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(23 Posts)
Debbs10 Thu 21-Jan-16 21:14:26

Can anyone please offer me some advice? My eldest Son is starting school in September. Since he was 9 months old he has been going to nursery, giving me the chance to return to work. I also have another little boy who attends the same nursery and once again this has given me the chance to return to work. However the issue is I work in retail, Thursday and Friday 8:30 till 5:00, giving me plenty of time to take the kids to nursery and pick them up. However as we all know school is 8:50 till 3:15 and full of holidays i.e Easter, Xmas etc. My DH works in retail too sad Even though I will be asking my Boss if there is any chance of working 10 till 2 four days per week and having every school holiday off, I am not hopefulsad So my question is this... Does anyone know of any jobs that are suitable for a parent with very young children at school? I literally have no support. My in-laws live up north and my Siblings are in full time work as are my parents, so I am the only one that can do the school run and I need to be available for the hols. What do other parents do? I am currently seeking a receptionist job in an infant/primary school, but they are few and far between. Can anyone offer any advice/suggestions?

LIZS Thu 21-Jan-16 21:20:16

Employ a childminder to do drop off/pick up and holidays? Or use before/after school clubs. Without experience or relevant qualifications school jobs are very competitive and even then holidays and inset days may differ. Could you work early and dh later with different days off, so one of you could do school run then leave/holiday clubs

DragonsCanHop Thu 21-Jan-16 21:41:44

We pay breakfast club and after school club during school opening hours. We then both use the salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme and save that up for the holidays.

During the holidays we book DDs into holiday club and use our own holidays to cover as well as school working mums helping out on their holiday day off and we the reciprocate on our holiday day off.

No family help at all, not easy but needs to be done and it's getting easier now they are getting older ie DD1 of 3 is in seniors and makes her own plans.

Debbs10 Thu 21-Jan-16 22:32:40

Thank you for your help. My DH doesn't drive so he won't be able to do the school run sad he bikes everywhere but the distance between the schools we've selected and our house would be too much for our LO. I am aware of breakfast clubs and holiday clubs, but I will still be paying for my youngest to go to nursery. I don't doubt you about the school job skills, have seen some receptionist jobs in schools that simply require IT skills and excellent telephone/people skills. I did a professional receptionist course last year and I am currently doing work experince as a receptionist so I am still hopeful lol. They make it so hard for parents.

DragonsCanHop Thu 21-Jan-16 22:38:07

Do you not have a school nearer?

Debbs10 Thu 21-Jan-16 22:49:38

No we don't sad The schools we've selected aren't that far by car, but LO may find it a struggle by bike. I could drop him off for breakfast club and hire a child minder to pick him up, but the cost would concern me, may be worth looking into though smile

Rockchick1984 Fri 22-Jan-16 09:39:48

Is there no bus your DH can get so he can do some of the school runs?

ChessieFL Fri 22-Jan-16 09:43:42

Could you look for a childminder that will take your older child to school and take your younger child all day? Might be a bit cheaper than paying for nursery plus school clubs as I believe some childminders offer discount for 2nd child. Would also mean one fewer drop-off/pick-up.

flowery Fri 22-Jan-16 09:45:56

Surely wraparound care for your eldest will be cheaper than the nursery place you're currently paying for for him?

mouldycheesefan Fri 22-Jan-16 09:48:18

Not very many schools have specific receptionists. Most office staff do a range of tasks and they are highly sought with lots of competition for roles. My friend beat 50 other applicants to such a role but she is qualified in financial administration.
Like most pRents, you will likely have to use breakfast, after school and holiday clubs. Yes it costs money, but your younger one won't be in nursery forever which will be a cost saving.
Otherwise lunchtime assistants are always needed at our school but they only work 1-2 hours per day.
Good luck

Artandco Fri 22-Jan-16 09:49:51

I would look at a nanny or childminder combination for both

Either youngest nursery all day, eldest breakfast club then after school club or childminder

Or get an afternoon nanny. Youngest nursery until 2.45pm. Nanny collects nursery age child then eldest from school and has them both 2.45-5.45 daily. A nanny charges per family not per child. If you find someone who wants to bring own child also they will be less per hr

Or childminder all day. Both go to childminder at 8am. Youngest stays all day, eldest gets dropped at school and collected. So you pay days fees for youngest and before and after school for eldest. Probably easiest and cheapest option

BrieAndChilli Fri 22-Jan-16 09:53:08

Nursery for a whole day is much more expensive than breakfast and after school club!!
Competition for school hours jobs is immense, you aren't just competing with people like yourselves who had taken a course but with highly skilled people - managers, even ex-lawyers etc who also want to downgrade thier job to fit in with school hours. It's the golden Grail!
Our council do school holiday clubs at the leisure centres for £8 a day (normal school hours) then extra for the wraparound care bit.

