View Full Version : occasional childcare question - advice please

07-Jun-09, 20:03
I was wondering if anyone could help me with a childcare question? What do people do when their normal childcare isn't available?

I know it sounds like a stupid question but having no-one I can call on for occasional childcare I have to call in sick or take what little annual leave I have, and do that at short notice. My normal childcare is great, though, and I don't want to change.

But my daughter is too young to simply be left with a different childminder she doesn't know. What do other people do?

Are there nanny-type people who can come to your house every so often? Are there any nannies in Caithness at all? My friend has a girl who looks after her children one evening a week when she has to work but she lives in a city where there are more options.

Any advice would be appreciated!

07-Jun-09, 20:06
I think most people up here have family that are great at helping them out. we are in the same situation as you in that we don't have back up for our kids, don't like to rely on friend's to help us out as would hate them to think we are using them.

you don't have a friend that could take her and then if they have kids you could maybe take theirs on days off etc

07-Jun-09, 21:31
I'm a childminder and I take on a couple of children at short notice who are not regular. Why don't you try and get your child used to a childminder near to where you live and explain your situation to her. Hopefully you will find somebody who will understand your situation who is willing to just help you out when needed.

07-Jun-09, 21:41
does your childminder attend groups like toddlers where you daughter maybe familiar with other childminders and their children, where they could possibly look after her at short notice? through your childminders recommendation and as long as they are registered you know they have been disclosed and should have insurance

does this situation happen often to you?

08-Jun-09, 08:41
I do have some friends but for various reasons (work, illness, etc.) they are not a childcare option at the moment.

The problem with getting used to another childminder is that it took a long time and was pretty traumatic and she is still very young. Now I am back at work there are very few days I could spend doing this and one or two weekends wouldn't be enough for her to be used to someone else.

It doesn't happen often but I can see that I am probably going to run out of annual leave and my situation at work isn't great anyway.

I am starting to wonder how other people manage, particularly single parents! :eek:

08-Jun-09, 08:53
sick leave....annual leave...special leave....unpaid leave!
If needed in that order!
No childminders will take an unwell child.
And I wouldnt want to inflict my two on anyone when they are not well they are miserable!

08-Jun-09, 16:12
Hi i was a childminder until recently. I took kids at very short notice when people were stuck. I just did what the parent said they liked to do & they were ok & Mum provided a pack lunch. As suggested already maybe make contact to someone nearby & explain the situation. :Razz

08-Jun-09, 19:25
Thanks folks. At least I know I'm not alone in this!!!!

Thanks Dadie - I'll make a note of the different types of leave! :eek:

08-Jun-09, 20:12
im having my own childcare problems just now, need one for just 1.5 hrs on a tuesday, but dont want my boys to go to a stranger, so im stuck.

08-Jun-09, 22:08
i don't see childminders as strangers, you speak to people and get recommendations /or not. phone the childminder and have a chat arrange a visit with your child followed up by several other visits when minded children are there, all at a time which is convenient for you all. on having used childminders before and having childminders as friends meeting them at toddlers seeing how the relate to the children they care for i would not hesitate using them they have to follow the same inspections as nurseries, disclosures insurance, policies etc, they take children on outings etc .

08-Jun-09, 22:17
Thanks folks. At least I know I'm not alone in this!!!!

Thanks Dadie - I'll make a note of the different types of leave! :eek:

If your child is unwell and you have no-one to look after him/her you should be asking your employer for Dependant leave rather than sick leave - most companies nowadays monitor sick records and may give a warning if attendance is not up to the required standard

10-Jun-09, 13:27
When I lived in the city friends of mine had a 'babysitting circle'. There was a group of 6 mums with kids of various ages and they would meet on a regular basis with the kids for coffee or other activities, the kids all got to know each other and the other mums and they would regularly babysit for each other so everyone got out for an evening once a month. They also then used each other for emergency childcare if needed. Nobody felt they were being taken advantage of as they were all in a similar situation. From what I heard it worked really well. I have kids now and know how you feel, we also struggle sometimes as no family here to help.

11-Jun-09, 21:18
special leave is dependant leave!
Or I beg hubby to take leave:lol:

16-Jun-09, 12:48
Well I'm handing my notice in at work so I won't have the problem for now.

I ended up in a position where I was going to have to switch care as there were so many days where the childcare wasn't available.

Now I need to arrange different work and another childcarer in the future, but I'll know better what questions to ask. You live and learn :confused

02-Jul-09, 21:03
I work full time with three young children. I love my job, am good at what I do but at the end of the day, my kids come first, so the question I pose to ask, is why on earth would you want to leave your child with anyone else when he or she is unwell anyway ? Personal opinion of course and not being critical but little bairns want their Mum when their ill - don't they ?
And even if they could, a childminder cannot accept kids if they are unwell, they will have similiar policies and procedures as at nursery which state so many days absence dependant on what is actually wrong with your child.
I've had good and bad childminders, it's a two way street, sometimes your bairn doesn't take to the childminder, sometimes you won't, it's who you feel most comfortable with but once you find someone, you'll never want to give them up !!

02-Jul-09, 21:46
I have a great childminder but i think that everyone has to keep in mind that everyone can be sick from time to time. I would say that this is more appropriate living in a rural area as there can be bugs fliying around like wild fire that you will evevitably get at some time. I wouldnt leave my child when they were sick with the childminder because my job must come second to my children or there was very little point in having them!!

12-Jul-09, 21:48
Sorry if I gave the wrong impression with my posts. My child was never ill on these occasions.

It was the childcare that wasn't available at short notice. I would never fob off my child on someone else while not well, or indeed at any other time. I just happen to need reliable childcare.

15-Jul-09, 14:43
Hi Skerries,

Sorry to hear you've been having difficulties with your childcare. It's a difficult time returning to work when there is so much to have organised and it can be emotionally stressful for Mum too.


I have used a few childminders over the years, and have been very lucky. I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where I have an adhoc childminder. I have a flexible contract where as long as I give my childminder enough notice, she's available, daytime or evening.

Babysitting rings are a MUST. Get along to your local toddlers group and start building relationships with the kids and parents there. Your child will feel secure within a few months I'm sure, and you can trust them with your child hopefully once you have gotten to know them.

Good luck!