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Term time or not? Opinions?

(25 Posts)
becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 16:30:55

Hello,

My son will start with a childminder when he is 1 1/2 - three days per week. We will be a bit better off as a family from me going back to work but it is not going to make a huge financial difference when take off child care amount.

The childminder has an option of term time or non term time (no additional fees depending on option you go for). I am self employed and do 1:1 private assessments with children. Normally I would do these during term time and school holidays pre-baby but could just schedule them for term-time if I wanted to.

Trying to decide what I want to do. Guess main pros to term-time only is more time with my child whilst he is little which hopefully is nice for us both! Gives me a break from paid work.

Main con - Less family income. Would mean my son's routine changes every 6 weeks or so. Childminder closes around Christmas and for two weeks at summer (not sure about Easter) so would have additional time anyway with him then.

If there are any other pros/cons you can think of or a similar personal experience I would love to hear from you. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
TW2013 Mon 24-Aug-20 16:36:04

Would your childminder consider doing term time with occasional extra days (for extra cash) in the holidays- for example if other families are away. That way you can do the odd day of assessments in the holidays. Or consider doing assessments on Saturday mornings and dh taking ds so you can still offer the option of assessments outside of school time but without extra costs.

BackforGood Mon 24-Aug-20 16:36:46

If your job isn't a term time only one, then it makes sense not to have a term time only CMer, IMO.
What you need to establish is when you plan to take your holiday - will you have to tie in with the weeks your CM closes down? How does that work for you ?

If you are working 3 days a week, then you have a lovely balance of work / home time anyway. Whilst your little one is not having to fit around school terms, it seems sensible to not arrange your childcare that way.

becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 16:56:11

Thank you for your responses! Should have said I will be doing two Saturdays per month as well to boost income as agree that is a good plan.

OP’s posts: |
LittleGungHo Mon 24-Aug-20 17:20:50

The benefit is having the additional time off with your son however I would prefer to take holidays and go for days out outside of school holidays so that I did not have to pay a premium to be with the crowds

TW2013 Mon 24-Aug-20 17:40:40

Can you look back over your diary for the past few years and see how popular school holidays are? In some child services school holidays are like a desert. No one wants to know in the holidays and teachers aren't referring/ prompting parents to get assessments.

becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 17:41:57

That's a good point thank you.

OP’s posts: |
becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 17:47:27

Thanks for your reply. I normally have enough work for the school holidays (particularly summer) as school reports often prompt action and parents often want up-to-date information before the start of the new school year.

OP’s posts: |
jannier Mon 24-Aug-20 18:11:27

While lo is not at school being term time only has few advantages but when he turns 3 you will get the full 30 hours for 38 weeks a year and once at school will save 13 to 14 weeks childcare. How much of what you decide now will be fixed for January 22?

Maryann1975 Mon 24-Aug-20 19:12:36

I’m a Cm and Offer term time only contracts. The daily rate is the same for term time only or all year round. If a parent on tto asks for extra days in the holidays, I may or may not do it. I tend to try and compress my week down in the holidays, so parents sometimes find I’m full on what they consider to be their day (but it’s not because it’s school holidays). But if I can accommodate them, I do, so you may find your cm is the same.

becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 19:15:38

Thanks. The childminder doesn't offer the funded 15 hour three year old places so suggested that when he is 3 we look at some local nurseries instead that offer the free 15 hours.

OP’s posts: |
becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 19:20:23

Maryann1975

I’m a Cm and Offer term time only contracts. The daily rate is the same for term time only or all year round. If a parent on tto asks for extra days in the holidays, I may or may not do it. I tend to try and compress my week down in the holidays, so parents sometimes find I’m full on what they consider to be their day (but it’s not because it’s school holidays). But if I can accommodate them, I do, so you may find your cm is the same.


Thanks it sounds like this cm is similar and offers extra days to term time only if she is able to do so

OP’s posts: |
becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 19:21:11

Really helpful to get opinions and points to consider. Am leaning more towards not doing term time only

OP’s posts: |
recreationalcalpol Mon 24-Aug-20 19:30:19

I am a self employed lawyer and have just started working term time only. Like you, my CM has both term time and full time options, but for my own wellbeing and work/life balance, as well as getting the extra time to spend with my DS (in circumstances where I work more than full time during an ordinary working week) I felt that term time only worked best for me. Like you, because I’m self employed, I can make that choice. I am the main earner at home but it’s really not that much extra time off in the scheme of things. My DS is 2 and starts pre school next September when he will be term time anyway, so it’s really only for a year. I’d encourage you to do it if you can afford it, good luck smile

becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 19:46:11

Thanks - really useful to hear. Glad you have found a situation that is working well for you all. smile

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Broomfondle Mon 24-Aug-20 20:59:58

I think it could be a bit unsettling for your DC to settle in with a childminder and then have a few weeks off and then do it all again.

jannier Mon 24-Aug-20 21:34:42

@Broomfondle.
Surprisingly not they all seem fine with it, even the 14 month old who had been off 4 months with lockdown only had a cuddly half hour.

becca3210 Mon 24-Aug-20 21:34:42

A valid point thank you. Wouldn't want to unsettle/confuse him.

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Broomfondle Tue 25-Aug-20 12:56:14

Sorry should have rephrased - my experience of resettling my toddler was he found the weeks out disruptive and was hard to settle after going back (harder than his original settling in).
Obviously not everyone's toddler reacts like this though.

CatToddlerUprising Tue 25-Aug-20 13:00:47

I considered term time only contract, but decided to do 2 days per week during the school holidays. I paid for the two days whether I used them or not. But they were there if I had hospital appointments/needed a day to myself/Christmas shopping etc

becca3210 Tue 25-Aug-20 14:02:39

Thank you both. Yes I think could be useful as you say to have him booked in and then if I have the odd quiet week can utilise that time.

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Maryann1975 Tue 25-Aug-20 15:00:53

i think it could be a bit unsettling for your DC to settle in with a childminder and then have a few weeks off and then do it all again
I was really surprised after lockdown. After weeks of only seeing parents, all my children came back in really happily, as if they’d never been away. 10 weeks was a massive time to be away and yet it didn’t seem to cause any separation anxiety in any of the little ones I look after. I appreciate my sample size of 6 is quite small, but several cm friends also found this too. One of mine is tto but came for the day yesterday so his parents could go for lunch, she was perfect, despite not having been for 5 weeks. So I wouldn’t overly worry about the change in routine during the holidays.

becca3210 Tue 25-Aug-20 18:53:47

Aw that's lovely to hear. Credit to you for obviously having a great environment and relationship with them

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ivfdreaming Mon 31-Aug-20 06:42:33

I've just arranged term time only for next year - couple of reasons

- older child starts school and her childminder only does feel term time

- previously older child was with childminder in full year contract 50 weeks of the year and to be honest it really started to grate on me that I was paying for time when child wasn't there given that DH and I have 10 weeks or more holiday between us. We also had to pay for all bank holidays

- saves a LOT of money

JC12345 Mon 31-Aug-20 07:04:20

We did term time only but with the option to do extra days if we needed in the holidays. I normally did one day a week in holidays rather than four normally.

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