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Looking for advice on 'unusual' childcare options

(5 Posts)
Peanutheid Sat 29-Jun-13 13:24:01

Hello, I'm new on here and wondered if anyone can give me some advice?

I have 2 dc, my dd is nearly 4 and in pre-school (am only) and ds is 1. I have been a SAHM since dd was born, with some occasional p/t homebased freelance work. I'm currently interviewing for a new job, based 1/2 hour from home and would be 4 days a week. I'm hopeful of getting it and am looking into childcare options.

Here's the unusual part - my dh works offshore 2 weeks at a time, then he is home for 4 weeks. He could look after the kids for most of the time when he is home but I definitely need childcare for when he is away, and even for some of the time when he is home as he sometimes lectures as well (p/t). There are limited childcare options where we live. No nurseries for under 3's and only a few good cm's, none of whom have vacancies just now.

I had thought about looking for a nanny and ideally would like someone who can do 4 days p/w when dh is away and some p/t when he is home. This might be good for someone willing to work flexibly but I appreciate it doesn't provide a f/t income and wouldn't appeal to everyone.

Does anyone have any ideas/advice for me? I haven't got the job but need to research options just in case I do get it. Position starts in September so still some time to get prepared.

nannynick Sat 29-Jun-13 14:13:43

Is DH really hands on with the children and can do the childcare plus laundry, cooking, cleaning the home? Some dads are great and can juggle caring for their children and looking after their home but others may struggle.
Whilst he is at home for 4 weeks, some of that time he may do lectures - does he know about those a long time in advance? Is it easier for him to schedule those if he knows that there is a day, or two days a week which he can do as he likes?

Would the 4 days you work be fixed, thus say Mon-Thur?

As you live in an area with no nurseries, is there anyone local who would work as a nanny? If there is no one in your area looking for nanny work, then finding someone will be hard. Do you have a babysitter? Maybe they will know other people looking for childcare work.

Do you know any mums in your village who are looking for work? They could bring their child with them perhaps.

Peanutheid Sat 29-Jun-13 14:54:30

Thanks for your reply nannynick. My dh could never be described as 'really hands on'! He can cope with looking after the kids but not the rest of the house, which is why I would still need some childcare when he is home. He usually gets a couple of weeks notice about the lecturing, and it is normally 4 days in a row, Mon-Thur, but he only ever does one lecturing session during his time off. I would probably be working those days as well.

I think I might just have to do an advert in the local paper and see if I can find someone willing to work flexibly. Think I would prefer the kids to be looked after in their own home as they have all their own things and the garden to play in. My dd did go to a childminder for a while when younger and she didn't enjoy it and I wasn't happy with the quality of care she received so we finished it after 6 months. Perhaps a nanny with their own child would be a good option, as then they have another child to play with as well.

nannynick Sat 29-Jun-13 17:12:43

Try all sorts of local places, such as:
village/church/community newsletter
postcard ad in local shop/newsagents/general store
ask staff at pre-school, also is there a notice board at the place pre-school is held? Is there a toddler group, can you ask there?
Also look on listing sites like - is there anyone say within 2 miles of your postcode who is looking for work?

Your ideal person is someone local, who probably has a young child of their own, who does not need to earn money but would like to earn a bit every now and then. It's not going to be easy to find.

You may be able to combine it with someone to do housework and laundry. So if DH is not good at those things, then someone may be able to pick up a few hours work when DH is around, doing household tasks rather than childcare - so a sort of nanny come house keeper.

Peanutheid Sat 29-Jun-13 20:30:37

Sounds like I need a 'mum's help' type person. I've seen a few folk advertising for this in local paper so if I get the job I think this is what I'll look for.

Never thought about getting someone to help with the housework when dh is home but that makes sense. I think he would feel a bit uncomfortable with someone else looking after the kids whilst he was in the house, and that way the person can still earn money even if they are not doing the childminding. Good idea, thanks for your help, just speaking about it has helped me get a few things clear in my mind smile

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