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07/01/2014 at 10:55
Leaving cost of childcare and earnings, aside which working pattern would you go for if you had the choice? Imagine you have 1 child at primary school and a baby:
4 Full days
5 short days (out in time to collect from school)
Term time, off all school hold but working full time rest of year.
07/01/2014 at 10:58
I would prefer term time out of those, knowing every 6 weeks or so, you get at least a week off.
My second preference would be 4 full days as if you are up and out at work, you might as well stay the full day and then have a full day off in the week.
07/01/2014 at 11:00
5 short days. You'll still be up to do the chool run on the 5th non working day anyway so may as well work but finish early.
07/01/2014 at 11:14
I do the 4 days. Love having a 3 day weekend.
07/01/2014 at 11:18
That's a hard one, probably only you can decide as you know your circumstances best. There are advantages to all of those options! I'm be tempted with the 4 full days and one day off to spend with baby whilst eldest is at school.
1 vote each so far :)
Makes me feel better that I'm having trouble deciding! It might all come down to money...
07/01/2014 at 11:28
I currently do option 1, and considered option 2 when C started school, but decided against it because we'd then have to find childcare in the school holidays, whereas with option 1 he has after school club at a nursery which he also goes to in school holidays. Plus it means I have a day to myself which I'm loving, although in the new school year I'll also have a baby so when I go back work after that I'll stick with the 4 days as I'll want the day off with just the baby like I did when I went back work after C.
Although it would be lovely to have the whole of the holidays off working term time only, other than it probably sending me mad and desperate for the end of the holidays I'd also miss not seeing them so much during the normal school week.
07/01/2014 at 11:34
Am I reading it wrong? I thought both options were term time and holidays off?
07/01/2014 at 11:35
Belle I think there are 3 options - 4 days, 5 short days or term time working full time but all holidays off.
07/01/2014 at 11:39
I'd do 4 full days, leaving one (precious!) free day, and use my holiday allowance as much as possible for school hols or odd long weekends and do pick-ups/drop-offs on those days.
07/01/2014 at 12:35
I'd do four days so that I have one full day at home. Or the only working term time option as this makes the school holidays easier to cover.
For me it would depend on the child care arrangements, and how it would work for child care for the baby during the holidays (ie would I still have to pay for a child minder or nursery place). Working term time only is effectively what friends who are teachers do and it is an advantage not to have to sort out cover for the holidays.
07/01/2014 at 22:17
Oooh what a toughie. It must be hard trying to balance the needs of a child at school (if both were at school I'd go for either the 5 short days or the term-time working) and a baby, who presumably would be in childcare all week and if both were babies I'd do 4 full days and spend a precious day with them. So I see why it's difficult!
If it's going to be a long-term work arrangement and you're unlikely to be able to change again, I would be tempted by either the 5 short days, or the term-time only working, as both of those give you lots of time with your school-aged children and eventually that's where they will both be. But I do know how great it is to have an extra day a week off, it's easier to get things done as things like banks are open and you can do some of the household organisation leaving weekends free for family time. I don't envy your decision!
07/01/2014 at 22:40
That's a tricky one. I've got one at school and one in nursery and my working days are still really set up for nursery - ie 3 long days - which means I feel like I don't see the older one much in the week as I get an hour at most with her on my working days. As I've only got two years of this my ideal plan would be to shift to a more school friendly week - more shorter days - from September.
I think I'd be tempted by the 4 day week as from memory 3pm onwards is not the best time with a baby mood-wise, and it would be nice to have the one on one time with the little one in a morning when most baby activities happen and they're usually at their perkiest. But it would also depend on what would happen with post school childcare - cost and convenience - and how much the child enjoys it. I feel rubbish that F is in after school club twice a week but she loves it and is disappointed if I arrange to pick her up instead, so it's not actually that bad!
Good luck with the decision
08/01/2014 at 08:02
I have had a long think about this. For me term time only working has to be the best option long term. 5 short days mean that you have to pay for childcare in holidays and that would be a fixed cost whatever time you collect them even if you ahve short days. Not only that but it is amazing how many people try to speak to you jsut as you are leaving - I tried to sort out one short day a week and it didn't work, every week without fail people would stop me and ask me a question jsut before I was leaving, even whilst explaining to them that I was leaving at that point. Four full days sounds good but it depends on your job will you be pushed into doing extra stuff on your day off? Long term your children will be in school full time and you can then spend the holidays with them.
08/01/2014 at 09:15
I work one short day out of my three. I just cut people off in mid flow as I have to go and get my train so I really can't hang around being polite. Eventually they get the hang of it! However, my SIL who worked compressed days starting early and finishing early found the snide comments from some of her colleagues about the fact that she was going early (even though she'd arrived two hours before them in the morning) quite hard to take.
I guess it depends on the kind of office/job you work in and how much there are shifting patterns of work.
08/01/2014 at 09:40
It would totally depend on childcare costs. Will your wage be the same regardless of which option you take?
I would favour term time only so that you never have to worry about childcare in the school holidays, or timing your leave with co-workers else within that period. If that wouldn't work then I'd opt for a 4 day week.
08/01/2014 at 09:59
CedarI work one short day out of my three. I just cut people off in mid flow as I have to go and get my train so I really can't hang around being polite. Eventually they get the hang of it! However, my SIL who worked compressed days starting early and finishing early found the snide comments from some of her colleagues about the fact that she was going early (even though she'd arrived two hours before them in the morning) quite hard to take.
I wish I could get the hang of that. I get snide comments as well and wish I could brush them off.
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