To ask what people do for childcare in holidays?(34 Posts)
I’m lucky that I work term time, but the money is terrible. I’m thinking about other career options but genuinely do not know what I’d do with my kids. I’m a single parent and no family would have them, not on a regular basis anyway. My oldest is a teenager now and I know people say they can be left alone but I know mine would go completely off the rails hanging around with the wrong crowd and getting up to all sorts if they had that much freedom. My youngest is 7, too old for childminders ect but probably wouldn’t cope in a holiday club environment and I think the hours are limited in those.
What do people do with similar ages kids?
Why wouldn’t they cope in a holiday club? That’s what you do with kids in the holidays if you have to work, unless you can find a university student etc but that’s more expensive and less regulated.
Similarly, it’s shame you can’t trust your teen to look after themselves, that sounds really hard.
Can you arrange any swap days with other parents? The only other thing I could think you could do was a reciprocal arrangement with other parent(s)
We have a 7 yo and a smaller DC.
We use holiday club which runs 7 weeks of the holidays (not Christmas, or some half term days, not ALL summer). So we spend the other days with the DCs. They run fairly normal hours (7.45-5.45) which is totally workable. They cope well with our DC that has SEN and they take from other schools as do most of the other clubs so if you don't think your DD will cope with one, try another.
Teenagers can go to PGL, or Scout/Guide/sports camps, or send them to one well trusted friend and then you do both teens the next day?
School-age DC combination of holiday clubs, childminder, annual leave and family.
Baby goes to childminder.
I work three days a week - total childcare bill is between £750 and £1000 a month depending on the month.
I’m using tax free childcare which saves us around £150 a month.
Yes - meant to say 6yo has HFA - he manages fine in all of those scenarios as long as he has warning and the leaders are sensitive, which they are.
My youngest doesn’t really like big groups, especially unfamiliar people. He’d probably be ok eventually but would take a really long time to settle and I’d feel awful.
It is a shame about my oldest (13) but unfortunately clave can’t be left. Although equally, would have a strop about having to go to any form of childcare.
On the whole though it would be much easier to sort out something for the eldest.
It’s jist so daunting the thought of how I would cope on my own, trying to manage 13 weeks of school holidays, Inset days Ect. I know lots of people do, but I’ve never had to and I’m scared of making that jump because of it’s too hard I’d struggle to get another job like I’ve got now.
Sometimes I think I should just suffer having no money for a few more years.
Oh, I also would t leave m youngest with other parents. He’s too unpredictable
A group of us hire a temporary nanny for holidays, some just take a couple of days a week, some of us need full time. We have hired teachers, actors, students. It's more expensive than a regular holiday club, but obviously we can decide what they do every day.
There are also specific holiday clubs that suit older DC, like science camp, or drama ones.
I'm a childminder and I take up to 14 year olds.
Does your school's after school club run the holiday club? Locally most do and you could get your younger one to try it out that way.
Ours also does inset days.
Obviously nothing is ideal. We do what we have to do. It's a struggle. Grandparents, in-laws, holiday club. I'd love to say 'they'd hate it so I won't do it' but I have a job and full holiday cover isn't available.
I wouldn’t change in your position for the next couple of years.
My DS13 goes to a football camp but it’s only 10-3 so you still have to be around to drop off & pick up. The rest of the time he stays in and plays gaming or goes out biking with his friends. I’m not really happy about him going out with friends but can’t really justify making him stay in.
dD goes to a mix of grandparents and reciprocal agreements with friends, and me taking days off. It’s so hard to juggle everything.
There are different styles of holiday club, and you might find one that suits your youngest and a different one that suits the teenager. I tried out several to begin with, and found the one that my DS liked the best.
It’s quite a tough adjustment - if the 3 of you as a family want more money, the kids have to buy into holiday clubs or behaving in the case of the older one. Otherwise keep the term time job.
7yo definitely isn’t too old for a CM. And if he doesn’t cope well in other groups that sounds like it might be a plan?
Honestly if I were you, I'd be hanging on to my term time job for the time being.
I’d definitely be more comfortable with a CM for the youngest. I just always assumed they were more catered for preschool children.
I swap with friends and families, alternate time off with DH, and have a summer au-pair.
One week my kids go to my parents, one week they go to my sister, one week I am off and look after my own and my nephews, one week it's DH turns, then we have a week holidays as a family.
My youngest are tired, and do need a rest at home from time to time, it would be cruel to put them full time in a holiday club. If there was no choice, they 'll have to, but I'd do my very best to avoid it.
To be honest, I didn't have kids to plonk them in childcare full time. I have to work, but still trying to do what is best for them. I know other parents who take at least a couple of weeks holidays a year, child free. Each to their own.
Unfortunately my parents won’t have them. Not as a regular thing as they are too much hard work. They’d have them the odd day to help me out, maybe one day a week at a push.
I don’t have any other family, or friends. I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking anyone who I wasn’t really close to as my youngest can be very difficult and I could only do it with somebody who knew us very well and who would understand the difficulties in a non judgemental way.
I’ll have a look into local holiday clubs and what they offer. I only know of one and I’ve seen them around, at the parks ect, with mostly older kids and not very good ratios so it definitely wouldn’t be suited for us.
Maybe I should spend another year or 2 at my current job and hope things get a bit easier as they get older.
