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Parental leave/benefits question - sorry a bit long

(47 Posts)
Aimsmum Thu 11-Nov-04 11:45:42

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listmaker Thu 11-Nov-04 11:56:59

I don't have any direct experience but as the children's tax/working tax thing is calculated based on your annual income and it goes down you might get more tax credit?

Don't suppose you'll be able to sign on or anything as you'll be still employed. Won't your work be flexible and let you cut your hours as it's only a short time? The school settling-in period is a nightmare for working parents. At my dds' school they get it over with in a couple of weeks but still a juggling act especially when you're a single parent. Good luck!

tammybear Thu 11-Nov-04 12:35:42

can you not have your dd go to some other kind of childcare after she has had school? just a thought

Aimsmum Thu 11-Nov-04 12:52:02

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tammybear Thu 11-Nov-04 12:56:20

What about nurseries? You can get help with costs as you're earning WTC, and then see if your employers will allow you to have a break or something then whilst you pick up your dd and take her to the nursery? An idea, may not be a brilliant one though lol.

Bozza Thu 11-Nov-04 13:12:36

Think that might work out tammybear - aimsmum could maybe use her lunch break. What are your current childcare arrangements aimsmum?

I'm also concerned about what happens when my DS starts school next year. Don't know how long the settling in will be yet and also haven't arranged any childcare yet. Sounds like my predicament might be minor compared with yours.

Aimsmum Thu 11-Nov-04 13:37:43

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sis Thu 11-Nov-04 13:43:44

How about a childminder? a lot of them will do part-time childminding and will pick up children from school.

Aimsmum Thu 11-Nov-04 13:53:35

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sis Thu 11-Nov-04 14:15:23

Have you tried asking the teachers at the school? - they are usually aware if any childminders pick up children.

Aimsmum Thu 11-Nov-04 14:32:06

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nightowl Fri 12-Nov-04 23:29:39

god what an awful situation. ive racked my brain and cant think of a way around it at all. the only thing ive been told is that you can work i think 16 hours a week and still claim benefit...but you say they wont let you reduce your hours and it appears that would be too many hours for you to manage anyway. i remember that as i was claiming tax credits i assumed when i took my maternity leave, (being on £100.00 a week) and being a single parent that my working tax credit would go up. it didnt, (because i was still apparently classed as working) and the amount of child tax credit i got for an extra child didnt make up for what i lost. i am a council tenant but although my rent went down very slightly, i still had to pay it..i got into so much debt because i just could not afford to live. it was an absolute nightmare..i would have been so much better off if i had given up my job. really hope you can find a solution, i know how frustrating it is. sorry i cant be of any help.

Aimsmum Sat 13-Nov-04 10:28:59

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Freckle Sat 13-Nov-04 10:57:15

Speak to the school. At the end of the day, your daughter doesn't have to start school until the term following her 5th birthday. Explain to the school that you have insurmountable problems due to your status as a lone working parent and see if they will allow your dd to start once the whole reception year go full-time. If you don't ask, you won't know.

Also, do you not get Child Tax Credit as well as WTC?

Aimsmum Sat 13-Nov-04 11:31:08

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Prettybird Mon 15-Nov-04 11:01:45

Aimsmum - where in Glasgow are you? I'll be going through this next year too - although I won't have the logisitics problems that you have, as ds is currently going to a childminder in the afternoon (after morning sessions in nursery). Althugh she doesn't do pick-ups, both dh and I are flexible in our work patterns.

BUT - It's also not as many weeks as you are worrying about. The children only start school on 18 August and they go back after the October Week on 21 October. That makes it ony 9 weeks you've got to cover. (Still a lot, but better than 12! )

I agree with you that with the Scottish system of only one entry a year, deferring the entry isn't really an option - you're just deffering the problem!

Can you take half day holidays? And spread them out over the weeks, so cover the period while she is still doing half days? That way you would minimise the number of days unpaid parental leave you would need to take. Just had a wee thought though about a potential problem - aren't you only LEGALLY entitled to parental up to when the child is 5? (How stupid is that - just when you you start to NEED it! ). Would your employer be amenable to you taking unpaid leave?

