I’ve got so much money sitting around, I think I’ll hire a private nanny for the whole summer to fly kites in the park with my kids while I saunter off to work, totally care-free. Said no one. Ever (except Mr. and Mrs. Banks, and I'm pretty sure Mary Poppins didn't get paid).
Check out our Instagram Stories all Summer to see how we manage the work/life/love balance @thebshirt
When school is out, the kids are home and if you need to work it means one thing - it’s going to cost you. If you haven't got Mary Poppins at your disposal how do you manage to hold onto your precious cash and make sure your kids are having fun? How on earth are you meant to do that without remortgaging? Well, it’s not easy but it can be done. Here at the Bshirt our staff rarely have to pay for childcare. That’s partly down to our flexible working policy but also partly down to some pretty nifty childcare hacks, which we will share with you now.
The Bshirt’s Free Childcare Hacks
Swaps. If you have one 1 weekday off a week consider a childcare swap day with a friend. So you have her kids and yours one day (while she is working) and then she has her kids and yours another day (while you are working). This means your kids have playmates (eureka!) and you each have a day’s free childcare sorted each week.
Work a 5-9 rather than a 9-5 If your job isn’t dependant on being in a certain place at a certain time then consider asking to get your hours done outside of the traditional 9-5. So this means than when your partner is with the kids you hand over and go to work. This works really well for office jobs. Emails and reports can be done at anytime and you might not even need to go into the office every day. This will require line manager approval but it’s totally in keeping with modern attitudes towards flexible-working.
Annual Leave Tag Team. If you and your partner can each keep 2 weeks annual leave reserved for the summer you have potentially got 4 weeks of childcare covered. The downside is it doesn’t leave much room for family time. So if that’s a bridge too far then consider 1 week per parent on their own and 1 week holidaying together. That still gives you 3 weeks of cover and you get that all important family holiday.
Grandparents. If you’re lucky enough to live by your in-laws then ask them to have your kids for as much time as they can handle. That might only be once a week. If they live far away, or aren’t retired, consider asking them to take a week’s annual leave and have your kids for a whole week - camp grandma rocks!
Working from home. If your kids are older and can make their own snacks (this is key) then you should be fine to work from home and be available to your kids too.
Bring the kids to the office. If you’re work space is chilled (like ours is) and you need to pop into the office for a couple of hours, then bring the kids along with their tablets or colouring books. You won’t be able to get a whole day’s work done but you should be able to deal with that ‘1 pressing matter’ before you pop the kids into the car and head off to the beach.
If you’ve exhausted that whole list then you will need to pay for one of these:
£ Babysitters. Know any teenagers who haven’t bagged a summer job? Got neighbours with older kids? If you’re kids are happy to be with a sitter in the day this can be a cost effective and fun option.
££ Holiday Clubs. These can be booked at the last minute if you find yourself in a pinch. There will be loads of other kids to play with and a full day of activities.
£££ Nanny Share. One nanny, twice the kids! Some nannies will be willing to work for two families (depending on how many kids you each have) so this is a good option if you need regular childcare for the whole summer.
£££ Camp. Sleep away camp is one of those priceless childhood experiences. Think of it as a vacation for your kids (and a vacation from your kids) and the price tag will seem like a bargain.
Good luck working mums and dads! It's a juggle (and can often be a struggle). We hope these tips and tricks can help to make it a little bit easier for you.