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If your DC go to private school, how do you arrange childcare in the long school holidays?

(199 Posts)
MandMand Wed 03-Oct-12 21:27:36

If both parents work, its hard enough to cover childcare during the ordinary state school holidays, but how on earth do you cope with the longer holidays at private schools?

If both parents need to work full time all year round in order to pay the school fees, what on earth do you do when your children then have three or four weeks off at Christmas and Easter, and two months off in the summer? Do you end up having to find even more money to pay for holiday camps/activity weeks etc?

I'd be interesting in any estimates of how much to budget for longer holiday childcare on top of school fees, but I suspect this may be a bit like asking how long is a piece of string ....

blueshoes Sun 07-Oct-12 14:12:30

jabed: "I would hate my DS never seeing me and growing up thinking that was right."

So children of working parents never see their parents. Of course they do, you numpty. It is as much, if not more, about your personal needs to spend more time with your dcs (which is your choice) than it necessarily is about the dcs to spend time with their parents. And giving children the best education you can afford as a parent is a way of caring for them too. As is giving them a leg up re: tuition fees, house deposits down the road.

Personally, it is great for me and my family having the extra cash. Your financially circumscribed life sounds somewhat joyless, but I guess for you it must be rich in other ways ...

marriedinwhite Sun 07-Oct-12 14:12:50

And your point is *Jabed*? We could manage on one salary and pay the school fees. Many do and many can where our children go to school. I happen to like work.

MrsShortfuse Sun 07-Oct-12 14:15:01

Jabed you have a rather simplistic view of life.

You know all the people who provide the services that you enjoy during the holidays with ds and dw, people who run parks and swimming pools, lifeguards on beaches, pilots and airport staff who facilitate your holidays to Canada - do you think they shouldn't have children then? And the site staff at your school who no doubt work all through the holidays to have the place looking spotless ready for the children's return?

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 14:24:08

The number of SAHM in Canada is far higher than the UK. I guess I take my baseline from that.

My " holiday" in fact is just returning home. Its not a vacation. As for staff making my school spotless whilst I am away - no, they dont.

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 14:25:13

Personally, it is great for me and my family having the extra cash. Your financially circumscribed life sounds somewhat joyless, but I guess for you it must be rich in other ways ...

You are clearly cash driven. I am not.

MrsShortfuse Sun 07-Oct-12 14:45:20

The purpose of your flight is irrelevant and you're missing the point. The people in the UK who make your flight possible, during the UK school holidays -what do you suggest they do with their children whilst they are making your flight possible?

difficultpickle Sun 07-Oct-12 14:46:14

I manage on one salary and pay school fees, albeit ds has a good scholarship. If I gave up work ds would have to move schools and we would have to apply to be housed by the council. Being a SAHM is not available to all, particularly single parents.

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 14:50:32

Mrsshortfuse, I do not go on hoilday during the state school holidays. I even leave two days before the independent school holidays begin. So its a normal working day isnt it?

EnjoyGOLDResponsibly Sun 07-Oct-12 15:03:21

To answer your actual question OP:

1. I work part time and turn down offers of additional hours/ responsibility to ensure I have days free in the holiday. Luckily DHs salary facilitates ths family choice.

2. On the days I do work the DC go to grandparents (which all love) or the school holiday club which is fantastic. Frankly the lady that runs it could double her charge and still have a queue.

Jabbed, honestly you should think of spending more time in Canada where hopefully your broadband reception is at best intermittent.

hatsybatsy Sun 07-Oct-12 15:12:56

OP - it is possible - I either take holiday or the kids go to friends' houses or they go to holiday clubs offered by local independent schools. The camps round here (SE London) are £40-£45 per day.

jabed - so if parents are struggling for childcare during independent school holidays because they work, then they should ditch work and put the kids in state education. If they don't do this then they are bad parents who care very little about their children. And all this from an independent school teacher??? What drivel. You are fortunate enought to own a second property overseas and to have enough income that neither you nor your wife work full time. You go overseas every holiday - well bully for you. Your comments about state school holidays having changed (to become shorter) since you 'were a lad' (do people really still speak like that?) are odd - unless you became a father at age 60 - state and independent holidays have been very different for at least the last 50 years......

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 18:37:02

Jabbed, honestly you should think of spending more time in Canada

I would love to! I already spend as much time as I am allowed there. One day though......

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 18:40:50

so if parents are struggling for childcare during independent school holidays because they work, then they should ditch work and put the kids in state education. If they don't do this then they are bad parents who care very little about their children

No, I asked why they complain. They have choices. if they want to work and afford fees that way, I am fine with it but they really should know we have longer holidays and they have to deal with it. get organised instead of complaining perhaps?

Alternatively there is state education where they can get longer school terms and so no need for childcare arrangements.

Its is not a reflection on their parenting so much as an observation that some Mners do not seem to think things through.

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 18:46:02

unless you became a father at age 60

Not quite but close there.

I have a home in Canada because I worked there and bought it back in the 1980's. I held on to it when I returned here.

I married a Canadian. She is younger than me.

I respect her wish to stay at home. I would do whatever it took to enable that. Yes I have an income from retiring early but I still have to work part time.

And yes, when I was a lad ( and some people do still speak like that ) the school leaving age was still 15 and I had friends who even left at 14 even though it was not official. Things were very different in the 1960's and 70's. and yes, school holidays were longer for everyone.

camptownraces Sun 07-Oct-12 18:52:16

Hatsybatsy is right.

As soon as holidays start, some independent schools hire out their premises to firms who offer day-care, play-schemes, call them what you will.

