5 childcare options for the Christmas season
It’s that time of year again! The festive season is approaching, and whilst it is a season for celebration, relaxation and fun with family, it can also be a really demanding time of year. For working parents, the approach of Christmas might not be so much a cause for celebration than a cause for heightened stress and worry.
Your usual childcare options may be unavailable during the Christmas holidays. Nannies, au pairs and childminders often take annual leave around this time to visit their own families, and schools and nurseries close, especially as the big day looms closer.
So, if you’re deciphering a way to have your childcare needs taken care of over Christmas, look no further! Here are five childcare options for the Christmas season:
Seasonal clubs are often offered by schools and other organisations over the festive holidays. Children can enjoy seasonal activities and games to their heart’s content, all whilst spending valuable time with other children. These clubs are a great way for them to expend some of their excited energy and return to you a little bit calmer. You can rest assured that they are in a safe, organised place whilst you are freed up to work or prepare for Christmas.
You can find available clubs using the Government’s online portal (England and Wales only), or simply Google to see availability in your local area – you’ll need to book times in advance as places in these clubs tend to be snapped up fast! They will also usually incur a fee.
If you know other working parents who use a nanny, it might be worth considering sharing the available childcare between families. Your children get to spend time with other children and have a more relaxed schedule. If you share multiple nannies between multiple families, the nannies may be able to figure out a rota that allows them to have individual free time in between caring for the children.
If you have a nanny, it’s helpful to find out well in advance whether they will be taking Annual Leave over the Christmas period so that you can work around them. It’s then possible to hire in a temporary nanny. A temporary nanny can provide flexible cover over the festive season, allowing you more free time to work and get ready for the festivities. The further in advance you plan, the more time will be left for you to find a temporary nanny who is a great fit for you and your children.
Your local agency may offer temporary nannies - check out our agency directory to find nanny agencies near you.
If you have childcare in place that falls through at the last minute, don’t panic! It is easier than ever before to find emergency childcare that’s great quality and available at extremely short notice, meaning you won’t have to miss out on your social commitments. After all, it’s important you enjoy the festive season too! A range of backup childcare is available, from nannies through to nurseries, so you don’t have to cancel last-minute on that one Christmas party you promised you’d attend. You can rest assured that your children are well looked-after and enjoying their Christmas holidays.
Using sites like My Family Care, you can book all sorts of backup care with as little as 30 minutes notice.
If you discover that childcare options in your area are scarce, you may be able to team up with your friends. If you know other working parents with similar aged children, consider a co-op. Organise a rota between you, so that each have free time for Christmas preparations, with equal time spent caring for each other’s children. You’ll know that your children are safe and happy with familiar people, and spending time with other children.
Confused about all the types of childcare there are? Check out our helpful guide!