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How much flexiability can I reasonably expect?

(21 Posts)
catinabox Wed 04-Sep-13 00:45:59

I work from home and on the whole can fit most meetings and time worked in and around DH.

I have to attend conferences regularly, either afternoon or morning, rarely for the whole day. I will at times get 1 weeks notice for these and they fall on different days of the week.

For financial reasons I need to go back to work. DD is v.little so i want to be at home as much as possible for her.

Am I being completely unrealistic to expect a nursery or local childminder to offer a place for a couple of afternoons or mornings a week on an as and when needed basis so I can attend these meetings?

I am thinking I might have one afternoon or morning a week that is a set day and then ask for a flexible session or two.

AuntySib Wed 04-Sep-13 00:55:55

My experience is that nurseries do not offer any flexibility, and not all will offer only a couple of sessions a week.
A childminder may be more flexible, depending on her other arrangements, but you have to bear in mind that she will be limited to a certain number of children and therefore is unlikely to reserve space for you unless you pay for it - maybe some sort of retainer?
My DH is a shiftworker, but i found it impossible to organise childcare only for the times when he was at work. In the end, i had to pay for childcare the whole time i was at at work, whether or not he was at home. Hope you have better luck.

NomDeClavier Wed 04-Sep-13 01:06:26

I doubt it. Your best bet is probably someone local who doesn't mind sharing their nanny occasionally.

However it sounds like you're overestimating your ability to work with a baby/toddler around, unless your work is very flexible and can be dropped at a moment's notice or your DH is around a lot. You might need more than 1 set day and be less flexible with your working times.

Cindy34 Wed 04-Sep-13 05:49:48

Some nurseries may do a pay as you go scheme, though you will get no guarantee of them having a place available when you need it. It is more a way to fill places due to other children's absence.

HSMMaCM Wed 04-Sep-13 06:51:04

Some CMs keep a floating space, but you run the risk of someone else booking it first.

minderjinx Wed 04-Sep-13 09:13:21

Childminders and nurseries have strict limits on numbers, so could not commit to offering your DD a place as and when needed without reserving a place for the whole week, and the likelihood is that this would mean turning away other families and regular income. So I don't think you can expect anyone to commit to being available without booking and paying for whatever sessions you think you may need. You may be lucky and find someone willing to offer what you are looking for, but you may also find that an irregular weekly schedule is unsettling for your DD - different routines, different companions at the carer's setting on different days.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 04-Sep-13 11:09:09

You could get a list of your local cm and ring them all and see what spaces any have

Maybe some will have an afternoon or morning free and happy to do as hoc to earn extra money

Then call that one with as much notice as possible and hope that they ARe free

catinabox Wed 04-Sep-13 15:27:10

Thanks, exactly what i thought to be honest. Feel very jealous of people with family close at hand!

auntysib i'm anticipating the same as you. Job is hugely flexible but it might be easier to look for a part time contract with fixed hours instead.

Thurlow Wed 04-Sep-13 17:20:56

You might find it, it wouldn't hurt to ask. My CM isn't always full because most of her kids are 3-4 days a week, so in order to make sure she can accomodate everyone, she doesn't have more mindees than she and her husband could manage if everyone was there on one day. A lot of her mindees' parents are like us and have shift patterns that change so she gets her dates a few weeks in advance. Someone like that might have the flexibility to have a child at relatively last minute notice.

drinkyourmilk Wed 04-Sep-13 20:40:22

How about an ad hoc nanny? She/He would work from your home.
Either someone you find yourself or sitters could help.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 04-Sep-13 20:44:27

Drink your milk - that's Excatly what I do smile

Op - look on netmums and nannyjob and even )tho need to pay for that )

antimatter Wed 04-Sep-13 20:46:19

there are childminders who run their business in such way that you can book sessions - I would keep looking

catinabox Thu 05-Sep-13 07:16:15

I don't think I earn enough for a Nanny to be cost effective but will have a look into it, it would be better for DD to be at home too......Yes i'll keep looking too.

PollyLogos Thu 05-Sep-13 07:36:15

Try to find an older mum whose children are independant and who would be willing to work ad hoc hours as and when needed. I do this and it works out well as I don't want the commitment of being a full time mothers help (I have a regular job in the evenings) my only request to the mums I work with is that they let me know each weekend which days/hours they need in the following week. I'm also willing to do any ironing that is hanging around if the little one is asleep during my time with them!!

catinabox Thu 05-Sep-13 09:49:34

Polly, that sounds like a good idea. Financially it'd stretch me but the hours i can do after the meetings, i can do flexibly so that might actually work. Unfortunately i wouldn't be able to afford to pay them a lot so i'd have to find someone happy with that.

, i'd want to CRB check and reference check them etc

Hmmmm......will think on about the logistics smile DH would be very happy with ironing arrangement too.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 05-Sep-13 13:01:08

Are you in Lindon? Un Putney, there is a flexible nursery and a workspace called Third Door. Just google them smile

catinabox Thu 05-Sep-13 16:30:24

No Drink but i will google it anyway! Sounds interesting. pollylogos I think i'm 99% on trying your idea.

PollyLogos Mon 09-Sep-13 12:42:51

I hope you find someone catinabox!

kangarooshoes Mon 09-Sep-13 19:10:38

My experience is that some nurseries can be VERY flexible, but would need a basic commitment of, say, 2 mornings a week which you always do, so they have something to build around. The nurseries have always had a bit of a fit at the thought, but when it actually comes to it, they find it's more than do-able, and actually works quite well, but you have to be comfortable flying by the seat of your pants sometimes in terms of your childcare arrangements!

I have NEVER found a childminder willing to be that flexible.

Ruggles Tue 10-Sep-13 18:12:34

OP: Have you thought about an Au Pair? I had a similar problem and spent a lot of cash on nannies who weren't really flexible enough - my fault as I needed flexibility and kept getting stuck with no help when I needed it. In the end we got an Au Pair and it has been just wonderful. It is really flexible and we sit down and plan the following week together. She helps with housework, shopping and ironing too and have had some great fun with the DC together too.

kangarooshoes Tue 10-Sep-13 19:51:50

We had a fantastic Au Pair!

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