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To ask parents of school aged children what hey do in the holidays?

(136 Posts)
CherryChasingDotMuncher Mon 20-Feb-17 13:27:19

Having a chat with my friends yesterday, we all have kids under 4 (mine are 3.5 and new born). They are SAHMs, I work 3 days but currently on maternity leave. My 3.5yo is in nursery 2 days a week and will be until she goes to school in September. We were pondering what people who work do in half term holidays in terms of childcare. This sounds ridiculous but it's the first time I've thought "oh shit I only get 5 weeks holiday a year, who will look after them when they're off school and I run out of annual leave?!". DH is self employed so it's much harder for him to take holidays.

So can I ask what people do for childcare of small children who have to work in the holidays? I've planned to go back to work the first school day in January 2018 but I'm wondering if I may as well return after February 2018 half term (probably won't have enough holidays by then) save struggling to find child care.

allowlsthinkalot Mon 20-Feb-17 13:29:04

People who don't have family help tend to use holiday clubs or childminders I think.

allowlsthinkalot Mon 20-Feb-17 13:29:43

There are a lot of playschemes that run in the holidays.

ditavonteesed Mon 20-Feb-17 13:30:06

childminder, very expensive, try to take as much holiday as possible,.

CherryChasingDotMuncher Mon 20-Feb-17 13:30:42

And here's me thinking "yay school means no more child care costs" confused more fool me!

Although we do have family nearby but none who are retired they all work full time

Miloarmadillo1 Mon 20-Feb-17 13:30:50

Juggle! Combination of annual leave for each of us, my mum will come and do a couple of days, child swap with school friends, holiday club at local leisure centre. It was v difficult in YR because they don't have established enough friendships to swap children for a day and the local holiday clubs won't take then until Y1.

KatyBerry Mon 20-Feb-17 13:30:52

holiday camps never run for long enough during the day if you have a commute so you may need to look at childminder AND holiday camp. Added to which, holiday camp tends to be quite a full on regime so some kids really don't take to it.
Make extra great friends with a teaching assistant from a school who needs a holiday job and hire them as a nanny - that would be my ideal, golden solution. Have not yet found one.

Gowgirl Mon 20-Feb-17 13:30:58

Family, trade offs with school friends whose parents work, holiday clubs and childminders, its a constant juggle

FourToTheFloor Mon 20-Feb-17 13:31:05

Childminder and work from home.

BurnTheBlackSuit Mon 20-Feb-17 13:33:19

Annual leave for both parents
Family help
Friends help
Holiday playschemes

TheSconeOfStone Mon 20-Feb-17 13:36:49

We use a CM and the grandparents. Lots of friends use holiday schemes with great success, including SAHMs. My oldest would struggle with play schemes due to Aspergers but if our CM retired we might have to investigate this as an option.

The advantage of having a CM for after school is your childcare is then sorted for holidays. If your employer offers childcare vouchers you can spread the cost of childcare over the year so you don't get hit so hard in the holidays. I got my CM set up to pay through vouchers.

Another option is swapping days with friends who work different days/have different AL to you. Only works if your kids get on with each other.

bnotts Mon 20-Feb-17 13:41:26

Our nursery runs a breakfast club, after-school and holiday club and is the main reason we move to the area/picked the school. No family around so wouldn't be able to manage otherwise even in term time. Even then I used to work full time but dropped to part time when eldest started school as it was just too expensive. My mum will come a stay only a week a year.

mouldycheesefan Mon 20-Feb-17 13:41:36

Holiday clubs. Sometimes at school and sometimes at other schools.
I get five weeks hols, dcs get thirteen weeks so basicslly eight weeks is at holiday club. We manage it so that They never go more than three days per week. Some holiday clubs are brilliant, swimming every day, loads of trips others are more low key.
It costs between twenty five pounds and fifty pounds per day depending on the club.
Have you got after school care sorted? If you don't finish by school finish time each day.

user1484394242 Mon 20-Feb-17 13:47:20

I was a single parent with 1 child for a few years. For longer holidays I would use a day camp for 1 or 2 weeks depending on funds available. For the rest of the holiday or for shorter holidays i would call people up and ask them. Most would say yes and offer a few extra days. Some would call me because I managed to call them. I had no family and no annual leave.

user1487363511 Mon 20-Feb-17 13:48:48

And this is one of the main reasons I am forced to be a sahm! It's a real struggle finding childcare in the holidays tbh, and the more kids u have the more expensive the childcare (obviously). Is there any flexibility to your job? Could u do any work from home possibly?

