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If your DC go to private school, how do you arrange childcare in the long school holidays?

(199 Posts)
MandMand Wed 03-Oct-12 21:27:36

If both parents work, its hard enough to cover childcare during the ordinary state school holidays, but how on earth do you cope with the longer holidays at private schools?

If both parents need to work full time all year round in order to pay the school fees, what on earth do you do when your children then have three or four weeks off at Christmas and Easter, and two months off in the summer? Do you end up having to find even more money to pay for holiday camps/activity weeks etc?

I'd be interesting in any estimates of how much to budget for longer holiday childcare on top of school fees, but I suspect this may be a bit like asking how long is a piece of string ....

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 06:27:38

Well us women can't have dcs 'just short of 60'

Actually I was 51 when my DS came along. Many women can have DC at that age. My DW was younger though ( much younger than me).
Thats makes me 57 coming 58 now in case you need help with the maths smile
(maths is my subject)

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 06:33:12

Mortgages - when I bought my home in 1999 mortgages were not that easy to get. I had a good deposit and asked for a relatively small mortgage ( peanuts in fact - 30K) Interest rates were high ( 5% ish?) . I paid it off in less than 5 years. But that was by sheer hard work, slog and saving. In fact that was around the height of my career financially also.

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 07:20:04

Of course all of this is relative to income. In 1981, my salary was less than 5K and that was considered good money for a young graduate. So really things were not so good then any more than now. My first "wage" (in 1979 ) was £35 a week.

CaseyShraeger Mon 08-Oct-12 08:12:31

It's just not the case that many women can have children at 51. There is a strange tendency I've seen among otherwise intelligent and well-educated men to focus on average age of menopause (51-52) and ignore the massive drop-off in fertility that takes place before that. I don't know whether you fall into that category or are just joshing with us by pretending naïveté.

blueshoes Mon 08-Oct-12 08:20:08

Casey, I am not sure I would call someone who thinks many women have children at 51 as 'well educated' ...

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 08:26:44

Casey - there is a strange misconception ( pardon the pun) about women being fertile these days. It never seems to have been there in the past. The NHS do not keeprecords of women over 50 who have babies. They lump it in with the over 40's. In the past, before birth control it was well established that women would have "late pregnancies". I went to school with several who had mums who were over 50 when they were conceived. My own family has several instances of elderly ( over fifty - as old as fifty five in fact) giving birth. These children survived and were normal too and were my aunts and uncles and cousins.

Its naother of those falacies that goes around like house prices, mortgages or household income.

However, my DW is was only in her thirties when she had our DS. I married a lady much younger than myself. She was one of my students although by the time I married her she had left college. Oh the outrage smile

Ginda Mon 08-Oct-12 08:37:38

So, Jabed, you appear to be in a position where you are mortgage-free, you have a holiday home in Canada which you can afford to pay for flight to for your family regularly, you have a part-time only job, a wife who does not work at all, and you can afford private school fees for your child.

I put it to you that, while you scorn parents who work all hours and suggest that they are inadequate parents as a result, you yourself are in the privileged position of not having to worry about money. You say you go without things so you probably don't consider yourself rich, but in fact you are. Maintaining the lifestyle you describe is just not how most people live. We have to work all hours just to pay bills. I don't have a holiday home, or a non-working partner, and I would love to be at home with my DCs more, but I am out of the house 7.30am-7.30pm every day working to pay the bills. I have 5 weeks' holiday a year. My DCs are in state schools. There are 13 weeks of holidays a year. I think the sneering tone you've taken towards working parents betrays a complete lack of understanding of how most people have to (not want to) live.

Helpyourself Mon 08-Oct-12 08:39:38

jabed the fact that you can afford children as you had them when you were in your 50s makes your opinions on childcare costs as irrelevant as a lottery winner's.

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 08:43:05

I put it to you that, while you scorn parents who work all hours and suggest that they are inadequate parents as a result

I have not said this at all. I have just asked why parents - any parents who have DC in independent schools complain about our longer holidays . They should know about it when they register. They should therefore know they have to deal with the child care issue if they have one. That is all I have said.

It annoys me they complain/have problems about something they should be amply prepared for.

Ginda Mon 08-Oct-12 08:47:45

Oh, and my DCs' state primary offers no before or after school clubs at all. They won't make any parents' evening appointments after 5pm because the teachers want to go home. So if you have a job which you have to stay at till 6pm an then travel half an hour home, well, tough luck. Take one of your precious holiday days off instead, meaning one day less with your DCs in THEIR holidays.

I suspect this level of fuckwittery in the state system is why working parents who can afford it might choose private schools: private schools cater better for parents who have jobs.

Ginda Mon 08-Oct-12 08:50:50

Jabed, see my last post. Length of holidays is, I imagine, fairly low on the list o selection criteria when parents are choosing schools. They probably consider things like how good the school is, whether it caters for their child' interests, etc., first. However, having made the choice, and particularly since they are paying, working parents might express the view that arranging holiday childcare is a pain and it would be good if the schools ran longer.

To say I think your posts on this thread are disingenuous would be extremely generous. I am going to work now. Have a nice day riding on your high horse.

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 08:58:49

So, Jabed, you appear to be in a position where you are mortgage-free, you have a holiday home in Canada which you can afford to pay for flight to for your family regularly, you have a part-time only job, a wife who does not work at all, and you can afford private school fees for your child

I have a home in Canada - not a holiday home. I have a Canadian DW. My DS has Canadian nationality. Otherwise it is a fair assessment. smile

But I am not wealthy by any means. I did not marry when younger because I could not afford it. I worked and I saved and I have spent many years without any hoiday at all. I have never lived in fancy houses with losts of mod cons etc. That even includes the sort of thing you may take for granted. That is where my disposable income seems to come from - being a bit of a skinflint in other ways. DW keeps a good table.

