School Holidays(27 Posts)
I realise that I am looking far into the future but I need advice please!
I'm planning to go back to work in September 14 when both DC will be at school (assuming I can get a job). DH and I have worked out how to manage on school days. My question is, how the hell do you cover 13 weeks of school holidays with only 5 weeks leave each? The DC will be too young for the local playscheme (the playscheme lets the kids come and go as they please so obviously not suitable for a 4 and a 6yo).
What does everybody do?
It has never been a major problem for us (although I did only work 3 days per week so 2 days a week of the holidays were obviously already covered).
I used to take AL usually for half-terms, then we had a two week holiday together in the summer. Easter and Christmas were managed by a few day swaps with other parents, and bank holidays I didn't work anyway. For the other 4 weeks of summer holidays my parents would usually do a week, DH might do a week on his own, then that left 2 weeks for a holiday club or similar - there are so many options now including sports clubs, formal playschemes.
I did have a CM, who I used during termtime and she would cover some holiday time for me but I found I didn't really need her.
We don't have luxury of relatives nearby who can help out. Me & other moms rely on each loads & help each other out. I've got 2 friends who don't work & they usually help me by having my kids (I return the favour as and when I can). There are quite often activity clubs/holiday schemes but these can be expensive if used regularly. My advice - pool together with friends & help each other out as much as poss.
We do quite alot of swaps - so I'll have a day off and have 4 or 5 children (including my 2 school age children) and then the parents of the other children will reciprocate. Do you have a local leisure centre / are the children part of any clubs? My DS does football and rugby at weekends anyway and then in summer holidays, they often do a 'camp' - a couple of days when the coaches will organise rugby, or there is a gymastics course every morning for a week (sometimes means you only have to take half a day's holiday).
Occasionally (say a couple of days at Feb or Oct half term), my H and I will try to manage the childcare by me going to work v early (starting at 6.30am/7am) and then finish at 1pm (and make up some time from home) then I'll get home and he'll go into work and do his hours say from 2pm to 11pm. Means we've covered a day without taking any leave. Also occasionally, I'll work from home so although I do actually have to work, I'm around. All of these things stretch our leave.
We are very lucky in that my parents have them for 2 weeks during the school summer hols so that obviously helps. The other thing is that I only work 3 days so although I still only get the same amount of leave pro-rata as full timers, my H's leave goes further - so he can use 21 days for instance and cover 7 weeks.
We had a 2 week holiday as a family last year but thats the first time we've taken 2 weeks together in 4 years and we're only having a week off together this year!
It's worth contacting childminders in your area.
Because I work as a teacher, my children never go to the childminder in the holidays, so she has an extra place available (used to be 2) that my DDs use in term time only.
There must be quite a few minders in the same position.
Some just take on extra children in the hols too.
If I get 4 weeks, DH gets 4 weeks (assuming that's 4 proper weeks each,not including bank hols), and DH usually gets Christmas, we end up with 4-5 weeks not covered. Not brilliant, but not horrendous.
DH has worked 3 weekend days this year, so far, so that will turn into time to take in lieu, too.
People I know if RL who both work only take one week a year holiday at the same time.....so that's & weeks covered. The others are covered by grandparents and play-schemes (we have a very good if expensive one near us, up to the age of 13). Personally I couldn't do it for various reasons. I have no idea what people do with teenagers. No one will tell me. I'm presuming they are left to fend for themselves. (Wouldn't be comfortable with leaving my 14yo DS alone for the majority of the summer, but I guess, needs must)
tbf, it's not that I don't trust them, but I'd come home and they would be unwashed and still in bloody onesies having played on computers all day - youngest would have eaten cereal and jam sandwiches, eldest probably nothing although he is perfectly capable of making himself some food. No-one would have been outside at all - that's all okay for the odd day, but not for 5 weeks!!
We use childminder, leisure centre club, friends swap, pt nanny and opposite days holidays. All good fun to juggle
I am okay about eldest (13yo) here all day on his own. Not thrilled but okay. I am lukewarm about 11yo here with him, but sobeit, at the moment would only be a few hours after school and I will drag 11yo kicking & screaming to holiday club for any full days. Then it will be 12+14yo which I am not thrilled about, either.
