For your children the weeks of outdoor activities and sunshine are dream come true, which they will have been looking forward to for weeks. But for many parents who have work or other commitments, it can be a real headache to arrange wrap around care over the summer months. The endless concerns over who will care for the children while they’re off school and how to achieve this without going broke in the process. This is a question that comes around all to quickly each year. But don’t worry, a little planning ahead can solve this logistical issue and leave your children with the amazing summer they have been dreaming of, and we’ll leave them with endless memories as they grow up.
Some parents will alternate their weeks off during the summer vacation. The mum takes 2 weeks off work and looks after the children, the dad does the same while mum goes back to work. This means there’s only another two weeks left for solving the childcare issue.
This might be a way round childcare problems, but not really a family-friendly solution, in terms of spending time together as a family unit on holiday or at least at home together with planned outings which include everyone.
It’s not much of a break if one parent has to take all the parental responsibility while the other one is left at work. Some say that going to work is the easier option and the parent at home feels resentful. Either way it’s not ideal, as the neither parent really gets a break and can find it hard with ways to entertain the children.
If you are looking for free childcare solution, you can’t do much better than Grandparents. If your children are happy to stay with grandma and grandad, everyone benefits. The children get to spend valuable time with the older generation and make a leap into independence away from their parents.
You don’t need to stress about whether your children are being looked after properly, because you fully trust your own parents/in-laws. And, of course, grandparents get to build long-lasting bonds with their grandchildren.
Child minder / Nanny
Many child minders carry on with the same pattern of caring during holidays, so you won’t need to make special arrangements. However, they too will take a holiday at some point and you can’t assume they will take their break to fit in with yours. Child-minders and nurseries cost averages at £1,864 for the whole summer holidays, but this is only an option for some.
More and more nurseries offer childcare throughout the year, covering all the school holidays. This can ensure that you are safe in the knowledge that your child will be getting good care and will be safe, however it’s hardly a break for younger children, especially if you use the nurseries every other week throughout the year, plus this is only available for parents of children up to 5 years of age.
Holiday camps and play schemes
Play schemes and kids holiday camps are a popular solution and are fast becoming the ‘Go To’ provider for caring for your child during the school holidays. Holiday camps, such as Kings Camps, provide a safe and inspiring environment for children, a place where children can learn new skills and sports, while making new friends. The camps are Ofsted registered and are cheaper (by at least 25% compared to the average price of a child minder).
With the recent epidemic of increased screen time and the growing issue with child obesity, activity camps are a great way to keep your children healthy and happy through the long holidays, plus there are options for older children to learn skills and coach, meaning that any child from 4 to 17 years can use this form of care through the holidays.
Most camps now accept childcare vouchers, meaning that you can save money through tax on your salary, as well as the option to spread payments across the year!
With careful planning the Summer can be everything that you and your children want them to be. It can be a good idea to mix up your care throughout the holidays, giving variety for children and for you, with highlights of a ‘Treat’ going on a family vacation and spending a week on a holiday camp.