Zeitgeist: The couples who are avoiding costly childcare by working and parenting in shifts

With childcare costs at barely affordable levels, many couples are taking a new approach to organising their parenting schedules – resulting in less hassle and more downtime

Heather Dent with her daughters Holly, 1, and Hannah, 5: ‘Our week is effectively divided into morning and afternoon shifts’

The cost of childcare can be very prohibitive for parents, many of whom feel that they are just working to pay someone to take care of their children. Now, instead of giving up work altogether, an increasing number are opting to organise their schedules so there is always one parent on hand at all times.

On paper, this seems like the ideal situation, but something always has to give; and for many couples with children, ...