Will get friend's sensible 15yo in as well, sometimes, to mind all 4 DC, but can only do that a few days at most, I think.
lljkk- it is so tough isn't it - mine are 12 and 11 - this is the last summer that they will both be able to go to Out of school care but I still think that 13 is too young to stay at home every day for 5 weeks. Glad that i can now work from home- not ideal as I can't really take them out and do things but at least I am around.
Thanks for all the advice everyone. Lots to look into but I've got plenty of time.
will any local nurseries help? My nursery takes children up until the term they turn 5. Its worth asking at them.
My other nursery also does daycare for older children in the holidays.
Childminders often do daycare for school age children.
Around here we have holiday clubs at the local schools (my DS1's school rarely opens its out of school club in the actual holidays, but the other local school will take children that arent actually at that school which is flipping useful in the summer) We have a lot of choice - actually some of them like you say only take over 5's but some take 4 year olds too.
Find a different holiday club. Some open up only for the holidays.
You think yours are awkward? Try 11+13 and no family help.
Opposite annual leave for me and DH apart from one precious week in August, then it's reliance on grandparents to pick up the slack, although not always possible if they have other GC to help with or on holiday themselves.
It's a logistical nightmare- we too use a spreadsheet. I am covered until mid June, then it's the biggie to sort out!!!
Went to nurseries/ after school clubs which opened up to the older children during the holidays
Relied on family members
I am a nurse and we cover the holidays by me working as many nights / weekensa as possible so that I ahve the weekdays off . Fortunately my work are helpful at sorting this. It does mean we don't get many weekends off as a family over the summer though.
Sound like you have really thought it through - I hope you find something. When my OH was out of full tme nursing as a SAHD, he joined the bank and did just enough shifts to keep his registration in case he wanted to go back full time. he didn't do that in the end and it has well and truly lapsed now.
soontobe - I was (and hope to be again) a scrub nurse, so the job would probably be more or less 8-6 mon-fri with one day off a week, plus being oncall for emergencies.
Unfortunately, I've been out of nursing for 4 years now and would have to do a Return To Practice course and then be mentored closely for a while before I would be fully back up to speed. Doing Bank work won't really be possible until I have been back at work for a while and know what I am doing!
Also meant to say, being a nurse you could always join the nurse bank if you didn't need a constant full time wage. That way you could indicate your availability and just not be available during the holidays so much - maybe do late shifts or weekend shifts instead.
watto - not necessarily as hard as you think. Summer hols are exactly when students are desperate for some work so usually plenty of opportunities for employers to take some on for the summer. It gives them a good chance to view what they are like in terms of filling future vacancies and as they aren't paying you there is cash available.
When I applied to do it years ago I was doing an audit job which is actually quite easy to fit into term time as yoiu just manage the reviews so you havee none in the holidays. Unofrtunately just as it was going through the decision process there was a retructure and I ended up in a role that wasn't quite so suitable for it.--and was then working for a couple of arsehole women without kids who were a bit difficult--
Term time employment would be lovely! I would imagine those jobs are like gold dust though
Thanks guys. Some good ideas here. Hadn't thought about compressed working. It wouldn't be possible for me (I'm a nurse) but might be for DH.
I'm sure it will all sort itself out - after all, millions of families manage! I just worry about these sort of things and like to have a plan sorted out early. Plenty to think about!
We luckily found an "Out of school Care" facility who were open from 8 until 6. Wasn't cheap and so it limited our budget for family holidays, but kids loved it and went for 5 weeks of the 7 week summer holiday, a week at Easter and some of the other holidas too. couldn't have done without it. Look to see what your local council does, sports centres are also pretty good and some nurserys extend the age group for the holidays - look at soft play centres, hotel creches etc - there are things out there, you need to look pretty hard though.
I am now at the point where mine are almost too old for the Out of school care but too young to be left at home all day alone (imo anyway) so I have managed to negotiate the facility to work at home which is brilliant.
Some employers also have term time employment available.
We do a combination of (and need a spreadsheet to work out)
- holiday playscheme (consider your school or other schools, ones attached to leisure centres ...). Quite often they don't take till 5 which is a pita.
- work flexibly (can you or DH swap your hours about to work "around" each other
- child swap with other working parents (i.e. you have their DC one day while they work, then they have yours for another day while you work)
- take "opposite" days leave.
I am very jealous of those who have grandparents that step in to cover!
You can also consider taking parental or unpaid leave (particularly for long summer holiday)
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