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Informal childcare

(44 Posts)
Granny59 Thu 17-Dec-20 23:30:43

I provide informal childcare for my two grandsons one day a week. One is 18 months old the other 4 1/2 years. My eldest grandson attends the early years class at the local primary school. Two weeks ago a teacher tested positive for coronavirus and the section was closed. During these two weeks I’ve not provided childcare as my grandson was in isolation. The school has reopened but is obviously about to close for the Christmas husband has now said he’s worried about me continuing childcare when the school reopens in January and wants me to tell my son I cannot look after the boys anymore. He is 66 and I am 62. I am totally torn, I cannot guarantee to my husband that I’ll not contract the virus through my grandson. I don’t want to let my son down as I know how helpful it is to them with me looking after the boys and it’s looking after them that’s keeping me sane at the moment ?‍♀️?‍♀️ Your thoughts, advice etc would be greatly appreciated ps after the teacher tested positive there were no other cases in the school so obviously their routines are good in reducing transmission

Situpstraight2 Fri 18-Dec-20 00:53:59

It’s all down to risk, you are risking catching the Virus via your GCs and their parents.

Are you and your DH at risk because of health problems.?

How much do you need your husbands support if you carry on looking after the children?

It really is up to you both to decide how much of a risk you want to take, your husband has decided he doesn’t want to, now it’s up to you.

I would hate to take the risk in case I gave the Virus to my DH and he didn’t survive, but we have health problems and are older than you.

Tough decision for you.

Hithere Fri 18-Dec-20 01:09:13

I truly can see your husband's side

I would personally put the arrangement on hold

Hithere Fri 18-Dec-20 01:11:59

If I were your son, I would worry about your health too and make other arrangements

welbeck Fri 18-Dec-20 02:34:24

agree with the above, urging caution.
also presumably your husband and you live together, so if he is not happy with the arrangement continuing, then i think you have to give it up, for the the duration, as it affects his living space too, and would put him at risk. and well as yourself, of course, which your husband may also be concerned about.

Dorsetcupcake61 Fri 18-Dec-20 09:04:50

A very tricky situation. When my daughters were younger I relied on my parents for childcare and without it I wouldnt have been able to afford my mortgage.
That said I have an underlying health condition that makes me high risk so if my daughter was local I wouldnt offer and she wouldny expect childcare.
The next few months look to be difficult. Is their an alternative for your grandchilderen? Although individual circumstances vary I've always felt that government advice for grandparents providing childcare was more to do with the economy with little thought for the health of the grandparents. Personally I feel if there was no other alternative or the family risked dire financial consequences by having to pay for childcare maybe continue. Otherwise it may be better to put it on hold for a few months.

Nannapat1 Fri 18-Dec-20 10:15:03

The rusk seems very small but basically you'll have to do your own risk assessment. No choice for us: DD is a single parent, company won't furlough her, DGD is 6. But no cases reported in her primary school so far.

Nannapat1 Fri 18-Dec-20 10:15:28

risk not rusk!!!

11unicorn Fri 18-Dec-20 10:39:30

It is a difficult decision and you both have to agree to it.
In any case, hopefully the vaccinations for you are not too far off so it would only be a temporary issue.
I would also get your son's prospective to see how big a problem it would be if you are stopping your help for the 2 or 3 month till you had your vaccination (maybe it's even less?)
Only when you have all the information can you come to a decision that puts your mind at rest.

GardenerGran Fri 18-Dec-20 10:39:38

The risk is much greater with secondary school children I believe. Personally if you are both in good health and not vulnerable in any way I’d continue. That’s just me.

crazygranny Fri 18-Dec-20 10:51:04

Don't fret about this. Christmas holidays are here and future lockdown plans may well put the matter on hold anyway.
Any quick decision on this will pose a devastating problem for your children. Finding care that they trust and paying for it at short notice will be a total nightmare. Don't rush into anything.

Caramac Fri 18-Dec-20 10:55:09

I’ve looked after my 3 DGC throughout and will continue to do so. I’m 60 with a couple of long term conditions but generally fit and healthy. DH is 66, fit and well.
It’s important you and your DH are in agreement but with the risk/benefit analysis it’s important to consider the emotional impact on the children to no longer see you, possibly for weeks at a time. Of course, if you contracted Covid then childcare would be impossible.
I can see the dilemma and hope you can come to an agreement soon.
Happy Christmas

Granny59 Fri 18-Dec-20 11:36:40

Thank you to all of you who’ve commented.......such a hard decision ?‍♀️ My daughter in law is now off work for the Christmas period so no decision has to be made right now, and I may not need to make the decision if we go back into another lockdown......also don’t want to stress them out before Christmas.....but I’ll need to give them warning so they can organise alternative child care. Biggest worry is I’d never forgive myself if I brought the virus to our home and infected my husband ??

