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Need childcare on different days each week - is it doable?

(12 Posts)
lowrib Wed 11-Nov-09 16:49:21

Both my partner and I work part-time. However whereas my days are the same each week, he only finds out which are his days a few weeks in advance, and then the odd day can also crop up at very short notice. There is no pattern to the days - he could work Monday, Thurs and Sat one week, the Tues - Thurs the next.

Basically we'll need usually one or two days of childcare each week, on different days (and very occasionally none - or three days).

Is this an impossible ask? I totally understand that childminders usually have set vacancies which they want to fill, but I was hoping I might find someone who already has a couple of kids but was happy to take on an extra one on a more ad hoc basis. Do you think this is possible?

Or is there another option apart from a CMinder maybe? (although a CM is my preferred option, I think)

All this is new to us, so I'd be grateful for any advice.

My DS will be about 1 when I go back to work.

TIA grin

BeehiveBaby Wed 11-Nov-09 16:53:36

CM definitely your best option. You need to find one who has decided not to fill her quota but will take your DC. My CM is to have DD2 3 mornings a fortnight and has another little girl 1-3 random days a week. Plus her own 2 year old and a school collection. Very densely populated area though here, which helps.

LisaD1 Wed 11-Nov-09 18:18:11

Hi there,

I'm a cm and would say it's doable, you may need to look around for a while though to find the right peson. I don't have all my spaces full (by choice) and I have a lovely family who send their daughter to me as and when they need to, sometimes it's once a month and sometimes more. I only charge for the days I have their daughter and it's working really well.

Good luck.

atworknotworking Wed 11-Nov-09 20:00:22

If minders are in short supply in your area I would say that you would have a problem. But then it depends how old your dc is, if they are over 8yrs they are not regarded in ratios so you may find someone who can do ad-hoc care.

Danthe4th Wed 11-Nov-09 21:47:00

Be prepared to offer a minimum weekly pay of perhaps 2 days so the cm can guarantee so much a week and then if you use her more you just pay the extra.

BikeRunSki Wed 11-Nov-09 21:52:54

Ask about and see. DS's nursery caters for a paramedic who works two days a week, but never knows which until a few days before hand. Also an air stewardess who works 2 weeks on/2 weeks off.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 12-Nov-09 14:41:52

although you want/prefer a cm, you could think about having a nanny

most prefer to have same set days, but maybe you will find someone who is flexible on what days as long knows will be paid 3 days wages every week

nannies who are mums are more flexiable as well - would you consider this?

or maybe a nanny share , so use someone elses's nanny who is looking to up their salary each week?

abaker Thu 12-Nov-09 18:22:38

Hi, just wondered what area you live in as this would help if you let other people know where you are someone may be able to help you.

Lobyd Thu 12-Nov-09 18:28:09

I'm watching this with interest as this is my future problem too - when I go back to work in a few months time (Feb/March) I will be doing different days each week, and possibly odd hours too.

I've been thinking about what to do but all the childcare options looked so unlikely to work I've been burying my head in the sand! Sounds like living in London might finally be an advantage though...

Hope it works out for you lowrib!

lowrib Thu 12-Nov-09 21:24:38

Hi everyone, thanks for your replies grin
Here are some answers ...

Blondeshavemorefun and Danthe4th, nice ideas, however we simply can't afford to solve it by chucking money at the problem (if only grin). If money was no object we could simply pay for 3 days, then only actually use them when both our work days clash. Unfortunately paying for childcare we're not using isn't a workable option for us. I need to at least have a go at finding a more ad-hoc (and affordable) solution.

How does a nanny share work? How much is it likely to cost?

Here's a really basic question (can you tell I'm new to this? smile) what is the difference between a nanny and a childminder anyway?


abaker we live in North London.

BeehiveBaby, LisaD1 and BikeRunSki that's encouraging, nice to know it's not totally unheard of!

atworknotworking plenty of CMs round here, and my DS will be about 1 when I go back.

Lobyd it's only recently occurred to me that it might be a problem actually blush
I used to be a CM years ago, and it would have been easy then, but this was in a different age, when CMs weren't even registered, so it was much more flexible (but of course it was also less regulated / safe / professional etc).

xoxcherylxox Thu 12-Nov-09 21:37:29

you employ a nanny therefore you deal with paying there NI and tax the wrk from you house watching your child taking to group, activities that you choose plus some light house wrk duties.
a childminder is self employed and wrks from there own house you pay for the service they provide and the usually plan what groups and activities to do with the children a childminder also cares for children from different families and can have upto 3 children under the age of 5.

lowrib Thu 12-Nov-09 22:51:25

Oh OK, that's new to me. When I was a CM (back in the dark ages) I worked in their homes. It's a clear distinction though, I understand the difference now, thanks xoxcherylxox smile

Am I right in thinking nannies cost a lot more? How much might a nanny share cost?

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