Fulltime Working Mum-First Grader(19 Posts)
Hi dear moms,
We are relocating to London in a few months from Turkey, and I have no idea about what I am going to do with my 6 year old since I will be working until 5. What time do the schools end normally? What do working parents do? Does the child wait at school? What do you suggest me do?
At that age a 3:00 or 3:15 pm finish is typical but each school may vary. There may be an after school club on site, one off site that collects from a number of schools , you can pay a childminder to collect and look after him at her house or an au pair/nanny to take him to yours. Also bear in mind that you would need to find cover during school holidays.
Are you like at private or state schooling? State schooling us as Liz describes. Private schooling often has wrap around care some as long as 7.30am to 6.30pm in day schools.
Remember that London is a very large city and travel often takes a long time, especially at rush hour . So you need to plan carefully where you live and work and where your child goes to school .
Does it make sense if I find a let within one mile of my office? Is the child always placed to a nearby school?
Congratulations on your move!
If you're lucky the school will have an "after school club" (you will probably need to provide food), but many don't. A childminder is another option: she will take your DD to her home (anyone working in your own home is classed differently, as a nanny) and might cook and / or help with homework (depending on how many children she looks after!)
Nannies are by far the costliest option and you have responsibilities as an employer. Au pairs often like London and are much cheaper but you'd need a spare bedroom!
As a PP says, travel time in and around London can be much, much longer than the Transport for London site suggests!
It sounds like you don't yet have a London address and most local authorities won't allow applications to a school until you can prove an address. Your application will be something called an 'in year' application as it won't be at the usual access points of reception or Y7. Schools are nearly always full in London and just because you rent somewhere next door to a school doesn't mean you will get a place at the school. Many families find the school they are offered is one miles from their address and one other parents have avoided for one reason or another and then they stay on a waiting list for a nearby school which may move may not move in your favour - it isn't a case of order of application it is by each school's over subscription criteria. Saying that on a positive note many state schools also offer wrap around care but you will need to pay for it. Good luck and hope all my horror tales don't come to fruition for you and it is a smooth move.
No, your child won't always be placed in the nearest school. Class sizes are limited to 30 by law. If all the closest schools are full, the Local Authority will find you a place in the closest school with space. This does not necessarily mean that it will be convenient to either your home or work. There is a lot of pressure on school places in London so it may not be easy to find a mid-year place.
Yes I still do not have a London address. My husband keeps telling me everything will be alright and I am worried for no reason..However, he does not understand that I am a mum! From my experience in Turkey, I think the best school means the nearest school to home What should my strategy be then, I still think it is best to look for rentals around my office considering the high commuting costs in London..and the time spent. Btw, thanks for your good wishes. It is difficult enough to change countries, and we have two kids!
Will your dh also be working? What plans are there for your 2nd child? If you are working centrally accommodation will be very expensive and that cost could easily outweigh commuting within Greater London.
I couldn't afford to live in central London and I earn a decent salary. Instead I commute in as the cost of commuting isn't totally mad (I come in from zone 5 and annual cost is £1,666). I had a friend who commutes from Swindon and her ticket cost about £7k a year - ouch! For me for the value of my nice detached family house with garden 22 minutes from London Bridge by train would buy a studio flat in central London. Rental wise the comparisons are probably similar. An ex local authority flat I'm a high rise on the edge of the City would go for about £360 per week. Note the prices are so ridiculous in central London they hide the prices by marketing the rental price in weeks rather than per month. I am sure if you are doing this move you have done the research so know most of this so hopefully it is no surprise.
Where in London will your office be? Will your dh's office also be near there? Have you already worked out what kind of accommodation you want and how much you can afford to spend on it?
You also need to appreciate that different schools will have different admissions criteria e.g. in the UK some schools are Faith schools and priority is given to people who belong to particular parishes and/or who are baptised in and possibly active in that particular faith e.g. Church of England or Catholic. This could mean that if there is a waiting list for schools like that you will not be in a high position on the waiting list.
Also be aware that the Local Authority does have to find you a school place somewhere but if you don't like the school which has a space or you don't think it is possible to get there and you turn it down, the LA has no further obligation to find you other school spaces and you will have to get yourself onto waiting lists for schools and hope for a space to come up.
You are not worrying unecessarily: many, many parents go through angst over London schools and housing. Your H should be helping gather information!
Central London rent is unlikely to be affordable, but there are likely to be lots of places within 45 - 60 mins to work.
In your shoes I would consider what areas in zone 2 and beyond look affordable / commutable for your jobs and look for information about the schools. Local authority websites, local fora.
many London men also do a fair share of school drop-offs/childcare pick-ups!
Thanks dear mums, your advice is really invaluable. Office will be in Bethnal Green. And I think we can afford a small flat rent up to 1.250, which seems to exist on rightmove.co.uk.
I also have a one year old baby, so I will definitely need a childminder. As my older son does not speak any English yet, maybe for the beginning it will be better for him to have a Turkish childminder, and as far as I know there is a Turkish community in Bethnal Green.
I sometimes think I am nuts to relocate with two children, to a country that we don't know anything about at all, with a baby...But in life there are times that you have to make radical decisions for your children's future. And this is time for such a decision.
Sorry but anything available at that price will most likely have a reason it is that price. they might be available in Rightmove but it doesn't mean they are going to be suitable. If I were you I would start a new thread about places to live and get some input from people who live in the area or work in the area.
Umm I don't think 1,250 (pounds) is going to get you very much at all around Bethnal Green I'm afraid. As PettsWP says, start a new thread about the area and people will be able to give very specific advice.
In terms of schools, the local authority will have to find one for you, but it could be several miles from where you are living, and they won't allocate one until you have a UK address and can take up the place pretty quickly (normally within a couple of weeks).
The bad news is that money is going to be very tight if you need fulltime childcare for a baby and a flats in zone 3/4 within easy reach of Bethnal Green. The other bad news is that if you move further out as some people have suggested to get cheaper property then getting home in time to collect from childcare will be very stressful.
The good news is that a child-minder may well be able to help with after school care for your elder child as well as the baby, which will be less stressful. The other good news is that almost all primary schools in London are good to excellent, and there's quite a lot of turnover. Although you may have a stressful month or so before you get a place, you will eventually get somewhere perfectly good, if you pick a flat close to a couple of large primary schools which select on distance not religion (v important to check the religion point).
Yes, seek accommodation very near schools that offer places on location; and once you have a school look for a childminder who will both look after your baby all day and do school runs for your DD.
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