Author Topic: Childcare with complicated work schedules  (Read 3306 times)

Abe

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Childcare with complicated work schedules
« on: March 07, 2016, 09:39:50 PM »
Hello everyone, do you have any advice on the following situation?

My wife and I are going to have a kid soon. She works about 40hrs a week, twice a week clinic is 8-4, twice it is 12-8, and every other weekend is 8-12 both days. My work schedule is 6am to 7pm M-F, and 30hr call once a month. As you can tell, this hodgepodge of schedules is not conducive to straightforward childcare logistics, but that's what we have for the next year and half. Afterward my schedule will stay the same but hers will settle down to 8-4 Monday through Friday & 1 weekend per month.

Is there any reasonable way to arrange for daycare in this setting, or should we go with a nanny? Some of our friends have a nanny, and I was thinking of asking if they would be able to with our kid too. My wife has 3 months paid leave, but afterwards we will need to arrange for something. Any advice is much appreciated. Cost isn't much of a concern, but I'm not sure how to plan the logistics for her late clinic days.

Thanks!

kimmarg

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 02:59:47 AM »
You'll probably need to pay for a full time M-F spot. Some days the kid can not go until your wife goes in at noon and you'll have to pick them up. watch hours. Opening at 6am and closing at 7pm is possible but longer than normal so you'll have to look around. 

The real pain is going to be if your 30 hour weekend call overlaps with her weekend 8-12. Do you have family near? That seems a perfect set up for Grandparents visit one wekeend a month and if you get called you leave.

I work a rotating shift schedule and my partner is a full time student with a different schedule every 4 months so I feel your pain. It's hard but you can do it!

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 06:12:54 AM »
Try mapping out your last two or three months of work schedules (or going forward, whatever), and see how often you actually have conflicts. That will give you a better idea of whether you can send your child to a normal 6 to 6 kind of place, with some creative pickups (family?), or if hiring a nanny is really your best option.

Mongoose

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 03:09:21 PM »
+1 for charting out your schedules. The possibility of you both being on or on call for weekends is the real question. Well, that and a 7 pm off time for you. Most centers we looked at had 6 pm close times. Some had 2 year wait lists for infant spots (nobody has ever explained to me how that works?).

When our kids were born, we lived in an area that didn't have enough child care spots for the population size. We had no family nearby so we opted for a nanny who could work part time with our weird schedules. It worked out very well for us until I was downsized. We decided at that point to not try to restart my career elsewhere (too stressful and too many hours) so I'm now part-time with a flexible schedule.

bogart

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 08:45:09 PM »
I have friends who are similarly situated (a police officer and a medical professional, so both have pretty irregular schedules) and they seem to manage by (a) leaning on friends & family and (b) having a couple of sitters they pay on an ad-hoc basis.  And, otherwise, juggling between the two of them.  They're pretty agreeable/connected/social people, though, and live in the same town as extended family, so how well this could work for you is ... probably a function of whether those circumstances describe you, or not. 

Finding a friend interested in part-time sharing of a nanny (they may use said nanny full-time) as a cost-reducing mechanism (for them) seems like it might work, and of course you can also ask other similarly situated people around you how they manage.  GL finding a reasonable solution.

tthree

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 10:04:58 PM »
If I were you, I would consider a live in nanny.

Some had 2 year wait lists for infant spots (nobody has ever explained to me how that works?).

I can't speak for this specific scenario, but the daycare centre my children attend has a 3+ year wait list.  Obviously kids are not longer infants (or even toddlers) after this wait time.  The only way a child under 3 gets in, is if their older sibling attends. i.e. I put the eldest on the waitlist when he was 2.5yr, when the second arrived I also put her on the waitlist but instead of going to the bottom of the list she was put beside him.  They got in when he was 5yr and she was 1.5yr.

jac941

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 10:57:54 PM »
If I were you, I would consider a live in nanny.

Agreed. An Au Pair + part or full time daycare would be ideal for this schedule. Not cheap though. And you have to have the space.

Abe

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2016, 02:35:33 PM »
Thank you all for the advice. We'll probably have to go with a full-time nanny then. Do you have advice on how to find a reputable one? We do have the friends who have a good nanny, but in case she isn't able to accommodate us is there a company that can arrange reliable nanny coverage?

iamsoners

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 08:03:53 PM »
I have friends who have had good luck finding nannies on care.com.  You might also check local parent's clubs, ask around with co-workers, etc.

