The summer break can be chaos at home - juggling work, appointments, personal plans and keeping the kids entertained can be really difficult! Plus, you will usually find that school holiday childcare costs can rocket.
When you've made use of any extra tax credits and childcare vouchers and that you’re entitled to, you may think that’s all the help you can get... but in fact there are lots of ways to avoid school holiday childcare costs getting too expensive. Here are some of Gemma's tips.
Help from your parents
If your parents enjoy spending time with their grandchildren, then they may be more than happy to help offer free childcare when the school holidays come around. A family childcare agreement checklist is recommended though. The Grandparents’ Association charity says “it’s the best way your parents don’t feel put upon or out of pocket.”
Students with free time
With many students also on a break from their studies over the holidays, you could provide them with a way to earn a bit of extra cash. How about asking a local college that teaches childcare? Ask to put up an advert that will be seen by the students on that course. Most will be keen to build experience and get a good reference so you should be able to find a trustworthy childminder, without paying over the odds.
Are your little ones into their football? It could be worth taking a look at the free coaching on offer from The FA Tesco Skills. Your five to eleven year olds will be kept active and occupied for a couple of hours while you take a well-deserved break. It runs at 36 locations across England.
Summer holiday play schemes
Get in touch with other schools if your child’s own school don’t provide this. Open to all children in the area, they provide a fantastic way to get cheap school holiday childcare in a well-supervised environment.
National Citizen Service
If your child is older, the National Citizen Service offer a three week part-residential scheme during the holidays. This is for teens in year 11, due to turn 16 before 31 August. The kids can attend between June and August. It includes lots of outdoor adventures and 50% of the schemes are completely free - school holiday childcare sorted!
Free nursery care
Remember if your children are aged between three or four they are legally entitled to 15 hours of childcare in a nursery. Available from children’s centres, childminders, pre-schools, playgroups and nurseries, so don’t pay out when you don’t have to.