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To wonder what working parents are meant to do in school holidays?

(840 Posts)
StepAwayFromGoogle Sat 06-Apr-19 08:13:17

DD1 starts school in September. DP and I both work because we can't afford for either one of us to be off. I have applied for part time but my work have been spectacularly backward and refused point blank, which is a whole other thread. I am looking for another job but work in a very specific field in a very specific industry so it's not looking likely that I'll get something, much less part time.
DD1 school have a before and after school club which is over subscribed so she won't get in for the first year. We have scrabbled around and managed to cover the week with GPs and a childminder.
So on to the holidays. DD1 will have 13 weeks off school a year. Between us, me and DP will have just under 10 weeks holiday. AIBU to think that if the govt wants parents (particularly mothers) to work then there needs to be better holiday provision? I'm not blindingly sure what working parents are expected to do after 3pm every day and for the 13 weeks children are off in the year. At the moment all our holiday days will be spent covering time off school and we won't be able to have a holiday together as a family.

SimonJT Sat 06-Apr-19 08:15:45

I’m going to have to rely on a childminder, I’m lucky that I will be able to walk my son to school and get to work on time, but I will be using a childminder to do pick ups. I will also have to use childminders in the holidays four days a week (I don’t work on Fridays or the weekend).

StatisticallyChallenged Sat 06-Apr-19 08:15:58

Around here there are a few holidsys clubs, sbd generally the after school clubs have spaces in the holidays for people who don't attend during term time as not everyone who uses asc needs holiday care

RuggyPeg Sat 06-Apr-19 08:16:18

I know, right. Au pair or club together with another family in a similar situation - either of these options possible? Is your partner looking at solutions too btw?

CarlGrimesMissingEye Sat 06-Apr-19 08:17:50

My friends in this position use a childminder who also covers holidays. Then each year they only have to cover the childminders holidays and not the whole of the school holiday dates.

BWatchWatcher Sat 06-Apr-19 08:17:56

Holiday clubs, staggering days of leave. It is grim sad

Heatherjayne1972 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:17:59

You do what the rest of us do
Juggle annual leave
Holiday clubs
childminders
Shared care with other friends or family
Some are lucky enough to have willing and able grandparents available

That’s what everyone else does

abracadabraba Sat 06-Apr-19 08:18:11

I know. Not sure what the answer is but believe it or not you are lucky that your child will be able to get into a club pre and post school. We will be 800 pounds a month for wraparound childcare as the school has no such facility.

Basically people need to pay for childcare. I'm not sure what the alternative is. You'll get a stream of privileged people here telling you that school isn't childcare... which it isn't but I do feel your pain.

Fatted Sat 06-Apr-19 08:18:46

You pay for a childminder or to put your kids in a holiday club or a nursery. Like every one else does.

You're going to get roasted on here frankly about how school isn't free child care.

Zampa Sat 06-Apr-19 08:19:12

If you add in children with additional needs, you're really screwed. My daughter's special school provides term time wrap around care but nothing in the holidays. I think we're going to have to find a temporary nanny to cover the summer holidays (which will cost all of my salary for the period).

Hollowvictory Sat 06-Apr-19 08:19:39

Hi op. We take our 5 weeks holiday together as a family. Kids go to holiday club the other 8 weeks. Other people do take some of their holiday at different times. Holiday club is£20 for the school holiday club per dsy, £50 for a different better holiday club. Most private schools run holiday clubs that are open to children from all schools. We've done several different ones. If you Google holiday clubs and your town you'll find lots. They are generally open 8-6pm.

acciocat Sat 06-Apr-19 08:19:50

Why do you get under 10 weeks holiday between you? Minimum is 28 days each.

In your position I would take some leave together, maybe a couple of weeks, to give you holiday time as a family. Then split the rest and take as much as you can during school hols. That should leave you with far fewer than 13 weeks to cover.... with careful planning it could end up being just 5 or 6. You mention grandparents too who might be able to do the odd week or so here and there.

Then use a cm for the remaining time. Same with school drop off and pick up. Many cm quite like having school age children along side any pre school children they mind.

What did you do when your children were pre schoolers? I know the logistics are tricky when they start school but boy childcare gets a hell of a lot cheaper doesn’t it? Presumably you were paying all year round before

TeeJay1970 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:20:29

I have complete symoathy but no answers.

Most of the workpace structures we have were established when women gave up work to look after children and men carried on working. Society has changed, the workplace hasn't. The systems and structures are too deeply embedded.

The government can't afford to offer meaningful help and probably won't want to if they could.

bonzo77 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:21:09

Clubs, annual leave, family, friends. Round here quite a lot of families pay uni students who are off for the holidays. Not for really little children but definitely for school aged ones.

Friedspamfritters Sat 06-Apr-19 08:21:19

I don't think op is saying school = childcare she's just saying it's bloody difficult to sort childcare. I know what you mean op this is why I can't work full time which is why I can't really get my career back sad.

Hollowvictory Sat 06-Apr-19 08:21:26

But yes you just have to look at it as part of the cost of having children. I can easily spend £1000 on childcare in the summer holidays.

Nquartz Sat 06-Apr-19 08:21:31

Holiday clubs or childminder. DD goes to holiday club at a primary school nearby which starts at 8, most of them are 9.30 - 3/3.30 which is pretty useless for people who work 'normal' hours.

Do either of your companies do childcare vouchers? There is also a different government scheme of some sort which you could look into.

Chloemol Sat 06-Apr-19 08:21:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Gizlotsmum Sat 06-Apr-19 08:21:38

We used childminder now use holiday club.

EmrysAtticus Sat 06-Apr-19 08:21:47

Book holiday clubs.

user1471426142 Sat 06-Apr-19 08:22:29

I don’t have to worry for another year but I’ve been looking at holiday provision and am already worried. The holiday club at my local school is 8-4 which is basically useless for working parents, particularly as we’re in a commuter area. If have to leave work at 2.

There is provision for 8-6 care but a drive away and I would struggle to leave at my usual time and pick one up from nursery and the other from holiday club. It would be fine if they were in the same place. Basically I’m panicking already...

Awrite Sat 06-Apr-19 08:22:34

Term time - pay a fortune for wraparound care.

Holidays - me, I am a teacher.

In-set days/ilness - grandparents.

ssas Sat 06-Apr-19 08:23:03

I'm with you OP, and it must be horrendously difficult for lone parents without a support network too.

NerrSnerr Sat 06-Apr-19 08:23:09

We both work and don't have any grandparents that are willing or able. We have to split our leave and we are swapping favours with other school parents. It's a bloody nightmare but you get through.

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Sat 06-Apr-19 08:23:11

Tbh when you have children you have to factor in all of these issues (working or not) it’s not the governments responsibility for them to pay to look after a child you have bought into the world

The UK has such a narrow minded mindset with issues such as this... your child, your responsibility!!! not the governments, same as school, children go to school for an education not to be babysat.

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