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to wonder how anyone pays for holiday childcare with more than one child and no family help nearby???

(89 Posts)
ssd Tue 05-Jul-11 09:01:01

i can't believe anyone except maybe lawyers or other proffessionals can actually afford to work during the summer when the have MORE than one child and NO free childcare in the form of granny etc.

this issue prevents me from working in any sort of decent job, instead of a crap paid term time only job ( i have 2 kids and no free regular childcare)

how on earth do people in my situation do it?

wicketkeeper Tue 05-Jul-11 09:13:37

I didn't - after experiencing one 6-week holiday where we paid for 4 weeks of childcare for 2 DC's and 2 weeks' retainer while we took our own family holiday, I worked out that the childminder was actually taking more than 50% of my take-home pay. In other words, she was better paid than me. Cue change of career - I gave up my job as a claims negotiator for a multi-national broker (sounds grand, but the pay wasn't great), and became a childminder. Did it for three years, loved it, and then when the youngest started school I did a one year PGCE and became a teacher - reasonable pay, and no more holiday childcare costs.

DilysPrice Tue 05-Jul-11 09:17:22

You budget for summer childcare across the course of the year. People who are too broke to do that should (in theory) be able to get help with the costs or access to free or subsidised provision.

MollysChamber Tue 05-Jul-11 09:17:50

My friend and her DH each take a fortnight off at different times which covers four weeks. Means they have no holiday time as a family which is a real shame. Unpaid leave for the other two weeks?

Scholes34 Tue 05-Jul-11 09:18:46

Look at outgoings and income over the whole year and include childcare costs as an annual outgoing which allows you to actually go out to work in the first place and which you need to budget for. Budget in the same way as you do for utility bills, rent/mortgage, telephone and broadband, etc. In the past I've used various playschemes, including an excellent expensive university staff scheme (which willingly accepted a child with a broken collar bone) and a less expensive scheme run by a local sports centre. I've done swaps with other mums who work. Taken annual leave independently of my DH to cover time at home. Sent DCs to spend time with grandparents. It's not forever - my DD now helps look after my two DSs in the holidays.

Numberfour Tue 05-Jul-11 09:19:19

I am a CM and it is one of the reasons that is stopping me at the moment, from changing jobs.............

MillieMummy Tue 05-Jul-11 09:20:33

I know of two working mums at my school who take unpaid leave each summer - it is a big issue.

LindyHemming Tue 05-Jul-11 09:27:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ssd Tue 05-Jul-11 09:32:51

tahnks for replies

but can i just ask have all of you got more than 1 child to pay for?

this seems to be the crux of the matter, it seems paying for 1 is doable but paying for 2 is impossible

Honeydragon Tue 05-Jul-11 09:35:35

I had to resign, I could just about manage dd's cm and after school club for ds but holiday care left me with £6 at the end of the month and that was just Easter.

Lizzylou Tue 05-Jul-11 09:39:44

DH has prepared a spreadsheet!
Luckily this year my DS's are spending 1 week at my Mom's 100 miles away sad, I know they'll love it but I'll miss them dreadfully. We have a 2 week holiday booked. DH has more holidays than me so he has had at least 1 day off for the remaining 4 weeks (7 weeks off this year!) and PIls are having them 1 day a week. The rest of the time they are going to a local (relatively inexpensive)sports club thing. I am adjusting my hours so I can drop them off and DH has done the same so he can pick them up.
For a childminder the costs were just too much this year, I only went back to work FT in April and it was a quick decision so we hadn't budgetted.
It has been planned with military precision and we are fortunate to have had some help from Grandparents.
Next year we are sitting down and planning all time off to cover as much as possible of school holidays and then we'll know how much we have to budget for.
It is costly and timeconsuming, I agree.

ssd Tue 05-Jul-11 09:42:04

having grandparents help make all the difference doesn't it sad

Scholes34 Tue 05-Jul-11 09:48:13

A spreadsheet is a very good idea. We do this too so we can work out who is doing what where. We've also adjusted hours to make it work on drop offs and pick ups. I had to do this for four years with THREE children. I work part-time, so it's part-time pay, but not term-time only - just five weeks' holiday. DH not particularly well paid, so it's taken very careful budgetting.

