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Keyworker - DD's going to school/childminder

(21 Posts)
Whattodowhattodooo Tue 28-Apr-20 08:47:37

Returned to work (from home + 1 day in office) from maternity leave. At the time schools closed, whilst working for local government authority we weren't considered keyworkers. I was gutted for eldest as she adores school and is a very sociable 5 year old that likes structure. Fast forward 4 weeks and due to stretches on the service we have now been classed as keyworkers as having to do other work. This now means that DD's can go to school and childminders for one day a week. I'm part time and DH is working compressed hours so is off on a Friday.

At the time I was really upset/frustrated/angry/annoyed for DDs (and I admit, myself) that they couldn't go in. However, now that they can my anxiety has gone through the roof. I am absolutely shitting myself. "What if they catch it, what if they bring it home...oh my god we are going to die" etc.

I absolutely need this day to be able to do a full day's work. Currently I'm just trying to fit in an hour here and there when I can, trying to make up my hours and it's causing me a lot of stress.

How can I balance this anxiety with the realisation that I need to work? Eldest DD is not in the vulnerable group but when she gets a cold it goes straight to her chest and often requires a ventolin inhaler and whilst we have no (that we know of) underlying health issues DH and I are both smokers.

Anyone else torn by their decision to send LO's to school/CM... How did you weigh up your decision to do it and do you feel better about that decision now?

Thanks 😊

OP’s posts: |
LemonBreeland Tue 28-Apr-20 08:49:54

If you can manage without sending your DC to childcare, then you really should continue as is. Also unless your DH is also a keyworker then I don't think you are allowed to send them.

Year6teacher754 Tue 28-Apr-20 08:52:49

I'm not going to comment on if you should send them in.
However I am a deputy head in a primary school and I can tell you that no member of staff is even suspected to have coronavirus and no student who has came in since school closed to most children.

Itisasecret Tue 28-Apr-20 08:53:11

If you’re working from home, you shouldn’t be sending her in.

Soontobe60 Tue 28-Apr-20 08:53:17

Honestly, you can't be anxious about your child going to school when you're smokers! And they have asthma!

If your child does catch the virus, this is what's going to make it worse I'm afraid.

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 28-Apr-20 09:06:30

I am working (trying) to work from home for one of those days, but due to not being able to access certain systems on my laptop (licensing issues) I have to go in. As it stands at the moment I am not getting my required hours in as I can't with 2 LO's and no support from DH for 4 days a week.

I spoke to the Headmaster and he was lovely, and even offered to take eldest on a Monday too, but I turned him down. So I'm not taking the piss and sending her in just for the sake of it.

Just because I'm a smoker does not mean I can't have anxiety over the situation. I am fully aware of the consequences of my actions and would also like to point out that I didn't smoke through either of my pregnancies. Only my eldest suffers when she has a cold and I smoke nowhere near either of them. So thanks for the judgement on that one!

OP’s posts: |
MeadowHay Tue 28-Apr-20 09:13:16

My DD goes to nursery two days a week and is looked after my her nan with a bit of help from me two days a week too. The nursery is a completely new one too as ours closed. DH is a keyworker, front line NHS. I'm not and I WFH for the most part with occasional mornings in the office. DD is 22m and 'spirited', it's impossible to work and care for her, and my employer isn't one of those you keep seeing on MN were people claim to be WFH and caring for a toddler when in fact they are working half their normal hours per day or whatever and their employer is fine with that. Mine isn't and expects me to meet all my usual targets otherwise we've been threatened with DP, and the same if we take unpaid leave. So I need childcare, or I can't work, and therefore risk losing my job. There's not many kids in the nursery and they have extra strict and frequent cleaning and they clean all the kids faces and hands on arrival, no parents allowed in the building, all kids have their temps taken before entry etc. I'm not worried about it as there's risk everywhere in life. I don't think PP pointing out your smoking was judging, just using it for you to have some perspective that there is risk everywhere so illogical to only worry about some of them! My DD is on the high risk list too (not the shielding one).

