love

need opinions about choice of childcare.

Question:

I'm just wondering what childcare would best suited for us as I'm thinking aobut going back to work to 2/3 or full time.
We have 2 children, 4 and 8 months, the 4 yearold hopefully will be starting school in sept if we get a place otherwise will be in playschool
DP and I both work shifts, If I go full time it will be 3 longs days a week with a 4th once a month, nightshifts will be 4 nights on and 3 off.
DP will work 12 hour days 4 times a week and an 8 hour shift, his shifts vary from 8-8, 10-10, 12-12 or 3pm-3am. his nights are 10pm-8am. his finish time is NEVER gaurenteed and is usually finishing up 1 or 2 hours after his shift was meant to end.
I was thinking an aupair but not sure how this would work if we end up on nights together, but we could probably swap our shifts with other people, and DP is not comfortable with having another person in our home. We'll have a 3 bedroomed house, the children will share and the 3rd room DP really needs for study (our main problem in our current house) and it will be used for our parents who will be visiting regularly.
I think for nights we could probably get around it and our parents could take turns for when I do nights but not sure I@d find a childminder with the flexibility we need.
ANy suggestions?
Answers:
Anychild under 2 I think a creche is the best option...
Answers:
The problem with a creche is they close at 6 or 7, the earliest we will finish at is 8.30pm and I will be working 3 days a week not 5 and most creches take part time either 5 mornings or 5 afternoons a week not days here and there, which is the other problem, one week I could work mon tues weds, another it will be sun thurs sat and change every week.
Answers:
I think a live in nanny/au pair might your best option so at least your older child would be there until September and then you could review things?
Answers:
I think an au pair wouldn't be the best choice for your youngest child given the long shifts you both do. An au pair tends to work best when used for shorter periods, e.g minding a school going child until parents come home etc. Plus I'd be worried about lack of qualifications/experience to mind such a young child.
I know it's an expensive option but have you considered a nanny?
Failing that, perhaps a creche and an au pair to cover the times the creche is shut might be the best option.
Best of luck with the search.
FM
Answers:
Hi There,
I've had a similar problem being a shift worker, and a single mum, and found that an au-pair was the answer. The girls available nowdays are generally slightly older and more mature than the girls of say 10 years ago, and many of them want a year out to learn English having finished University. The east European girls have good English already and are happy to just find a new culture for a while.
You could look up http://www.Care2assist.com which has carersand au-pairs part time and fulltime, who might be of interest, or you could try in your locality to see if there's an au-pair already working who might be interested in staying at your house the nights you need someone - if she's not already being used those particular nights by her family.
A creche just doesn't cater for our needs, and is more expensive!

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