The DCs have had an excellent time at grandparents. The amount I've had to pay for two 250 mile round trips, plus spending money and some money for GPs to take them out is probably still less than a playscheme for three would cost.

pleasekeepcalmandcarryon Tue 05-Jul-11 09:50:20

Why do we still have a six week block in the summer if the majority of parents both work these days?

I know originally it was something to do with kids helping with haymaking/farm duties but seeing as that is no longer relevant and most people find it a massive struggle. Even if you don't work six weeks is a lot of entertainment and expense in one go.

Is it because the teaching unions would object?

Lizzylou Tue 05-Jul-11 09:56:23

It does SSD, PIls are 40mins away and near DH's work so they have helped a lot in Easter/Half Terms. They are retired though so we didn't want to take advantage during the summer break. I am pleased that the boys are going to my Mom's for a week, it will be lovely for them as they don't see each other very often due to distance, but I do feel like I am packing them off.
I know we've been lucky though.

Does your local sports centre/council run any holiday schemes? I sympathise, it is a total nightmare.

MollysChamber Tue 05-Jul-11 09:58:06

No pleasekeepcalm it's because schools are there to educate children, not to provide free childcare.

missorinoco Tue 05-Jul-11 09:59:43

You're right. I'm a part time professional so to speak, and with 2 in nursery and one an after school clubs I will make £100 over the summer.

I like the idea of incorporating it into your budget, psychologically that will make a big difference.

GiddyPickle Tue 05-Jul-11 10:00:02

Having some free childcare makes all the difference and also having children of an "easy" age. If you have a school aged child under 5 or a child aged about 10-12 it is much harder to find clubs (here at least). Also if you have a big age gap between siblings, they can't always go to the same club or the same place which makes drop-offs tricky.

I know a mum who takes unpaid leave as if she had to pay holiday childcare for all 3 children, she woudn't be able to cover it. Even working fulltime the rest of the year doesn't cancel out childcare costs if you're talking about several hundred £ per week for 6 weeks all Summer then some again to cover Easter and a bit of Christmas. And of course even 2 parents sharing it cannot come close to covering the 14 weeks off that the kids get (she doesn't have 2 parents though - it is just her)

Insomnia11 Tue 05-Jul-11 10:00:18

I used to have two weeks with my parents then spend weeks with different relatives and friends. It was only for a few years though as my grandparents lived with us from when I was aged 11.

ssd Tue 05-Jul-11 10:00:41

sorry to nitpick, but as i asked in the op, does anyone manage the holidays with 2 or more kids and no grandparents help?

I'm glad to hear it is manageable with grandparents helping out for free, but i already knew that, it happens all around me

BUT what if the grandparents are dead and you must pay for all the help you need? is the only option to reisign like honeydragon or work term time in a shit job like me? or to child mind???

anyone?

ssd Tue 05-Jul-11 10:04:25

sorry just seen other replies

seems it just isn't doable

i kinda thought that sad

NorfolkNChance Tue 05-Jul-11 10:05:23

pleasekeepcalm if you ask a cross section if teachers most would be in favour of the children's holidays being more evenly spread across the year. I believe some authorities have moved to a six term system to combat this.

TheRhubarb Tue 05-Jul-11 10:05:43

I'm self employed luckily because I have 2 kids and don't live anywhere near friends or family. In fact I left one job just before the summer holidays once because the childcare would have cost a fortune and I didn't want to be working all through their holidays.

Here's a list of suggestions that might help:
Go onto your local board and ask to meet mums in your local area. Once you get to know a few people perhaps you can all help out with childcare and babysitting, but do it NOW before the hols.

Get in touch with your local council and find out what free activities there are during the hols.

Netmums (shhhh) is also a good place for finding out about childcare and free holiday activities.

Ask to work partly from home during the summer hols - these days with internet, skype etc it should be possible.

Enrol them in guides/brownies/scouts as they often have camping hols during the summer which you can turf them off to.

Do they still do childcare tax credits? If so you can get most of your money back by applying though the tax credit people and declaring how much you spend on childcare.

VelveteenRabbit Tue 05-Jul-11 10:07:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lizzylou Tue 05-Jul-11 10:07:34

SSD, can you have some of your salary paid as childcare vouchers (find out who accepts what obv)? DH does this for afterschool club, salary sacrifice scheme which works out cheaper due to tax.
Local childminders take these vouchers, you just need to be Ofsted registered.
It may be too late for this year, but could help you save for next big hols?

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