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 28-Apr-20 09:21:18


Thanks for this. I have been literally going mad the last 4 weeks. Its absolutely impossible to do. My employer is the same and they actually check to see what times I log on to the network etc. It's just not doable. The 6 hours I can do on the Wednesday will be a god send!

OP’s posts: |
Alwaystwomagpies Tue 28-Apr-20 09:24:06

Smokers when you have children and one has asthma

No comment further

Letseatgrandma Tue 28-Apr-20 09:26:34

If your DH Is doing compressed hits so that he gets a day off one day a week, can’t the children stay home with him whilst you go in and that’s your day in the office?

CaryStoppins Tue 28-Apr-20 09:28:45

The chances are your children (and you) will get covid at some point over the next year. Lockdown is slowing the spread, it's not stopping you getting it.

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 28-Apr-20 09:29:10


She has never been diagnosed with Asthma. She has never been referred to a specialist. When she gets a heavy cold she can be a bit wheezy and sometimes requires a puffer before bed. She does not require a preventer and she doesn't need to carry a reliever on a daily basis.

OP’s posts: |
Whattodowhattodooo Tue 28-Apr-20 09:33:49

That's what I have been doing but that's only 7 hours. They have SD measures in place so on a rota basis throughout weekdays so that only so many are in the office

OP’s posts: |
GrumpySausage Tue 28-Apr-20 09:35:17

I'm in a similar situation OP. I'm a key worker and could have kept ds in school and dd in nursery but then my husband was able to wfh so we decided we'd try and manage. It was hard but we've juggled it.
Now my dhs workload has shot through the roof and he is having to go into the office more and more, and could do with being there full time. His employers are starting to pressure him.

I've been considering ringing the school and nursery to see if they can take the children for one day but feel guilty. Guilty I might be putting my kids at risk, and guilty that I can't manage without school.

Alwaystwomagpies Tue 28-Apr-20 09:35:38

Have you ever considered that if she didn’t live with two smokers she might never need an inhaler even if she gets a cold?

And yes you only smoke out the house etc- look at the science- the risk to your children is still there.

Covid is likely less risk to them than your own actions.

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 28-Apr-20 09:41:22


It's so hard isn't it? I've just been running myself into the ground. Wouldn't be so bad if the youngest was a good napper but she isn't. She's currently got all her teeth coming through at once and just wants mummy. It's exhausting!

OP’s posts: |
BirdieDance Tue 28-Apr-20 09:52:40

Stop smoking. That's step one.

Step two is shuffle your husband's hours and work from home as much as possible- work in the evenings when the kids are in bed if you can. Me and DH are both key workers but our children won't be going to the in school provision. To be honest, I'm amazed that you were ever positive about the prospect.

Whattodowhattodooo Tue 28-Apr-20 09:57:25


He can't work from home. He is an engineer so unless he can bring a 2 tonne laser cutting machine home he has to go in. (that sounds sarcastic but really isn't!)

The smoking is a work in progress!

OP’s posts: |
CaryStoppins Tue 28-Apr-20 11:58:42

Have you thought about keeping your 5 year old home and just sending your baby to the childminders? Less risk to you and the childminder then as less contacts.

Groovee Tue 28-Apr-20 12:03:02

I've been working in the childcare hubs. Any member of staff needs to stay off if any symptoms of being ill. We also query children and take temperatures and have isolated a child with symptoms and sent home. Turned out it was an ear infection so we followed the guidelines as we are not medics.

Cleaning staff go round behind us cleaning which has really helped.

I actually think I have more chance of picking it up in the supermarket than work sadly.

MeadowHay Tue 28-Apr-20 12:58:30

Not everyone can WFH nor will everyone's employers allow people to work their weekly hours whenever they fancy or pick what days they WFH or go into the office. Honestly so many people on MN seem to think employers are just letting employees with kids suddenly do everything on their terms but that's absolutely not the case for many of our employers! Good for you if your employer is flexible and understanding but many of us aren't in that position.

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