I delayed having a family for that reason too. I left it late (as indeed do some ladies these days it seems). I consider myself to be the luckiest guy on the planet to have my DW and DS.

I do not buy the idea that most families "need" two incomes to pay the bills. It seems to me too many people seem to have a different idea of what is necessary and what is a luxury.

remsby Mon 08-Oct-12 09:02:50

If you're still here OP:
If you belong to a David Lloyd gym, their holiday clubs encompass time that independent schools are off.

Ginda Mon 08-Oct-12 09:21:56

Jabed, you are totally out of touch with reality. How you came by your money is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that you now have a lot of disposable income that most people do not have. We DO need more than one income. My mortgage is £500 a month, not massive at all. My house is probably worth £240k, it's a small 3 bed mid terraced house. My childcare is £650 a month, and that is with a close family member doing the childcare (yes, family do expect payment). Food and petrol (for an 80 mile round trip to work) is £550 a month. Council tax and utility bills take up another £400 a month. That's £1900 a month gone.

Very nice for you to have saved so long that you are mortgage free and can afford for your wife not to work now that you have a young child even though you are in your late 50s. One view might be that children benefit from having a father young enough to live beyond the child's early adulthood. But I guess you'll leave them well provided for, so well done you.

Ginda Mon 08-Oct-12 09:24:11

I take that back - it's £2,100 a month gone.

hatsybatsy Mon 08-Oct-12 09:36:05

Jabed - are you a real person? Cannot understand how anyone can be so patronising? Your suggestion that any family with 2 working parents has lost sight of what is 'necessary' versus 'luxury' is absurd.

When you first bought a home, it cost 3-4 times your salary. Our home today cost 14 times my husband's salary. To afford it, we both need to work. We can only afford independent education with generous help from our family.

We were fully aware that there were long holidays when we chose an independent school - but to suggest we should not have chosen it for that reason is, again, absurd. We chose the school we liked the best for our children, and we now have to deal with the logistics.

The OP came on here to get some suggestions for holiday care for herchildren - not to whinge about long holidays as such. You have effectively taken over this thread - initially with a rant asking why people had kids if they dn't want to look after them, and now with stealth boasts about how wealthy and financially astute you are. When in fact, you are someone who has done very well out of the property markets in Canada and the UK (oh to have a £30k mortgage) and who didn't get married until financially comfortable (a lucky circumstance rather than clever planning). And to state that woman can habitually have children well into their fifties defies belief. Well done to your family - clearly you are super fertile. For the average woman, having a baby beyond 40 is exceptional - having one at 55 is record breaking.

Have a biscuit

clam Mon 08-Oct-12 09:50:21

Your wife "keeps a good table?"

Who are you, Charles Dickens?

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 10:52:49

Jabed, you are totally out of touch with reality. How you came by your money is irrelevant

Ginda, how I came by my situation is completely relevant. You have two choices as far as I can see. You do as I did and wait ubtil you can afford a family oryou do as you have done and stretch the finances such that you are in some difficulty really. It certainly cannot be worry free and comfortable for you.

Having a mortgage 14 times your DH's salary is not prudent.
I was prudent but I possibly nearly left it too late for a family.


The thing is all about balance. Hoever, taking a return snipe at your side swipe about my age - at least my DS will be young enough to enjoy his inheritance. My mother is still alive, My father passed away last year aged 90. I will not see any inheritance until I am probably 70+.

I am out of touch? No, you are I think You are out of touch with the facts of economic lfe You seem to want it all and want it yesterday and have hocked yourself up for it.

I did the opposite and very nearly didnt have a family. But at least I am aware of my mistake. It anoys me beyond belief that MNers come here wanting everything and not having thought through their situations before embarking on actions ( like babies and child care)

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 10:55:42

I never suggested having childrern late in life was general. However it is more normal than you suggest. Its always been a factor. 55 is not record breaking. The oldest naturally recorded conception and live birth was to a 58 year old around 2000 I think. In the 1950; when I was born, many more olderladies had children. Many were probably just around menopause. Ny the way average age of menopause for women today is 54. Thats a statistic.

hatsybatsy Mon 08-Oct-12 11:07:08

jabed - I said the house was worth 14 times dh's salary - I did not say our mortgage was at that level. (you are not the only one with financial acumen) - I was using that as an illustration of how the housing market has changed since you were lucky enough to get on it.

You are genuinely saying that women should put off having kids until their fifties in order to be financially secure? I think you have lost the plot completely. If you had been lucky enough to fall in love with a woman the same age as you in your early twenties, you would have deliberately put off having kids for 30 years so that you could provide them with the kind of lifestyle you have now?????

None of us are being demanding or unrealistic with the financial choices we make - having large overheads is a part and parcel of modern life. You have been extremely lucky with how your finances have played out.

Your ds may well be young enough to enjoy his inheritance (poor you - not having parents who were thoughtful enough to plan this for you...) but in the meantime he has a father who is old enough to be his grandfather.

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 11:07:56

It annoys me beyond belief that MNers come here wanting everything and not having thought through their situations before embarking on actions ( like babies and child care)

There I will say it again. If the OP has had to ask this then she did not consider the situation. The only solution is alternative childcare. Simple as.

margerykemp Mon 08-Oct-12 11:11:30

Jabed- you married one of your students!!!???

margerykemp Mon 08-Oct-12 11:12:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

margerykemp Mon 08-Oct-12 11:12:28

<awaits deletion>

hatsybatsy Mon 08-Oct-12 11:12:40

jabed dear - the whole purpose behind this thread was so the OP could work out how the organise alternative childcare. the fact that she didn't begin planning her baby 30 years ago is really quite normal you know.

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