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Urgent help needed - holiday clubs/care to cover private school holidays

(21 Posts)
suebfg Tue 22-Mar-11 18:07:48

Can't believe this, however having done lots of research/school visits, having just reserved a place at a private school and handed over our deposit, we've discovered that the school in question has no holiday club or links with outside providers ... and has on average 18 weeks of holidays per year.

How do people manage with this? We both work (and will have to to pay the school fees) and our son is not yet 4 and quite shy so we don't want to shunt him from club to club .. We don't have relatives nearby and don't want to be reliant on favours anyway.

Can anyone suggest a possible solution? We're in the Warrington/Northwich area.

OP’s posts: |
HSMM Sun 27-Mar-11 21:57:07

I am a Childminder and I have children in school holidays. Some parents come to me for some of the holiday and use clubs for other parts of the holiday.

belledechocchipcookie Sun 27-Mar-11 22:00:36

I hired a teaching assistant from the school my son was at for the extra weeks of the summer holiday, I've also used a nanny, grandmother and I've had to throw a sickie when I've had no other options. It's not easy.

Hulababy Sun 27-Mar-11 22:04:32

We have this. I work in a state school but DD goes to an independent prep school, so she gets 3 or so weeks more holidays than I do.

I have some flexibility with my hours as I work part time, so I try and do some extra hours to get one day off. DH will try and work from home or use one or two of his holidays. Sometimes we send her to relatives for a few days - she adores staying at her grandparents for a couple of nights. And we do reciprocal childcare/playdates with other parents.

suebfg Sun 27-Mar-11 22:40:49

Thanks for the ideas - it's a real juggling act isn't it?

OP’s posts: |
jabed Thu 07-Apr-11 06:28:16

School holidays, always a problem eh?

So, all you send your children to school for is a babysitting service? Thought about sending them to a residential camp for the week or two (or six or eight)?

Sorry Ladies, that was cynical. But schools are not there to be a babysitting service. Independent schools are there to educate your DS/DD. They generally do that very well, but part of it is longer holidays. One of the reasons some parents choose independents in fact.

Personally I value any time I have with my child. In my own school we sometimes board out pupils who cannot go home with other families. That could be an option. Or a residential week? Even if the school doesnt run same (the school where I work actually does as it happens, although its a recent addition), I am sure they will know of one for you.

Hope that helps.

compo Thu 07-Apr-11 06:31:17

If you'd done lots of research I'm a bit baffled that the obvious fact that the school holidays are longer than state ones didn't enter your mind!

meditrina Thu 07-Apr-11 06:59:59

It's a bit late to bemoan what they could/should have done earlier!

It will get easier as he gets older and you feel more confident about how he'll get on in holiday clubs (look out for multisport/multiactivity ones). Many will be geared to the state school holidays, but if you can cover those, then the additional weeks of private school holiday will be surmountable (though you'll have to use each parent's leave allowance in turn to cover for long enough - another reason that family holidays vanish for a while!)

You could also try a holiday nanny for the summer - do you know anyone with reliable university aged children?

suebfg Thu 07-Apr-11 21:18:18

Thanks for the helpful comments.

We knew that the school holidays were longer than the state ones. What we didn't establish was that this particular school didn't have any holiday clubs or links with holiday clubs. We've visited lots (over 20) of schools in the past few years and asked about holiday cover. But sometimes it's hard to keep track of which questions you've asked and obviously we overlooked this at this one school. All the other schools offered holiday clubs or links with holiday clubs.

And I don't expect a school to just babysit my child. I wouldn't have spent the last 3 years hunting for the right school if I did. But the reality is that we have to work to be able to afford to give him the best education. If I had the luxury of being a stay at home Mum and still be able to send him to this school then I would do it. Sorry for ranting but comments that imply working Mums don't value time with their children really irritate me.

