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Childcare/Working Mums and School Holidays !!!

(16 Posts)
Scatterbrain Wed 26-Feb-03 15:32:10

Aaaaaarghhhhh !!! Just realised that when my dd starts the nursery class in a private school this September (as a rising 3) I will be facing the prospect of school holidays !!!

Can't imagine any family members stepping in to help - and she'll be too young for playschemes - what do I do ?

Does anyone know if it's possible to get a nanny just for the school holidays ?

Am just job-hunting at the moment - but I'm not seeing anything out there promising term-time only working ! Any ideas ??

Hadn't expected to be facing this problem for another 2 years - totally phased by it - please help !!

NQWWW Wed 26-Feb-03 15:35:24

Yes, you can get temporary nannies from lots of agencies (sorry no recommendations as I've never used one). Also, I found a nursery just round the corner from my work which has vacancies and so is happy to take my ds when our nanny is on her holidays.

ks Wed 26-Feb-03 17:06:45

Message withdrawn

Tinker Wed 26-Feb-03 18:51:58

Never quite sure what people mean by a 'rising x' but if it means that your daughter will be 4 when she starts, some playschemes will take her. My daughter went to one for the summer holiday before she stated reception. But just realised that I think you mean that your daughter will be a year younger? Otherwise, yes, fully endorse a good childminder.

Copper Thu 27-Feb-03 10:01:02

Of course, you may find that childminders will be looking after the children they already have ... They don't often get vacancies just for the holidays. I never found childcare at all easier once they were in school. Who will collect her from nursery in termtime?

Marina Thu 27-Feb-03 11:04:31

Scatterbrain, in our area at least, it is actually seemingly easier to get a part-time place for children already at nursery/school. Several childminders in our borough specifically offer pick-ups from named schools, and can cover for half-terms etc by arrangement. If you are London-based, it might be worth investigating.
If you are looking for term-time working and not necessarily seeking a career-grade post, look out for library/learning support posts in local schools and colleges. They are often interested in recruiting for college terms only - and these are shorter than school ones. BUT, no half-terms (as a rule).
If you have secretarial/PA skills, contact your local NHS Trust. My colleague's wife found her local trust was so desperate for reliable secretaries they took her on for whatever hours she told them she could spare (ie, term-time, 9.30-2.30pm). She's happy and so are they. The jobs may not necessarily be advertised as flexible...

Batters Thu 27-Feb-03 11:12:29

Scatterbrain, at the moment I am incredibly lucky as we have a fantastic childminder who collects dd from school and also provides holiday care. However, this is going to change in a few months when the childminder emigrates .

As Tinker says, some playschemes will take children younger than 5, but from my experience they fill up very quickly. I booked a playscheme for the summer holidays for dd in January.

You may also find that other parents will be in the same situation as you, and as you get to know each other, may want to offer to look after each other's children as well.

Good luck job hunting!

Scatterbrain Thu 27-Feb-03 19:33:35

Thanks everyone !!

And I thought the hard bit was babyhood !!

Annoying thing is that I have both an m and mil neither of whom would offer to help ! My m phoned me today specifically to tell me about the morning she had had looking after a neighbours 6 yr old granddaughter - and how lovely she was - when I mentioned my worries about this issue she agreed with me that it was a problem !

We so so need the extra money - but it seems the odds are stacked against me working !

Marina Fri 28-Feb-03 10:40:15

Ha Scatterbrain, we had a very similar exchange with my MIL just the other day - "oh yes, I can see that is going to be so hard for you to organise". An offer of maybe one day a week would have been so nice for us all - we do still try and foster a loving relationship between him and grandma even though she can be very self-centred at times. (She is a retired infants' teacher in good health who lives 25 mins drive away from our house, and the School is 150m from our front door). We would never expect to tie her down to every day...

Empress Sat 01-Mar-03 17:22:42

We're thinking now about school holidays, our little girl is in her first year of school, & prior to school she was at fulltime nursery (in a different area) so have been thinking about getting a childminder for her for summer holidays. Where do you start - we know nothing about childminders, how do you find them, how do you know they're good etc? Will try some 'word of mouth' but don't really know any of the other parents of kids in her class, just to say hello in the morning when I drop her off (she goes to afterschool club, so we dont see other parents then). What's our next step?

Tinker Sat 01-Mar-03 17:46:41

Empress, contact your local council - town hall in the phone book. They can provide a list of registered childminders. You will need to interview a few really just to get a feel for if they would be suitable for you child. I'm sure there have been other threads about looking for childminders and what to ask, if I get time I'll try a post a link later.

sykes Mon 03-Mar-03 10:48:18

I've had two childminders and now have a nanny. Both childminders were great, but depends on what you want. The first was recommended and had one son of her own with a mixture of other children she'd looked after since they were babies - children now five - obviously a v good sign. The second I chose after contacting the council for a list - moved to a new area. I interviewed about seven. The childminder had four children of her own and, again a couple of children she'd looked after since they were babies. I interviewed on my own then saw how she and her children were with my dd on second visit. Anna was spoilt rotten - the woman childminded as her kids adored having babies around. Anna was very much treated as part of the family - taken on family day outs etc, etc. They cried when she left - as did the first childminder. Am still in touch with both of them.
I think usual questions about routine, how much attention your child will get, diet, discipline etc. I like outdoorsy people - they both had great gardens and walked a lot. Not too much/if any videos. Like them to have company and go to toddler groups. Have nanny now as we're too disorganised to get ready and drop off two children.

Marina Mon 03-Mar-03 11:02:41

Empress, as well as the advice given here about contacting your local authority, you can also access Childcare Link , a government-maintained central website of registered childminders in the UK. I mention this because it can give you a good overview of what's available in your area, quite quickly. The ones listed for my area spell out activities, special needs training, play equipment, presence of pets etc, in a lot of reassuring detail.
I would always then go to the Early Years Service of your local authority because in a lot of cases their info is going to be more up-to-date. Mine also has useful web pages and hand-outs explaining how childminders are trained, what questions to ask at interview etc.

Empress Sun 09-Mar-03 20:47:37

Thanks to Marina, & others, for your help. Off I go onto the next step..!

mumnosbest Wed 24-Sep-08 17:45:04

You thought about working in a school? Then you'd have the same hols. There's always a shortage of dinner ladies and if you want more hours some schools use GA's (General Assistants). Which area are you from? Also if your child is at fulltime school or nursery, then they are classed as an older child so a childminder may have a part-time vacancy, even though they cannot take any more full-timers. I'm a mum/primary teacher turned childminder, due to childcare pressures and costs

Fennel Thu 25-Sep-08 13:02:01

With my first child she used to go back to her old nursery sometimes in the holidays - where her little sister was.

With dd3 who's 4 now she goes to a local flexible childminder in the holidays, while her sisters go to holiday club which is only for "school age". It's a bit of a pain but not insoluble.

Also when I had just one needing holiday care I swapped quite a few days with other parents at the preschool. This doesn't work now I have 3 - harder to shift them all at once onto friends.

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