AIBU to wonder what you do with your children in school holidays whilst you’re at work?

(131 Posts)
foxesandtoadstools Sat 19-Jun-21 20:16:24

My children are 7 and 10 and I was a stay at home parent for their first years and have now been working towards an Accounting degree and will be starting my final year in September. Which brings me to my question… this time next year I will be working full time and I have absolutely no idea what people do with their children in the school holidays! My partner works very long hours so can’t provide any support with this. My mum is local but I can hardly ask her to have them for a five week summer holiday (and the other eight or nine weeks off a year). So what should I be looking at in preparation? Summer camps? Do they even exist in half terms? We live on the Isle of Wight too to make things even more tricky as we don’t tend to have a lot of organisations for this sort of thing. I guess my other option would be a childminder, but I don’t know what age they even go up to? And how long do I need to be doing this before they can be at home while I’m at work? 13ish maybe?

I promise I am usually a pretty competent parent but I feel like I’m entering a completely foreign world where everyone else knows how it works but I’m in the dark!

OP’s posts: |
Shoppingwithmother Sat 19-Jun-21 20:19:06

Yes, holiday activity clubs. Also obviously taking your annual leave in the holidays, and if necessary you and your partner having some leave at different times so you can cover more weeks.

princesslarmadrama Sat 19-Jun-21 20:19:22

School have a holiday club, I use my annual leave and parents help out.

Thisisus909 Sat 19-Jun-21 20:20:07

Summer au pair might be an option with that age children

ludothedog Sat 19-Jun-21 20:20:08

School holiday club
Dance school
Drama club
Golf intensive week

Share with another parent, holidays, work from home when you can and borrow favours. It's tough! And than when they reach high school and refuse to go or they are too late to go, you just have to leave them and call/facetime to check in with them.

Cancellingadvice Sat 19-Jun-21 20:20:33

Around here there are summer camps run at practically every decent sized primary school. Maybe search for some near you?

trilbydoll Sat 19-Jun-21 20:21:28

We go on a family holiday
They go to DH's parents for a sleepover
DH takes some holiday while I work
I take some holiday while DH works
Holiday clubs, run by the same company who run after school club
Other more specific holiday clubs like stagecoach, sports clubs etc

I would say you can't manage this alone. Despite his super important long hours man job your partner is going to have to either drop them off or pick them up, and he is going to have to take some holiday.


KeyboardWorriers Sat 19-Jun-21 20:22:32

Holiday clubs. I am sure there will be some on IOW. Pretty sure my ex brother in law used to work for one.
Mine do clubs like sailing/horse riding/ theatre school and these all run summer weeks they can go to.
A lot of the local schools also run them. Round here the good ones are often fully booked by April though

PragmaticWench Sat 19-Jun-21 20:22:46

I use sports camps. Thankfully the children love them. They only run short hours here though, 9:30-3:30 or 10:00-3:00 so I'm lucky my employer allows me to catch up on the extra hours in the evening.

I've just spent almost £1000 for the summer holidays on camps and that's not five days a week either.

ceeveebee Sat 19-Jun-21 20:23:09

There are loads of holiday clubs round here, football, dance, cricket, tennis etc as well as the school run one. Main issue is hours - they tend to run 9-4 which is quite hard to manage. Also we do childcare swaps with other parents (i work 4 days a week), grandparents help out and then DH or I take annual leave

KeyboardWorriers Sat 19-Jun-21 20:23:47

And also yes, DH and I take a week of annual leave together and a week each separately

HazyDaisy123456 Sat 19-Jun-21 20:24:22

I work part time and used a combination of annual leave (we have a generous leave allowance), time off in lieu, days off, annual leave and holiday clubs until the end of primary school. We had no parental support.

For part way through the first year of year 7 DS went to a youth holiday club. But after this he refused to go and DD was the same. But I only work 5 minutes walk away from home and always had my mobile with me and they could call round to my office occasionally.

I suppose it depends on the children, the area where you live, how long your working day is etc.

KeyboardWorriers Sat 19-Jun-21 20:29:46

@foxesandtoadstools there's UKSA in Cowes for sailing activity weeks, and PGL on the Island as well
Pretty sure I saw a YMCA advertising holiday clubs last time I was on the east side of the island too

foxesandtoadstools Sat 19-Jun-21 20:30:45

Thanks for all your replies. My leave situation will depend on the job I take so I will have to look at that nearer the time. I’ll start googling the summer camp / club options and saving up by the sounds of it wink everything is made so difficult when it comes to children / working. Long term I am hoping to go self employed / work part time which will help but need a few years of experience first. The area we live in is really safe so that’s something.. hopefully we will only have to manage it for a few years and can then bribe the eldest into looking after her brother!

OP’s posts: |
IAmDaveTheSerialShagger Sat 19-Jun-21 20:32:26

Well @foxesandtoadstools unfortunately you are no different to millions of others out there in the same position, childcare and their father?

cadburyegg Sat 19-Jun-21 20:32:54

Single parent here. Using a combination of annual leave, their dad’s annual leave, holiday clubs and grandparents this year.

GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing Sat 19-Jun-21 20:33:02

Holiday clubs (sports or the hobby they do), take nearly all my annual leave in one holiday or another, exh takes annual leave in his half of the hols, maybe grandparents for a bit. Same as everyone else!

TheLovelinessOfDemons Sat 19-Jun-21 20:33:23

We're lucky in that we have a charity which runs a holiday club. It's £9.50 a day for childcare.

Hoghgyni Sat 19-Jun-21 20:35:20

There are loads of holiay clubs on IOW. I'm surprised you don't have one linked to your school. More importantly though, are you planning to continue studying towards your accountancy exams after your degree? If so, you will need to source after school care, especially as you may well find yourself studying on the mainland for your professional exams. I don't mean to put a downer on things, but it's not going to be easy to find a job on the Island which will fit in around school hours, as there is a lot of competition for trainee roles.

Hankunamatata Sat 19-Jun-21 20:36:42

Pay for summer clubs or I take the hit and take summer off

megletthesecond Sat 19-Jun-21 20:39:21

Holiday clubs and unpaid parental leave.
For summer you need to start checking after Easter. Some places get snapped up quickly.

mindutopia Sat 19-Jun-21 20:39:37

Mine go to holiday club 3 days a week and then I have Fridays off anyway (used to work FT compressed hours so only 4 days but now I just work 4 days). On the other day, either Dh or I take off. I get AL so it’s me if I’m not busy. Dh is self employed but he can take it off unpaid if I need to work. I work in HE so we get a week plus off at Christmas and Easter for closure days anyway, so I technically have like 6 weeks of AL plus BH. I always have AL left over and have never used it all up. Even with lots of family and personal holidays.

Bagamoyo1 Sat 19-Jun-21 20:40:47


Pay for summer clubs or I take the hit and take summer off

Ooh can you tell me a job that allows that?!

FakeColinCaterpillar Sat 19-Jun-21 20:48:22

Virtually no clubs where we live (apart from football). DD went to a sports one which was a 25 minute drive from us in the opposite direction to work, also a short day.
She did go to the childminder, parent swop, DH and me taking time off. I have friends who take unpaid leave.

Waxonwaxoff0 Sat 19-Jun-21 20:49:56

I use a mixture of holiday club, annual leave and whatever family help I can get.

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