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Childcare Solution??

(8 Posts)
twinkle05 Thu 22-Oct-09 10:51:10

Am currently having a childcare nightmare!!

I'll do my best to keep it short. I have recently separated from DH and needing to put child care measures in place. I work full time for the ambulance service so work 12 hour shifts (days start at 6.30am) also some nights and weekends. DD is 7 and so in school full time DS is just 4 and still in preschool part time until next year.

An au pair seemed the obvious solution but the problem I have is that because they are not OFSTED registered I can't get any financial help or vouchers etc and therefore cannot afford to do it.

My question is really are there any child minders who would be that flexible with their hours and able to sleep over in the house when I was on nights?? I can't be the only person in this situation. I love my job and don't want to give it up but my hours make childcare tricky.

I'd welcome any thoughts or solutions??

balijay Thu 22-Oct-09 12:24:32

Hi twinkle. I am a cm and do offer flexible hours for shift workers, although I don't know of any minders that would be able to sleep at your house. Many do offer overnight care at their own homes but a lot (like myself) have children of their own so staying overnight at yours would not be an option. It is a tricky one - is their father able to help at all? Hope you find a solution. smile

nbee84 Thu 22-Oct-09 12:51:37

When I did my ICP course (to cover the common core skills for my Ofsted registration) there were several Au Pairs on the course - so as long as they meet the other requirements then surely there must be no reason why an AP cannot register on the voluntary register as a Home child carer.

You would need to fund this for the ap - the ICP course that I took was in London over 2 days, and a 12 hour paediatric first aid course. AP would need to pay for her own insurance (about £70) which is a lot of money for an ap so maybe come to an arrangement over a bit of extra babysitting to cover this.

nbee84 Thu 22-Oct-09 12:57:48

Thinking further - cash flow may be an initial problem while you get ap registered (it can take around 3 months or so) but you should be able to 'bank' your vouchers for a period of time until you can use them.

timberwolf Thu 22-Oct-09 15:09:47

Yes, AP's can register on the voluntary register just the same as nannies can.

Call Ofsted to find out the exact process and time scale.

I would look for a British or very good English speaking EU au pair and make it clear if they are EU that they need to obtain a certificate of good conduct from their country before they arrive. It's easy for them to do it from home but takes ages and can be expensive for them to do it from here if they arrive without one.

They need the certificate of good conduct from their own country as well as an enhanced UK CRB.

There are minders who would be prepared to sleep over at your house, but they may not be able to accommodate any long overruns at work if they are planning on childminding from their own premises the following day.

frakula Thu 22-Oct-09 15:20:54

Could you get a live in nanny or Mother's Help?

I don't know what your budget is or what area you're in but for two children it may be just as economical as a childminder.

DadInsteadofMum Thu 22-Oct-09 15:46:46

APs often don't stay longer than 3 - 6 months (we average 4 - 8), even those that say they are going to stay longer seem to have had enough after 8 months. So you would need to be going through the registration process and incurring the relevant costs two or three times a year.

Also presumably whilst you are waiting for the registration to come through you are using unregistered childcare that doesn't qualify for the tax breaks, so worst case scenario, you pay out three sets of registration costs for just three months of financial advantage.

Danthe4th Thu 22-Oct-09 18:15:08

There are cm's that do it, I'm one. I charge £8 per hour for the hours doing the sleepover usually 12 hours, then I usually take the children to school/nursery or go to my house for breakfast collect any mindees and then do the school run. I have a dh who can help out so it works well. It does get difficult with numbers during the day when i've done it in the past i've done a minimum charge per week. Contact some childminders you may be in luck.

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