Artandco Fri 22-Jan-16 09:54:06

Another option is can you or Dh swap hours? Retail now is generally until much later in the day. Many places like in shopping centres open until 9-10pm. Could one of you work the early shifts and one later? Reducing the amount of time childcare is needed each day. Ie one 7.30am-4.30pm, one 11.30am-8.30pm. Then you only need childcare 11-5pm daily approx.

Or if your only working Thursday and Friday, can you swap and do one weekend day instead? Then needing one day less childcare if Dh is home

misscph1973 Fri 22-Jan-16 09:59:40

It's a tricky one. Personally I gave up teaching, and I now work from home as a translator. I wasn't a very good teacher, so it was a good choice ;) I get to set my own hours and I earn more. Of course, you need a degree to do my kind of work. But there is lots you can do without a degree. So I think you should think about working for yourself. I don't mean Avon or similar, I mean start your own business. A friend of mine does spray tans in her house. My cleaner runs a home help service, she cleans houses, drives elderly people to their appointments and walks dogs. There is lots of stuff you can do where you set the hours. And it's very satisfying to not have a boss!

Alanna1 Fri 22-Jan-16 10:04:22

I'd ask around other parents - you may find you can do some informal swops. I know lots of parents who do this.

ruddynorah Fri 22-Jan-16 10:08:11

When mine were little I worked in the evenings. Dh worked until 4 then I'd go to work 5-11pm, retail. Now the kids are older I do daytime and they go to after school activity clubs. For school holidays I book the half terms off, dh books Easter and Christmas then we each book a bit of the summer holidays. For the other bit we use sports clubs or I squash all my hours into evenings and weekends.

Youvegottobekidding Fri 22-Jan-16 18:44:58

I'm a lunchtime supervisor, it's a great job to fit in around kids school holidays!

Debbs10 Fri 22-Jan-16 20:26:45

Hi Everyone, sorry not ignoring you. I've been to work and I have literally just finished putting the children to bed. First of all thank you for all your advice and help.
Rockchick1984: I never thought about the bus. We wont know which school he will be attending till April, so when I find out I will look into that. My DH is the manager and occasionally finishes work early on Thurs and Fri, which should give him the opportunity to do just that smile
A few of you have suggested child minders, which I will be looking into so thank you. And I have seen breakfast clubs mentioned a few times, which will be extremely handy if not too expensive.
misscph1973: I would love to run my own business. A friend of mine does Avon, she is brilliant at it and is taking her family to Ibza each year. I don't think I would like to do Avon as I am not that passionate about the products, but running my own business has always been a dream of mine. What I would do I don't know, but its worth looking into.
Alanna1: I have thought about other parents and this is defo an option if I can find someone, so thanks for that advice smile
And Youvegottobekidding: (love that name smile What is a lunchtime supervisor? I have heard of that a few times, but never asked what it is.

ChessieFL Sat 23-Jan-16 09:25:49

Lunchtime supervisor is pretty self explanatory - they supervise the kids at lunchtime! Helping serve or supervise dinners or out in the playground keeping an eye out.

LIZS Sat 23-Jan-16 09:28:43

But pay is very low (saw one recently for less than 2500pa) and it limits your options for other school hours work. A lot of people use it as a stepping stone to other jobs in schools though.

ChessieFL Sat 23-Jan-16 13:23:10

Many people who do a lunchtime supervisor role combine it with another role at the school as well.

Debbs10 Sat 23-Jan-16 13:26:02

The pay is one of the issues. I need to work otherwise I loose the support I get from the DWP. I have to work at least 16 hours per week. So whether I choose to go with a child minder or a nursery, if I don't do 16 hours, then I can't pay for either. That's one of the negatives about running your own business, you need a guaranteed income otherwise you don't get help. I was considering requesting bank work from the place I volunteer at as they are always looking for extra help, but there is no guarantee of hours from one week to the next sad

mouldycheesefan Sat 23-Jan-16 22:19:47

Train to Be A teaching Assistant.
Lunchtime assistant is dinner lady

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