Bbbface Fri 18-Dec-20 11:36:50

Unless pre existing conditions (presumably not if you’ve been doing it before now), then absolutely no way would I let my son down.

NemosMum Fri 18-Dec-20 11:37:33

It is EXTREMELY unlikely for you to catch the virus from a child of this age, and it is VERY unlikely that either of you would be seriously ill or die if you did catch it from anyone. If you used the same odds all the time, you would not meet anyone or do anything between the end of September and March each year. Flu kills tens of thousands each year, and yes, children do pass on flu easily, and every year children and young people also die of flu. Covid-19, by contrast mostly kills the over 80s with existing health problems. The average age of a person dying of Covid is 82. The average age from all causes is 81, therefore Covid-19 is mostly taking out the people who were going to die of something very soon. What would the war-time generation think of us? Do what you think is right for you, on the balance of risks. Your husband is not being rational.

Bbbface Fri 18-Dec-20 11:38:08


Thank you to all of you who’ve commented.......such a hard decision ?‍♀️ My daughter in law is now off work for the Christmas period so no decision has to be made right now, and I may not need to make the decision if we go back into another lockdown......also don’t want to stress them out before Christmas.....but I’ll need to give them warning so they can organise alternative child care. Biggest worry is I’d never forgive myself if I brought the virus to our home and infected my husband ??

But you’ve been doing it up until now? And covid been here since Feb!

Nanananana1 Fri 18-Dec-20 11:51:38

Is it worth getting in touch with your GP surgery and asking when you will be in line for the vaccine? It may only be a few months. That at least will give you a benchmark and your son can make plans for the children until that date. It seems fair to me that you protect your health (and your husband's) so that you are available as a regular childminder. If you did get the virus there is no telling what long term effects there might be. Surely your son wants you to be as fit and healthy as possible for all your futures!

SparklyGrandma Fri 18-Dec-20 12:02:09

NemosMum covid is not just flu. And young healthy people are getting it.

It’s a myth that it’s just flu.

Granny59 only you can assess your situation, though being and staying safe in this second wave is important. If your DH truly is unhappy taking the risk, is there some other, at a distance, way you could help your DS?

Damdee Fri 18-Dec-20 12:13:07

SparklyGrandma, NemosMum didn't say covid was just flu. I have to say I personally agree with her (NemosMum).

I am 62 and I would continue to look after my grandchildren, Granny59, if I were you, but it would probably mean an argument with your husband. Only you can work this out.

V3ra Fri 18-Dec-20 12:19:47

Granny59 my experience for what it's worth:
I'm 63 and have been childminding (professionally) throughout.
I can well understand and sympathise with your concerns, I've had wobbles myself!

I operate a doorstep drop off and pick up, no adults enter my home.
I wash the children's hands as soon as they arrive, and frequently throughout the day.
We spend as much time as possible in the fresh air as this will disperse the virus particles: walk, garden or park, open the windows.
These are all our official guidelines.

I care for children from six families.
Two of the minded children have had time off this term as their families had positive cases.
We've had no cases here.

You can only do what you and your husband are both comfortable with, but the risk from young children is low.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 18-Dec-20 12:33:43

The only thing you can do here is to be honest. Tell your son that his father is worried about contracting Covid19 through the grandchildren, I don't suppose you can persuade your husband to discuss it with your son.

Say that you feel forced by your husband's worries to not look after your grandchildren until you have both been vaccinated.

That surely cannot be far off.

Caro57 Fri 18-Dec-20 13:32:16

Equally you or your DH could contract Covid - and other infections- going about your daily life. I will continue looking after my DGCs (4&2) and collecting the eldest from school. Hands, face and space and we all wash hands as soon as we come in the house

Jillybird Fri 18-Dec-20 14:04:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

4allweknow Fri 18-Dec-20 14:23:51

Why are you so concerned now? Have you been doing childcare throughout the pandemic and only now are having concerns. There was anissue with the school but that has been fully addressed . Do you go shopping, as seems to me you have a higher risk of transferring the virus by going out amongst strangers than you do from your grandson if you keep practising the handcleansing, no cuddling. I would continue.

Hithere Fri 18-Dec-20 14:25:29

If it is this unlikely to get the virus from a child, how come numbers are skyrocketing?