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Long summer holidays childcare(14 Posts)
Last year we booked our dc into 2 holiday clubs . They both disliked one club and my older child disliked the other club . I also changed work hours and took leave . This year we have a summer au pair with various sports clubs ( football , diving etc ).Both children have found it difficult to bond with au pair and have said she is too strict . Dh and I feel au pair has settled in quite well especially as she is only here for a short time . We have had au pairs before but it's been for longer periods and in term time .
So now I am wondering what on earth do I do next year . Dcs are age 9 and 6 . They love school . I feel so guilty going to work during holidays but I can't take leave for the whole holidays .
What do others do ?
All our holidays from work are taken in school holiday time and we only allow ourselves 2 weeks a year where we are off at the same time. I also take 2 weeks parental Leave and DH takes 1 week parental Leave which is unpaid. They go to GPS who live the other end of the country for 4 days (always a week Inc a bank holiday to minimise the amount of time they are away) This year they are doing 6 days during summer hols at a holiday club neither really love it but they understand why they have to go an make the best of it. I spread the days out as well so they don't feel it's too much at a time. Any days not covered I cover by shift swapping days at work so working the unpopular Saturday shift instead of a Wednesday etc but I understand this isn't possible in every line of work.
I work pretty much throughout the holidays apart from our family holiday plus 3 additional days of annual leave I could afford to take.
I don't try to make one solution fit the whole summer, it's all mix and match so that I don't feel it matters too much if the activities turn out to be a bit hit and miss.
So scattered among the weeks of summer holiday when i am working we have:
3 days with one set of grandparents visiting
2 days with the other set
3 days where I am taking a day of leave and having a slightly overwhelming time looking after DC friends as well having arranged childcare swaps
3 days where I get the payback for that and DC at friends for the day
2 days with daddy taking some annual leave too (he's not doing a multi child thing though)
4 days at a non-sporty activity club held at a local v posh school that includes things like archery and abseiling as well as drama and creativity options
5 days at a "science camp" (non residential)
3 days at Forest School
I know that I will get whining and complaining some mornings, but I don't know which. As nothing is happening for more than 5 days I can shrug this off as I don't believe DC have an absolute right to have a fabulous time every single day so as long as they are safe and well cared for I don't have a problem with any announcement that they hate doing xxxx as it is soooo boring.
If you put it to them that you have to work, in order to pay the bills/buy food/go on holidays etc., what solutions do they offer themselves? Maybe they've got a realistic suggestion you've missed, or maybe it'll help them to understand and make the best of it?
In what way do they feel the au pair is too strict? Because she follows your rules, or because she imposes her own?
I am not sure exactly why they think she is too strict . She follows my instructions thoroughly but previous au pairs have been a little younger and a bit more relaxed as they were with us longer . However dcs are very good at making sure I know if she has done anything they think is wrong !!!!! They usually spend a few days with grandparents who live in another part of the country . I work shifts and can work weekends. I worked all weekends last summer holidays and I felt we had no family time .It's a great idea to ask how they think they should spend the holidays when mummy is at work . My DD (9) wants to go a residential camp but dh feels this is too expensive !
We use nannies. 3 partimers. Keeps a bit of variety going
Have a look at PGL for next year (min. age is 7). My kids love their multi activity holidays - and they are good value if you book when there is a BOGOF offer. Plus at most centres you can pay with childcare vouchers.
Other than that we juggle (DC are 10 & 11). So far we've had:
Week 1 (just DS): cricket camp
Week 2: unpaid leave (me)
Week 3: school trip (DS), Kingswood IoW (DD)
Still to come;
Week 4: holiday club 1
Week 5: PGL
Week 6: holiday club 1
Week 7: holiday club 2
Week 8: family holiday
Week 9: family holiday
Week 10: unpaid leave (me)
Did they dislike the club or absolutely hate it? I think school age dc are old enough to understand that sometimes you just have to get on with things even if not perfect. A few summers ago the dc went to 2 different holiday clubs, had a lady from dc2 nursery and me on different days. I got ds1 to score each on 1-10. Mummy got the highest but I explained I couldn't take the whole summer off so we agreed which holiday club they preferred (private school) . May consider pgl for eldest next year.
It's a nightmare. Last year I took 5 weeks unpaid parental leave but as quite a lot of people in our office like to take time off in July/Aug I can't do that every year.
At Easter I paid one of the neighbours DCs who was studying for her exams to come and look after DS for 4 days as he usually moans about holiday club and wants to be at home. It was expensive and he moaned about being bored.
This summer we have a variety of clubs, relatives (SIL) and holidays. DS already complaining about too many clubs.
It's really hard and I'm already worrying about what to do once DS is about 12-13 and too old to go to most clubs but too young to leave on his own.
Mine are 11 and 13, really difficult ages. We split annual leave, I swap around as many hours at work as I can, grandparent 2-3 days, holiday club few days for youngest (hates it now,) leave eldest alone for My shortest working day. It's a constant struggle and the reason I work pt to reduce the number of days I have to cover per year.
First big hold working ss was on mat leave last yr we have been off a week so far, I have Mon off and over 6weeks between dh and I taking leave ds1 has to do 8 days of ho!iday club over 3 different weeks (we ha e one week and 3days where we are all off) its a holiday club he has been to for couple days at Easter n may half term he likes it would rathet be home with one of us but needs must (he is 6 at end Aug).
Things to consider...
Is youngest following eldest I don't like lead.
Do they think if they moan you will be at home, send to somewhere else.
Is you ap too strict because she doesn't let them do exactly what they want when they want, the younge rgirls may have gone the easy road.
I was too strict this morning with 2 8 year olds...they wanted to play on their tablets...as soon as they came through the door second day of holidays. Yesterday we were out all day at a farm park today weve been den building model making Lego and cooking as well as garden play and they didn't want to go home....at home they are always on tablets so ask them what they want and they say tablets...by week 3 they will be water park, woods, bug hunts..
Have you given them long enough to adapt....have you given the ap ideas presumably she doesn't know the area?
Can you ask any childminders if they do holiday care for older children? I'm a cm and only have older children in the holiday so we do normal stuff they'd do at home - park, swimming, cinema, games, play in the garden, watch TV, etc. I have one child 2 days a week and she goes to holiday clubs the other days but it gives her a break from full-on clubs & more formal childcare then I have others on a more ad hoc basis with just a coupe of days that parents can't cover.
Can you involve the kids in the recruitment of the AP next year? I think you need to sit down with them and get them to understand the options available - club v AP and get them to choose and be stuck for the summer with their decision.
Our AP was one of 5 that the kids did a Skype interview with. He wouldn't have been my choice (but we only Skype'd those that had undergone a vigorous screening process and I would be happy to employ) - he is fantastic with them (10 & 6) and I think we'll miss him when he goes in October
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