Childcare for uni?(7 Posts)
Need to sort out childcare for Uni and I am not sure what options to take.
First of all cash is a MAJOR issue: our income is £46 over the student bursary limit so we get no help at all, unfortunately they don't take our two older kids into account, despite them being dependant on us at 4 and 5.
I have been to see a childminder, she would charge £88 a week for four days but I am not sure how many hours to book in reality? I never need childcare after three as DH works nights and gets up then, so can help.
Nursery at Uni needs a £50 deposit just to apply and then an't guarantee a place, can't risk £50 on a lottery!
have contacted another nursery too.
What options did everyone else take? how many hours did you find you needed? I know 1/3 of my course schedule, but rest is not in place as of yet, won't be until Freshers week which doesn't help at all!
i use uni creche - tho mine dont charge £50 for nothing and students are almost guaranteed a place. if you dont know your timetable when you book (and none of us do) they tell you to book every session and cancel the ones you dont want. might be worth going into creche and asking about stuff face to face if you have not already, ours always has a fair idea how many kids are on waiting list.
who have you applied to for help? tax credits might be able to help, also education authority or university hardship fund (ours is particularly helpful if you are a mature student)
as for hours, it depends on your course - we did 18 hours in lectures for first year biology but it was spread right through the week. i know other people who only did 5 hours a week! you also need time to potter about in the library and stuff
How much notice does the childminder need to change days/hours. If shes flexible and can wait til you get your full timetable I'd say this would be your best bet as at certain times you are likely to need more or less hours/days. I found that the uni nursery was so busy the place couldn't be flexible (added to) at all which I was disappointed about as it would have been so handy. Needed the guarantee of extra days being possible when it was exam time etc. Is there a womens officer at the uni you are going to? If so go and see them as mine was very helpful and we even got some extra money as well as her getting a place in the nursery at the last minute.
I don't think i can get tax credits, as I don't work even though hubby does- we get CTC but I think you both have to work to claim childcare. I would take a job to help make it up, but I have three kids under six, one of whom has Aspergers and needs every minute I can give him, unfortunately he's not currently on any sn register so ica n't get extra help for that.
I will ask at the jursery etc about flexibility- there's a new one being built in the next village, I am hoping they might be helpful!
I'd go with the Uni one tbh. If you chat to them there may be a way round the £50 or at least they can tell you if you're likely to get a place. Our Uni nursery is great - and SO convenient, will save you a lot of time if you and dd/s in same place. I think the long term gains are worth the £50
I've just finished my first year at uni and I used a childminder for my DS. That was a good option to begin with, but then my childminder started requesting days off (her DS was ill a couple of times etc). We have nobody else to look after our son. There were times that I couldn't go to important lectures or my DH had to take days off work. That's why I wouldn't recommend a childminder.
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