HELP - Calling all mums with childcare issues(10 Posts)
I need your help. I have to write an essay on childcare and would like to have lots of opinions/problems/possible solutions to all of the various childcare issues that you have.
For example, working mums with older children - solutions/ideas to solve the problem of child care over school holidays?????
THE MORE THE MERRIER.
One of the problems I had was having to wait for a place at nursery. I registered in January and a full time place will be available in August (when DS will be 1).
This problem was my own making as I honestly had no idea that it would be so difficult to find a place and that it would take so long. Another nursery I tried doesn't have a place at all. I guess the cause of the problem (apart from my naievete) is that there are not nurseries registered with the council. I'm in South Wales.
waiting lists as already mentioned (I registered dd when she was 3 months old for when she'd be 14!!)
Big Problem is when children are ill, the nursery won't take them, you have to take time off.
Also rigid opening and closing times. I run on a very tight schedule and if the train is only late by 10 minutes so am I and have to meet the stern eyes of my nursery's manager like a schoolgirl who's late!!!
HAven't reached school age yet but I already imagine the problems!!!
I didn't realise how hard it would be to find a childminder for my ds. By pure chance the first one I found just started back after having a break for a number of years so had vacancies and could take ds at 4 months. The one I have now also only just started and had vacancies. I rang every childminder registered with my council and none of them even had the courtesy to call me back and let me know they were full and couldn't take ds. I had to leave messages in each case. The first one I had advertised at my work and while I was on maternity leave one of the girls was good enough to ring me and let me know. The second one I found by going to a council run drop in centre and one of the woman that went there mentioned this woman.
From everyone I know with children they have all said the same thing about how hard it is to get into a nursery or find a childminder that is available and most didn't seem to know that they (me included) should be looking so soon after giving birth. It's hard to know how you are going to feel after giving birth though and whether you want to go back to work or not and whether it will be part time so sometimes looking just isn't practical.
I've found in the two childminders I have had a huge difference in what they actually do for me as well. The first one seemed to go shopping every day and I was worried about ds's stimulation or lack of. The second one is brilliant and always undertakes a different activity with him and the other children in her care. She writes out exactly what his day has been like each day for me as well so I can see what he ate, when he slept, what his nappies were like and what activities he has done that day. I didn't know that there was such a diverse range in the care either. That may be my fault for not understanding what should happen or looking into it more but at the same time I wish the council had provided me with a guideline of what was expected from childminders so I could maybe know what to expect.
Luckily with both childminders they have been very good about my hours and if I am running late I give them a call and they are fine with it. I try not to run late as I want to spend as much time with ds as I can but at the same time it can be inevitable and they are very understanding.
They also tend to take ds if he is sick which makes it easy for me. That was one of the reasons I opted for a childminder as opposed to a nursery.
the single best piece of advice i was given when pregnant was to start looking for a nursery place *immediately*. luckily, i paid attention and did just that, got ds's name down at a nursery 3m before he was born. i would definitely recommend starting to look for a nursery or childminder before your child is born if you absolutely have to go back to work.
Definately the waiting lists - one place we looked at - which claimed to take babies from 3 months - told us that there was a 14 month waiting list for baby places. Last time I checked 3 months plus 9 months = 12 - so I bet they don't actually have many 3 month olds!
try finding a childminder for a child with special needs.......non existent
I agree with everything webmum says. Waiting lists, as said before - I was 5 months pregnant when I put my DD's name down for her nursery and she was 11 months old before she could go there.
My biggest problem is when she is ill. I have to use up my holiday (and sick days!) to look after her. Most of the time she is not that poorly. I would pay extra for a nursery to have a sick room for poorly children. Or, I would pay well for a childminder who's willing to take my DD at short notice.
And my other problem is ensuring I am on that train home on time. I've never missed it yet - had to run to the station a couple of times though. If it gets delayed and I'm late then I get a £5 fine.
I think thats about it.
Meid - you're lucky it's only £5. My nursery charges £25 for every 15 minutes you are late. It is open 7.30 to 6.30 though, so I've never had to pay. I put dd down for her place at nursery (to go when 4 months) when 11 weeks pregnant. I only got the place because the 2 people above me on the list decided they didn't want to go back to work.
My nursery also runs an emergency care centre. Local companies pay for permanent places, which any employee can use on a first come first served basis. It's not for ill children though, but it does take kids up to 8 years, so can be used for nanny/childminder sickness, or school holidays and inset days.
Gosh first time I've posted in ages!
The real dilemma for me is when dd starts school in September. Nursery is open till 6.00 but school only till 3.15. And the after school club closed down last year. Also I will have to drop dd off at 9.00. School holidays are also a problem of course plus illnesses.
Other problems I've found with nursery is the quality of the food isn't so hot - tends to be chicken nuggets and chips most of the time. Having said that the care is excellent so I don't mind a couple of days of junk food!
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