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If you could choose your PT hours


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#1 eggsbenny

Posted 26 April 2019 - 12:58 PM

DS1's FYOS is in 2020 which coincides with my return to work after giving birth to twins.

If finances weren't a consideration, what part time hours would you choose?  I am considering a fraction of 0.8 spread over five days ie working during school hours in order to pick DS1 up from school.  DH will do drop offs and twins will go to daycare 5 days a week.

I always imagined picking DS1 up from school especially for his first year but would be interested to hear from others how you manage your work hours with kids in both school and day care?

#2 seayork2002

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:02 PM

I would do 3 full days (and did when DS was little)

#3 Mooples

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:03 PM

I’d prefer to have a full day off to be able to go to events at school / help in the classroom etc. I also use the free day to do activities with my toddler but things like swimming, sports, music etc are no doubt much more difficult with twins so I can see how that changes the decision.

#4 Future-self

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:07 PM

I love doing three days (.6)
DH and I share drop offs and pickups of both DD in childcare and DS at school so both experience what that entails- good and bad!
TBh  I wouldn’t want DD in childcare 5 days when I only work PT, that wouldn’t make sense to me.

ETA I agree that having one or two days where I’m there all day including in the afternoon works better for team meetings and PD sessions etc from both a workplace perspective and my own. I would miss a Lot  having to leave at 2:15 every day for pick up as due to time differences or just plain ‘hours in a day’ things have to happen between 2-5pm

Edited by Future-self, 26 April 2019 - 01:15 PM.


#5 mayahlb

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:09 PM

I currently work 0.6. It’s ok. I do wish it was more like 0.7-0.8. I wouldn’t however do 5 part days. I’ve always found that having at least 1 day where I work all day is better. So I’d work 0.7/0.8 over 4 days. (I currently work 0.6 over 4 days).

#6 MGB

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:15 PM

I do 3 full days.

The other 2 days I spend with my toddler and go to things they may have on at the school. It also means I do drop off and pick up on those 2 days.

TBH I wouldn’t want to do 5 shorter days (not that it’s an option for me), as I would still have to pay for 5 full days of daycare.

#7 MarciaB

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:20 PM

I would prefer full days and have 1-2 days "off" each week.

This would also work better for you in school holidays as you would not have to arrange care every day (or take every day off).

Edited by MarciaB, 26 April 2019 - 01:22 PM.


#8 Octopodes

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:31 PM

3 days a week, Tuesday to Thursday would be the dream. 4 day weekend every week. Mondays and Fridays are always a slog.

Edited by Octopodes, 26 April 2019 - 01:33 PM.


#9 finesse303

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:33 PM

I work PT - full days on Monday and Tuesday, and 5.5 hours on a Friday which allows me to do drop off/pick up on the Friday.
It's a really good arrangement

#10 Crooked Frame

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:39 PM

I was pretty much able to choose my days and hours when I returned to work after DS, and I've kept them since. I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 8am - 4pm with a 30 minute lunch break. Works perfectly for me. I love only working two days in a row at most, and then tying up all my loose ends on Friday, when the office seems to be quieter and more relaxed. And I get a permanent long weekend! Personally I wouldn't do 5 days a week at pt hours.

#11 mum2jp

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:41 PM

I prefer to do two or three full consecutive days. Yes it means aftercare for school aged child two or three days a week but this is substantially cheaper than having two in daycare five days. Also nice to have days at home to get stuff done so weekends you can relax.

#12 EmmDasher

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:47 PM

Depends on what you do and how much inherent flexibility you’ll have. Less than 4 days was not really an option for me.

My personal choice is working 4 days over 5 which is approximately 9:30-4:30 (compulsory 1 hr lunch 🙄). It means I avoid the worst of peak hour traffic in all directions. I do all drop offs and we have family to assist with pick ups (we do use ASC a couple of days a week). It minimizes the stress in the morning because we’re not rushing. It minimizes stress at night because I’m never home really late. It minimizes admin at work because I’m not having to do handovers multiple times a week and also because I’m in every day, people no longer have to think about me or consider my work pattern for things.

I have found that school commitments vary by day and time so a fixed day off wouldn’t really be that much help. In my job people find it exceedingly frustrating if part timers frequently change their days in and out of the office. Working 4 over 5 means I just adjust my working hours to work longer one day and shorter another if there is a school commitment one week. I pretty much come and go as I please. Not everyone can do that though.

The biggest downside is school holidays. A full days off arrangement would work better for holidays. If necessary, I think I could compress my hours to 4 days if necessary in the holidays.

Edited by EmmDasher, 26 April 2019 - 02:20 PM.


#13 AllyK81

Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:59 PM

We have one in prep and one in kinder.

I do all drop offs and DH does all pick ups.

DH works for a big 4 bank and he gets to work at 7am and leaves at 2:50pm. He is paid for full time. We both often work once the kids are in bed.

Working 'more' for mine works better for flexibility. School events are not at the same time and on the same day. By having a presence in the office every day we find it easier to fiddle with our hours to fit things in.

I am a partner in my firm so have reasonably flexibility subject to not being in court etc.

In most workplaces it is harder to get flexibility if you only work 3 days.

