This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Is this realistic??(19 Posts)
I'm going back to work next month and my 8 month old goes to nursery in South east London from 8-6. For every 5 minutes you go over 6pm it's a £5 late fee!
I'm going to do the pick ups but I finish work in the city at 5. I'm scared that due to delays etc. I may be cutting it fine sometimes and be slightly late!
Is it realistic for me to hire a childminder / babysitter to pick up my little one from nursery and bring her home? Would they even take a job that only requires 1 hour?
It's hard to say without having a few work runs to see. Nursery have to say this because there will be some parents that will be 10-30m late everyday. Are you thinking of child minder picking up at 5 or 6? Depending on where she lived you might arrive at childminders house before she gets back with baby. I'm guessing it would be more disruptive going from nursery staff all day to childminder possible for 15m-1h depending on how late you are.
Probable be easier to pay late fees when you are late and try to leave dead on time. A chemo see is going to cost more than £5 a hour when you factor in having to leave her house at that time that's if she has no other children, or wait for others to be picked up first. Can't see a childminder be willing to do this.
Hiring a childminder to be 'on call' for one hour a day does sound a bit OTT TBH. With the amount you'd have to pay her to be on standby every day, you could afford to pay the occasional late fee!
Is there nobody else who could collect if you were late? Your mum? A friend?
My DDs nursery officially has this rule and they make a point of telling you about it clearly when you look round. However, the once I was late after getting stuck in traffic, I wasn't charged. The mainly have the rule to discourage parents from taking the piss and regularly rocking up at 6.30 when they should collect at 6.00. Maybe yours is similar?
In any case, I think it would be worth seeing how it goes before employing a childminder.
And that's if you could get a childminder to agree which is frankly unlikely. Most childminders will have other parents collecting from them between 5 and 6 so it would be logistically very difficult to do an additional pick up at this time.
Could you go for a full time childminder instead of a nursery? They are more flexible than nurseries and might agree to say, a 6.30 pick up time which would give you more leeway.
Thanks. Maybe i'll see how it goes before making any desicion. I have asked my mum and sister to try and help out if there is a occasion I can't make it on time, but they also work so I can't rely on them 100% unfortunately.
I can understand why a cm may say no to the job tbh. I just wonder how other parents with similar problems handle this.
One of the nursery nurses at my DS' nursery babysits for us regularly and a couple of times she's taken him home after nursery because one of us got stuck at work/in horrific traffic. I know several parents who use nursery staff for occasional or regular wrap-around care.
Thanks Furry giraffe. That hadn't crossed my mind at all. I will definitely tell look into that option
We coped by getting a CM, not using a nursery...
Sometimes you just have to suck up the fees. It depends on how close things will be, and how late your train has to be to be at the nursery past 6?
For the odd occasion when we know we definitely won't be able to collect by nursery closing time, we've either asked another parent to help for an hour or so, or if it's known in advance - something to do with work etc - then the other one tries to take some leave to be the one to collect.
I think if you're choosing childcare with times that are very tight, then realistically you'd need to look at other childcare.
Though once your DC is older and you've used babysitters a bit then yes, you can add them into the mix and things become a lot easier, though that's harder to plan before you start at the nursery.
You're going to be popular if you are late every time
The late fee is to discourage parents from being late not to accommodate lateness
I've sent warning letters to persistently late parents threatening to exclude their child
How about asking your work place if you can cut your lunch hour down by 15 or 30 mins to give you a bit more time. I asked work to start and finish work half an hour earlier to give me more time to pick up and feel less under pressure
Be aware that the 'fee' is is a fine. If you are routinely late you are likely to be asked to fix it or leave.
Interesting demonstration of the freakonomics point on this very issue.
You need to be aiming to pick up 5.50 latest as a buffer.
If many parents are coming by train they tend to be pretty understanding - equally don't be surprised if child has coat and shoes on and is ready to be placed in your arms the moment you arrive if it's 5.59.
Our nursery is officially open until 6.15 but generally parents come by 6.05. In 6 years of nursery and 2 of after-school care I've been fined £10 twice, when I've been delayed to around 6.30 - once was delays and once a work cockup that left me stranded in Surrey.
I do try to work on days MrNC can work from home and have about 8 people to callto try to collect if need be (one friend didn't get the text with the password so I arrived very late to find him and dd and nursery owner, because they wouldn't release child without it. Quite right and I didn't get fined for that nor several other times when I've been 5-10 mins late - if there's still someone tidying up, then its not a huge inconvenience as long as you've called so they know they won't need to sort out childcare. There was a bad month of train delays though once.
Maybe I should just go with a cm. But my little girl loves her nursery, as do I! !
Our nursery has the same rules. We get round it by my dh doing drop off so I get to work for 8.15 and can leave early leaving plenty of time to spare for train issues etc.
When we have had train issues (ie whole line down!) then so have many other parents. I've then got my dh to pick up or I've sucked up the cash and got a taxi.
I was really worried about this but after 3 years working I have never incurred a late fee. Generally if trains are really messed up from London there are a number of parents in the same situation and they are aware. I always call when delayed and normally they say yes we know. I recommend making sure you always have spare cash for a taxi and a number on hand for a local firm. Sometimes when there are delays I can get a fast train to another station vaguely in the same diretion and call a taxi to pick me up from the station to the nursery. I'd rather spend a tenner on a cab and be on time than be late. Also by the time you're dc has been there a year or two you will likely know some other parents and if you're only a few mins late you can call one and ask them to pick up and wait outside the gate for you with your child. Be prepared to return the favour! Good luck it will be fine, I've managed working in the City with zero family to help and although it can be stressful it's totally doable.
Bear in mind childminders are likely to have the same rule! It's to discourage piss-takers rather than make money. Making friends with other parents ASAP helps, ditto nursery staff - they can be great babysitters.
I'm emergency contact for friends with a very long train commute, in 2 years I've never been needed. There have been several times one of them has had to work from home because of disruption, but I haven't yet had to dash off at 5 because the train has had a last minute issue.