I work in an early years setting and have just received my new timetable which I'm due to start at the beginning of June when I return to work. My contract is 20 hours a week which have been split in to 4.5 hour days Mon-Thurs but with the gaps inbetween my sessions my day is more like 5.5-6 hours a day, the gaps are unpaid time which I can't really do anything with, they're 30 mins- hour long I will have to pay for a full time nursery place four days a week for what is essentially a part time role. Does this seem a bit silly to others or should I just suck it up? I've never used tax credits to pay for childcare before will they cover that much? Probably about £50 a day? I don't really want my baby in nursery that long so will be collecting her around 3.30 each day but will obviously still have to pay for the time she's not there. It's a children's centre so we staff have to fit around the timings of the sessions so I doubt there's much leeway to change my timetable, I do like my job and love working with the people there but at the same time don't want to be in a position where I'm away from my baby all day long for most of the week for what is a part time job.
Is there anyway to swap sessions around to reduce the gaps - perhaps with someone else in the team (no idea about your job - sorry). Can you mix and match some of the childcare - nursery and friend/relative/childminder for a couple of hours?
The problem with switching is that everyone is in the same boat really, we offer services to families across four centres so there's stuff on at different times every day in different places, the SLT don't like staff to just work at one centre all the time so we go all over and switch between the four for sessions each day. The issue is not childcare as such it's that I just want to be able to do my 4.5 hours each day and go and collect my baby so I can be with her, I don't want to spend 6/7 hours away from her almost every day when I'm supposed to be part time. The more I think about it the more I think my only option is to give notice, I'm reluctant however as it means giving up a much sought after term time only job.