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Work 0.4 and childcare

Discussion in 'Part-time and job share' started by gadgetgirl123, May 18, 2016.

  1. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    I am hoping to return to school 2 days a week in September after having twins. I cannot afford to work more than this as my childcare costs would be more than I earn.

    I have been told they will not be able to let me know which days until a couple of weeks after half term, which is leaving it really late to get child care for two under two. Childcare is like gold dust round here. I have a term time only nursery place reserved,but they are full until Easter 2017.

    What happens if i am unable to find childcare because I am told too late which days I am working?? I can't exactly take them to school with me!

    My family live 160 miles away, and the only close family are not in good health so unable to manage two babies and a school run, so I have no alternatives.

    Hubby would not have enough holiday to cover 2 days a week until Easter, and we cannot afford for him to take unpaid leave.

    Any help/suggestions/advice most appreciated!
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    1) Talk to the childcare providers - find out whether any might be able to offer any flexibility.
    2) Talk again to the school - possibly direct to the timetabler. Explain the childcare issue (I think those who haven't tried to find any assume that you can always get the days you want). Ask them to let you know as soon as they have any clue. It may be that as soon as they put the GCSE blocks on, that will dictate the days they'll want you, and your KS3 groups will be fitted onto those days. So although the timetable might not be complete, they may be able to say which days it's likely to be.
  3. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    I've been in this situation and I understand how anxious it can be. I strongly advise you to put pressure on your school to tell you which days, if you want tell them which days you want. Tell them you need to know by (insert a date very soon) so that childcare can be booked. Explain that unless you know by that date it may be impossible to find childcare at all.

    Do you currently have any childcare options that will be ok until Easter? Have you searched on childcare.co.uk?

    Often people wrongly assume that we all have family living close by in good health who can suddenly swoop in and do all the childcare. It leaves people like you and me stranded with nowhere to go.

    You will find a solution but unfortunately you have to push for answers, even when you don't want to put pressure on xxx
    hhhh likes this.
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Yes, some people who have it easy don't appreciate others' difficulties. Remember once having a hod who was annoyed at a colleague who worked 4 days having her day off changed at short notice!
  5. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    It's very difficult. I can imagine with twins it's harder. Could you ask a union rep for support so they are ready if needed? I've done a job share and PPA cover as part time teacher with two young children and it's not the doddle people think it is!
  6. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for all the lovely replies.

    The timetabling person is in the same department, so I emailed them pointing out my dilemma, and asking when I can find out which days I will be working. The response was that it is impossible to say at the moment, but they should have a better idea a week in after half term. I guess to see if anyone else quits!!!

    I have since looked on childcare.co.uk, and quite a few childminders with vacancies on various days , but many with only space for one little one.

    Also, anything over £4.50/hour or with a holiday retainer fee would totally wipe out my earnings!

    I like the school though, so do not want to give up my job. My HOD is a a rather Jekyl/Hyde character (single and no kids, so not the most understanding), but it is a short commute, nice kids, and seemingly quite relaxed compared to other schools that friends work in.

    On the plus side, just as we thought the finances were going to be VERY tight come september, hubby has just been given a promotion and pay rise, which is such a relief.

    I guess I just need to keep waiting and hope they can tell me ASAP.

    I am not in a union at the moment...
  7. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Ah, you're welcome! I really do it all falls into place soon for you.

    Have you thought about using a nursery? It's just my personal preference but they have more staff and tend to be able to accommodate your needs at shorter notice. Also if a childminder is off ill, it can be hard to get any cover, whereas that doesn't tend to happen at day nurseries. Just a thought. Let us know how you get on x
  8. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    I have looked at some nurseries, but cannot find any that offer term time only contracts. I shall keep searching. I can drop my son at breakfast club at 7.45am, and it is then a 20 min drive to school, with fields and nothingness between the two (rural area), so the childcare needs to be in the right direction, otherwise I would be late every morning!

    I can only hope that the nursery near the school that DOES do term time only contracts gets some cancellations and has a couple of places sooner than Easter!

    My take home pay after petrol will be around £15 a week!!
  9. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Oh my goodness it really doesn't sound worth going to work at all. Especially when you think about the amount of unpaid overtime you'll do.

    My child's nursery didn't do term time contracts but as she attended only two days a week anyway I was happy to keep her in nursery during the hols. It gave me time to get things done around the house. She loved going anyway.

