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Phased start to Reception

(28 Posts)
2811 Mon 22-Jun-15 22:11:16

My DD starts school in September and the school she is going to has a phased start approach. The first week she'll be in mornings only and the second week she'll do afternoons - then she goes in full time in the third week.

I have no idea how to manage this in terms of work!!! My OH and I both work full time and she currently is in full time nursery. I don't really want to use my annual leave as I'll need that for school holidays (although she'll still need to do some holiday clubs as even if we take leave at different times we can't cover all the holidays!!).

Just wondering how everyone else manages it?
Thanks in advance!!!

Finola1step Mon 22-Jun-15 22:15:45

Yep, same system here. I know quite a few people who have requested unpaid parental leave.

Fancyachangeinname Mon 22-Jun-15 22:20:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tumbletumble Mon 22-Jun-15 22:22:52

What will you be using for childcare after school hours? If you're using a childminder, could you ask if she could do extra hours for the first two weeks?

AliMonkey Mon 22-Jun-15 22:29:42

My DD had six weeks of part-time which was not fun! I used parental leave to cover our family holiday that year (as have to take it in blocks) then used combination of my annual leave, DH's annual leave (and working from home when DD st school) and a day a week of my mum to get us through - but I work 3dpw so only 3 days to cover each week. So when DS started and they had changed it to only 2 weeks we found it easy!

Other options I know parents have used are childminder, nursery (with staff member paid to pick child up in their lunch hour), swapping with another parent in similar situation.

AuditAngel Mon 22-Jun-15 22:35:52

I'm in a similar position. One week 8.30 till 12, next week 8.30 till 1.15, and my mum and sister are both away for those 2 weeks!

DH is off Monday's and Thursday's, he has every other Friday off, I'll be working from home to cover the balance,

IHavemyownLighthouseyouknow Mon 22-Jun-15 22:37:07

We have this too, so some of the parents of DCs friends from pre-school and I are getting together a rota to provide cover and pick ups/drop offs for 3 or 4 kids on different days, so no one has to take more than one or two days off.

meditrina Mon 22-Jun-15 22:37:46

I think it is pretty crap, when a child needs to handle the transition of starting school, the admin imposes all sorts of extra stress, temporary childcare requirements etc. Especially when there is no clear benefit, and not all schools seem to have the same attitude to imposing disruption at such an unfortunate time for it.

You can try to avoid it. Is there any way you can ask your current provider to keep her for a bit longer, and defer her start?

Wolfiefan Mon 22-Jun-15 22:38:53

Our nursery helped us at the time. Worth approaching them? Is there an out of school club? Childminder?

TheRealMaryMillington Mon 22-Jun-15 22:39:25

There was rebellion amongst working parents when our school wanted to do phased approach. So they very reasonably took a child centred approach - if the kid was ready and happy they went full time. Less keen parents children could be part time (mornings) until half term.

My 1st 2 went full time from the off. Ds2 (precious third born) was part time as long as he wanted.

TheRealMaryMillington Mon 22-Jun-15 22:40:31

PS a private day nursery usually more than happy to keep them for a couple of weeks longer if necessary.

GraceGrape Mon 22-Jun-15 22:44:01

If you want her to start full-time immediately, tell the school. They are not allowed to refuse you as legally she is entitled to be there. Otherwise, as pp have suggested, can your childcare provider help? My Dd1 attends a private after-school club at her old nursery and they were happy to arrange to pick her up from school at lunchtimes the first week.

lagirafe Mon 22-Jun-15 22:50:35

Our school has this too - never encountered this before!
Am not working at the moment so not an issue for me but thought it was worth pointing out that our school seems to be sending the class teacher on "home visits" during the afternoons of the phased entry so I'm not sure you could always request full time from the start.

Pico2 Mon 22-Jun-15 22:52:21

I believe that there was statutory guidance which prevented this, but the guidance then changed to make it acceptable to not provide the full number of school sessions to reception children.

