School Holidays - what do you do with young children!

(18 Posts)
LondonGirl83 Thu 30-Jan-20 08:46:17

All, my daughter has just been accepted to pre-school at Herne Hill School which is great. However, I've just seen the breaks between terms can be very long! The summer break is almost two months and the break between Spring and Summer term is over 3 weeks. Once you add in half term breaks and the break over Christmas there is no way our personal holiday allowances could cover it.

What do people do with their 3 / 4 year old children during the breaks? Are there organised clubs for children as young as this? I'm having a bit of a freak out now the penny has dropped as we are both full time working parents!


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Itsmommy Thu 30-Jan-20 10:03:57

Would like to know as well! Seems impossible to work without a full time nanny for school runs, school holidays, sick kids etc

Do they offer any wrap around care? Might be too young still? A playgroup rota w other mums?

RicStar Thu 30-Jan-20 10:12:54

You need a nanny really for that age and that type of school if you dont have willing grandparents/ relatives to hand or want to take unpaid parental leave from work. Unfortunately I cant think of a single play scheme that takes that age in the area although other parents at the school might know one. Childminders have the same issue - your child still counts as an under 5 space so restricted numbers. I had this problem with ds who was a summer birthday in a normal state school primary nursery class in the area. Luckily I was then on maternity with ds2.

LondonGirl83 Thu 30-Jan-20 10:43:48

The wrap around care during term-time isn't an issue as that its basically 7:30am to 5pm/ 6pm depending on their age. Its the gaps between terms that I can't figure out.

We have a nanny now but it wouldn't make sense to keep her just for term breaks once my DD is in full time pre-school.

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Cremebrule Thu 30-Jan-20 11:14:16

Basically you can’t do it which is why a lot of the children at those sorts of pre/school have a sahp or a nanny. I have found one play scheme that takes 3-4 year olds But only for the summer but I think it is quite hard for little ones to adjust. For us that made the decision to stick with our nursery rather than looking at the pre-schools.

shamelessfamilyoverroad Thu 30-Jan-20 11:17:37

This is why I kept my youngest in private nursery as open all year except Christmas. When my eldest two were that age luckily I had a lot of family help. Me and my partner used all our annual leave to cover school holidays. Some private nurseries offer holiday care could you look into that?

LondonGirl83 Thu 30-Jan-20 11:50:16

This is a private preschool attached to a private prep school.

We can make it work for DD as I'll be on maternity leave and then we'll have a nanny for the new baby but after that (when the next one is ready for preschool) I guess we'll have to rely on grandparents during the breaks or get an au pair.

At what age do holiday clubs etc start operating for kids?

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RicStar Thu 30-Jan-20 11:54:43

If this is fulltime I would not give up my nanny / or find a new one to do post school pick up and holidays rather than use fulltime before and after school club for a pre school child. Relying just on school will on my opinion drive you crazy - trying to cover holidays/ early pick ups and your little one having such long days. It does depend on your jobs etc of course some people do manage but if you and dc are used to a nanny its going to be a big shock in my opinion.

RicStar Thu 30-Jan-20 11:56:45

Ah just seen your update. Your plan sounds very sensible. Lots of lovely holiday clubs in the area and most take from after 4th birthday and some 5th birthday.

mummyOnTheNet Thu 30-Jan-20 14:56:19

There are a few holiday camps that run during school break. I have sent my child to camp beaumont previously (not associated to them in any way). I work part-time now so I'm able to manage the holidays myself.

SJaneS48 Thu 30-Jan-20 19:30:37

Holiday clubs are good but depending on where you live, not a complete solution. In both Kent and East Sussex where we’ve lived, holiday play schemes have rotated across schools and ended between 3-4pm. Not great if you work full time! On top of that, some have been sport related, ok if your DC likes sport but DD wasn’t keen on a week in football camp!

Unlikely as they are oversubscribed but age 4-5 a nursery about an hour away had holiday vacancies which we used.

Like anything with kids, it is a juggling act! DH and I in the earlier years took most of our holiday leave separately to help cover the period. I work from home and DD now 11 just stays at home with me now, she’s old enough to know not to interrupt!

Bluewavescrashing Thu 30-Jan-20 19:36:38

Some childminders have extra space in the holidays. I'm a teacher and when we used a CM she gave my DC's space to other children because I didn't work in the holidays.

I'm now working at my children's school so no need for childcare at all.

Lipperfromchipper Thu 30-Jan-20 19:39:55

So if you will have a nanny for the baby why can’t she mind dd for part of the holidays if she will have the baby too?? Sorry if that’s a stupid question 🙈

LondonGirl83 Thu 30-Jan-20 19:47:56

She will but in two years I won't have a nanny anymore and I'll need to figure it out as youngest will be in preschool and my current DD will be 5.

Seeing the solutions outlined, I'll probably have to plan to have an aupair at that point which is good to know. I have a 4 bed house and was thinking of having to two girls share while they were little as we have a lot of family visit so two spare rooms is nice. However, if we need an aupair in future the two girls sharing is a must as we have to have a spare room for when my mother comes to visit from the US.

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Ginger1982 Thu 30-Jan-20 19:57:07

Do you need a nanny if you're on maternity leave?

SJaneS48 Thu 30-Jan-20 19:59:02

Au pairs can be a mixed bag! I had a number when I lived in London with eldest DD. One or two had very little interest in children and just wanted a London experience. If it’s not working, they go quickly which can leave you without cover for a couple of days until the agency replaces them (typically days when you have some key meetings!). However we had one fantastic au pair who stayed ages and became a member of the family. It’s a bit of a trial and error.

LondonGirl83 Thu 30-Jan-20 21:56:09

No, the nanny is for when I go back to work. I thought that would be obvious as the baby won't be ready for preschool until she is 3

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LondonGirl83 Thu 30-Jan-20 22:01:02

SJaneS48 I know, my friend just fired an aupair after a week and has to take her son on a business trip to NY with her (a friend is coming along to help) as her husband is also out of the country for work.

I'm hoping that once they are in preschool its really just after school pick up and the term breaks. In a pinch Herne Hill School does have reasonable wrap around care during term so it would only be a problem if someone quit / was fired during a term time break. I'm hoping we'll be lucky as our nanny has been amazing and I'm sad I'll be losing her when I go on maternity leave.

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