    I was lucky in that I found a good nursery about 5 or 10 mins away from home rather than one near my work. It meant some of the drop offs could be done by my husband rather than it always being me who had to do the nursery drop offs.

  10. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Very seriously, it would be strongly arguable as indirect sex discrimination. Their failure to get their act together early enough to enable you to return to work, having young children to accommodate, is less-favourable treatment that will affect women more than men. It is a practice within the school that disadvantages women, particularly and you, specifically. What this school is saying is that it makes it almost impossible for parents with caring responsibilities to return to work.

    You should discuss this with your union. This situation is being duplicated all over the country. No union? CAB can help.
  11. catbanj

    catbanj Occasional commenter

  12. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    Will pester the school again next week for my working days, as still no joy. They have employed another full time teacher in the same subject, so I can have my two days at least!

    I have looked into unions, but really cannot afford it. I believe in fate, and to be honest, if the school treated me badly, I would just leave. I could quite easily go back to my previous career earning £15k more, or just be a mum for a few years. Hubby has just been given a promotion, so the pressure is off a little bit, so the finances won't be as tight as we were anticipating. PHEW!

    I know I won't be earning much, but I love my job, don't mind the ridiculous amount of work, and get good results. If that is no good enough, then c'est la vie!!
  13. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    Not being rude here, but how is not letting someone know their working days until the school actually knows when they will be indirect sex discrimination? Seriously I'm just curious as I've done timetabling before and it isn't easy to nail everything down before knowing who is leaving etc
  14. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Godmeister, we know timetabling can be a nightmare, and obviously it is much easier if you can shift part-timers' days around fairly late on. But if days are changed and there is no childcare available, that can put someone in the position where they have no alternative but to break the contract. It varies from area to area, but in some, childcare places are like gold-dust, particularly if you need to drop early enough to be in school at 8.15/8.30, and particularly if you have multiple children under two. Even if you can find somewhere, is it really fair on the children to be uprooted from a childminder they've got to know? In some cases, both parents are teachers, working part-time at different schools and covering the childcare between them - the other parent is not necessarily going to be able to get their days changed.

    I do wonder about indirect sex discrimination working much longer as an argument, though, given that it is not necessarily a woman that is put in this situation. I think the argument, though, is that this situation is one which affects women disproportionately more than men.
  15. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    Well I do have my working days now, so have now started the search for childcare.

    I have had a couple of "no" responses already, but hoping I will find something soon.
  16. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    Just thought I would conclude this thread and let you know I have managed to find some childcare for September.

    After lots of responses of no vacancies, and a visit to an expensive but terrible nursery, I finally found a lovely child minder who I am really happy with. It is an expensive option, but only until January when they can take up their nursery places.

    Feeling very relieved and pleased to he returning to work.
  17. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I'm glad it worked out in the end.
  18. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    And just when I thought it was all sorted...

    Came back from holiday 5th August to find a message from the childminder to say that due to unforseen circumstances she was no longer childminding!! Rumour has it something to do with Ofsted, but no explanation given...

    So another panic and lots of telephone calls to find another childminder. Most could not take two under 2, but I finally found someone who could who seemed lovely. I arranged to meet her this Monday just gone, as she was going away. An hour before the apointment, she cancelled (something about her MIL going into hospital at the weekend and she forgot I was coming) but has not responded to my request to reschedule the visit.

    With just 2 weeks to go until the first day I would need the twins looking after, I found a nursery that can take them both. It means my childcare bill for them and my 5 year old will be £115 a day (so I will earn pretty much nothing) and the nursery is in another town, so it is going to be rather stressful in the mornings.

    At least it is only until January when they can start at my preferred (cheaper and pay as you go!) nursery.

    Grrrrr to childminders.
  19. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Grrrrr indeed. Or maybe that should be grrrrr to Ofsted, if it turns out her registration has been cancelled without thought to giving parents time to make alternative arrangements.
  20. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Sorry to hear you've had to go through all of that again. Grrrrr!

    when I worked out how much I'd be taking home if I worked full time or 4 days I realised I'd be working about 60 to 70 hours a week to earn no money (after childcare bills and household bills) so I was not prepared to do that and reduced my days. It's so sad that it's not always economical to go to work when you have young children. Many assume you've got grandparents doing it all for free. Xxx

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