Thursday, August 30, 2018

Summer holidays childcare options

8 weeks of summer holidays could be a headache for parents who work. In my case, we use a combination of solutions:

1. Taking time off and heading for vacation somewhere with the kids

A week vacationing in the Alps mountains. Hiking, swimming, sightseeing. We got a rental apartment with my CE with subsidized rate. Hubby was pushing us almost everyday to go hiking somewhere. The little ones walked better than me. Aelig was sicked almost the whole week, she got red eye and running nose. She had to wrap her nose every two seconds and that irritated the skin under her nose, which made her very uncomfortable. Even so, she continued walking with us. Awena enjoyed so much indoor swimming she urged us to bring her there everyday.

Another week in Provence. I had always wanted to go to Provence to see the famous lavender fields. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, the lavenders were already cut off where we stayed. It was Awena's round to get sick, she had sunburn and refused to go to the swimming pool as it was outdoor. Aelig on the other hand enjoyed the children club. She chose to stay with the club instead of heading out visiting the villages around with us. The rental was with hubby's CE, including three meals per day. Hassle free holidays indeed.

2. Working from home

My company allows working from home so I took advantage of it. The kids stayed with me for a week. The other week Aelig went for the summer camp and Awena stayed with me. When both were with me, I organized play date so that they got to have fun with their friends. They knew they shouldn't disturb me when I work. When Awena was with me without her sister, she played quietly beside and knew to not make noise when I was over the phone with someone.

3. Sending the kids to grandparents

We are lucky to have grandparents who are willing to take care of the kids. I entrusted them 100%. They eat and play well there. Went to the beaches 8 times. My MIL even had Aelig doing summer school exercises. They also got to visit some relatives, a real bonding time with the big family. Not forgetting, it also means parenting holidays for us! No kids for several weeks, it was heaven for me.

4. Going to work with the kid

When Aelig was in the summer camp, Awena went to work with hubby for a day. She was curious to see her dad's office. She went to have lunch with hubby and a coworker, and managed to take a nap in the office.

5. Summer camp

Aelig has participated in summer camps since 4 years old. She really enjoyed it, so we sent her to a different camp every year. They sleep in a tent, and was trained to participate in cooking. The Town Hall organizes an information session around March, and parents have to fight for a spot for those popular camps. One Saturday morning after the information session, hubby would be on his computer at 9am sharp, and fill the online form as quick as he could to secure a spot. Luckily, we always got what she wanted.

These were options we chose to make sure the kids have a fulfilling summer holidays. In the past, when we still had a babysitter, we paid her to take care of the kids. We also sent Aelig to leisure center. These options were quite expensive, we can't afford to do this the whole summer. Overall, its best to have family nearby who are willing to help. 

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