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School, work, childcare - HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?

(20 Posts)
mammamic Fri 15-Aug-08 12:43:57


my 4 yr old will be starting school next term and we still don't know how we are going to do the drop off, pick up etc.

my husband works full time and i work 4 full days. we can do the drop off no problem but don't know how working parents manage the 3.15 pm pick up.

are the childcare options out there which accomodate just pick up and 2 hrs for 4 days? where should we start looking? is this seen as 'babysitting'?

we vaguely looking into the CM option but they want a full day's pay for 2 hours only. I understand the issue as they obviously cannot take another child if they have ours for those 2 hours. this is not an option for us as we would not be able to afford this. Our dd is currently at state nursery for am sessions (free) and from midday she is at (neavily subsidised!) nursery at my husband's place of work.

We currently pay £14 per day (4 days) for childcare. we can probably go to £20 per day ie for the 2 hours - will this be enough to find decent solution.

sorry for the overkill on info but I REALLY NEED HELP and advice - how do other families manage....

thansk for any input and advice

tiredemma Fri 15-Aug-08 12:46:35

Our school has a 'wraparound' club- it opens at 8am till school starts and then re-opens at 3.30 until 6pm.

Does your school not offer this facility?

twinklytoes Fri 15-Aug-08 20:17:31

we have two options - wrap-around (before/after school clubs onsite) or local cms.

don't know any cms that would expect full day pay for any child in school for 10 sessions per week.

we take the cm option - I pay £3 per hour, min 2hrs for dd1 to be taken to school and collected. pay for 3 hrs per day.

what about the school holidays do you need care then?

I pay my cm for 11wks full time care and 36wks of drop off/pick up - cm also takes 5wks unpaid leave. pay this in 12 equal payments to make life a bit easier.

Oh, my cm will also cover inset days (5 per year) usually at no extra cost as I tend not to use all the hours I pay for anyway. I also don't demand a refund when she needs to take compassionate leave for funerals - had 2 days in 2 years.

I always pick up earlier as I've factored in the being late for collection into the hours we require so I don't land myself with late payment charges or being handed notice by the cm.

MarkStretch Fri 15-Aug-08 20:20:10

It's really hard isn't it. Is there any way you can change your hours?

A friend of mine starts earlier so she can finish at three and pick her daughter up.

I have a home based job which is much easier as I can build it into my day.

It is a struggle to organise sometimes.

PurpleKate Sat 16-Aug-08 08:30:19

Another option is to start looking for 'out of school' clubs (aka 'after school' clubs). Many are pre-schools/nurseries offering before and after school care for older children. Ask the school if anyone else uses this kind of service, also your local authority should know. You will also have to deal with holiday care - the 'out of school' clubs may do this as well. There are other options for holiday care - such as sports hall play schemes etc, again you local authority will know.

Good Luck

amidaiwish Sat 16-Aug-08 08:48:48

most schools either have an after school club or a link with a local nursery which does school pick ups and after school care.

Alternatively maybe you could pay another parent to take your DD home, feed her until you pick her up?

LynetteScavo Sat 16-Aug-08 08:58:38

I know childminders who happily do school pick ups and holiday care, although they do charge slightly more per hour. As your DD is of school age, it won't interfere with their ratios. Keep looking for a childminder. smile

I thought all schools had before/after school provision now?

ChippyMinton Sat 16-Aug-08 09:07:05

I do what MarkStretch's friend does - I work part time (18 hours) and split this over three days 8am-2pm, so I can pick the DC up from school. On days when I work, DH starts & finishes later so he can drop them off at school.

In the holidays I work my hours over two long days sowe have less childcare to sort out (usually a combination of DH taking leave, grandparents and swapping days witha friend ie she has mine while I work and vice versa).
There are also holiday playschemes, which are about £18 day around here.

Would your employer be flexible, do you think?

ChippyMinton Sat 16-Aug-08 09:08:26

Meant to add, although my DC's school doesn't have its own after school club, It has an arrangement with another local school, and the children are picked up and walked there.

