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Old 10-21-2018, 18:31
pedalscraper pedalscraper is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 58
Question Child care and the firefighter's schedule

Im just curious how those here who have kids/know people who have kids (in particular under 2 years old) and have kids in daycare manage the scheduling and logistics that comes with the work schedules that are common in the fire service?
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Old 10-21-2018, 19:03
fs321c fs321c is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Arizona for now...
Posts: 278
Default Re: Child care and the firefighter's schedule

This is the biggest challenge to working the 48/96 IMHO. Theres members of my agency who work as much OT as possible and have a side job while their spouses stay home taking care of the family. In a few cases the spouse has an online/work from home job.

In my case I'm fortunate to have a good family support structure and my kids go between aunts, grandparents, and cousins. I do everything possible to avoid daycare primarily because I cant afford it due to both our work schedules (my better half works a 13 hr shift at a hospital which makes us have to use a "specialty daycare" under AZ law due to the kids being there for approx 15 hrs- of course if you can find a "family friend" to watch them that's not an issue). The cost to put them in daycare is literally over $950 for that time, so I may as well use LWOP if I cant get time off or trade.

I'm not sure what your agencies' policy is on time trades but I used a ton of them when my kids were younger. We have a year to repay the trade so that helped enormously. I used to try and bank up 10 to 12 days as fast as possible then that would cover my time off needs for 5 months. I would trade with other members of my rank and guys/gals who were move up qualified. A sacrifice was always offering to work trades for them on holidays (new year's eve/day, July 4th, Thanksgiving) and that helped stock days too.

I have always suggested that one of our members spouses should open a daycare because they would make a small fortune.

Last edited by fs321c; 10-21-2018 at 19:05. Reason: Fat fingers
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Old 10-21-2018, 19:50
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BadKitty BadKitty is offline
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Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,389
Default Re: Child care and the firefighter's schedule

Two of the guys at my station have children under 2 years old. One of them has a wife whose parents live very close by. I think they look after the baby. She was working prior to being pregant, but I think she may also be a stay at home mom now. That may the easiest arrangement.

The other guy has a wife who makes big money as an ER nurse. Neither one wants to give up their jobs; but, their work schedules are a nightmare for childcare. Their relatives are a little bit helpful; but, none want to watch the baby for free for 15+ hours at a time, several times a month. They tried doing a "babysitting share" with another firefighter and his wife (from another FD). That's where they watch the other couple's baby and then the other couple returns the favor. However, that other couple took advantage - they kept asking for babysitting, but were conveniently never available to payback the babysitting they owed. They cut those "friends" loose.

The result? Since they know his station schedule a year in advance, they find sitters in advance and lock them in. But, his wife pretty much doesn't allow him to do OT because she needs him to be home.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:27
medic medic is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 165
Default Re: Child care and the firefighter's schedule

I have 2 kids (1 and 3) and am on 48/96 with the wife being a high school teacher. I commute about 30/40 mins away. My wife and I have no family within 1.5 hours away. We find that the 48/96 schedule is actually a perfect schedule for us both working and having kids. On the 2 days/(1 day on some weeks) I am away they go to daycare until my wife gets off work and then she picks them up when she gets out of school. On the days where I am off it is daddy day care. The Kelly would be brutal for our situation.
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