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returning to work and organising childcare is more difficult that you would expect?

(20 Posts)
PrizeyPrize Thu 10-Nov-16 10:28:36

So I've never worked full-time and been a mum. My children are now of an age (11 and 9) I'd like to get back on track with my career and I'm starting to go for interviews for suitable roles.
Before and after school clubs will be perfect in term time, but what am I supposed to do during school holidays? Will it cost me an arm and a leg? I'm a single mum with no family in the area.

Scrumptiousbears Thu 10-Nov-16 10:31:06

There are child minders who will do school holidays only. Round where I live it's £5 an hour. Failing that there are kids clubs all over the place but the costs are all different.

Are you taking some annual leave over the school holiday to break it up? Could you share childcare with another mum this way?

PrizeyPrize Thu 10-Nov-16 13:47:52

Thanks scrumptious I never thought of sharing the childcare with another mum. I've worked out that I would be paying £7325 per year in childcare for my two, I would get child tax credits that wouldn't quite cover that, but close.
Having done the sums, at the moment the childcare is too much for me to afford, even with the tax credits. Currently I'm self employed and without the childcare to pay for even though I earn very little doing what I do, I am better off with being able to do the childcare myself and run my small business. It's frustrating because I really want to get my career back on track.

KateLivesInEngland Thu 10-Nov-16 13:53:54

I'm hoping to head back to work, wondering this too - following!

cantpickusername Thu 10-Nov-16 13:58:00

Round where I live there are holiday clubs, usually run by leisure centres or the after school clubs.

Having said that, my 10 yo (year 6) doesn't go to after school club anymore, he makes his way home in his own and has keys and is ok to be alone for a couple of hours until I get home.

I still send him to holiday clubs though as I don't like him being alone for a whole day.

PrizeyPrize Thu 10-Nov-16 14:16:57

thanks Can'tpick yes that figure is if my eldest made her way home on her own before/after school, but still in for holiday clubs in the holidays. It would be nearly another £2k otherwise!
Good luck Kate!

Artandco Thu 10-Nov-16 14:26:02

Remember you split the cost by 52 weeks not just the holidays so it's the same each week saved

Also remember if your self employed you currently get no holiday pay, no sick pay, no bank holidays. When employed you will be paid for them. So 4 weeks and bank holidays you can cover from own time off. Leaving less weeks throughout the year

i would be tempted to get an au pair, they usually do around 25hrs a week, but for older children you can arrange that they do say 10 hrs only in school time and 40+ in holidays for example. £100 a week, £5200 a year.

Me2017 Thu 10-Nov-16 14:33:01

Au pair is a good idea.
Our did holiday clubs for 2 - 4 wekes of summer holidays and we usually had a 1 or 2 week family holiday then too which filled it up. It's never cheap.

At one phase we had someone who collected them from school and brought them back here and looked after them until 6pm and she was happy to do full time school holidays.

What role does the children's father play? This is at least 50% his job both to care for them and pay for them (unless they were conceived via IVF by donor sperm or something I suppose). And what about your parents and his for holidays. So that is 6 adults perhaps who could care for them over 6 weeks of summer holidays so a week each which is much more management. We used to send our children that age up on a train to Yorkshire alone at that age to stay with grandparents.

Dixiechickonhols Thu 10-Nov-16 15:07:01

School hols childcare tends to be mainly the 8.30-3.30 variety i.e school hours. £60-80 a week often run by dance schools, football, gymnastics etc. But open to all kids not just those who go for weekly lessons. Cut off is usually 11 though so for primary aged kids.

Longer hours are rare around here, I know one nursery runs a holiday club 7.30-6pm but you are looking at £25 a day. DD's school runs childcare for a few weeks in summer 8.30-5 same price. Or a cm.

Mine is age 10 and i've been keeping an eye out of schemes that go older. The assumption is secondary school age don't need childcare.

Summers for DD are 1 or 2 weeks with me, 1 or 2 weeks on holiday at grandmas, week activity holiday, week at local dance school takes til 11, week at ballet school takes until 16 but only for invited pupils, her school runs childcare in summer so she sometimes goes there.

I only work partime so will do childcare swaps too - i'll have your fri if you have mine monday type of thing with another mum at school.

Some employers offer childcare vouchers (salary sacrifice) you can save then all year and use for some childcare eg pgl activity holidays take vouchers. Not all accept them though.

secrethideaway Thu 10-Nov-16 15:16:10

What role does the children's father play? This is at least 50% his job both to care for them and pay for them

Ha ha try posting that on the Lone Parents board you will get laughed out of the room grin

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Thu 10-Nov-16 15:45:23

Not a single parent but DH and I have no relatives near us.
DD goes back to her old nursery during holidays, and we also take it in turns to take time off where needed.
I use childcare vouchers, work out how much it's going to cost over the year then adjust my salary sacrifice to cover it.

It's a little bit of juggling (logistically and financially) but with a bit of advance planning, it works

KindergartenKop Thu 10-Nov-16 15:50:14

Teach! Never time to look at your kids in the term but massive holidays!

Babyroobs Thu 10-Nov-16 16:42:32

Have you any family or friends who can help in the holidays, or the kids dad, could he do his share of coverinf half the holidays? Most lone parents I know tend to share childcare at this age.

Me2017 Thu 10-Nov-16 18:18:04

Even if he won't help his parents or aunts or uncles might.

JsOtherHalf Thu 10-Nov-16 18:35:46

Our leisure centre do holiday clubs from 8.30 to 5.30 for the over 8's - costs about £22.
Nice holiday club in a local primary school opens from 8am to 6pm. Same price.

Oblomov16 Thu 10-Nov-16 19:10:19

A big local company used to partially fund a holiday club at our local school. I think I paid £50 for a week.

Our council now runs one £17 per day, £35 per week.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 10-Nov-16 19:27:49

We have several clubs that do 8-5.30, but the age cut-off for some is 12 and in my experience those are mostly populated by under 10s. There are a couple of clubs that go up to 14 but further away/more expensive/not on in shorter holidays. It's tricky when they are 12+ but not ready to be left all day. Childcare swaps with other families are ok for odd days but it takes a bit of organising.

My child is 6 and had yet to be looked after by his dad or any of his dad's family in holidays. Unfortunately there is no law to make them do this!
Look up salary sacrifice schemes for childcare. You can save about a third of the cost using these

Oblomov16 Thu 10-Nov-16 20:42:26

Our secondary has holiday club for the first week. One week.

Other than that ds1 is off out at theme parks, cinema, round friends houses, playing football. I barely see him.

PrizeyPrize Thu 10-Nov-16 21:23:28

Apologies only just checked and seen all the responses.

Unfortunately I do not have family close by, only 200 miles away. My friends all work and I wouldn't want to impose, if I'm honest. Unless its on a swapping basis as PP have suggested, I'd feel comfortable with that and it's something to consider.

Kids dad is really not very flexible or understanding. He earns a decent wage and therefore he begrudgingly has to pay me a good amount of maintenance. I think he feels this absolves him of any other cooperation, especially if it is to help me out. He does have them for 2 weeks in the summer holidays, all other holidays are no go, apart from a day or two extra at Christmas.

Au pair is a good idea, and would help me out enormously, but is it not rather intrusive on family life having someone live in?

Currently looking into trying to find an support staff role within a school, although I realise jobs like this are like hens teeth, but I think this is my best bet. Unfortunate that I cannot pursue a career in my chosen field though, for the moment at least.

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