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What will happen in the summer holidays?

(59 Posts)
womanvsfood Tue 02-Jun-20 09:55:33

I'm starting to stress about what's going to happen in the summer holidays re childcare.

I'm NHS and although can technically work from home, it's impossible to do it while the children are around. Also wfh is not really encouraged and there's definitely an expectation that our team are in the office.

Normally in the summer holidays we use a combination of A/L, holiday clubs and grandparents. I'm not aware of any holiday club provision that's going to be available and all grandparents are in the shielded or vulnerable categories so even if restrictions ease to allow this we would not be able to take advantage of it. We don't have enough annual leave between us to cover the seven weeks, even if we take none at the same time (the thought of which depresses me deeply), plus my work will take a dim view of me being off for large blocks of time anyway.

Does anyone know anything I don't re holiday club provision, or have any bright ideas about what they're going to do? It really feels like this is a nightmare waiting to happen for key worker organisations and although I've been trying to warn the powers that be at work, nobody seems to be listening.

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manicinsomniac Tue 02-Jun-20 09:59:47

The school I work at is working on the assumption that we're open for key worker children over the summer. Like it was for Easter - just small group childcare.

I'm guessing that's the same with other schools but don't know for sure.

Goingonabit Tue 02-Jun-20 10:01:53

Ours will be open the same as it was for Easter & May half term.

07.45-16.15. No picking up in-between those times.

Ridiculousradish Tue 02-Jun-20 10:02:22

I've been wondering the same thing. I'm not a keyworker, but expect to be going back to work July/August. Pretty sure the holiday club I normally use won't be running.

Goingonabit Tue 02-Jun-20 10:04:51

All parents are entitled to take 4 weeks per year - per child of unpaid leave.

Give 3 weeks notice.

Only 18 weeks allowed per childhood of each child up to age 18.

I realise unpaid is not good, but you save Childcare costs sometimes.

www.gov.uk/parental-leave

JaggedHedge Tue 02-Jun-20 10:05:29

I would contact your LA and find out what provision they are expecting to make for key worker children over the summer.

They must be planning for it, like they did for Easter and half term.

womanvsfood Tue 02-Jun-20 10:07:28

I was under the impression that (primary) schools won't be opening during the summer for key workers as they will be 'back' by then so summer hols as normal. Looks like I might have that wrong, which would be a relief. For the schools that are going to open over the summer, how will the teachers get a break? I was reading a separate thread on here where teachers were (understandably) very resistant to the idea of summer school.

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manicinsomniac Tue 02-Jun-20 10:11:55

It's voluntary for us so nobody is forced to give up their break. And we will only be doing 1 day a week (less if everyone who can volunteers) so still plenty of time for a break.

lovinglavidaloca Tue 02-Jun-20 10:28:31

How old are you kids? I’m still furloughed but I’m presuming that we will start WFH soon and will definitely find this easier to be doing over the summer rather than now for example when 3 hours of my day is taken up by home schooling. Mine are old enough to more or less entertain themselves. Are yours? I know it’s not ideal!

BBCONEANDTWO Tue 02-Jun-20 10:37:36

Could you not take 1 week parental leave, partner does it the week after etc. I know it's not ideal but if you work for the NHS don't you get paid parental leave?

This is what parental leave is supposed to be for in any case - plus you won't be paying for the holiday club.

I don't think the nHS would stop you doing this if you have no other choice they are very flexible with parents.

womanvsfood Tue 02-Jun-20 10:38:34

They are reception and year 2 so can occupy themselves to a degree, but do require some supervision. I am wfh today and yesterday (inset days) and they are basically glued to the TV as it's the only way to keep them quiet while I have meetings. I also find it really hard to concentrate on paper writing while they are buzzing about (realise I'm far from alone in this and appreciate that I've been lucky that I've had the opportunity to go in to work virtually every day so far).

Wfh like this is not really sustainable, plus I am required to be in the office the majority of the time anyway.

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Vanillaradio Tue 02-Jun-20 10:42:36

There might be holiday clubs. Keep checking. I think its too early to say. In our area there is at least one that has been open for keyworkers in Easter and May. I've checked the two we normally use, one is taking bookings but can't confirm they'll be open, other is not taking bookings but says they hope to be open.

mrsm43s Tue 02-Jun-20 10:50:55

Surely you and your DH just take a mixture of annual leave and unpaid parental leave over the summer holidays.

