When we place a candidate in a new flexible role, we know that one of their key concerns for working parents is how to cover the summer holidays for childcare. As a flexible and part-time recruiter, we’re adept at advising our candidates, or Members as we like to say, about summer holiday childcare options and tips.
School holidays go faster than you think
The long summer school break means working parents often have to find expensive childcare to cover the days when they’re at work. It can mean that financially, there isn’t always a lot left over at the end of the month. So, what can you do to get through the school holidays?
1. Summer camps
These are often aimed at school age children and can be great for people with teenagers who need care that’s more stimulating for their children. They can go off and learn new skills whilst meeting friends in a sociable environment. Tick. Well, yes, but they need to be local enough, and ideally on your commute to work, as well as within affordability levels.
2. Nanny, Grandparents, Au Pair
If you already hire a nanny, you’ll be paying their wage to work in the summer months. If you don’t, you might consider hiring an au pair to live in just for July and August. Alternatively, can you alternate between grandparents or friends so help you cover the childcare? If you have a day off, you could consider minding a friend’s children so they can do the same on a day that you work.
3. Unpaid leave or compressed hours
If your employer will allow it, you could ask them to change your hours for the month of August. You could, for example, compress your weekly hours into fewer days, allowing you full days off in the week. Employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after children, as long as they give their employer 21 days’ notice.
4. Annual leave
If you take two weeks’ leave as holiday, can you juggle with your partner and get them to take an additional two weeks? That would leave around two weeks of school holiday left to plan for. It’s not ideal as many people want family holidays, naturally. Some workers will get more leave than others, so if this is you, try to save up this time for August.
5. Talk to colleagues
If you’re in a role where you could ask a colleague to help cover your days so you can compress your hours or scale back your workload, it’s worth asking them. Many roles offer some form of flexibility, with some companies noticeably less busy in the month of August, so it could be worth speaking to a manager about this.
The main thing about summer holiday childcare options is not to panic. The school holidays will go relatively quickly, and short-term pain often leads to long-term gain.
We hope whatever you end up doing means that you get to spend some quality time with the children away from the pressure of school. Here are some tips to help you make time for you during the summer months too.
If you’d like to find a flexible role that gives you better work-life balance, we can help. Register with our flexible and part-time recruitment agency today.