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Ad hoc childcare for highly unpredictable work patterns - anyone found the perfect solution?

(14 Posts)
franch Tue 09-Jun-09 21:12:37

My work (which I hope to return to) is extremely haphazard - long periods of unemployment (when I would want to be a full-time mum) combined with being required to be available at the drop of a hat, irregular hours, travel etc. In other words my childcare needs are likely to vary hugely.

DD2 starts full-time school in Sept so, when working, won't need much help till mid-afternoon (though I may sometimes need someone to drop the DDs off in the morning). And I won't want any help at all when not working.

The best idea I've come up with so far is to employ a 'housekeeper/nanny' (?) who might do work around the house on a regular basis in the afternoons, but be available for school pick-ups and after-school care when needed. Does this sound feasible, or are there better solutions?

And where would I look? Have never employed anyone for childcare till now - have only ever posted on gumtree for cleaners/housekeepers.

Please be patient with me - all constructive advice gratefully received

Doozle Tue 09-Jun-09 21:18:05

You could try nurseries, I've found mine is willing do ad hoc hours/days as and when is needed.

Otherwise, I would advertise on Simply Childcare website or similar that you are looking to find nannies willing to do ad hoc childcare.

I have a very similar situation to you and found that many nannies often don't work on a wednesday or a thursday and are looking to consider occasional hours. Build up a back up list of a say two or three different nannies and call them up when you need them.

It's a bit of swapping and changing for your DC though, that's the only problem. But if your child is fairly easy going, it can work.

foxinsocks Tue 09-Jun-09 21:20:32

you can advertise for that on gumtree. Last time we advertised for a nanny, we got a few housekeeper types applying so I think there are a fair few around.

We got a few applications from mums whose kids were at university but who had a bit of spare time to do this sort of thing. Sounds like that might work for you!

franch Tue 09-Jun-09 21:23:32

Thanks Doozle. DDs are (so far) very easygoing and sociable, and like novelty - but they might easily tire of the whole idea after a while I guess! They're school age tho so can't do nurseries. Will look at both Simply Childcare and gumtree - many thanks also foxinsocks - sounds possible

Doozle Tue 09-Jun-09 21:38:25

No probs, sounds like your DDs would be fine with that kind of arrangement.

Simply Childcare was great by the way. We found a fab nanny at v short notice. You have to pay a £35 subscription for a couple of months but it was worth it.

(And DD took to the nanny straight away because she got someone to play for hours with her so worked out all round)

franch Tue 09-Jun-09 21:48:52

Anybody tried On The Spot Childcare?

franch Wed 10-Jun-09 12:50:10


franch Wed 10-Jun-09 16:34:28


would recommened getting a list of 3 nannies who can do ad-hoc work covering the whole week so should you need someone and nanny 1 isnt available you could try nanny 2 or 3.

There are many nannies who work part time and do ad-hoc work on the other days for many different families.

I do ad-hoc work eve, nights and weekends and work for many families and my time is def on a first booked basis and sometimes parents can email/txt/ring me day before and I am free other times not and sometimes can contact me a month in advance and I may already be booked.

franch Wed 10-Jun-09 16:40:21

Thanks EMNN. How would you recommend finding said nannies?

franch Wed 10-Jun-09 20:54:53


Maxiebaby Fri 12-Jun-09 10:33:09

I have used Onthespotchildcare a few times (once at very short notice) and found the service invaluable for my needs. Always had the same nanny (it is a small operation so far) who has been experienced, responsible, reliable and just as importantly my child has enjoyed their time with her. Follow up and communication with the agency has also been good.
I will certainly use them again next time my usual (unfortunately not so successful!) nanny cant make it.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 12-Jun-09 10:56:20

as others have said there are a few nannys who work part time and do ad hoc/temp/emergancy work the other days

i am one of these nannys, i have ads on gumtree,netmums and nannyjob.

I am also with all my local enegncies and they ring me as well

I get a lot of work through them, and do a first come, first served basis-some mums dont work and want me time, others do ad hoc hours,one of my ladies is an air hotess and does weird shifts, she gets her hours a month or so in advance, she will then ring me,and if days fall on my off days, and i am free then i will do what i can for her

i did a little girl of 8mths last week for 2 days as she was ill and normally at nursery, but obv mum didnt send her

have a look on netmums, there are often ads on there from nanys who work part time and want work - ring them to see what they are like and so they can send you references and then make a list of who is free which day

what area are you in? maybe someone on here can help

franch Sat 13-Jun-09 14:21:46

Thanks Maxie. You'll see I did a separate thread on On The Spot, here. I think you're the only one who's actually tried them!

And that's sensible advice, thanks Blondes. I'm in SW4.

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