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Fitting in work around childcare - how would you do it in this situation?

(21 Posts)
BubbleBobble Wed 24-Nov-10 12:30:24

I'm looking for some outside perspective and ideas. I'm returning to work at the start of February. A certain family member was going to be looking after DS full-time, but now can't do it. Without going into what's happened, we've been left in the position where we have to find childcare at short notice.

Previously I worked full-time. For financial reasons, I have to go back full time and would like to do compressed hours, so 8am - 6pm Mon - Thursday. I attend a college class on Friday mornings (not related to my employment).

DP works a rotational shift pattern, 4 days on, 4 days off. The company that he works for, while they legally would have to consider a flexible working request from him, would definitely find a business reason to turn it down. It's not in their culture to allow part-time or flexible hours, so DP can't change anything about his job.

There is a nursery in my building that isn't related to my employment. DS is now on the waiting list, but there won't be a place until after Easter. There is likely to be a place for him on Mondays, but I won't know until next week.

A local nursery can take DS Tues 8am - 6pm, Wednesday 1pm - 5:30pm and Thursday 8am - 6pm, with an all day Wednesday place becoming available in March. This means I can't do the hours in work that I need to as I have to leave an hour and a half of traveling time.

I really need to come up with a plan to present to my manager, before I put in a formal flexible working request. Working from home isn't an option and traditional flexi working (working core hours and making up time later) probably won't be an option either.

Any ideas? I'm really at my wits end.

Shivs1974 Wed 24-Nov-10 12:33:49

Have you considered a childminder?

BubbleBobble Wed 24-Nov-10 12:42:41

I've looked at the list of childminders approved by my local council. The ones that are recommended by some local mums are fully booked up - and they're the most flexible. All the ones I've looked at so far will only do 7:30 - 6pm, which still leaves me with the problem of it not fitting in with what I need to work.

Shivs1974 Wed 24-Nov-10 12:58:21

I know it's v unsettling and that you will want to get this sorted out asap - I would be exactly the same. Are you able to extend your mat leave - say by taking parental leave until you can get your DS into a nursery?
Have I read it correctly that you have to leave 1.5 hr to get to work - does that mean that you'll be travelling for 3hrs per day? Have you thought about how that will impact your DS if you use a local nursery? I don't mean to sound harsh, so apologies if I do....
Do you do a job whereby you could do 4 days a week but more normal hours? It's stressful enough getting out of the house in the morning without a long commute..
I feel I'm not really helping.....Have you posted on the Childcare section here as there might be someone who can help?

Bramshott Wed 24-Nov-10 13:09:11

If you are working 8-6 4 days a week, you really need the workplace nursery, otherwise you'll need childcare from 6.30 until 7.30.

How about a temporary nanny until Easter?

Sidge Wed 24-Nov-10 13:58:04

A nanny would be the most flexible option for you and provide consistency for your baby around your long hours and your DHs shifts.

Otherwise you've got to juggle (potentially) a nursery, a CM and your DH doing drop off/pick up etc. If one link in the chain is ill, off, car breaks down etc it will be chaos!

Forster Wed 24-Nov-10 14:00:33

How about an au pair plus?

BubbleBobble Wed 24-Nov-10 14:22:34

How expensive so nannies tend to be? I'm in the north-west and a full day nursery place is roughly £33 - £37. Excellent idea, btw, I really wouldn't have thought of that.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Nov-10 14:25:22

If you only have one DS, can you get a nanny/housekeeper or a mother's help who can both look after him and do your housework while you are out?

That might be expensive but would take a lot of strain off you.

BubbleBobble Wed 24-Nov-10 14:32:56

I know this is going to sound awful, but if all the charging around, going to different nurseries for different days is only going to be for a few months, I can put up with it.

Just had a quick look into nannying and I think it's going to prove too expensive for us as an option, but on the plus side, I wouldn't have to employ a payroll agency, anyone to do the tax or anyone to tell me about employment law and contracts - I can do all that myself as it's very similar to my actual job.

Forster Wed 24-Nov-10 14:35:23

Try gumtree. Sometimes a nanny who has her own baby is willing to accept a lower rate.

Forster Wed 24-Nov-10 14:35:52

Or a nanny share is another way of keeping costs down.

Bramshott Wed 24-Nov-10 14:57:36

But in that case you'll still have to ask your work to reduce your hours for a temporary period, as you'll struggle to get anyone except a nanny to do the hours you need.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Nov-10 14:58:54

What about your DS - how will he put up with it?

BubbleBobble Wed 24-Nov-10 15:03:23

I think we may have a solution - use the local nursery until the one in my work has a full-time place, and ask the relative who let us down to drop off and pick up until I'm home.

The reason they couldn't do full time is to do with their health (I'm deliberately being vague as I don't fancy being recognised, unless you're reading this from another forum, I probably am who you think I am!) but my DP seems to think they could manage the dropping off and picking up and also that they'd probably be willing to do it as they know how badly we've been let down and it's only temporary.

Fingers crossed. Otherwise I'm back to square one.

Thanks to everyone for all the replies - Mumsnet is a scary place for a noob. wink

Acanthus Wed 24-Nov-10 15:04:59

It will have to be the nursery in your building as nurseries in this area are pretty much 8am - 6pm. Otherwise can the relative who has let you down still do a bit? Or another relative?

I think you should spreadsheet your DH's shifts against your working hours and see exactly what you will need for the first few months (Feb to April if I've read that right), then try to match that.

Unless Kids Allowed do longer? You'll need to look at the nurseries, I looked at loads and was almost at the point of giving up work, I thought so little of the first few I saw.

BubbleBobble Wed 24-Nov-10 15:07:23

Bonsoir - missed your post, I think we cross-posted.

He's only 6 months old and he is an easy-going little soul. I couldn't look after him for weeks and it took months for me to be able to have sole charge of him (horrific birth) so he's used to different people looking after him. I'm not worried about him being unsettled or it being hard on him - I know he'll cope. The local nursery is based within a children's centre that we attend quite regularly for various things, so it's already a familiar environment. If the relative can do the dropping off and picking up, they'll be waiting in my house anyway. Then that won't be an issue as DS will be traveling to work with me.

BubbleBobble Wed 24-Nov-10 15:09:52

Acanthus - that's an excellent idea. I'm waiting for him to print off all his shifts for next year and bring it home tonight.

My parents both work full-time but would be able to have DS overnight on Fridays, if I have to work a Saturday, which is a possibility.

I've seen the nursery in my building and DP and I were very impressed. Lots of people I know send their DC's there and are very happy with it, which speaks volumes.

Acanthus Wed 24-Nov-10 15:12:02

Right. Get a place there before it goes, then hope for some flexibility when you are "in"

jaabaar Wed 24-Nov-10 22:33:58

Have you checked with your nursery if they do extended hours? Our nursery is open 8 to 6 but for £5/ph you can have one hour more in the morning and one in the evening. Or half half for half the price.

Bramshott Thu 25-Nov-10 13:10:49

Sounds like you have a plan Bubble. Good luck!

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