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What do lone parents do for childcare during school holidays?

(16 Posts)
SleepyBearMama Tue 27-Jun-17 08:04:08

My DS is a long way off school age but I have just hit the realisation that it might not "get easier when they go to school" as I work part time in retail so will most likely have to work during school holidays and I have absolutely no help from anyone. I have no family at all and DS dad is not around and DS will be too old for nursery then so would it be a case of trying to fork out for a childminder? Any tips on how anyone manages the long summer hols?

BarchesterFlowers Tue 27-Jun-17 08:08:42

I am not a lone parent but DH used to be away for months at a time. I didn't have anyone I could leave DD with, no family nearby, no help from anyone either.

I used a summer club at an independent school for the week it was on and then used the leisure centre who do holiday clubs. I can't remember how much the school was but the leisure centre was £25 a day for as long as you wanted them to be there between 8:30 and 5.

It isn't easy, the only way is to pay money in your/my shoes.

BarchesterFlowers Tue 27-Jun-17 08:10:43

I also used to take leave and/or work from home which I guess you won't be able to do. Just read your part time bit. I bet a childminder will be your most cost effective option.

Looneytune253 Tue 27-Jun-17 08:14:22

Yep childminder/holiday club/ sports club etc. But try not to see it as 'forking out' once they're at school you're only gonna be paying this a small portion of the year. It is easier than when they're younger and have to pay it year round.

DistortedPerceptions Tue 27-Jun-17 08:15:43

We have lots of summer clubs around here that are really good value, about £50 per week. I use those along with a bit of family help and now he's older other parents. I found the logistics much harder once mine started school, lots of taking to/from after school activities etc, although some are in the school which works out well. I ended up changing jobs to accommodate this better. Best advice I can give is make friends with other mums, this has been a lifesaver for me.

DistortedPerceptions Tue 27-Jun-17 08:17:05

I forgot to mention, I take as much of my annual leave over the summer holidays as I can. I have 2 full weeks off and a couple of half weeks off which helps.

saintava Tue 27-Jun-17 08:19:59

Holiday clubs! You may also find that you make friends with other parents and can help each other out as well, me and a friend share inset days - she has mine one and I have hers the next, saves our annual leave as there's no childcare for those days

Coffeetasteslikeshit Tue 27-Jun-17 08:20:32

Some of my friends in similar situations have got together to sort out sharing their childcare during holidays. They rearrange, as much as they can, their hours so that they can help each other as much as possible. They also use the schools holiday club for some of it and me as a last resort!

My advice therefore is to make some good friends at the school gates.

Ginger782 Tue 27-Jun-17 08:23:27

The single mothers I work with don't make any arrangements. They just repeatedly call in sick during holidays. angry
Maybe I should text this thread to them for some ideas.

OP, thanks for being considerate and trying to plan! Your employer should be grateful too.

TinyTear Tue 27-Jun-17 08:23:44

Not a lone parent, but working full time we will use summer clubs...

AdalindSchade Tue 27-Jun-17 08:25:42

Annual leave covers half of it, my parents have him for 2 weeks (separately) and his dad has him for 3, leaving a few days to be covered by holiday clubs. I also do a day swap with a friend so I have hers one day and she has mine another day. Holiday clubs are super expensive so making links with other single mums would be your best bet.

MayJuneJuly Tue 27-Jun-17 08:38:58

I use holiday clubs. I've been lucky enough to be able to adjust my working hours during holidays. I still work the same hours but slightly different times.

It cost £25 a day or they knock £10 off for full week bookings. But he does get a cooked lunch included in that. Last year they only ran for 4 weeks of the summer so that was a bit tricky to navigate around with annual leave and calling in favours. It's hard but very doable.

CountryCaterpillar Tue 27-Jun-17 08:42:33

nurseries around here do holiday clubs for older children in the holidays as well as normal nursery.

It's worth saving up all year round for the summer 6 weeks so you don't end up without income for the summer.

megletthesecond Thu 29-Jun-17 17:06:58

Holiday clubs, approx £25 a day. Although tax credits currently cover 70% of that.

Unpaid parental leave. I prefer this as it's less hassle and only slightly more expensive than childcare. The kids would rather be at home with me than in holiday club.

BarchesterFlowers Thu 29-Jun-17 18:40:44

It's worth saving up all year round for the summer 6 weeks so you don't end up without income for the summer

This is shocking really isn't it. Great idea meglet but shocking that people have to do this in the UK in 2017.

PollyPelargonium52 Sun 02-Jul-17 08:23:49

Ds is now 12 he will have Tuesdays at home and the other four days over the holidays he will go to the childminder. Luckily her son is his age. There is no other childcare where I live for his age, no clubs, nothing.

We will also have a week off to spend a few days visiting his family in London and then a couple days at home after. That way I only have to pay ouf for about 20 days over the school holidays.

I don't work Tuesdays so I thought to economise I would keep him at home those days and if I need to go out on my day off a few hours I can still do so at his age. This is something I could only do from this summer though.

I certainly don't book any expensive day trips or anything special beyond visiting London as the money just isn't there.

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