OP: look around well in advance to see what is available in your area.
These firms must advertise -they want the business.

suebfg Sun 07-Oct-12 19:03:09

Jabed, I sense you may be of a different generation than most of us on this thread. Surely you can recognise that things have changed - there's more pressure financially on families; house prices have rocketed over the years; the retirement age is being pushed out and let's not forget that more women are brought up with the expectation/ambition of working and being independent. You do sound a bit out of touch tbh.

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 19:15:17

Jabed, I sense you may be of a different generation than most of us on this thread. Surely you can recognise that things have changed - there's more pressure financially on families; house prices have rocketed over the years; the retirement age is being pushed out and let's not forget that more women are brought up with the expectation/ambition of working and being independent. You do sound a bit out of touch tbh

I am certainly of a different generation to most of you. I acknowledge that. It often means I recall things you youngsters never knew happened.

I recognise things have changed but I would not say that was always for the better. Yes many wonmen work and want careers. have ambitions in work etc but that does not allow thenm to expect to use schjools as their free baby care and parent substitute surely?

I do not buy into the financial pressure thing. Even when I was a young man a house cost a lot of money and most could not afford that without hardship. I went without many things. I didnt have holidays, I didnt have a new car
(or even an old one) until I was over 30. I lived through the 1980's Thatcher years with its high unemployment, belt tightening, high house prices and cost of living and high unemployment and was the first to be told " a job is not for life" "get on your bike" etc.

I am also among those now affected by the raising of the retirement age in this country to 66. It catches me by 2 weeks - thats a bummer!

I am not out of touch by any means.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 19:30:26

Jabed - Yes but you are still thinking about your situation. You haven't realised that although you had the boom of the 80's and low house prices and were probably at the peak of your career around then, most of us are struggling to peak at our career in the worst downturn in decades. Add to that one of the highest child care costs in the world forcing women to work all hours or give up work altogether to look after their children you have a huge deficit in 'living' in the real world here and now. You got your houses when prices were low. Many people on this thread may not even own one house because prices are unobtainable and renting is now the norm, leaving little or no inheritance. So a few people decide to educate their kids in the hope they will change this situation in the future and you bemoan the parents for not thinking about the small detail of 2 weeks holidays?

This OP was about advice, not personal ideas about if parents should put their kids into private/independent schools.

difficultpickle Sun 07-Oct-12 19:33:01

A lot of people I know have chosen independent schooling precisely because of childcare issues. All prep schools I know offer wraparound care. None of the local primary schools do. Doesn't get over the long holidays issue but makes the other 38 weeks a year easier.

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 20:25:25

I answered the OP -twice in fact - concerning how child care issues might be dealt with practically.

I just asked a further question.

As for what it was like in the 1980's, you clearly have no idea. Neither it seems do you know about the 1990's and the negative equity many got into when the house prices bombed ( just like now). Nothing changed.

I was prudent. I bought within my means. I have never spent. Many did not do as I did just as many do not now. Thats why I am where I am. I got my home in Canada because I worked there. I would have liked to have stayed but Canadian employment rules and something we do not do here-
"Canadians first" meant I lost my post in a down turn and came home. I kept my house. That was the only lucky break I had. The rest has been slog. Dont think you have it so bad. It was just as bad before. Its not new and its no worse.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 20:38:55

Erm, actually Jabed the house prices went up and up in the 80/90's and bombed in the 00's. I was working for (it seems now) one of the few solicitors advising couples not to accept massive loans from banks. I am aware of what those people said to her and how she was just jealous, etc etc. Yes, they probably had their houses remortgaged/repossessed but that is by the by. You clearly didn't take out a loan at this time or over stretch yourself; well done.
I bet your house in Canada has gone up in price, as well as the one you have here. Which takes me back to the point, you are not seeing this from the position of one starting with all of the crap left behind from the previous decades, you are starting it as someone who has two houses.

We have massively deviated from the OP though. I think the thread may well be dead sad

difficultpickle Sun 07-Oct-12 20:42:57

House prices bombed at the end of the 1980s/early 1990s.

Big difference between then and now is the availability of mortgages and level of deposits didn't change. In fact there were 125% mortgages available to help those in negative equity (if they were mad enough to go for them).

margerykemp Sun 07-Oct-12 21:16:12

Well us women can't have dcs 'just short of 60'

You saved up during your adult life cos you didn't have dcs to pay for

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 05:56:06

Insanity - they bottomed out in the late 1990's. I know because I moved house at the bottom of the curve. They went up after that.

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 06:06:22

You saved up during your adult life cos you didn't have dcs to pay for

That is certainly true.

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 06:16:54

House prices:

I looked into buying my first house in the mid 1970's. A terraced town house was around 8K then. Though most of you whiipper snappers would consider that a "dump" these days. They were solid unmodernised homes.

You needed a 10% deposit. Getting a mortgage was not easy. I was still a student then and had to borrow off family-and I used the house to allow them to stay. House prices rose steadily from then to the mid 1980's

In the mid 1980's ( 1985) I bought my first "home" It cost me 21K. I didnt have a mortgage . It was what you would still call a " dump" today - unmodernised.

Just after that the prices started to rocket. Even dumps were over 100K in the next 5 years. I held the house. I was working in Canada. I bought a house in Canada (prices being better!) Around 1989 prices bombed and many people had negative equity from the 80's " loads a money" boom.

I was back in the UK around 1992. After 1994 prices started to rise and the flatlined. In 1999 , the curve was bottom. Thats when I made my " big move" and got a good home - still unmodernised. smile

Just after ( incredible really, I did not expect it) prices started to rocket again. That went on through the 2000's until the bust in 2008.

The housing market , ladies ( and any gentlemen?)

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