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childminder v grandad

(10 Posts)
kittenlover Tue 10-Jul-07 16:00:10

Help!

DD2 starts playgroup in September so I need to switch my childcare round. Currently paying £6 per hour for DD2 plus £5 per hour after school for DD1 with a bit of free grandad care one day a week. DD2 happy at both places but i have to admit the after school cost (£11 an hour in total) is crippling me and grandad would be happy to help a bit more.

What makes it so complicated is that the childminder in question is one of my best friends and I know she needs the money herself. So if I cut her hours I will inevitably feel dreadful.

Any views? Would I be mean to cut her hours down for a family freebie? Thoughts much appreciated!

PS live in Newcastle and I know these charges are much higher than usual for round here)

kittenlover Tue 10-Jul-07 16:20:50

Oops - new to this - mean DS1 and DS2! Not that it really matters.

LoveMyGirls Tue 10-Jul-07 18:21:53

Where abouts do you live? £5 and £6 an hour is steep where i live!

S88AHG Tue 10-Jul-07 19:05:31

Much as she is your friend you must do whats right for you and your dcs and if that s grandad then thats it, I am sure she could fill the spaces, and if not it really isnt your problem, harsh as that seems, busines is business and friendship is friendship, tough choice though all the same best of luck

mogs0 Tue 10-Jul-07 19:07:14

£5 and £6 an hour is steep where I am too (West London!).

It must be difficult if your CM is a good friend but you have to do what's best for your family. If your CM is a friend then she should understand whatever decision you make.

If Grandad is happy to help more then I'd accept his help.

KaySamuels Wed 11-Jul-07 10:00:10

This may not be a popular view, but a mindee of mine left to go to gps after school every day. I see her walking home each day and she runs up to me and other kids, asks what we are doing today, when I ask what she has been up to she says oh nothing, just boring stuff. Other mindees say she tellls them at school that she misses them. She is also stopping at the sweet shop every day and I have noticed her weight go up.

I know a lot of people use family instead of paid, professional child care to save money, but I would weigh up all the pros and cons of each choice carefully. In the case of the mindee who left my setting, £30 a week is a small amount for daily after school care for a happy, active, healthy child.

Your childcare fees do sound very expensive though?!! These questions may help you weigh it up...
Can carer handle the commitment (time, energy, patience)?
Will child get plenty of excercise/ good activities?
Will child be offered healthy diet?
Will child be happy to spend total amount of time with either carer?
Will carer listen to your preferences for your children (this is usually where family childcare becomes strained)?

If you are struggling financially though and cm is a good friend, she should understand as a friend. I have a friend I cm for whose hours are going to reduce in September, I don't hold it against her!

PinkChick Wed 11-Jul-07 10:19:50

im in teesside and i charge £3-£4 per hour full/part time, your friend may have been having enquiries for spaces, but didnt want to say as she felt obliged to you..speak to her, tell her its proving to be too much of a strain..im sure you would have to give her a notice period anyway, so you wouldnt just leave there and then..if it helps i looked after b.friends dd and she had to leave in feb as i couldnt get her to their choice of school, veyr sad, but she wasnt doing it out of spite, she had a genuine reason and i understood totally

frankieb Wed 11-Jul-07 13:55:18

Hi
I would say to be upfront & honest with your friend and discuss the fees too. Maybe shes had enquiries so she can fill the spaces anyway, maybe you could do a bit Grandad and a bit her?
Have to say fees sound steep. I charge £4/hr full time, after school is £7.50 for 2 hour session.
Hope you work it out, I do have to say I think Grandparents are really important in childrens lives too!
TC
Frankie

fedupwithallthispaperwork Wed 11-Jul-07 14:24:32

my f.inlaw looked after my son from 9 months when he retired and my mum and dad .

when my dd was born mother in law retired (my mum was too ill by now to help out) and she helped too.

my son adored having gp around, and i always say his speech came so early because of this. gp would spend hours just chatting to him, he took him out everyday, they were inseparable. The same applies to my daughter with both my husbands parents.

i know i am a cm, but if i had to choose, even if i had money no object, it would be grand parents every time.

it keeps them young, and your children will always look back on those times.

hope this all makes sense. x

kittenlover Thu 12-Jul-07 16:04:30

Hi all - thanks so much for your thoughts.

I've talked more to hubby and we think its going to have to be more of grandad and less of CM. I'm all for paying a decent amount for experienced childcare but DS2 will be attending playgroup in the morning and is so attached to my dad so I don't think he'll suffer development-wise. I'm lucky in that my dad is relatively young (ish!) and definitely fit so don't think he'll struggle in that respect. And to be honest, its as awkward dealing with a close friend as a CM as it is with a family member in terms of diet, activities etc etc.

I still feel awful about my friend - although I think she has more after school mindees from September so hopefully this won't be too much of an income drop for her - but we have to do what's right for us.

PS - My 1 full day (9-5.30 for DS2 and 3.15 - 5.30 for DS1 ) on a Thursday costs £73 at the mo! Plus £36 for 9-3 on Monday = £109 a week.

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