OP’s posts: |
chubley Wed 16-Nov-11 21:10:36

A lot of nurseries run holiday clubs - geared to state school holidays as meditrina says - so there could be lots of children around his age to mix with. If school finishes 2 weeks earlier in July, as most independent schools seem to, one idea might be to book your family holiday for those first 2 weeks of the summer holiday (it may be slightly cheaper then too!), then when you get back home there should be holiday clubs starting up. Then you may hopefully still have enough leave left to cover the few extra days or extra week here and there.

Lizcat Wed 30-Nov-11 14:19:52

Over the last 4 years I have developed a range of options.
1. holiday club at other school obviously there are 20 close to you one is bound to have a holiday club that is acceptable.
2. Childminder for days with no holiday club
3. My holidays
4. Grandma - odd day. Granny - lives 140 miles away DD goes for a whole week in the summer holidays.
5. TA from different private school who was previously nanny does some days so not too many at holiday club.
6. Swapping days with other working parents.
7. Once DD turned 7 short PGL breaks.
8.. If all else fails asking help from DD's friends parents.
Our budget is around £2000 to cover school holidays.

Blu Wed 30-Nov-11 14:29:22

Jabed - I do hope some 'ladies' listen to your cynical wise views , realise how much they 'value' the time with their children, leave their jobs, cease paying private school fees and so put you out of work.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 30-Nov-11 14:39:43

Hi Suebfg, Pretty much a copy of Lizcat. I dread school holidays. I think when they are young, if you can find a childminder or nanny to help during the holidays that is probably the best solution. As they get older they seem to really enjoy the activity club things. Mine really enjoyed their summer of activities this year, but they are 12 & 9.

Jabed, whether you are private or state, children get way more than 5 weeks holiday a year - which is what most adults get. Those extra weeks have to be filled somehow if parents are working. I would love, love, love to spend more time with my children but I work full-time to keep the roof above our heads, so I just have to get over myself on that one! I don't think suggesting a child of 4 boards was very helpful at all - but maybe you thought that all us full-time working mums are such child-haters we'd be up for it!

saskiasmum123 Tue 20-Dec-11 15:01:38

I'm in the same hole as the lady at the top of this conversation trail. what I plan to do is use the email links I have via the school to ask other mums in my DD's school year if they're having the same problem and if they would like to form a little holiday care club so that we can be reasonably self reliant going forward. I don't mind co-ordinating this and being the main conduit 'cause it will get me out of a major tight spot. I plan to keep it low key, no more than 5 or 6 mums and kids in total.

WhatIsMincePi Tue 20-Dec-11 15:03:43

We use a holiday club at a local senior schools - a supercamps, we take time off, we swap childcare with other people at the same school, we use gps.

PushyDad Sun 25-Dec-11 01:14:38

Our twins just started Yr 7 at indies. The wife went back to work in order to cover the fees. We are both freelancers (no paid leave) so the long breaks is a major problem for us. We don't like to ask for favours (or owe them) so during the summer the twins went on 2 residential breaks with PGL and again in Oct. 2012 will be our first full year with about 15 weeks to cover. Maybe PGL do a frequent flyer program :-)

BsshBossh Tue 22-May-12 14:21:43

Book your family summer holiday for beginning of your DS's summer break - eg 2 weeks, then use state school holiday schemes. Any relatives (eg grandparents) who could take him for a week or who could come to your house to look after him?

Groovee Tue 22-May-12 14:29:47

I've had to get a term time only contract. There are various sports clubs who do summer camps but usually 9-3 type thing. Dd has attended an invited course 10-5pm. It changed to invited due to it being over subscribed by private school children instead of the state school children it was aimed at.

This year however both sets of grandparents are now retired and dh may be off. So I would have had more options than in the past.

My childminder is term time only but friends do holiday cover to fill the places of their term time children. Maybe a holiday nanny would work.

YummyMummySarah Sun 17-Jun-12 10:54:04

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LadySybildeChocolate Sun 17-Jun-12 10:55:45

You know that this is an old thread, right? wink

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