My 7 year old goes to childminder (and does term time too ). The rest is mix between myself , their dad and my parents .
My youngest is 7, too old for childminders
My 3 go to a cm and my eldest is 11
A local student is a option for summer especially, though we used a mixture of playschemes, council programmes, family for a week (elsewhere) annual leave and split shifting (I went in at 6am, him at 2) oh and friends.
I've just gone back to normal full time hours, this was my first school holiday (I used to be able to reduce my hours in the hols and just work evenings in my old job).
Dds are 14 and 11. I took a couple of days annual leave, my friend had younger dd for one day. My older dd looked after younger dd and younger dds friend another day (they don't need much looking after, but liked older dd to be around just in case). Younger dd also spent a day with grandparents and dd1 went out with friends. It worked out surprisingly well.
Harder in your situation though. I trust dd1, she is a very sensible mature 14. DD2 is also a really capable kid and is often on her own after school for an hour or so, just seems too young to be on her own all day.
I plan our year out with colour coded military precision! Our DTD's are at a private school so have extra long holidays which is challenging as there is no childcare generally available in these 'extra' weeks. DH and I take annual leave separately, we use a holiday club and my DP's have them for a few days. I have every single day they are off school planned to the end of the year.
Watching with interest as we used to have family help but no longer have this option. Probably not what you want to hear but school holidays now fill me with dread and anxiety as I try to juggle everything at once (looking after the children while taking time working from home). I end up feeling like I've done everything very badly instead of one thing at a time properly. Holiday clubs are only 9-3 around here, not even every day, and don't take preschoolers. Most local childminders are term time only. Friends all work. I'm stumped.
This is why I only work three days a week and my husband is off one of the days I work. I get six weeks annual leave plus two unpaid weeks a year and two flexi days a month. We can usually cope to stretch that out to the whole holiday period.
I could take up to 8 weeks unpaid if I wanted which would be averaged over the year.
You can take parental leave. Everyone’s entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid leave per child before they’re 18, so you’d have 36 weeks in total to use over the next few years (limiting to several weeks a year). Employers have to let you take it, unless there is a “serious business reason” not to. That’s what I’ve been doing to try and cover holidays with our kids (along with grandparents and holiday clubs). It doesn’t necessarily help with the money side of things (as is unpaid) but might allow you to look at other job options?
Mix of holiday club (nursery for youngest one), annual leave (we don’t take an actual big holiday, just a long weekend away so we can save annual leave), and working from home (dh is self employed so can potter around doing some admin tasks or take oldest with him to work).
You say yours wouldn’t like holiday club and frankly mine doesn’t love it either, but we have to work so she doesn’t get a choice. That’s life if you need to work and I expect my dc to understand and respect that. Sometimes it means childcare that isn’t ideal and it isn’t always fun, but we all just get on with it.
Sounds really difficult OP.
My DH and I both work 4 days per week, so each holiday week we only have 3 out of 5 days to cover. We'll then use a combination of a bit of annual leave and holiday club. Maybe the odd day with grandparents, but can't rely on that as DHs mum has been ill.
Given you're a single parent, I'd only consider moving to 52 week working if it was part time, personally 3 days a week not more. You must have so much to do and juggle on your own, I'd find that too hard if I was working full time.
Given the number and age of your children, I'd really be sticking your current work arrangement if you can. Term time working is the ideal for a lot of working parents.
I work term time and wouldn't change it for the world. I sometimes get a bit depressed looking at my full time salary but then think of how I don't need to stress about what to do with the kids, how much I love being off with them and how I can't put a price on that. If it's not for you anymore then parental leave won't work, that's just a less flexible version of the same thing. Your options are paying someone to do childcare ( childminder/ holiday club) for one or both, leaving them on their own ( but you don't seem comfortable with this) or getting friends/ family to have them ( could be a bit hit and miss) or some combination of all 3 which may work better but is a job in itself to organise. If you're taking on more hours could your husband drop his?
Apologies, I read the thread then confused some of someone's response with yours. I forgot you're a single parent. Scrap the last part of my comment.
When I was 13 I had a holiday job, could that be an option for your eldest and might keep him out of trouble with the incentive of earning? Sometimes some responsibility can help. Or voluntary work? Think they may need to be 14 these days. Or, you could give him pocket money for minding the younger one. Not sure but that is what we were thinking of doing.
Two kids 12 and 9. Nine year old has SN. Nine weeks holiday. Two different schools.
We use a mix of holiday clubs for the 11 year old / there's quite a few round here. Mostly sport related ones.
Nine year old is harder. His school does two weeks scheme. Then we use paid help - teenagers and students.
We also take AL. I have a summer spreadsheet and put their term dates in my calendar as soon as I get them.
At Easter I have taken one week off and the other week my DD is going to the after school club run holiday club. She loves it and begged to go. They go on trips out most days and it is really fun apparently. It runs from 8-6 too so fits with work. The Summer is the hardest. I usually take 2 separate weeks off and do a selection of different holiday clubs including a week at a theatre school which she also loves. She would probably be happy going there every day of the holidays but i can’t afford it. I do also ask parents occasionally to have her for a half day if school finishes at lunch time on the last day of term but always feel bad doing this. We are lucky round here as the holiday clubs are great and there is lots of choice. And she really enjoys them.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.