Summer Holidays Childcare options

Summer is coming!

Before you know it, the schools will be breaking up and the summer holidays will be upon us. Why not take a look at the childcare on offer at Whether you’re searching for a nursery that offers a holiday club, an Au Pair or Nanny to cover the summer weeks or perhaps a holiday Nanny to join you on your travels, has the answer.

The weeks of outdoor activities and sunshine (hopefully) are stretching out before us 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. 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. Unfortunately, this is a question that comes around all to quickly each year. Planning ahead now will help to ease the stress that builds ahead of summer holidays.

Read on for some tips on how to handle your childcare arrangements this summer.

For most, the idea of spending long sunny days enjoying the company of family and friends, curled up with a good book, sunning on loungers around dreamy pools and enjoying ice cream treats each day seems like bliss. The unfortunate reality is that many won’t even manage a couple of weeks off during the summer so how to you cope with additional weeks where childcare will be an issue?

It’s a juggling act

Some families alternate time off, this means that Mum and Dad will take turns alternative the care, meaning you can more or less cover the majority of the childcare requirements but it also means that there is little time for trips away as a complete family. While hardly the family friendly option, on the upside, that leaves only a couple of weeks where childcare costs need to be covered.

It is also hardly a break when one parent has to take all the parental responsibility while the other one is left at work desperately wanting to join the family in the sunshine. If you have very young children, going to work can seem like the less challenging option, one parent is then left to cope alone, exhausted when it’s time to return to work!

Fortunately for older children, there are holiday play schemes and camps available. If parents make the choice to use such schemes, they can reassure themselves that this is not the long term plan, children will grow up and it will be easier once they are able to care for themselves responsibly.

What about family carers?

Brothers, sisters, aunties, grandparents and close friends are often the most affordable solution. If your children are happy to stay with family or friends without mum and dad being present, this can be a great option and cost saver. The children will benefit from spending time with the other family members or friends and this will help to build their confidence too, meaning they don’t need Mum and Dad with them all the time! You can then hopefully all take a family holiday together for a couple of weeks over the summer, safe in the knowledge that the other weeks are covered by family or friends. You may also wish to speak to other parents about sharing care. If your children have close friends with parents in the same situation, you may decide to share care, taking off a week or two, having each other’s children with yours for the duration.

This means you don’t need to worry about whether your children are being looked after well as this is a decision you can make well in advance if you feel it is a workable option. In the case of family or grandparents, it is an opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with their grandchildren, a win-win situation for everyone.

The only consideration you may need to think about is whether your parents, family or friends are in a position to cope with the childcare responsibility. If you regularly use them for childcare, it may be a bit much and it can mean that other grandchildren or children in the family are missing out.

Formal childcare settings

Many childminders and nurseries continue to offer care during the summer holidays. Offering the same level of care over the holidays, so you won’t need to make special arrangements. Childminders however may also take a break for their own holiday, particularly if they have children of their own so be sure to ask about availability well in advance and perhaps you may need to plan your holiday to coincide with theirs as a solution. If you regularly use a nursery or childminder, you may need to check the terms of your contract as you may need to pay regardless of whether your child or children attend or not.

Holiday camps and play schemes

Play schemes (some residential and others just for a few hours a day) can provide good cover. Many different activities are on offer, including sports, crafts and drama through to climbing and adventure activities. Do plan ahead as these tend to get booked up well in advance!

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