Figuring out what to do about childcare is difficult every summer. This year, with all that’s come with the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for childcare are trickier than ever. So, what are your options? There are still lots you can do, and each one comes with different benefits (and weaknesses), depending on your family’s needs.
Work From Home
Lately, a lot of parents have been working from home whilst their children are around so it won’t be a sudden change if you continue to over the summer. If this is a good option for you, but your employer wants you to go back, it’s completely acceptable to ask to continue working from home to keep an eye on the kids at the same time. Thankfully, schools won’t be sending out as much work for the children to do once the holidays begin. So, hopefully you can crack on with work without the stress of having to homeschool simultaneously. The pandemic has shown that working from home may be here to stay, so don’t be afraid to ask if you want or need to. It’s a more than reasonable request. And lastly? Pray for more nice weather!
Hire a Part-Time Nanny
If juggling work and looking after the kids just isn't an option, a part-time nanny could work out perfectly instead. Nannies are brilliant because they come straight to your house, so you don’t have to worry about dropping the children off anywhere. They can entertain, feed, play with and help the children with any homework until you've finished with work for the day. The best thing of all though? They’ll form a unique bond with your children. You’ll know they’re always in safe hands and having plenty of fun over the summer holidays, whether you need them for 10 hours a week or 40. There’s a good chance that once schools return, your nanny will be able to help with after school pick ups if needed too, so a nanny can be more than just a short-term fix. Unlike childminders, a nanny will have one-to-one care for your children, so they’re not mixing with other families, keeping your children in safe hands in a time when it’s more important than ever.
At Koru Kids, we offer a competitive nanny service for families across London, without any upfront fees.
Koru Kids has lots of nannies available for summer roles in your area
Like nannies, au pairs are a fantastic option too. Although, it looks like there aren’t as many available this year. Au pairs will look after your children during the day, and they also live with you, so your childcare comes with loads of flexibility and very little worry. Unfortunately, during this COVID-19 pandemic, lots of au pairs have gone back home to be with their own families. If you love the idea of an au pair but are finding it difficult to find one, a student nanny could be a great alternative instead.
We have lots of vetted and trained student nannies, local and ready to work for both short and long-term roles, check us out here.
Book onto a Summer Camp
Some summer camps may be open this year, but chances are the one you’re counting on has already cancelled or may do soon. Though if lockdown eases, and you are able to get your child onto a summer camp, this could be a great option for your family. Those that stay open and running are likely to move outdoors, so they’ll be perfect for getting the children some fresh air and burning off loads of energy. They involve all sorts of activities children may not usually get to try at school or clubs: archery, camping, swimming, cooking, and other outdoor activities. More importantly they’re hubs for children to make new friends to share these memories with. With travel overseas looking limited this year, they’ll be a luxury for the kids to appreciate this summer. For some wraparound care, a nanny would pair nicely alongside the camp, to pick the kids up, make dinner and look after them until you’re finished with work. They’ll also then be able to cover childcare for any remaining weeks and potentially into the school year if needed too.
If you’re looking for a nanny to help with wraparound care this summer, check out how Koru Kids can help here.
Share a Nanny
Nanny shares are growing in popularity, and the Government is now allowing them to continue. So, no need to panic if this was something you were originally relying on for summer childcare. A nanny share is as convenient as having a nanny, keeps your children socialised, and works out cheaper than having a sole nanny because the cost is shared. It works by two families living near one another sharing the same nanny so there’s tonnes of flexibility. Drop offs and pick ups can be from one house or the other, and the nanny can help with sole care if it’s ever needed too. The children still get lots of attention and can form close bonds, with the bonus of spending time with another family’s children for that extra added fun.
At Koru Kids we love nanny shares so much we even created a totally free Family Finder tool to help you find the perfect family to pair up with. We can also help you find a brilliant trained, vetted and local nanny to nanny share with here.
Unfortunately, it's not yet clear if relatives will be able to help with childcare this summer. Currently only those providing formal childcare are allowed in a family’s home which means relatives can’t ‘help out’. Even if government guidelines allow them to again, with the risk of COVID-19 still present, this might not be a choice for many families. If guidance does change and you’re lucky enough to have relatives nearby who are able to help though, then this could work out great for you. You have a lot of trust in family, they may be able to care for the children at your home or theirs, and they’re the cheapest option. If they're not available to help out for the whole summer, it might be worth thinking about using a part-time nanny for the days your relatives have other commitments. Or alternatively, use family as a back-up alongside a part-time nanny.
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