PavoReal Mon 20-Feb-17 13:49:04

I am an LP and work FT. In term time I have a brilliant nanny 3 hrs a day doing after school pick up for my DTs. I'm lucky she can extend and do a full day during the holidays so it's a combination of either her or using my annual leave. Sadly my parents are too batshit to be left in charge (they forget to pick them up and when this happens and they shrug and say they didn't mean to forget). So they are not an option. It is mildly easier financially now they are in school, it just needs a different way of budgeting.

InTheDessert Mon 20-Feb-17 13:49:54

We had a week together in the summer, a week together at Christmas. Then DH and I split our remaining holiday, and took it seperatly (3 weeks for me, 4 weeks for him). My parents would have the kids one half term, DH parents would come one half term.
Nursery (who did before and after school for DS1 while DS2 was there FT) did the rest of the holidays. Don't forget to factor in inset days and kids illness, and the occasional school play/assembly.... You need about 15 weeks cover. I'm now a SAHM.

BoboBunnyH0p Mon 20-Feb-17 13:50:49

I'm a sahm but I happily help out a couple of friends during the holidays who work. But from chatting with friends they use child minders, relatives, annual leave and holiday clubs. When I worked one of my colleagues who had 3dcs used to take the whole 6 weeks as unpaid leave because she was better off doing that than paying for child care. Previous employer also used to offer parents the option of changing their shift pattern during holidays (so they could work evenings instead of days).

CherryChasingDotMuncher Mon 20-Feb-17 13:53:40

mouldy I'm reducing my hours so I leave work at 3pm when I return. So less money, plus forking out more as my new born will be in nursery and I won't get the free hours I'm getting now.

I think I'd better start researching local nannies confused or doing calculations to see if it's even worth returning to work!

CMOTDibbler Mon 20-Feb-17 13:55:28

Holiday club and annual leave for us. No family to help and swapping doesn't really work if you work FT and want to make the most of every day of AL you use.

The club DS goes to is great - only 8.45 till 4, but £20 a day and they go swimming, do loads of different things and even go canoeing in the warmer weather

Kim82 Mon 20-Feb-17 13:56:02

We use a combination of annual leave and relatives. When my elder 2 were younger we had to pay for holiday clubs as all of our relatives still worked. It used to cost a fortune, especially as we still had full time nursery to pay for for dc3. Luckily my parents and fil are now retired and dsis is a SAHM so we have plenty willing helpers. I'm now down to working just 3 days a week since dc4 came along so we can easily find 3 days worth of childcare with family.

grounddown Mon 20-Feb-17 13:58:38

I use a wonderful childminder who only has my DC in the holidays. To make it worth her while she charges me the days I need every time there is a holiday so for example I have taken annual leave for 2 weeks in the summer but I will still have to pay her for the place. She's absolutely fantastic and does so much fun stuff with them.

Marry a childminder then set up your own after school and holiday club grin

Most parents seem to do a mix of holiday club, grandparents, friends, family and using their own annual leave ime

mouldycheesefan Mon 20-Feb-17 14:00:00

Yes a nanny for the newborn who could also have older child in holidays could work.
Don't give up your job! Especially if it's quite flexible, jobs where you finish at three pm are rare!

peukpokicuzo Mon 20-Feb-17 14:20:25

1 child, I work 5 days a week, DH works 6 days a week. (Mon-sat)

Each holiday I take 1 day off per week, DH takes 1 day off per week, we have family help 1 day per week (grandmas take it in turns so they each do 1 day per fortnight) and we use holiday clubs 2 days per week.

Sometimes it gets mixed around a bit eg if a grandma has wanted all days as a block, or a holiday club has a special week where it is more fun to go every day.

I also occasionally do swapsees with other families and look after theirs for a day in exchange for them having mine for a day but most of DS's friends have siblings so their parents don't get a child free day when I have DS's friend so it's less appealing for them.

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