Also, it sounded like at least one of you is medical, some hospitals have daycares associated that are more used to these type of longer hours and unusual schedules--if either of you are associated with a hospital, find out about that.

Greenpez

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2016, 07:39:28 AM »
 As others have said, chart out any overlaps. The obvious problem areas are the 12-8 and any overlapped weekend. Once you know where you overlap, maybe you can get some flexibility from your work (shifting your sched an hr or two on overlap days, you don't say what you do but you may have more flex than your wife (or maybe not!)) or see if there are co-workers you can trade time with?

 When we had our first I was working 7pm to 7:30 am and my wife 5am-5pm. We both worked rotating schedules that saw us each work 7 out of 14 days and had me working into many days when she would be working, including the weekend. Luckily we both work for family friendly companies and my wife was able to adjust her hours until i was able to switch to the opposite rotating schedule. Eventually i went to m-f for about 4 months until going to 7am-7:30pm the opposite days of my wife. Throughtout this we were extremely fortunate to have found a daycare that not only didnt charge us for full weeks (when we'd only use 2-3 days) but also was super flexible to the degree of letting us change up days in the week that it would happen. I know we were very very lucky to get that set up and did our best to not take advantage and let them know any schedule changes asap.

 If you have no work flex then it looks like a nanny of some sort is really your best bet, those weekend childcare needs are killer.

MrsDinero

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 08:08:33 AM »
Thank you all for the advice. We'll probably have to go with a full-time nanny then. Do you have advice on how to find a reputable one? We do have the friends who have a good nanny, but in case she isn't able to accommodate us is there a company that can arrange reliable nanny coverage?

We found ours on care.com.  I came up with a list of questions for phone interviews.  I talked to more than a dozen before narrowing it down to 3 potential candidates.  We interviewed those 3 in person and went with the person we liked best.

Interestingly we ended up going with the lesser qualified nanny, because while the others had more certifications, the one we picked had a more "motherly vibe" and our baby seemed to instantly respond to her.  4 months in and we are very happy.

I still have the phone interview questions, if you would like a copy of them, PM me and I will send them to you.

mm1970

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2016, 09:33:04 AM »
Also you might want to try and judge the maturity of the nanny.  My friend's daughter is a nanny, and she's great.  I've know women who have nannied for a couple of years while they waited for their number to come up for nursing school (2 year wait list).

But one of my coworkers had 3 different nannies.  She went with college students.  So she had one, but she graduated and moved. The next one?  Just didn't show up for work one day. Went home for Christmas break, did not come back. Tried to get her final paycheck.  My friend said "you will get your final paycheck when you come to my house, bring my my house key, and get it".  "You can't withhold my pay!"  "I'm not withholding it.  You have to come get it."

So, that may vary on location...maybe CA girls are flakier...

alwayslearning

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2016, 02:18:11 PM »
For all of those who hired someone from care.com or the equivalent:

If you don't mind me asking, what is a decent hourly rate to pay an at-home nanny? I'm considering this as a back-up plan in case I decide to stay at home with our baby later.

trashmanz

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2016, 02:23:27 PM »
Depends on location. Where are you?

alwayslearning

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2016, 02:27:05 PM »
Texas

MicroRN

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Re: Childcare with complicated work schedules
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2016, 07:01:00 PM »
We had a stretch where I was working evening (getting home anywhere from 11:30pm to 1 or 2 am) or night shift (7-7), and my husband was on a submarine.  He worked 12-16 hr days, often had to go in at random times, and then left on patrols for a few months.  We settled on having a nanny, and it was definitely the right choice for us.  We had 2 kids though, so it didn't make as much a money difference vs a daycare center.  We went through care.com, and had two excellent nannies over the course of 3 years.   

We paid $17/hr, with a guaranteed 30 hrs/week, in a MCOL area.  We also gave PTO for sick/vacation and paid holidays, or time and a half if she needed to work on the holiday.  The benefits, decent pay, and guaranteed hours help keep good nannies around.  With taxes and paying the payroll agency, it cost us ~$2600/month.  You can pay for background checks through care.com.