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So what do you do about childcare when your children reach secondary school?

(6 Posts)
SouthernandCross Fri 14-Oct-11 09:37:35

My eldest is now in year 5, so will be starting secondary school the year after next. I work for myself atm so I can do the school run but am thinking about beginning to prepare for going back to work for someone else in a couple of years time.
We have 4 DC and the youngest only starts school next year, so I will need to sort out, and budget for, some child care.
The two or three youngest will need to go to a holiday club or a childminder but what do you do with secondary age children? Do you allow them to stay home by themselves? DD2 is a year behind her older sister so will be year 6. Would you leave her with her older sister?
What kind of restrictions do you place on them if you leave them behind.
I realise this is all way in the future for me, but I wondered what people who are already there do?

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Fri 14-Oct-11 09:56:42

My DD is y7 and gets herself to and from school, lets herself into the house and if often alone in the house for up to 2 hours until I get home from work.

She is perfectly happy with this, in fact she relishes the time alone. She is very sensible and gets on eith her homework and gets herself a snack. i have no worries about her as she is very sensible. Her classmates all do similar as far as I know. Definitely none of them have a nanny/ childminder at this age, they would be ridiculed if they did!

The school also allows DCs to work in the library supervised by the library staff until about 6pm for those parents who would prefer it. I think few do this but it is often because they want to get on with their homework in a quiet environment than that their parents don't want them in the house alone.

I can understand your worry, my DS is in y5 now and I look at him and worry about whether he will be able to look after himself at secondary. I would not leave him alone for long periods of time or let him do the journey to school alone at the moment, but those two years make a LOT of difference.

As to leaving your y6 with her older sister, i would think it would be fine for shortish periods of time (maybe an hour) as long as they are fairly sensible and don't fight too much!

As to restrictions to place, I tell my DD that she must phone me and let me know where she is going if she wants to go anywhere after school and must be back by 6pm on a school night. Otherwise she must go straight home. Also she is not allowed to have friends round if I am not in the house.

Fennel Fri 14-Oct-11 10:14:09

I let yr7 and yr6 dds come home alone after school and they stay alone in the house for half days at a time, and we're just moving into full days. In a way it's not too hard for us as the dds still like holiday clubs and activities, also there's a 7yo to consider who does need childcare, so we mix and match things.

Restrictions - at first we said no cooking or using sharp knives (they do a lot of woodwork and whittling for fun). Lately we say OK you can cook but with certain rules (having to stay in the kitchen while cooker's on, etc, knowing what to do about smell of gas or fire).
We also say no other kids allowed home while we're not there unless by special arrangement with their parents in advance.

I think it's easier for us having 2 close in age who get on OK when left home together, also we have several neighbours who are generally in and looking out for things and who the dds can go to in emergencies. that makes it a lot easier. But the dds love being home alone and seem to be pretty sensible about it. They get to watch lots of TV, when I'm home I tend to make them turn it off and do wholesome activities instead.

MissingMySleep Fri 14-Oct-11 10:20:19

what do you arrange for the kids during the holidays? In my area I dont think there is anything for them, but I have a year or two to worry about what to do then

Theas18 Fri 14-Oct-11 11:11:06

After school they let them selves in from yr7 up. Fortunately DH teaches so hols not usually a problem. For teacher days I either took holiday or they came to work with me in year 7 and left at home (near by) or with friends from yr 8 up/

Fennel Fri 14-Oct-11 11:38:58

My 11 and 10 yo do activity day or week courses at the local watersports centre, they love that. They like art and drama and cartoon making workshops too. They still just about go to their primary holiday club but I have to negotiate it with them and the staff - so they aren't treated too young. They've grown out of that really. The watersports one is the best one as they see it as a huge treat.

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