Aimsmum Mon 15-Nov-04 18:33:06

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Freckle Mon 15-Nov-04 18:57:35

Couldn't your daughter suddenly catch chickenpox, followed by a virulent attack of headlice?? That's should take care of 3 weeks .

Seriously, if you genuinely have problems organising childcare (as in it just isn't available rather than you can't be bothered to sort it out), the school has to take that on board. They cannot expect parents to lose their job/not have enough money to live on, simply because they choose to have reception children finish at midday.

Have you spoken to the school about any other options?

Freckle Mon 15-Nov-04 19:10:24

Another thought is to see if you can find out if there is another parent in the same boat as you. You could then see if they would be prepared to do a shared care with you, i.e. you have both children for x weeks and they have both children for x weeks. Each of you then only has to take half the required weeks off work. If you found another parent, you could reduce it further.

Aimsmum Mon 15-Nov-04 19:50:53

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ladymuck Mon 15-Nov-04 20:03:02

A couple of thoughts:-
a) can she go to nursery as now for the month of August? At least until term starts? Certainly at ds's nursery there were several children there until mid-September, who due to late birthdays were late in starting to attend school proper. I usppose the point I am getting at is are you trying to cover school holidays too? Have you looked at local playschemes?

b) re childminders - it is worthwhile getting an updated list every 6 weeks. The council usually only give out details of those who have informed them of vacancies. Most school pick-up childminders seem to fill their spaces on word of mouth.

c) I would recommend talking to the school again, and fully explaining the situation. The starting hours may not be set in stone (usually they seem to be based on age within the year). They may be able to make suggestions, especially if they are not being inundated with similar requests from lots of working parents.

d) Finally my least helpful point: I have found in my local area that there is a a great deal of diffference in the demographics of parents between local schools, and therefore also a significnat difference in afterschool provision/clubs etc. Is there in fact a better club for you elsewhere?

Willowmum Mon 15-Nov-04 20:12:57

Aimsmum - Do you have a personnel dept where you work? I'm a personnal officer and if an employee came to me with your probelm we'd do our best to find a temporary solution, although I know not all employers are as understanding. You'll probably find your HR Dept a bit more understanding than your line manager in cases like this.

Good luck.

Aimsmum Tue 16-Nov-04 16:19:16

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Prettybird Thu 09-Dec-04 13:53:46

Aimsmum - a wee bit of a gap, as I have been on holiday - and the couple of weeks before were really hectic, as I tried to get everything in order before going off.

I think you should go and talk direct to your HR department to see if they have any suggestions. They may be able to help you or make suggestions, so your line manager doesn't need to get involved at all.

It would really surprise me that a primary school in the centre of Glasgow doesn't have working parents. It may be that the school has just never been sensitive to the problems that they face (or stuck its head in the sand!)! (Which one is it by the way?). My SIL works in the education department - I could ask her if she has any other ideas.

Another thought I had was the the YWCA has a creche on Sauchiehall Street (Newton Terrace) - the rates looked very reasonable. I'm sure they did half days as well. Why not see if they have places? It looked like a sort of drop in arrangement - but then the sign I saw might have been out of date. The details are YWCA Glasgow
3 Newton Terrace
Glasgow
G3 7PJ
TEL 0141 248 5338
FAX 0141 204 5709
admin@ywcaglasgow.org

They also do an afterschool club, so it may be worth getting in touch with them, to see what they can do. (The web site says that they particularly support women under 30 - so you qualify ).

I really hope you do manage to get things sorted

AimsmumTheRedNoseReindeer Thu 09-Dec-04 18:08:57

Hi Prettybird - Thanks for the reply. Hope you had a nice holiday
I didn't realise the YMCA had a creche - I had contacted them about after school care but they are based in St Peter's in Partick so its the wrong area for me, but I will give them a phone tomorrow and ask about the creche. Thanks for that.

Failing that I am going to talk to either my line manager or HR in the new year. I don't want to just now as I have just taken 2 weeks unpaid leave at very short notice and caused all kinds of problems as my DD got a cancelation appointment for an operation last week.

Thanks for finding this out
I will ask again at the school too in January when I go to enrole.

Thanks again and hopefully see you at the next meet-up

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