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What childcare do I need?

(7 Posts)
whereiscaroline Tue 21-Mar-17 19:35:07

Looking at a 3 day per week job and trying to work out how I will sort childcare. Would be grateful for any ideas.

Job is not close to home, and will mean being out of the house from 7am to 7pm. One DC, nearly 10, year 5 at school. Two childcare issues:

1. Term time - childcare before school for 2 hours, plus after school for 4 hours, on those 3 days.

2. Holidays - 3 days per week, 7am to 7pm.

Partner is not DC's father, will help where he can but can't reliably commit to helping by working from home on a particular day, for example. No family nearby. So childcare needs to be watertight as possible.

Local childminders either won't start that early or won't finish that late, or both. Aware that DC will also be quite old for being at a childminder's house anyway, and is prone to misbehaving when bored hmm holiday clubs generally operate 8.30-5.30 in this area.
Our house is small and we have not really the room for an au pair, although perhaps could consider moving somewhere bigger once I had been in the role for a while.

Any brilliant ideas lovely Mumsnetters?

nannynick Tue 21-Mar-17 20:11:32

A nanny who does before and after school care plus care for most of the school holidays (minus about 4 weeks when you take your own annual leave) may work, but it may be costly.

NuffSaidSam Tue 21-Mar-17 23:32:06

That's going to be very tricky.

If you're in an area where other people have nannies and au pairs I would ask around and see if anyone wants to share, particularly anyone with DC at the same school.

Have a think if you've got any neighbours or friends' mum's who could be interested in earning a bit of pocket money.

Do you have a university/college nearby, it could be a good job for a student.

I think you'll really struggle to find a nanny to do those hours, unless you're paying well over the going rate. Could look at a nanny-housekeeper, but again very expensive.

Do you think by next term he could go to school/come home by himself? Does your partner do the same hours as you? Could he leave later/come back earlier to reduce the time needed? Do you live close enough that he could walk to school by himself?

whereiscaroline Wed 22-Mar-17 08:54:20

Thanks for the replies.

We are close enough to school that he could walk, but I worry about him letting himself in and not having anyone at home to check he is back when he should be. He is not always very sensible.

There is a breakfast club at school which starts at 7.45, perhaps a sixth form student would be willing to walk him from home to that for payment, and then perhaps pick him up from after school club and take him home/give him some dinner until I get back.

Then if that worked it would just be the holidays to sort. No holiday club in our town that he could walk or be walked to.

It frustrates me how bloody hard childcare is unless you're earning mega bucks and can afford full time help.

NuffSaidSam Wed 22-Mar-17 09:49:44

For holidays you could maybe look at clubs in the town/city where you work. That way you'd need fewer hours because you don't need to cover the commute.

Otherwise you'll have to do the 'bits n bobs' cover that a lot of people have to do. So, a fair bit of his holiday can be covered by your holiday, you can send him to stay with an aunt/grandparents, your DP could cover the odd day, childcare swap with a friend, a sixth form/university student would be quite capable of supervising a ten-year old for a day here and there, send him away to a camp (PGL is fantastic and they can stay for the week).

The good news is that this is only a problem for another year or so!

whereiscaroline Wed 22-Mar-17 11:53:21

Some good ideas there, thank you. Will definitely look into the PGL camps.

I don't know at what age I'd feel comfortable leaving him from 7-7 in the holidays though, seems a very long way off. Actually even the thought of leaving him alone after school from 3-7pm seems scary too! What age would that be appropriate for most children?

NuffSaidSam Wed 22-Mar-17 14:55:34

I wouldn't leave them 7am-7pm until a fair bit older, but certainly by the time they're in year 7 they should be able to be home alone for a few hours.

Most children aren't home from secondary at 3pm and there is usually some clubs/activities on or they can stay in the library and do homework etc. So, by the time they get home, have a snack, do some homework and watch a bit of TV you'll be back. You get them to phone when they get home and you can always call and check in between if you're worried.

With the holidays, I don't think I'd leave a year 7 home all day, but again as long as you organise something for him to do it should be fine to leave him in bed in the morning and for him to get himself off to a friends house/football/tennis/whatever things are available in your area.

DD is in year 7 and she will stay at home in the morning in the holidays and then get herself up and off to something for 10ish and then she might get home at 4pm and stay by herself until 7pm when everyone gets in. It's been fine so far, although she is very sensible. DS1 is in year 6 and he comes home and stays by himself until about 5ish some days. He is less sensible though so don't know what we'll do with him in the holidays!

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