Thursday, 6 May 2010

Flexible childcare

Went out for drinks with a bunch of mums last night. Woke up this morning thankful for the blackout blinds Mr Plummy Mummy put in last week!
One of the things that came up in conversation was the need for flexible childcare. This would be for parents who want to work but don't have set hours each week so cannot take advantage of nurseries / childminders. For example, people who like to freelance.
So does anyone out there know of any flexible childcare available around here? Ideally somewhere you could book a day in advance or even on the morning of the day.
Even better would be a place that had said flexibility but enabled the parents to stay on-site to work (so wifi would be necessary) or to network with other parents, do courses, meet traders who work flexibly (such as the Phoenix bods) or just have a break from the kids safe in the knowledge that they were being looked after.


Phoenix Mummy said...

In case anyone is interested in becoming a 'phoenix bod' or would like some lovely cards have a look at my website

PlumBun said...

I guess the probelm with flexible childcare options is that the people running the business need to guarantee a steady income, as does anyone in business and you can not provide a steady cash flow forecast if you are not sure of who will use your services and when.
It would seem though an ideal opportunity for parents to set up such a system/business but I am guessing it would have to be run along the lines of not guaranteeing an income. The problem with childcare is that you need to be protected by insurance and other outlays that you may simply not recoup with such a business model.
If you work freelance you either need to try and determine a set pattern of work or you need to perhaps form a group of likeminded parents who will look after your child for certain hours, but if you work is unpredictable and cannot be guaranteed in advance i guess you run the risk of no-one being available at hours to suit.
Rambling aside, I guess the answer to the question is no, there is not a solution to flexible childcare options. I don't even think those in place are particulary helpful towards working parents. Childminders and nurseries generally offer assistance from 8am-6pm and even accounting for a small journey to work that makes the maximum hours you can spend in an office 9am-5pm and I just don't know of anyone doing a 9-5 job.