Let’s get it out here early. The summer holiday childcare isn’t always filled with long days and fun in the garden. For most, it is six weeks (or more) of entertaining the kids whilst juggling work. Regardless of the age of your offspring, July often means grabbing diaries to calculate childcare plans over the summer holiday.
There isn’t a one size fits all approach; often you are looking at combining several strategies to get you through the summer. If you are working for yourself or balancing a boss, then here are 10 ways to manage childcare this summer.
1. Drop the Guilt
The first thing you need to do, regardless of your situation, is to accept all working parents have to do what we have to do. Everyone has different circumstances and commitments; don’t compare!
2. Kids Clubs
From Drama to music, to sports; there is a range of independently run local schemes. My youngest’s school bag has been filled with flyers over the past few weeks.
3. Co-working / Co-crèche space
Across the country, there is a growing movement of places that working parents can work whilst their kids are looked after. If you are local to Birmingham, check out Impact Hub as an example or search for “co-creche” spaces.
4. Swap Time
How would it feel to swap childcare and time with your friends? Playdates are great for the children; how about leaving the kids whilst you work then return the favour? I love grabbing a cuppa of tea and a catch up with my friends but over the summer I could use that time to get some work done.
5. Play Barns
Wi-Fi, coffee and soft-play; the kids play whilst you work. Granted, this won’t work too well if your little ones need more supervision. If soft-play with the children is more about keeping hold of the shoes and providing cold drinks, then this is a great option.
6. Bring the child to work
Not for every day and not for everyone; but could the kids come with you? Colouring books and a little time on their learning apps could keep them entertained.
7. Summer Schedule
If you are in control of your working hours (so you are judged but output, not hours worked or you are THE BOSS) can you create a summer schedule around the childcare you have. This could be shifting your working day to a shorter week or a few evening slots.
8. Front load your work
What can you do in advance? What can wait until September when the kids are back at school? What can be automated and “tick over” whilst you are away or not as available? Draw up a list and do some planning over the next few weeks.
9. Be location savvy
Save time and work close to your childcare setting. If your little one is in a crèche, activity day care or play date with a friend, is there a local café or workspace where you can do some work? See if you have a “Jelly” near-by.
10. Use Technology
If your work day is shorter or your need to squeeze more in, then take advantage of technology. Meetings can take place via video conferencing or phone so you can work from wherever you are!
Treat this like a work-life balance tapas; choose what works for you! Join The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox and share your summer holiday childcare tips.
Want these articles straight in your inbox? Sign up here. Next week, will be part two of my summer tips; How to stay productive over the summer holidays!