School hols are 6 weeks long, and I'd imagine that you and your DH would normally take 2 weeks each off for a holiday over the summer. So that gives you 4 weeks. That only leaves one week each of unpaid leave to take, which should be manageable.

venetianblue Tue 02-Jun-20 10:53:21

It's a bit worrying that you say you can technically work from home for your NHS job, but the NHS does not encourage it.

Ask your school and LA about summer clubs.

Propose a work plan for your employer which is 1-week office/1-week home or 2 day office/3 day home. Loads of employers are offering this so hope yours will be open to it, especially if it's NHS. Then you can alternate with your OH.

Or have DC tested to check they are clear then spend several week extended holiday with grandparents?

venetianblue Tue 02-Jun-20 10:54:56

Look at at-home childcare for those 6 weeks. It could be flexible but at least allow you, say, mornings to work full time without childcare burden.

NeurotrashWarrior Tue 02-Jun-20 11:06:14

I believe there will be a combo of voluntary school staff and recruits from the usual orgs of school hol child care eg the premier sports stuff etc. I know that at Easter there had been mention from up high of providing the same sort of childcare over the summer for those that needed it.

NotGenerationAlpha Tue 02-Jun-20 11:14:17

Our childminder is working and I'm going to use that. Do you know any childminders around? Can you use your normal holiday club hours with them? Don't know about those you are going to use with grandparents though.

RedToothBrush Tue 02-Jun-20 11:15:41

The school I work at is working on the assumption that we're open for key worker children over the summer. Like it was for Easter - just small group childcare.

This is definitely NOT the case at DS's school.

The problem is staffing and paying for staffing.

The teachers and teaching assistants are not contacted for these hours. There is already discussion going on about what happens over the extra hours staff did over the Easter break. (friend works at the school). They also have not been informed that are being asked to open over the summer by either government or the council so the school isnt planning for it at all at this stage.

The school has an above average number of key worker children so it's a fairly big deal.

So I don't know exactly what's going to happen but some parents are in for a shock by the sound of it.

I certainly would NOT assume that schools will be open for key worker children and would suggest that individual parents ask the question directly to their school to check what the situation is with their school.

NotGenerationAlpha Tue 02-Jun-20 11:15:55

I wouldn't suggest parental leave if you can pay and afford paying. It's taken as someone who's not committed if you have to take that. Especially in a workplace where you are already expected to go back into the office.

Uhoh2020 Tue 02-Jun-20 11:16:54

I'm sure by Aug you should be able to use GP again as the shield will have ended by then

womanvsfood Tue 02-Jun-20 11:39:04

I'm sure by Aug you should be able to use GP again as the shield will have ended by then

Whether official shield is lifted or not, we wouldn't be prepared to take this risk. None of the reasons why they are shielded will have gone away, and nor will the virus.

Also not possible for children to be tested and go to shielded GP for an extended break (a) because GP wouldn't be up for this even in normal circumstances (too hard work!) and (b) we would all need to isolate beforehand anyway.

In relation to parental leave, it may be within my rights to request it but as my role is directly involved with the Covid response and restoration of services it just won't be possible to take large blocks of time off. DH has just started a new job and is in a similar position. Plus, even if this worked on an individual basis for us, if everyone with young children in my workplace needed to do the same the hospital would be fairly screwed. They are already concerned about the number of people who will want (not unreasonably) to take annual leave once restrictions on overnight stays, UK hols etc are lifted.

I am holding out hope that some holiday clubs will be operating by then, particularly the more outdoorsy ones.

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womanvsfood Tue 02-Jun-20 11:40:31

I'll also look at childcare at home/nanny type options.

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Downandin Tue 02-Jun-20 11:44:56

They are already concerned about the number of people who will want (not unreasonably) to take annual leave once restrictions on overnight stays, UK hols etc are lifted

I think it can be carried over to the next two years, if people can hold out a bit more. Not easy I know.

www.gov.uk/government/news/rules-on-carrying-over-annual-leave-to-be-relaxed-to-support-key-industries-during-covid-19

AuntieStella Tue 02-Jun-20 11:46:47

As people aren't travelling and internships may well not be travelling, I'd ask around and see if you can find a responsible local sixthformer or student who you could employ.

You don't need experienced, instead look for sensible and kind as you'll be on the premises (arrange to WFH until you're sure the arrangement will work)

NB: I do not know about the legalities of employing as a casual summer babysitter/nanny/au pair and it will be worth checking before snyone starts (if this sort of option has any appeal at all)

womanvsfood Tue 02-Jun-20 11:52:23

AuntieStella I would totally be up for this sort of arrangement but not sure either about how/whether it fits into the regulations. Fingers crossed by then it might at least. I might start putting a few feelers out anyway.

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