in for one day a fortnight so we'd have just had to pay for time we didn't need to use.

DottyandSpottyWot Tue 05-Mar-13 13:18:32

I work PT and DH works shifts on a ten week rolling pattern, we have to pay childcare for the days I always work even if that means DH is at home. Gives him the chance to do housework, shopping etc. She is dropped off later and picked up earlier, but still keeps DC in a routine too.

Good Luck finding childcare that suits you.

Akasa Tue 05-Mar-13 13:18:48

It is a difficult situation - as a CM, I do appreciate the challenges in sorting out childcare for a parent who has shift work. However, it is not really a question of finding a setting that can cater the enquiry but more a case of the business viability for the provider. If the shift pattern is irregular (which I assume it is), then a provider will never normally be able to fill the unused slots that occur on an irregular basis and will therefore need to charge as if the child is effectively full time.

Do keep looking around though because there are providers who do not want to work "to capacity" and may be happy to work around the shift requirements.

HSMMaCM Tue 05-Mar-13 13:32:30

I know a couple of CMs who could do it, but most would ask you to pay for a full time space.

MortifiedAdams Tue 05-Mar-13 13:36:48

My DM is a CM and I know she offers flexibility to parents. One little girl she has every tues wed and thurs, every third monday and one friday a month grin

Theres a little boy who used to go to her three days a week but they were any three days.

She minds my dd too and I work shifts so on a Monday I give her my rota for the week starting the following monday. I pay her a set discounted fee though, being her dd and all grin

Where abouts are you?

HappyAsASandboy Tue 05-Mar-13 13:45:01

You could try to find out what care your local hospital/police HQ staff use?

I use a nursery that is now private, but used to be part of the hospital an is on the hospital grounds. They allow parents to submit requirements a month in advance (when the nurse shift patterns are released I think). It is great to have the flexibility. Sometimes they can't meet every day of your request, but it is very very rare.

I use this system to book different numbers of day on different day of the week each week. It is brilliantly flexible smile

Stoney666 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:56:28

I would do it grin

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Tue 05-Mar-13 14:00:46

I offer shift pattern cover and I'm available 24/7 with sleepovers here. I'm often in demand and make a fair amount off one off or irregular sessions. I get a few older ones in the holidays too.

At the weekends the minded children become part of the family... With meals out, trips to the woods, swimming etc.

forevergreek Tue 05-Mar-13 14:14:09

Maybe a nanny with own child. You could pay for say 3 days childcare every week. If it evens out over the month of 12 days childcare needed.

So work out how many days a month, divide into weeks and that person gets the same money each week regardless of it they work 1 day week one, 3 days week two, 2.5 days week 3 etc.

Maebe Tue 05-Mar-13 14:47:44

Talk to a few CMs. We actually have the set-up that you're looking for, I think. DP does a weird 10-day shift pattern, I work f/t so DD is in for different hours every week, though there are only two 'shifts' she does there (either 8-4 or 12-6). We agreed with our CM to pay a set fee every month, after working out several month's average childcare hours. This also includes a bit extra in case we are late which, between the shifts and the commute and the bloody trains packing up happens occasionally. The CM has been happy with this as it guarantees her income, and also we tell her a month or two in advance what hours we would like. So far she hasn't come back to say 'no' to any days but if she does then we'll just take a day off, it's a weird set up so there might be a few clashes.

Some months the CM does enough hours to earn all the money we pay her (sorry, can't think of a better way to put it!) and other months she probably makes £50-£70 extra. But we're fine with this as we have the flexible childcare we need, and it it still works out cheaper than paying for a f/t place.

So it's not impossible to get the right care, but I imagine a lot of CMs would prefer for a whole place to be paid for. Still probably worth looking at a CM though as it seems they are more flexible than nurseries in terms of early drop-offs or late pick-ups.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Tue 05-Mar-13 14:50:14

Yy nanny with own child or someone with a second flexible job (eg studying, novelist, stripper ...)

FiMcC83 Tue 05-Mar-13 22:29:48

Thanks for the advice so far...

@ mortifiedadams. We are in Kelvinbridge, Glasgow ??

FiMcC83 Tue 05-Mar-13 22:32:17

@forevergreek. Yes this is exactly what we were hoping to arrange

MsDeerheart Tue 05-Mar-13 22:36:31

I have known quite a few childminders who have done this kind of thing - def your best bet

TurnTables Tue 05-Mar-13 22:55:00

Me and my husband do this. To all our parents we offer the whole week's hours and they can take whatever they like according to what they need. We have a family at the moment who's hours change weekly. Mum just let's us know what hours our needed and that is what we charge for. Even if they change the day or 2 before that is ok with us as that is how we want to help our parents. We have one family that usually stick to the same hours but will let us know if they need to change them or add to them. We don't do overnight care though if that is needed as we don't have the bedroom space to make this work. I'm in the london area. If you need any more specific's message me and I'll chat that way but we may not be in your area. All the best with your search.

Tanith Tue 05-Mar-13 23:12:47

We would do this, too.
I have had a family who paid only for the hours they used, and another who averaged out the hours over her 8 week cycle, then divided by 8 to pay a fixed amount each week.

Ask around: I think most childminders I know would not charge you for the full week, though I can understand why some might need to.

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 05-Mar-13 23:39:48

One of our local nurseries could offer this, as long as you committed to one full day each week, they could accommodate most other requests with a week's notice, and often slotted my two in with much much less notice - I did have twins though, so that helped make it worth their while I think. Like another poster suggested, they were set up to accommodate staff at the nearby hospital, and they were brilliantly flexible.
Sadly they have had too many winter bugs to keep the nursery place, so we've gone for a p-t nanny to try and get some flexibility back.

NannyBeth Wed 06-Mar-13 02:54:34

I do this as a nanny! One of my bosses works shifts and the other is self employed, so my hours change every week!! I get paid for a minimum of 35hrs but work any they need Mon-Fri and if I work more, I am paid for the total I have worked. I get my shifts on Fri/Sat for the coming week, unless I ask earlier for a specific reason but I'm happy making last minute plans most of the time.

I love it as it keeps things interesting, my bosses are so, so lovely and they have triplets so after 35hrs I'm exhausted!!! Plus I'm trying to get into more sleep training, bf support, etc roles so less permanent hours suits me down to the ground and if I need a morning/afternoon off here and there my bosses are super understanding

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