So you’ve bagged a brilliant flexible job, but how do you find childcare that fits around you? Perhaps you’re a flexible employer and you’d like to help secure that brilliant candidate but they are struggling with childcare? It’s not an easy ask but Nicky Kendrick of Your Employee Wellbeing has the answers! Nicky writes...
One of the biggest shifts of 2020 has been a move to remote and flexible working for nearly all employees. But thanks to the pandemic, this hasn’t been the holy grail of work/life balance we craved. Instead, we have all been juggling housework with teamwork and homework with online meetings because the availability of childcare in our current climate has reduced significantly.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom! It has opened up conversations about how working patterns may look in the future and how household chores and commitments can be better shared between parents. There are ways to navigate finding childcare and working flexibly and we are here to help you with a few tips on what to do and when to do it.
Start straight away
You can never be too early or too organised! Nurseries accept babies on waiting lists before they are even born, so it is never too early to get prepared. If you are returning to work, start thinking now about the type of care you will need and when you will need it, and start to investigate all your options as soon as possible.
Create your care around what is inflexible
For example, if you already have a child in school or nursery and this can’t be changed, then speak to your boss (or future boss at interview) about how you can fit your working hours around your current commitments. Conversely, if your working hours are fixed, try to think of ways that you can find care that covers the hours you need.
Blended care works
There are numerous forms of childcare and you don’t need to have just one type to fit your family. For example, if you need to work three days but your nursery or childminder can only offer one or two, then combine care by using nursery for part and a childminder for the other part.
Have a contingency plan
Always have a back-up plan for care as life can throw a spanner in the works at any moment. You are probably working remotely now, but plan to be able to access remote work when life returns to ‘normal’. You’ll need to be ready if your child is off school sick or your childminder is away. If you have friends and family you can rely on, make sure that you have their numbers to hand and that they are happy to be an emergency source of care.
Childcare is fluid
You can fit childcare into your flexible work schedule as long as you remain open minded and positive about your choices. If your circumstances change, (your child leaves nursery and starts school, so their hours change, or your job hours increase so your needs change) then so can your childcare. What works now may not work in a year or two, and that is okay – just think ahead and communicate your needs to your company and childcare provider and you will find a solution.
Your Employee Wellbeing is passionate about helping businesses support employee wellbeing. Their programmes can be designed for companies of all sizes, with off the shelf solutions for those with up to 100 employees and a bespoke/tailored approach for larger businesses or very specific objectives.
Contact them on email@example.com | 020 8979 6453
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