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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My youngest is 7, too old for childminders
My 3 go to a cm and my eldest is 11
My 7 year old goes to childminder (and does term time too ). The rest is mix between myself , their dad and my parents .
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.
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.
I’d definitely be more comfortable with a CM for the youngest. I just always assumed they were more catered for preschool children.
Honestly if I were you, I'd be hanging on to my term time job for the time being.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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