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Best childcare for this situation? Nanny? School clubs plus au pair?

(3 Posts)
Buggrit Fri 15-Jul-16 15:29:52

So this isn't going to be the case for a couple of years but it's creeping up, and I like to plan ahead, or at least have various possible ideas - at the moment I'm drawing a blank.

One newly school aged child, two parents with different fairly random shift patterns.

So eg one week might need four days school pickup until 6pmish and no other care required. Another week might need two overnights plus before school, an after school and then a full day at the weekend. Some weeks it's feasible we'd need nothing at all.

Our salaries combined will be reasonable, but both fairy junior public sector, so comfortable but not exactly rolling in it. A full time nanny would be a huge stretch, financially, and seems kind of overkill. How would you manage this, do you think?

Forresitters1 Fri 15-Jul-16 16:31:52

If you do have a spare room in your house it might be beneficial to get an au pair as you only require after school hours/some overnights/one day at the weekend.
You wouldn't necessarily have to employ a full time nanny but you could look for a nanny based on a set number of paid hours per week and explain your schedule to see if it's something they would be able to work with.
Childminder's do school pick ups and some offer overnight care but this would be in their own home and not yours.

strawberrybubblegum Sun 17-Jul-16 21:40:50

Irregular hours are hard, but not impossible - eg a student (who wants time to study but can do that any time) or someone trying to get into childcare but combining it with a shop/waitressing type job. The biggest risk is that it's often a temporary situation (ie studying or hoping to find a full-time childcare job) so you may need to find someone new more often than usual. You may also need to be a bit flexible (eg someone with less qualifications/experience or with English as a second language) but that's not necessarily a bad thing - especially for a school-age child.

It may also take a reasonable amount of legwork to find them (I've had good luck finding people using - especially by trawling the profiles and getting in touch myself rather than just putting a profile on myself).

Au pair does also sound like a good option if that works for your family (possibly looking for someone with a bit of experience given that 5 is still quite young).

And finally - given that you say this is in the future - have you thought about whether you would choose to make career changes? No idea whether this would make sense for you obviously, but possibilities that I can see are:
- any way that you can get more control over shifts. Could you discuss your needs with your employer - perhaps they can give more consistency?
- changing to a different employer / slightly different role within your current job
- one of you going part-time for a while (especially if that could give more consistency in hours)

Obvs you shouldn't have to change your career, but it's worth thinking about whether a temporary change might be possible and helpful. I get the impression (not there yet!) that after school clubs and activities get a bit easier and more reliable when they're just a bit older - but reception age is still very young.

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