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childcare hours-what do/did you do?

(11 Posts)
freelancenewbie Sat 08-Mar-14 18:06:43

Hi, when you had/if you have pre-school children, what childcare hours did/do you use to allow you to work on your business/client work? Just interested in seeing what others did/do. I'm just about to substantially up my childcare and use a combination of childminder & private nursery. I'm going to use 5 hours childcare a day Mon-Thurs, 52 weeks a year (well apart from family breaks/holidays etc - I mean not just term time). The term-time only pre-school is just not working for me - hence my switch to private care. My DC are 3 and 20 months. Looking forward to hearing what others do - and if you feel/felt it worked for you.

TalkinPeace Mon 10-Mar-14 14:08:40

I worked when they were asleep
never had family support
could not afford a nanny
just taught the kids not to yell when I was on the phone

CommsWhizz Mon 10-Mar-14 14:09:58

Hey Newbie,

As you know, my little ones are exactly the same age as yours, and currently they do a combination of arrangements which they really enjoy but it's tricky sometimes staying on top of what they're doing/when.

At the mo, they both do two full days at nursery every week which they really enjoy. This frees me up from around 8am when hubby leaves the house with them, until around 5ish when they all come trooping through the door. One day a week my 3 year old goes to the local playschool which is 9-3, which she loves, and my lovely Mum has my youngest at my house, then goes to collect the older one and has them both until around 5ish. This should mean I can work from 9-5, but it doesn't work out like that. Now, as my work has gone loopy, my 3 year old goes to playschool on the fourth morning while my mum has my youngest, then they go together with my aunt and uncle for the afternoon. This gives me four full(ish) days to work, plus evenings and a bit at weekends, and gives the girls two full days at nursery, time with family who love them and they love, plus a day at playgroup for my older child.

It all works really well and I feel less guilty than if they were going to nursery for four full days, as I know the girls adore seeing their grandma and other relatives, but the days where they're at nursery are usually my most productive as they're not coming/going/needing taking/picking up or trotting down the hall to come and say hi to Mummy. Also, and it's a huge also, it's cheaper. We currently pay a staggering £750ish for two days at nursery/a day at playschool (my 3 year old now has her funding for 15hrs which barely touches the sides) and if we were looking at four full days (approx £1300ish) that would put a dent my margins.

Currently, I have more than enough work to fill full-time hours but I'm resisting taking that step as I want to have one day devoted to the girls and then the weekend, and so for now I work in the evenings while they're asleep, and my eldest and hubby are watching tv or talking about boy stuff. It's not ideal, it feels like I'm burning the candle at every end possible, but it's working for the kids, it's just me that's feeling a little too stretched and in need of some down time. But hey, that'll come. When they're 19.

LittleBipper Mon 10-Mar-14 14:26:03

DH and I are both self-employed, DS (11 months) goes to a childminder for two days, DH has him either Tuesday or Thursday and I do the rest. I network a bit at weekends (am sports journo) with DS in tow or if I'm reporting on an actual event DH has him Sunday too.

I have enough commissioned work to justify working for two full days, the other day (which I only get about 80% of the time) is for business development and speculative projects.

Have been offered another day by the CM, but don't think we're going to do it yet, possibly in 6 months or I might see if she can have him in my deadline weeks, although I would expect her to prioritise a child who was going to go every week if she had the chance.

We're in a bit of a weird situation as my work is more lucrative but DH's business has debts so we have to prioritise his work a bit.

Suzietwo Mon 10-Mar-14 16:33:57

when i went SE 4 years ago i had one 10 month old child. i'd been back at work f/t for 6 months so took the view that i needed child care to make the business profitable. as it happened, my bloke was around a bit so we didnt need f/t.

Now i have a 2 and 4 year old and one due in May. The best combination i have found is that of a nursery and a nanny in the house. the advantage of that is that when things are a bit quieter i can have lunch and/or a cup of tea with kids + nanny but someone else is in charge so if the phone rings, i can walk out and take it.

we do
Monday: 8 - 6 nursery
Tuesday: 8 - 6 nanny
Wednesday: 8 - 4 nursery
Thursday: 9 - 6 nanny
Friday: 8 - 1 nursery

When #3 arrives we are hoping that my bloke will go p/t so between that and the fact a newborn can sit quite happily in my room while I work or be with nanny, we hope not to change the arrangements too much

Its a lot of care but its a damn sight better than it would be if i was working f/t

freelancenewbie Mon 10-Mar-14 20:45:59

Thanks everyone - will have proper read through tomorrow when I get 5 minutes! I need more childcare ...

PermaShattered Tue 11-Mar-14 18:14:44

Mon-Wed (sometimes Thurs too): private nursery 8am-1pm; work when he sleeps until 3am then school run (I have 4 children 2-14)

I've ALWAYS worked when the babies slept in the day. On the rare occasion i didn't it just did not feel right! Used to work 2-3 hours in the evening but now i have older children it's becoming increasingly difficult.

Mrsantithetic Tue 11-Mar-14 18:21:55

I have dd 18mo and due again in July.

I work every night when she is in bed which is to varying degrees of success as she has only just started sleeping through most nights but takes until 9/10 to get to sleep which means I'm often working until 2/3 before getting up with her at 630 ish.

I also work during her nap if I can get her to sleep for a hour during the day. Try to keep weekend days free and work later at least one night to have family time as DP is out the house 14/15 hours a day Monday to Friday.

Hoping I can go on maternity leave but I have no idea if I'm entitled to anything with been self employed only started on July.

themoneyone Tue 11-Mar-14 18:38:56

Dc (3 and 1) go to nursery 3 days a week. Sometimes this gives me a few hours off to catch up with housework/life admin/telly; sometimes I need to top this up with evening and all-weekend work.
Still much better than trying to fit bits and pieces around their unpredictable naps.

freelancenewbie Tue 11-Mar-14 20:04:57

Hi everyone - thanks so much for replies. I really like the 8-1 option for nursery - think I will look into this & combine with childminder & existing pre-school. Lots to think about. Have not yet used private nursery but the 52 week cover is so appealing - afterall my work is all year round!

PermaShattered Wed 12-Mar-14 18:57:14

The 8-1 nursery option is great: I find I can get virtually a day's work done (7 hrs?) in that time period because
a) there are no interruptions from people/babies (except the odd phone call)
b) i am very disciplined so I completely ignore all mess, housework etc UNLESS
c) in a coffee break i'll hang the washing out or put some washing on etc, then crack on again!

And if the baby (now toddler) sleeps for 2 hrs when i've picked him up - that's extra time smile

I also have the most fabulous flexible nursery and i can do an extra morning/all day if necessary if they have space; or even an extra hour or 2 at £5 an hour. They are AMAZING! I have no family around so it makes a massive difference. I've used this nursery for a total of 4-5 years now and i tell them i'll have another baby just to keep going there! (I won't though...)

I digress: morning nursery works great.

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