I'm currently debating what childcare to look for for when we move house in the summer. I have been thinking AP but am slightly afraid after reading all the horror stories on here.
I am a single parent to DCs aged 11 and 9 and work full time. Mostly my work hours are 9-6 but occasionally (usually with plenty of warning) I have to go to London which means either an earlier start or later return home.
So, I've been thinking I must have an AP to provide some flexibility. However, I'm wondering if a mother's help would be better. TBH as I have older DC I would sort of prefer someone older - maybe someone who's raised a family herself - to help ensure homework is done and possibly even do this and that about the house (not sure what is reasonable as housework seems to be a bone of contention on MN, though with older kids I would have thought doing a bit of ironing or cooking wouldn't be too much to ask - otherwise what would this person actually be doing, apart from just being in the house with the DC?)
My main concern is transport. If I have an AP then I will have to provide a car (which I'll have to buy and insure) for her/him to do school drop off and collection (schools' locations mean public transport not an option). If you have a mother's help, does she just use her own car and you pay mileage? Or do you provide a car?
Other than that are there any factors that should sway me more towards an AP or mother's help?
School hols can be covered by grandparents and dad if need be, though if the childcare person could do some, that would be nice. Nota deal breaker though.
More a housekeeper role perhaps... but someone who has the childcare skills as well, so they can do both care for your children and your home. Perhaps advertise it as a Nanny/Housekeeper role, though the job title itself is not really important.
You will need to advertise for someone who has their own car, with carseats suitable for your children (or would you provide those?). You would pay mileage, current max before taxable is 45p per mile (see the second table on HMRC travel rates).
A German agency runs a granny au pair service - ladies 50+ who live as an au pair and are an extra pair,of hands - usually own children are grown up and they want a new challenge and to see other parts of the world. Might be worth considering? That's what I think I want but OH is adamant it has to be someone young - that's a whole other story though...
Thanks both. I would feel more confident with someone older than younger. Romina, do you happen to recall the name of this older AP agency? Sounds interesting. And just out of interest, how does your DH justify the 'must be younger' approach to the AP search?!