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Childcare with Shifts


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Hi all I’m after some advice/ experience with childcare when my partner also works shifts. 
Myself and my partner (paramedic) are expecting our first surprise baby and even more of a surprise twins. We currently have matching shift patterns (2,2,4), which is really nice, but obviously won’t be able to carry on. 

We would love to avoid complete opposites as we wouldn’t see each other anymore! How have people previously handled shifts when both partners do shifts. 

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I guess question one would be around your support network. Do you have family or friends who can help? 

I've seen a couple in our brigade who work on different shifts but not the opposite one, and are at the same station. One takes the children to change of shift and the other takes them home straight away. That won't work for you of course but perhaps it could be re-worked slightly to fit.

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Again another example of the 2-2-4 being ‘really nice’ and perfect... until it’s not.

If only there were other ways.

There is actually. As mentioned in the LFB 24 hour shift thread Self Rostering would be perfect for you but regardless, every employer has a legal obligation to explore the option of allowing flexible alternative ways of working for employees if they apply. 

We have some people with greater caring responsibilities working 4 days in a row incorporated into two watches then have 4 days off with the hours ‘owed’ added up and they then do extra days over the year to make up. Easy.

Your HR team will know all about your legal right to apply so best give them a call.

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Or you could do what one mate did when his daughter was little, explore the possiblity of shift swaps. Unfortunately he put it about that he was willing to work friday/saturday nights in exchange for weekdays off and pretty soon he had half of the division ringing up the station

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