Mellow Mummy: AARGH - My Childcare Conundrum All Over Again : Taking life as it comes...

Thursday 4 November 2010

AARGH - My Childcare Conundrum All Over Again

A little under a year ago I blogged about choosing childcare for Lara who was going to be 7 months old when I returned to work. It was a long and stressful process that required a lot of thought. One year on, I have to start the whole process all over again. I've moved house and in the new year I will be upping my hours so I need to find childcare in my local area – the sooner the better. I can't believe I have to start from scratch on the search for suitable childcare.

Last year I started my search with nurseries and was uninspired. I changed my mind and looked for childminders. After contacting over 40 people and interviewing 10, I found two lovely ladies who have served Lara well over the past year. They both offer very different types of care, and are both very different to me. I feel like I made the right decision. But now we live in a different town and each morning we have to trek an extra 4 or 5 miles over a busy level crossing and through a town with a one-way system to the town we used to live in order to drop Lara off with the childminder, then drive the whole journey back to work, and then back to Bracknell in the evening before trekking back through the one way system and over the level crossing in the evening.

And so it is time to start looking for local childcare. This time around I started my search by looking for childminders. I contacted my local Family Information Service who emailed me back within minutes with a list of all the childminders in my village and the surrounding regions of Wokingham. Where last time my search was quite flexible in terms of location, I now find myself looking at a much smaller area because I am mindful that in not much over a year I will start looking for a pre-school for Lara and then after that a primary school – I need to make sure that I choose a childminder who will do school runs to our local schools.

Now, heres the problem. Bracknell, where we used to live) is quite built up and has lots of young (and not so young) mums who want to work in childcare. In Wokingham where I now live the average age of residents is a lot older, there are a lot less people and very few of them seem to want to look after children for a living. After scribbling out all of the names of women who could not work the hours I wanted, I was left with a list of 5 people. Two of them immediately ruled themselves out, one didn't answer her phone, one was away on holiday and one sounded evil on the phone. Great.

And so, in a total reversal of last year's situation, I have started looking at nurseries again. I've seen a few and once again it is not so much that I dislike them, just that they don't inspire me. I don't feel strongly enough about any of them to get excited about the possibility that Lara would spend a large part of her life there. We have seen one we liked – very different to anywhere else we visited either this year or last (in fact, it made me a bit weepy when we visited as it just seemed so 'right'). We're on the waiting list for it now but I'm aware that the days are ticking by and within a couple of weeks I am going to have to give my notice to the current childminders officially (they know we're looking) if we are going to move on in the new year. I'm told its likely that I'll be able to get 3 days at least at the nursery which is frustrating, but better than nothing. It does however mean that I still have a childcare gap I need to fill.

Related Posts with Thumbnails