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someone give me a kick up the arse please!

(12 Posts)
mothersdaughter Wed 06-Nov-13 19:58:45

to stop me from stressing about DS school admission. He is due to start next September. Looking at last years admission we will only get the option of our closest school. It's not doing that we'll, can't recruit a permanent head etc.

However, the hours are my biggest worry. They have no pre or post school clubs or care. They finish at 1pm on a Friday. DH and I both work full time. DH commutes and I'm in a senior nursing role were I cannot get the flexibility needed. I really really don't want to use a childminder - DS currently goes to a nursery that is big, busy and the spend most of the day outside. Going to spend times n someone else's house is just not for him. the whole childminder thing just doesn't sit right for me at all.

But, seeing as we won't get in elsewhere, how do I kerb my disappointment? Moreover, how do I stop myself from screaming at the open day about the ridiculous hours the school operates!

MilkRunningOutAgain Thu 07-Nov-13 21:35:30

We use a childminder and she's great. She takes the kids out and about a lot, they go to parks, for long walks, she'll pick up from after school clubs too, my dd does athletics club and judo after school, the childminder fetches her afterwards. Dd goes to her in the holidays too, for whole days, and they do trips out all over the place - National trust houses, the beach, lots of healthy outdoor stuff. And she has a well used garden, full of toys, the kids are always making dens and playing outside. Childminders don't all plonk kids in front of the telly!

1 pm every Friday is annoying, and expensive childcare wise for full time parents. Is it a private school? I don't know any state schools near us that close early on Fridays.

With any luck the school will recruit a keen new head before your DS starts. We had a new head this year and he has already organised far more clubs than we had under the old head.

toomuchicecream Thu 07-Nov-13 21:45:01

Child minders are all very different - you may well find one who's set up for the DC to spend a lot of time outside. And after a day at school your DS may well just want to sit quietly - many of them are exhausted to start with, including those who've been at full time nursery.

mothersdaughter Mon 11-Nov-13 20:54:12

thank you for the advice and info. I know I need to get my head around childminders - I'm clearly basing my opinion on limited experience.

No, the school is not private - I have no idea why they close so early.

My son has severe allergies, so I would like to speak to the school to ask them about their policies etc. However, we cannot get to speak to anyone. We have requested meetings with the staff over and over again but no one calls back!

kilmuir Mon 11-Nov-13 20:57:48

Why do they leave at 1pm on a friday? Never heard of that .? How many childminders have you visited

mothersdaughter Tue 12-Nov-13 08:18:39

I don't honestly know! And as we can't seem to get any appointments/meetings with the school, I don't think I'll ever know!

Haven't visited any childminders, both DC's go to nursery at the moment and so I've never had to investigate.

cory Tue 12-Nov-13 08:32:08

You may well find that after a week at school he is exhausted and a quiet pleasant childminder suits him better than staying at after school club.

Childminders often do out-of-doors activities with their mindees.
Though you will also probably find that he has less energy for playing outside after a full week at school.

Unexpected Tue 12-Nov-13 08:35:21

Why are you so against childminders if you haven't even visited any? If school refuse to correspond with you about a visit, go into the office one morning and speak to the school receptionist. Not saying this will get you an immediate appointment but it is much harder to ignore a living person than an email. The school must also have Opening Morning(s) for prospective parents. Have you signed up to attend one of those?

PastSellByDate Tue 12-Nov-13 09:52:13

Hi mothersdaughter:

First off - this is a set back and is disappointing but your child & you and your DH are all well, healthy and can cope. Really.

Second. My understanding is schools without some form of child care will be under increasing pressure to offer something. (I am presuming you've already talked to the school - but if you haven't you should & you should encourage as many parents in a similar situation to do so as well - why - because if you don't ask they don't understand there is a need for this).

Also just because your school doesn't offer anything - doesn't mean your child can't join another school's after school programme - our after school programme takes in children from 3 local schools - and they pick them up after school as well - so again if you haven't asked at the school, you should because there may well be provision separate to the school).

Third - YES you are absolutely correct - school hours do not work with real life. However, nurses (not completely sure about senior nurses) but nurses in general work shifts and most employers will respect child care needs - so the issue is Friday - and maybe this means you work a Saturday or Sunday to be around on a Friday. Flexible working is just that - it allows for an employee for a relatively short period of time to alter their hours because of child care commitments, etc... (and I suspect just Year R finishes at 1 p.m. possibly just for a term or two).

Fourth - as they progress through school your DC will get involved in after school clubs - choir, football, swimming, etc.... Some of these will be at school so don't involve any effort on your part and the later pick up time can suit work (i.e. on days I pick up at 4:30 after a club I start work at 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.).

Finally - as many have said - childminders come in all shapes and sizes and I certainly am aware of a child minder who has 4 children some afternoons - they're all a similar age, they get on well together and she even takes them down to the local allotment and has them help with her vegetable patch. A gang of them scooter behind her as she walks there with her dog - and they all seem to be having a whale of a time.

I don't know if it will help but perhaps what you should be thinking is Oh Dear it looks like I'll need a child minder! and then try and find the best one out there you can.


mothersdaughter Tue 12-Nov-13 21:40:34

Thank you all, especially pastby for the comprehensive response and information.

I know I'm being unreasonable re childminders, it's just a personal issue that I have, having been involved in something that put me off the service for life! Something that I just need to get my head round. In truth, I struggle with the idea of DS running out to someone else after school to be picked up. That should be me, and I carry so much guilt that it won't be.

I can't work flexibly in my role, and given I already do 50 odd hours a week, there is not much capacity for any movement with hours.

They did have an open session, back in September and they don't plan to have anymore. I didn't realise it would be so early seeing as all the other local schools are doing sessions throughout October/November...I assumed they would follow suit. I can't actually get to the school office I'm person as I am in work by 7.30am, and obviously do not finish until afee school closing.

I will do some research about other schools providing after school clubs and whether there is any option of joining them.

Sadly the Friday 1pm finish happens every Friday for every pupil, right up until they leave for secondary!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 12-Nov-13 21:47:58

Also please consider just how utterly knackered your little boy is going to be if he has to stay in school every day for as long as your working day would be. My dd2 is in reception and she has to stay in after school club twice a week and she's always tired and tantrumy afterwards. A childminder picking him up to take him back to a quiet homely environment would be so much nicer than a noisy school club. I personally think that would just be too much for a reception aged child.

noramum Tue 12-Nov-13 21:49:56

We never considered a childminder for DD for various reasons. But, after school care is very different from a full day setting.

Ok, DD finishes at 3.15, the Juniors finish at 3.30pm but until they are home, have something to eat and run off steam it is nearly time for DH to pick her up

Our childminder has a garden and get the children out at every possibility, including letting them eat outside.

On thing DH and I did was reducing our hours. While nursery worked perfectly with us working 9-5, school is a different world in my view. I find it more demanding and I now work 10-5, meaning I can drop DD off and DH finishes early to get her home in time for homework and some activities.

I know not everybody has the luxury and flexibility but we found it is worth investigating

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