This isn't a response to all the hoo-ha about childcare in the news at the moment. As I've said before my comments on anything to do with this government aren't really fit for sharing unless you want a page full of expletives, which I'm not sure you do so there we go.
This is me worrying and thinking about what happens when Lottie is "old enough" for nursery. "Old enough" in my books is when she's only feeding from me once or twice a day as I'm not introducing formula, it's too much stress and she's yet to show any interest in a bottle. More importantly if we can skip bottles altogether and go straight to cups that'd be ideal. Unlike when Jess started with her childminder there's no rush to get Lottie to hers. I am working with her by my side at the moment but I know this will become more difficult when she gets bigger. As it stands I have two main problems:
- Nursery or Childminder
- How the FOOK am I going to afford this?
Jessamy started with her childminder at 6 months and moved into nursery in November, so when she was 20 months old. We moved her to nursery because I wanted her interacting with more children and also because we moved and it wasn't really feasible/affordable to keep taking her on the 20 minute bus ride to her old childminder, despite the fact that she was brilliant. I think I prefer childminders for younger babies as it's a much more homely environment. As I'm thinking Lottie will probably go into childcare at around 10 months I'm not sure I want her in the nursery because in the setup at Jess' nursery she'd be in the same room at children up to 23 months and that's a huge difference, Plus, if these new rules come in (I know I said I wasn't going to talk about them), there would be one staff member to look after her plus three others, all of whom could be aged between 4 months and 23 months - how can one person adequately meet the needs of all kids in that age group?! It worries me. However, finding her a childminder would add another complication to our mornings which are fraught enough trying to get Jessamy to her nursery. I'm just not sure.
The other issue is cost. We get tax credits which cover most of Jessamy's childcare at the moment but I'm having more and more success with my work which is great but it also means our allowance will decrease and I can already sense a struggle sending both girls somewhere for three days a week. Three days is ideal for me to get 90% of my work done but I guess the compromise would be sending each girl for two days? Currently Jessamy goes from Tuesday until Thursday all day and if I were to do two days she'd probably go Tuesday and Wednesday and Lottie would go Wednesday and Thursday. This would give me only one full day to work but also mean they'd both get one-to-one time with me. It sounds good but I'm worried again about how work would suffer. It's a bit of a bloody mess.
Add into the mess the fact that Andy's shifts are never set. He could be working all nights one week and all earlies the next so I can't even plan childcare around him. Ideally he'd be able to have the girls, or at least one of them, whilst I work but then if they're home, I want to be with them rather than doing my work. It's one of those things about working from home I think - I need to keep thinking about this. I know I'm not alone with struggling about this. I've not even started talking about the guilt of dumping yet another baby whilst I work my ass off but this is mainly due to the fact that I have to. If I could work and be surrounded by children I would but it just doesn't happen that way, since Lottie's birth I've had to turn down several phone calls re work because I can't guarantee I'll be able to answer them and it's getting silly.
What would you do?