When I returned to work, we worked it so that child 4 would only have to attend a pre school rather than a day nursery. We wanted him to attend the pre school on child 3's primary school grounds, this would mean that he would have continuity throughout his early years education. He would make friends that would stay with him from now until at least the end of his primary school education. Sending child 4 to a pre school means that he would be there between 9am and 3pm rather than 8am until 6pm but obviously someone would need to drop him off and collect him. My husband no longer works on a Monday and on Fridays he works from home so that he can drop off the two youngest children and my parents do the pick up. For me this is fantastic, when the older three needed child care I would be dropping them off and picking them up at two different childcare providers, so it felt that I was perpetually running to and fro. The stress in dropping the children off and rushing onto work and then knowing that I needed to leave work by a specific time to enable me to collect them all before 6pm was crippling. I work in the banking sector and sometimes it is really hard to leave at 5.30pm.
The only downside to using a pre school is that they aren't open throughout the holidays so the old child care juggling act raises its head. We are really lucky that my parents can help out and actually they love spending time with the children. They have always helped out when they could and this has built a wonderful relationship with each child, children can't have enough family love and support and grandparents can offer something different and special that parents can't. Life always seems quieter, calmer and slower when at my parents.
This week child 4 spent a morning with his Randad, they ate biscuits and chocolate mini rolls and played with one of those vintage Russian dolls, you know the ones where half a dozen dolls in differing sizes fit inside one another. I don't know who had the best time but both told me excitedly about their time together when I came home from work.
The benefit in having older children is that they can help out and yesterday child 1 collected child 4 from Randads and then met up with a friend and the two of them took him out in his buggy for the afternoon. I assumed that they would be out for a couple of hours but because they were having such an amazing time they stayed out all afternoon visiting the village green and then the farm to see the cows.
Our child 4 is surrounded by people that want to spend time with him, it maybe that he is lucky to have us but how lucky are we to have him?