SCHOOL HOLIDAY CHILDCARE HACKS
8 tried-and-tested tips for managing childcare in the school holidays
As the Easter holiday approaches, if you’ve got kids in school you’re probably thinking, ‘I can’t wait to check out Pinterest for some craft and cooking ideas to do with the children,’ followed by ‘Why are school holidays so bloody long?’ and, ‘Send gin.’
Well, here we are to help. While there’s nothing we can do about the length of time you’re left with the critters, we can suggest some gin and other booze options, and we’ve also got some ideas if you’re struggling with childcare options during the holidays. More accurately, members of the WoMo network, an online forum for working mothers, have some tried-and-tested tips for you. So if you can't find affordable school holiday clubs or equivalent, check these out...
- I packed mine off to the cinema one afternoon. My eldest is 13 so she watches the younger two and I sit in the coffee shop outside catching up with my emails.
- My neighbour can watch them one of the days. She has older children who have left home and loves a day of baking with my tweens.
- The kids club at school finishes at 4pm which is a nightmare for me, but one of the local mums brings them home and they stay at her house till I collect them at 7pm.
- I heard via school of a family going on holiday over half term, so her nanny helped me for a week.
- My mum lives 3 hours away but I ask for her help in the holidays sometimes and she comes to stay. It totally saves me.
- There is a local babysitting agency. I thought they just did evenings but when I called they offered help in the day too.
- I have a friend who works too and we split the week. We join forces to get a nanny for the day, and we do one day at her house, one day at my house with the nanny, then she has a day off work, then I have a day off work. On the 5th day, we book the nanny and toss a coin for which house the nanny works from. She lives up the road so it’s logistically easy and the kids and nanny love it as they all play together.
- If your kids are old enough, and my eldest is 15, send them out to the park for an alternative ‘treasure’ hunt with some money to get an ice cream or a hot chocolate. I did a quiz with 50 questions asking things such as ‘Spot 3 dog poos’, (quite tricky as it turns out which means the poo-pickers-uppers are doing their job), ‘Find 3 cafes selling cake’ and ‘Find 5 sticks over 50cms long on the ground in the park’. They loved it!
Do you have any other tips for childcare during the school holidays? Let us know!