Remember when you were at school, and the holidays stretched in front of you forever, seemingly endless? Doesn’t it now feel a bit like that again, when you’re trying to sort childcare for the 13 or so weeks that fall outside of term-time?
So what are your options?
Share with another mum
If you’ve exhausted the grandparents’ goodwill, why not consider asking a friend. If you’re working part time but can find another mum who works different days, you may be able to come up with an arrangement to share the childcare between you.
If friends and family aren’t able to help, then you’ll need to organise something more formal. Your local authority will have a list of all registered childcare providers; childminders (while many have their usual long term commitments, some offer holiday cover), nannies, nurseries, out of school clubs, holiday play schemes and playgroups.
Play schemes are fun, activity based ‘club’ style childcare during the school holidays. They can be run by the local council or privately, and last for the whole holiday or just a few days. Some play schemes concentrate on a particular sport or interest while others are a mixture of activities. Your child’s school may run one, or ask other local parents. Some nurseries also offer holiday clubs. Always make sure the club is OFSTED registered and have a look around before you commit to sending your child. This website explains more about how they work. Also read our Summer Camps for Kids post for lots of great ideas.
Another option is to hire a nanny for the holidays, either on your own or sharing with another family. Some agencies even specialise in just this so have a good search around. If you don’t know another family who you could suggest sharing a nanny with, some agencies will help pair you up with like-minded people. Nanny agencies may have short term jobs, or you could try the childcare section of the website Gumtree. You can either search for childcare providers or post a job of your own.
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