WideWebWitch Sat 16-Aug-08 09:09:48

We do after school club atm but from Sept they will be picked up and brought home by a nanny. It's costing us £300 a month for 2 of them which is more than after school club but is much nicer I think.

WideWebWitch Sat 16-Aug-08 09:10:41

We both work ft oth btw, I leave at 7am so dh does all drop offs and pick ups at 8am ish and collects both at 5.30-6pm. So I thinkt he Setp arrangement will be an improvement.

ChippyMinton Sat 16-Aug-08 09:15:48

WWW, my friend pays £10 a session per child for the after school club shock so your arrangement sounds good value.

WideWebWitch Sat 16-Aug-08 09:19:25

I did some calcs:

As is, nursery for 1 + bfast/after school for the other = £1054

As dd goes to school in Sept, b'fast and after school for two would be £524 a month

BUT bfast for both + nanny @ £300 = £446 plus I feed her child 5 nights a week too and provide all food etc.

So sorry, I was talking bollocks.
I do have a spreadsheet with all of this lot on it!

WideWebWitch Sat 16-Aug-08 09:19:50

That's all monthly figs btw

CapricaSix Sat 16-Aug-08 09:26:08

It can be so complicated! I was lucky that everything fell into place for us.
I'm a single parent, I work 3 days a week. The school has a breakfast club in the mornings, and one of the TAs there happens to childmind too (& very cheaply) so she takes dd after school. She also childminds in the holidays, though this year I have managed to fit most of my holiday in the summer (CM having her for 2-3 of the weeks in total), and my mum, who no longer works, is on standby if I get stuck or if i work Bank Holidays. Last Christmas we stayed at my mum's so I was able to work Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve while dd just hung out with my family.

I was unaware CMs might expect a full day's pay for 2 hours, too - I thought nannies did but not CMs!

tiredemma Sun 17-Aug-08 14:31:44


WWW- our wraparound club is £2.50 for morning session and £4.50 for Pm session.

Ds2 gets 50% discount- my before and afterschool bill is only £210 pmonth!

Yours is so expensive- is that in the South of the country?

WilfSell Sun 17-Aug-08 14:35:53

Your school should have an afterschool arrangement - AFAIK all schools were being pushed to provide this.

But once school starts, the other trick is to make friends with other parents and 'trade' pick ups with them some of the week to save you money. If you can only do one day, or none, you could offer to babysit instead?

Judy1234 Sun 17-Aug-08 14:40:13

Advertise in the local paper. We had someone who was available and would pick up from school and take back to our house until we got home from work. We also at that school could if we chose pay for after school club until 6 although I prefer to get children home.

Then when the twins were babies we had a full time nanny who also met the other 3 children from school/school coaches and cooked tea for all 5 children.

The main thing is it must never become a woman's issue and is as much a problem to solve for men as women otherwise you're really sunk

Romy7 Sun 17-Aug-08 14:54:18

we've used after-school clubs (the ideal is that all schools will eventually offer this but they are not tied to doing so until 2010 or something), childminders (£10.50 or£12.50 per evening pick up until 6) and a full time nanny @ £300 per week.

It's just a case of digging out all the options. have you contacted your local cis and asked all the available childminders? it sounds a bit weird they want a day pay for 3 hours work... most of the cm's round here have different sessions avail. we use 3 nights per week cm for dd1 and the other 2 dcs have an after-school club place for thoise 3 nights, so it is possible to sort...

makes pick-up tiresome, but at least dd2 will be at the same school as her brother and not at a completely sep nursery costing me a fortune this year!! hoorah!

WilfSell Sun 17-Aug-08 14:57:02

Wot Xenia said: get your DH to shift his hours (no lunch breaks, start earlier - he has the right to request flexibility too...) a bit so he can pick up one day; you do another. Pick up a different friend too on those days and you can then get their parents to do two days. That leaves you just one to cover with childcare. Or your school might run clubs (though not always for reception kids) which might give you a bit of leeway too.

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