We've got 1.5 weeks of half days. This is to allow the teachers to make home visits. I'm still not sure what benefit the home visits have. Luckily I'm on maternity leave so can easily fit in the half days. I'm not sure what we'll do with DD2.

Mopmay Mon 22-Jun-15 23:10:57

Luckily ours don't do it. Only one local school does - total nightmare for working parents with no close by family. They dropped if yo one week not two due to complaints. No home visits in our area

jaynebxl Mon 22-Jun-15 23:15:23

I doubt a school legally has to have a child in full time given that school isn't statutory til they're 5. Or has this changed? And in my experience home visits are incredibly useful for parents, children and staff.

2811 Tue 23-Jun-15 07:28:25

There are no home visits, just smaller groups of children at school for a fortnight. I understand why they do (though in our case I know my DD would be fine if it were full time from the off) and I'm not intending on trying to get round their policy was just interested to see how others managed it.

I need to look into working from home with some unpaid leave I guess!! Thanks all!

PecanThief Tue 23-Jun-15 07:50:20

You can keep the nursery place for an extra two weeks if you can find someone to drop off/ pick up at lunch.

FishWithABicycle Tue 23-Jun-15 07:53:58

Our school switched from this to half-weeks so half the class came in Mon the and wed am and the other half wed pm thu and Fri. It helped a bit but a school day is massively shorter than an office day anyway. It's a big shock when you realise how easy you had it when your kids were nursery age!

tbh I think it's a better use of your annual leave to help your dc cope with this difficult transition by taking time off in september than it is to save it for summer holidays when there will be holiday activity clubs available. Would your employers allow you to work from home for 3 hours a day during these weeks so that you didn't have to take the whole time off?

Or could you afford to take the whole time off as unpaid parental leave? You are entitled to 18 weeks unpaid leave per child over the course of their childhood which is an entitlement designed specifically for this kind of circumstance. It should be used and promoted more widely but because it is unpaid people often think they can't afford it - but if you set aside 10% of your take home pay in June, July and August then only got half-pay in September due to 2 weeks leave that might be perfectly achievable without too much pain.

Yokohamajojo Tue 23-Jun-15 11:25:25

We have this and it's looooong, I don't think they starting going proper full time until after the October half term. We had a nanny and kept her on for the duration. Check with your school if they have a list of child minders, you may be able to share a childminder with someone else in the same situation.

Thingsareontheup Tue 23-Jun-15 12:05:21

I'm assuming you knew this was coming, her starting school that is, so why haven't you organised your holidays to make sure you are off for those couple of weeks?

DirtyBlonde Tue 23-Jun-15 12:11:29

Until schools send out joiners packs, it's highly unlikely that a new parent would know. Especially as it changes year on year. Though of course some schools are choosing to reduce/abolish staggered starts because of the level of disruption to home life having such a negative impact at a time when such difficulties can cast a long shadow.

noramum Tue 23-Jun-15 12:26:49

DD manged fine but was overwhelmed with the days at school and enjoyed the quite afternoon with me.

I planned in advance to have the first two weeks off even without knowing if the school did 1/2 days or not. I wanted to have the time to know what is going on and how DD copes.

DD also goes to a childminder after school and it helped easing her in as well.

School is a big step, full time nursery or not. Yes, for any first time parent it is not easy to know how schools work but that will be with you for the next years. I, for example, always keep one week annual leave unplanned for all the little events the school has and your child wants you to attend.

littlemisstax Tue 23-Jun-15 13:31:09

Our school doesn't do it. autumn borns start full time on the Monday, Spring borns on the Tuesday and Summer borns on the Wednesday. There is the option for Spring/Summer borns to go part time if parents choose.

bobajob Tue 23-Jun-15 17:16:42

I have a job and couldn't do the whole drawn out start, so told the school I needed DS to be in full time by week two instead of week 4. It was fine.

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