I think what you are suggesting is a good idea.

DDs kinder is within a long daycare centre. If DH has phone conferences or work to do in the afternoon he will pick up DS from school and I can get DD from daycare later just to give him some breathing space to get work done. That is always an option with your twins.

#14 Orangecake

Posted 26 April 2019 - 02:11 PM

I worked .6, so 3 full time days. In first year of school I tried to help with reading groups and other things in the classroom at least a few times each term. This would be harder to do if working school hours each day. Most of the other part-time parents had Fridays off, so this seemed the day when coffee catchups were organised in the mornings. Some schools also have a policy where FYOS kids need to be taken into the classroom by a parent/carer, which can take quite a bit of time in the morning.

I also know a few parents who have taken the first month or two off work to settle their kids in and meet other parents, which has worked well for them.

Overall, its hard to balance hours and needs when you have kids in both daycare and school.

#15 JomoMum

Posted 26 April 2019 - 02:20 PM

M, T and Th are awesome. Two full days after you’ve recovered over the weekend, a day home on a Wednesday, then one more day on Thursday.

I always love an early start too. If I could pick hours too (and I’ve been lucky in my last employment to be able to do that any time) 8-4.30 is the best!

#16 BeAwesome

Posted 26 April 2019 - 02:30 PM

My ideal would be 5 hrs each on Mon & Tue, Wed off, 7 hrs each on Thurs & Fri.  

However, I'm yet to find a job with those hours, so making do with 1 school hrs day, and 2 long days.

#17 laridae

Posted 26 April 2019 - 02:44 PM

I've changed mine a few times.
Started back with 3 days a week, mon, tues, wed.
Then changed to 4 days mon, tues, wed, fri (DH took fridays off).
Then changed to 3.5 days mon, tue, every second wed, Friday (DH had the other wed).
Then back to 3 days, mind, tue, fri.
And again (DD2 now in preschool 3 days a week) back to mon, tue, wed.
Mainly changed as DH's gradually made it so he couldn't work part time.

Personally, I wouldn't do part days while at daycare, I'd cram as many hours into as few a days as I could to reduce daycare fees.

Next year when both of mine are at school full time I'm thinking that I'll try for shorter days, maybe 3-4 days and a regular one the other. Mainly so they can continue the after school activities that they've picked up. Hoping this will be allowed (I don't think it'll be a problem) and that I can perhaps reduce it into 3 days during school holidays to save on vacation care.

#18 Stylus

Posted 26 April 2019 - 03:49 PM

I’m doing Monday and Tuesday so far, full days. It’s worked out well with all the Monday public holidays!

#19 SummerStar

Posted 26 April 2019 - 03:58 PM

I have done a few different combinations:

Mon-fri 930-230
Mon-thurs 930-230
Monday, Tues, Thurs 8-530

Now I just have one whole day off and work the other 4. For school pick up and drop off the 930-230 was best for me. I now work from home so I drop off before work and have lunch at pick up time so I'm doing 930-530 4-5 days a week.

Edited by SummerStar, 26 April 2019 - 03:59 PM.


#20 Baroness Bubbles

Posted 26 April 2019 - 05:16 PM

I did 3 full days until FYOS and then shifted to 5 days school hours (930-220)

I had the kind of boss that would let me leave early for school events and in return, i usually worked longer in the school holidays

Edited by Baroness Bubbles, 26 April 2019 - 05:16 PM.


#21 laurs

Posted 26 April 2019 - 05:21 PM

Wile my kids were in primary school I worked 0.6 FTE across 4 days, so I worked from 8am to 2.30pm. That allowed me to do school pick-up and after school activities every day and still have Wednesdays off for appointments and catching up with stuff.  

I now do 4 full days as the kids are older and don't need picking up any more.

#22 José

Posted 26 April 2019 - 05:25 PM

so, your OP says finances arent a consideration.

in that case i wouldn't be using day care for 5 days a week. so i wouldnt work five days a week.
id do whatever hours were needed to ensure only 3 days of day care. and if those 3 days needed to be longr6days id be ok with that.

#23 Silverstreak

Posted 26 April 2019 - 05:38 PM

For me, working three full days was a good work/life balance for years, although I'm now working two days a week. I am lucky that DH works from home. I do school bus drop offs three days a week and he does all the pick ups.

#24 nom_de_plume

Posted 26 April 2019 - 05:44 PM

I used to do 0.8FTE over 5 Days and really, it just became 1.0FTE. If you’re there 5 days per week people tend to forget you’re actually part-time and schedule meetings at the start/end of the day so you end up having to come in early or stay late.

If you’re doing 0.8FTE I would work Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri and have Wed off. Firstly, it breaks the week up, and secondly, many schools give FYOS students the Wed off for the first term (seems to be either that or early finishes every day).

#25 eggsbenny

Posted 26 April 2019 - 05:52 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies.

In an ideal world I would work full days Mon/Tue/Thu but this would mean ASC for DS1.  I have nothing against OHSC - I just know that he would struggle with a longer day for those three days.

I do like the idea of 0.8 spread over the week with Weds off.  Definitely something to consider if I can convince DH to drop off all three kidlets so I can get to work earlier :yes:




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