Are our childhood summers seen through rose-tinted glasses?

We’ve been reminiscing in the office, about what we used to do when we were younger, in our school summer holidays, and how times have changed. 

Many of our parents worked, so a lot of us used to go out with our friends or cousins on our bikes for the day. Some of us in the office used to go sightseeing, to the zoo or beach with our friends parents'. Some of the lucky ones would go and stay over with their Grandparents for a few days, where they would be spoilt rotten – those were the days.

As an adult, things appear to be very different and less fluffy. The pressures of work and the lifestyles we lead are a lot busier. Immediate family is often more spread out and not practical for informal childcare arrangements. Often parents stagger their annual leave and take it in turns to take time off to cover their childcare needs. However, there is now a network of holiday clubs and playscheme providers, as well as activity holiday companies, who can all help fill any childcare gaps over the 14 weeks of school holidays. But it doesn't necessarily come cheap.

How to find childcare over the school holidays…

  › Childcare is provided by private organisations, schools or local authorities. It’s worth asking at your child’s school about extended services available during the holidays, or visit your local authority’s website.  

  › Take a look at www.childcare.co.uk, www.netmums.com or www.mumsnet.com and search for childcare in your area.

  › Computershare works with a selection of activity holiday providers to offer a range of discounts – take a look at our website for further information. 

  › Log in to your Computershare account and search by carer name, carer ID or postcode to see which carers are nearest to you and registered with CVS. If you already have a carer in mind, but they’re not registered with Computershare, they can be added for free.

  › Did you know you can use your childcare vouchers to pay for holiday childcare? The most common providers include: 
    o Holiday clubs and playschemes (often part of the governments’ extended schools agenda)
    o Residential activity holiday and day camp providers
    o Childminders

Here are some tips on using your childcare vouchers for holiday cover…

We hope you have a great summer with your children, whatever you get up to!