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dd 1yo- better to work 4 mornings or 2 full days?

(8 Posts)
JumpingJellyfish Mon 29-Nov-10 14:44:36

I am currently working 20 hours a week which I do by working 1 full day and 3 mornings. DD2 (just turned one) is with my MIL 1 full day and 1 morning, and with a childminder 2 mornings (MIL can't help out any more hours as she's lives a long way from us and does this out of the goodness of her heart which I wouldn't want to push too far!).

Trouble is, DD2 has had real trouble settling for the childminder for the 2 mornings, and this has got worse over the past couple of months (separation anxiety stage). It's now got so bad that we're having to rethink the childcare for DD2, and I'm wondering if 4 mornings a week or 2 full days a week with the same childminder may be better? (and one half day with MIL).

Any advice on what may be easier for a child this age would be much appreciated. I'm very fortunate that my working hours are flexible so can accommodate various patterns, though I do like to be home in the afternoons to help DS with homework and ferry DS & DD1 to various activities etc...

notyummy Mon 29-Nov-10 14:47:55

If it were me, I would say 2 full days tbh - less travelling time involved over the course of a week and therefore more time spent with the family.

JumpingJellyfish Mon 29-Nov-10 14:53:56

thanks notyummy. I'm just worried that she'll find it hard to settle for a full day and then that ti would be nearly a full week between her full days with the childminder and she may find it hard adjusting to it again each week. I'm lucky that my work is close to home, only a ten minute drive, and CMs is close by too- and I'm doing the shcool & preschool drop offs each day which DD2 is dragged along too so travel time thankfully not too much of an issue for work, though from my perspective in 2 full days I think I'd get more work done than in 4 mornings hmm

UnseenAcademicalMum Fri 03-Dec-10 11:53:15

I found that 5 half days worked best for me when I returned to work with ds1. It gave the same structure and routine to his day so he got used to going to nursery each morning and we got to do fun stuff together in the afternoon! When I tried taking full days off, I still ended up working for half with answering emails and getting on with odd little bits and bobs, so I didn't feel I had the same quality of time with him.

WentBlank Sat 04-Dec-10 09:29:46

My son went to nursery 2 days a week from 5 months old. Was best for me (and him). I felt that we had proper quality time together and I wasn't always sitting about waiting to go to work.

DilysPrice Sat 04-Dec-10 10:03:05

I hated working 2 days a week, you spend the first morning trying to pick up the threads of your last week, and people get into the habit of you not being there. 5 mornings works infinitely better from a work POV. But it depends on the nature of your job.
I assume it's an easy commute then? because otherwise the cost of childcare covering 8 commutes rather than 4 gets relevant.

onimolap Sat 04-Dec-10 10:07:04

If the admin works, I'd go for the four mornings. Then you'll have a settled work pattern which will work round the school day (which will creep up quickly, no matter how distant it seems now).

JumpingJellyfish Sat 04-Dec-10 21:43:28

Thanks all. Met with a new childminder who we're going to try out- she agrees that 4 mornings a week should be better for DD2 given her age etc. I already have school age and preschool age DCs so do like being able to fit my hours around school if possible so that I can help with DS's homework and do the running about for any activities etc.

I just hope DD2 settles for her as she really is so clingy at the moment. I am also torn between trying a nursery for DD2 or sticking with a childminder- the cm is a cheaper option and I liked having the kids in a family environment when they were still little, but DD2 does love being in the middle of lots going on so may actually settle easier in a creche environment.... So hard to know what's best!

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