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Sharing childcare duties with a friend

(18 Posts)
Laugs Fri 05-Sep-08 08:59:41

Just wondered what people's experiences have been of sharing childcare with a friend ie. minding each other's children.

This would maybe be for 2 days a week each, so each of us would still get three days a week just alone with our own children, two in work, and two with 2 children.

Children's ages are 8 months and 22 months.

Part of me thinks this is a good solution to wanting to work, but the costs of nursery care basically obliterating any pay. The other part of me thinks it might be a total minefield of disasters....

Simplyme Fri 05-Sep-08 09:09:35

I could see that it could work well but from a strictly legal perspective it cause problems. Officially you are not supposed to look after anyones child in your home for more than 2 hours a day. Obviously I know that is not practical as my charges have friends over for playdates that last more than 2 hours!! However if this was to be a regular 2 days a week then you should become registered by law. Tricky. I am not 100% up on all this as I am a nanny not a childminder but you might want to look into it yourself.

Laugs Fri 05-Sep-08 09:27:50

Oh I didn't realise that. So we'd both actually have to registered childminders in order to mind each other's child?

FourArms Fri 05-Sep-08 09:35:23

Unless you looked after your friends child at her house and vice versa, so you would be nannying.

imananny Fri 05-Sep-08 09:39:54

seems a good way to save on childcare costs IF you are both in agreement over stuff

but you would have to look after the children at each others houses

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 05-Sep-08 09:41:09

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MaureenMLove Fri 05-Sep-08 09:44:51

Payment doesn't just mean money. It is defined by Ofsted as 'reward'. That could mean a bunch of flowers, wine or looking after each others children..

notsoteenagemum Fri 05-Sep-08 09:45:48

Are you sure its illegal? You can have a child live with you for up to 50 days (could be less ) before its classed as a private fostering, I heard this on the radio and it said this was legal nothing about having to be a childminder. I thought you only had to be registered if you were going to pay/be paid.
I am going to be looking after friends child after school a few times a week. Surely its up to the parent who you leave your child with.
If it is legal I think its fine as long as you both are agree on parenting eg food, naptimes, discipline etc. You need a back-up plan for if someone is ill and decide what to do about holidays first. Also if someone came to take your child out eg grandparents for the day would you still be happy to have your friends child and vice versa.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 05-Sep-08 09:50:39

Message withdrawn

Simplyme Fri 05-Sep-08 09:52:31

I also think it is a lovely idea and great for your children to have playmates. I hope you can work it out

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 05-Sep-08 09:57:17

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Laugs Fri 05-Sep-08 10:15:27

I just thought it would be the same as a grandparent doing unpaid unregistered childcare, but maybe that is only legal if you're related?

The possible problems I was thinking of were:

- 1 of us getting pregnant again before the other (would one then mind two of the other's children without pay? or would pay be involved? how would the mother with newborn cope with minding three young children?)

- Coordinating holidays?

- Later on, possibly having to discipline other's child?

mindalina Fri 05-Sep-08 10:20:01

My friend and I did this (and funnily enough our children were about the same ages as yours!), although I quit my job so it ended up that I was just having her son. It has worked ok for us, but personally have found it a bit awkward sometimes, like having to tell her I can't have him because I'm too unwell or more recently because I've found a new job which is incompatible with the arrangement - not awkward because she's been ufnny with it (she has been fine) but simply because I felt bad about letting her down, iyswim?

I think for it to work you have to be really quite good friends and be able to be very open and honest if it at any point it starts to not work for you or you need to change the arrangement.

kellykateneedsaholiday Fri 05-Sep-08 13:35:02

one of my mindees parents does this wiyth her friends.There are 3 of them and they have sorted out the days they work so they can take care of each others older children after school. Children are all at school together. It works fine as far as i know, They have been doing this for the last 3 yrs. Younger siblings go to nursery/childminders and if someones ill then they get a grandparent to pick them up.

MaureenMLove Fri 05-Sep-08 16:35:11

It is illegal to look after anyones child (if you are not related) for more than 2 hours a day, for reward.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 05-Sep-08 17:23:07

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nannynick Fri 05-Sep-08 20:06:06

There is a Care Standards Tribunal decision which mentions Reward. RT v Ofsted
The situation in that case was that the childminder accepted voluntary suspension, but continued caring for some children without any payment. The tribunal didn't feel that in this particular case that the childminder was in breach of the regulations.

So from that, we could say that if there is not a payment, then it isn't reward. However, I cannot locate any other cases which mention Reward, so have nothing to re-confirm that a tribunal would more often than not reach that conclusion.

MrsFluffleHasAWuffle Fri 05-Sep-08 20:17:04

Illegal. Reward includes bartering, money, payment in kind, flowrs, chocs, washing the car etc etc

If you want to stay on the right side of the law then do it in each others homes so it's like nannying.

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