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Can they walk to school?

Answered 6 months ago

Im a single parent with 0 support. My youngest has just started Pre-Primary (5) and my other primary kid is Year 4 (almost 9). We live exactly 1km from school.
I am completely broke, but have just got a job, the hours are terrible, 10 hour shifts 6:30am -4:30pm, 12:00 -10pm and 6pm-6am... I am also just casual, and dont get shifts every week. We live in the city, footpaths and traffic light crossings (green man) everywhere, they could even get a bus, one stop.

Would you have your children walk to or from school by their selves considering what ive said above? It wouldnt be every day, and it would only ever be one journey for them a day, so if i had the 6:30am shift I can pick them up in the arvo, if I had the 12noon shift I could drop them off in morning etc... I am beside myself with this problem, but we are desperate for money, I have about 3 weeks left where we can survive, but if i dont get work after then we will be out of food and accomodation.

Also there is no one i can ask to take them, there is no one i can ask for money, any suggestions that i reach out for help are pointless, there are no options there.

What do you think? Please be kind... I am already on the edge


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ANSWER
6 months ago
Walking to school, yes if that was the only way they could get to school. Not ideal but is workable.
My concern is everything around that, if you are working at 6.30am that means leaving home at 6ish your kids would have to get themselves up, fed, dressed and walk to school. I think it's too young for that much responsibility. Same with coming home it is several hours alone unsupervised every day.
I understand that you are trying to make a super hard situation work but kids that young can't be left at home unsupervised

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REPLY
6 months ago
Between that & going homeless I'd risk it with the kids. Scary but necessary.

ANSWER
6 months ago
Yes I would! My girls are grade 1 and 5 and they walk to and from school. Roughly 1km aswell. My girls in grade 5 has a mobile phone she takes with her incase anything happens but they have heaps of friends around and they all walk/ride together. Sorry to hear you're struggling but congrats on the job! Your kids are lucky to have such a caring mother :) xx

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REPLY
6 months ago
Thank you for this answer! ❤️ I would give them a phone too, and even though Im at work I could face time them while they are walking, also was just thinking if they go one particular way there are a few friends they could join with i think, and there will be lots of Mums and Dad’s from our school walking that same route. Ive even thought of a possible neighbour who may be able to walk with them twice a week, I was thinking to offer her $20.. Would that be a fair amount? She dosnt have a car and has a disabled 3 year old, so i feel i have to offer some payment.
Thanks for your congrats! This job has been a long time coming, it’s great money and it’s my key to getting the next job, so I just need to get thru for the next few months then we should be ok and hopefully I have a more family friendly job by then.
Thank you for caring about me!

REPLY
6 months ago
I think $20 is fine - I’d ask your neighbor and see what she says about helping you.

I really don’t think it’s safe for a 5 and 9yr old to
walk to school by themselves, so
I’d encourage you OP to do all you can to avoid this.

REPLY
6 months ago
I certainly am! I HAVE JUST BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN AN APPLICATION FOR AN INTERVIEW for another job!!!! 3 days per week school hours!!!! I havnt got it yet, but I have tears of hope!!!

REPLY
6 months ago
Oh amazing!!! Good luck at your interview I'll have everything crossed for you xx

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6 months ago
Oh good luck OP. Remember to do some research on the organization and maybe have a couple of thoughtful questions about the company up your sleeve to show that you’ve invested the time to learn what they do.

Good luck!

ANSWER
6 months ago
Are there any other children that to go the same school that live locally? Could you ask the parents of those kids if they could help you? Otherwise, do you have any trustworthy neighbors? Could you ask them to help walk the kids to/from school for a very small amount of money ( say $5). Could you speak to your children’s school and see if anyone in the school community can help you?

Ultimately, I think that age is far too young to walk themselves to/from school so you have to do all that you can to either get them there yourself (even if it means only taking the 6pm -6am shifts) or paying a babysitter to help you.

I’d also say, keep looking and applying for other jobs (consider picking up jobs on airtasker, driving an Uber, cleaning jobs etc.)

Good luck x

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REPLY
6 months ago
Thanks for your answer, yes i am still looking and have a few applications in at the moment. Airtasker is a good idea 🤞🏼

The 6pm - 6am shift i think is the worst, I cant leave my kids at home alone over night. I feel thats even less save then risking the walk to school and then being supervised for the day.

There is no one to help, last year i had an operation and approached the school for help and they said there was nothing they could do and to just keep the kids off school for a week. A babysitter atm is impossible as I have $30 in my bank.. Obviously if i get some work behind me, that will change, and i may be able to use that option, but it still leaves me in a hard situation for a few weeks/months

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6 months ago
Terrible typing sorry!

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6 months ago
Just piggy backing off this idea. Could you get an au pair if you could make a spare room? Cheaper than a baby sitter and it would just be pick up/drop off plus maybe a couple of hours. It would suit a student or someone else who has an opposite work schedule but needs a place to sleep and a little extra money.

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6 months ago
OP, I didn’t realize that you were planning to leave your children overnight for the 6pm - 6am shift - that is absolutely not an option. From all that you have said, I don’t think this job will work for you. I don’t see how you can accept it.

Maybe contact some charities/ food banks to see if they can help with groceries to take some financial pressure off while you look for another job? Also do you qualify for any government assistance? They may be able to offer you a crisis payment.

Good luck and take care x

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6 months ago
This is a great idea, and something I hadnt even considered! And I have a spare room!!