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Where do I start?

(7 Posts)
Magneto Wed 19-Oct-11 16:05:28

I've been back at work a few months now and my mother and MIL have been sharing the childcare. It was originally supposed to be MIL on a Monday 5.30am-2pm, my mum on a Tuesday for the same hours and my mum on a Thursday for 2 hours in the afternoon.

This arrangement worked because while I work full time I am able to work a condensed week so have Fridays off. Dh works shifts and had Wednesdays off and also Monday and Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. However literally a couple of weeks in to this arrangement dh's shifts were turned upside down and he now has no regular shift pattern.

My mum has done some things which mean I am no longer happy for ds to be left in her care and MIL is in the middle of a divorce and also looking after ds for 12 hours a day 4 days a week. I have offered to pay her as I feel incredibly guilty but she won't accept it so I am now considering putting ds in nursery/with a childminder.

The problem is I haven't a clue where to start!!! I don't drive so I get the train to work, but have to be out the door at 6.15am for a 7am start however my working pattern is regular and unlikely to change, whereas dh's work is unpredictable so I'm thinking the childcare hours would have to follow my shifts and probably be close to where I work. Do nurseries open at 7am?

Also, what would the costs be likely to be and what sort of help can we get with them?

I'm so sorry for the boring "help me" question!

lilham Wed 19-Oct-11 17:35:08

Nurseries generally opens at 8 and closes at 6. Can you get your mil or your mum to drop off at nursery instead?

Magneto Wed 19-Oct-11 17:55:52

Hi Lilham, thanks for replying. They both live half an hour away from where I work, which is where I'd be looking to send him to nursery which could be a problem for them.

My employers are generally quite flexible so I'm sure I could change my hours if I need to.

verybusyspider Wed 19-Oct-11 21:59:54

our work nursery opens at 7am, closes at 6pm (children can only stay max 10 hours though) so first thing to do is ask the nursery you are thinking of, even those that do 8-6 sometimes have arrangements for early drop off (for an extra charge).
Nursery costs depend where you are £35-48 around here, sometimes you get discounts for the more days they do.
Check if the nursery even has places - I had to find my 2 ds's a nursery space at short notice, it was hard, work had to be flexible in the short term or I couldn't have gone back.
6.15am for you and lo to get out of door and on train would be (imo) tough, I leave at 6.45am for a 7am drop off (I'm lucky I live v close to work) and that involves dh getting boys ready and in car whilst I wolf down breakfast, mostly because I can't bear to get them out of bed any earlier than I have to.. if dh's work is unpredictable then it sounds like a good idea to arrange stuff around your work pattern
hth - and good luck x

lepetitchoufleur Sat 22-Oct-11 18:00:20

Hi Magneto, I start back on Monday and my DS will be with a childminder 1 day a week. I find childminders have more flexible hours than nurserys and there are a lot of them so you may have more luck there. Have you applied for tax credits and childcare vouchers? the directgov website is pretty good for info. Good luck!

hypermum1 Tue 25-Oct-11 17:37:52

HI Magneto. I have 2 boys, both now at school, but unfortunately, did not have the support mechanism to have family have them so I had to seek alternatives whilst I went back to work full time. I have used both nurseries and childminders and I found without question that childminders were the best option. I was lucky enough to find a really great one and my children loved her. So much so that now I work part time, they ask to go back to her! (charming!). She was so much more flexible with the hours and offered fantastic, home based care. I would recommend investigating that route. Also a lot cheaper than nurseries!

verybusyspider Tue 25-Oct-11 20:53:08

I have also used childminder and nursery but I would have a good look at both before deciding what fits best - I personally found nursery more reliable, if our childminders children were sick she couldn't have boys, or she could be sick, or off on holiday, family emergency etc... nursery is 51 weeks of the year and opens 7am without fail, I much prefer that certainty - I have to say our childminder was brilliant and very reliable but incidents do happen and having to talk holiday for your own childrens sickness and then someone elses is really hard

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