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It’s all change round here with childcare

Now the summer holidays have hit, it means N’s childcare is changing.

He used to do two days a week being looked after by my sister-in-law, which he and his cousin thought was brilliant.  Plus it meant being only round the corner, his dad could have coffee there and the kids also sometimes got taken out on the farm with the men.

But youngest cousin starts school in September, so it’s all change as N won’t be going there anymore.  He will still be doing his 3 days at the day nursery as he loves it there and he’ll move up to the pre-school room once he’s 3.  Expensive, but does the job for childcare and pre-school.  But definitely not really affordable for 5 days a week unless I’d want to forgo lots of luxuries.

I always anticipated putting him into the local village nursery school for at least a couple of days a week so that he could make friends with children he’d be likely to go up to the school with.  But when you work full time (however close to the nursery), trying to work out the logistics of pre-school or nursery when they only do 3 ‘full’ days a week and 2 mornings, term time only, is one that a lot of parents must face.

Yes, you can keep your children in their day nurseries, but for me, I wanted to try and get him into the pre-school that his potential school friends are likely to be at.

When I initially registered him, it wasn’t a problem.  All I had to do was get him there for 9 in the morning (rather than being able to drop off as currently at 8am and get into work early), pick ups were solved by Grandma offering.  Only that’s changed as well due to illness, so I’m now debating how to work it out.  Plus, they were hoping to be moving location and extending the hours which would have worked perfectly for me anyway…only that’s fallen through.

Do I condense my days to longer hours and a shorter lunch on the days he’s at his current nursery, to enable me to leave early one or both days he’s at the village nursery?  Even on a 35 hour full time working week, that’s pushing it some.  I’ve had the offer from a friend who works there, saying she can drop him off at the farm if needs be.  But then that’s asking a lot of his Gran or expecting his dad to know where he’ll be twice a week in the afternoons to be around.  Unlikely.

One of the other nursery assistants may be able to come to my rescue as she is available for afterschool care.  I’m hoping to meet her in a couple of weeks with N to see how we all feel about her looking after him one day.  Then I’ll try and get condensed hours signed off at work.  Hopefully it’ll be feasible, then I could pick him up one day a week.  By shortening my lunch I should be able to hit the later drop off time as well…wonder if they open the doors on the dot of 9, or whether there’s a bit of leeway?  I feel a bit like it’s a done deal though, when actually OH hasn’t okayed someone we don’t know essentially babysitting N for 1 ½ hours in our house, plus I don’t know whether I’ll feel right about her.  Yes, she’s got qualifications, and people have gone out of their way to help me, but you never know until you meet someone whether you’ll feel comfortable with them being in your home.

I was thrown a lifeline this morning though.  When asking my sister in law’s opinion on the nursery staff member, she did mention that if we were stuck she’d do one pick up a week for me.  So we could resort to that and ask for her help if needs be.


Shenington Nursery
The current nursery location – his new nursery come September

I’m hoping that school might be easier, as his day nursery might be starting after school club including pick-ups from the school  he’ll hopefully be at.  I’m hoping when he gets to school age, there’ll be something like that still available.  Mind you, I’m lucky at the moment to be working only 10ish minutes from home at the moment.  I’m not sure how long that will be lasting so a longer commute again, plus inflexible working hours could screw things up more.

How do you cope with working and childcare?  Is there an easier way to do it (apart from not working)?

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  1. Oh childcare is such a problem. We have a really good routine at the moment, but trying to accommodate school in September has been interesting. I work 33.5 hours in 4 days so I have both of the children one day a week and my mother in law has them one day a week. The other three days they are in nursery on the site I work so I can do my hours and then rush around the corner. In September we are having to incorporate a breakfast and after school club because I can not do my hours between 9 and 3. School holidays we haven’t thought about those yet.

    I’m starting to believe that school is not designed for working mothers!

    1. Ah, now my holidays would be easy as his day nursery does holiday club 8-6 in their treehouse classroom. Mind you, unless they improve their downgraded ofsted they’ll struggle unless they go totally private and outside ofsted control.

      Our school is too small to have breakfast club, and after school clubs are only specific activities so would depend on his age and what’s available. Wouldn’t be daily. Would have to hope that he could go home with his cousin.

      It is a nightmare. And they’re clamping down on ofsted which means more schools/nurseries etc are being downgraded, when they also say they want more people back to work. Not really going to happen unless they also provide more childcare and wrap around care.

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