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Vacation Care...
What do you do?


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#1 *Lib*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

I work full time, as does my husband. My sister and I work together, so one of us does drop off and one does pick up both during the school term, and during holidays.

As much as I'd love to take the school holidays off, I can't, so we rely on vacation care.

Its about $55 per day, and we get the 50% rebate. In total between us we have 3 kids.

The childcare center has been good, but lately the staff are complaining and leaving in drives so I would love an alternate idea. So what do you do?

Do you think a Nanny would be worth while? I thought of asking one of the daycare girls if they would be interested for $300 a child/week, but I guess they'll move on and get other jobs.

So help please!!!! I'd really like for them to get a chance to just hang on the school holidays, get up when they feel like it, just get some rest, but at the moment its just like a school term and the kids never seem to get a rest.

We tried the local PCYC, but they hated that. Some child lost it and the police had to be called after she started tearing at her sisters hair! ohmy.gif The children are terrified of going back there!

#2 Fr0g

Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:14 AM

Lib, we mix it up. A nanny would be good if you can find one just for hols.

When I don't have leave, I take a day off in the hols and become my own vacation care provider, in that I have a couple of kids over. I then have the favour returned on another day! I know some aren't comfortable asking, but I am and don't mind helping out/ bring helped out.

I also ask MIL to take the kids for one day.

I do use vac care for 2 days a week usually, based on activities the kids will enjoy (always excursion days).

DH also takes RDOs.

#3 MissingInAction

Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

Staff leaving in droves from a CC service can mean one of two things, in my experience.

1.  They're all unhappy as they're not being treated well or they know something the parents don't (eg: the service is shutting down soon or losing families in droves and cutting back their hours, etc)

OR

2.  Their boss is trying to get them to try something new (ie; get with the times) and they don't like it, they're stuck in their old ways and don't want to change... so they'll leave.

Or i suppose, 3:  Maybe they're all students (seeing as it's vac care) and now they're either going back to uni, or have just graduated and will be requiring FT work.

Edited by MiaMoo86, 21 January 2013 - 10:34 AM.


#4 *Lib*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

QUOTE (MiaMoo86 @ 21/01/2013, 10:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Staff leaving in droves from a CC service can mean one of two things, in my experience.

1.  They're all unhappy as they're not being treated well or they know something the parents don't (eg: the service is shutting down soon or losing families in droves and cutting back their hours, etc)

They have a new director, she's pretty strict on them I think. They really don't like her. The kids don't' seem affected by it, but I still would rather they get some down time instead of being rushed around on the holidays.

Unfortunately the nature of my job requires continuity so I can't just take a regular Monday off, or that would be perfect.

#5 Bob-the-skull

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:18 AM

i use vacation care... i have no choice.

thankfully as a single parent i am on a high CCR so for the two boys it costs me about $10ish a day.

#6 IVL

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:22 AM

I am not sure what hours you will require but if it is fulltime $300 is really on the low side. We pay our nanny $26 per hour but she is qualified, we then pay super, tax, insurance etc on top of that. We have her around 50 hours per week at the moment. Even for an unqualifed casual arrangement the lowest I have seen advertised has been about $18 per hour, that is usually for up to 3 children.

There are always loads of babysitters/nannies advertising on the find a babysitter website that are often uni students looking for some pocket money during the holidays, you may be lucky enough to find one that will be available for the longer term.

Good grief, your childrens experience as their last last PYC care sounds horrible. I can understand why they and you would be so reluctant to attend another. I hope an appropriate complaint was made and followed up.

#7 kpingitquiet

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

I think I'd probably go the university student route. I did a lot of teacher-workday/summer-vacation babysitting when I was higher up in high school and I also remember most of my babysitters being 12th grade or uni students on breaks. I imagine you might be able to find one who is working on ECE at school.

#8 Jane Jetson

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

We mix it up, we have to - the school's Vacation Care provider offers a grand total of four days out of this long holiday. DD1 is doing all four. My PIL have been a godsend and taken DD1 for a couple of days a week, I've worked from home a couple of days a week with her "helping" me, and occasionally DH will take her to work where she can watch movies for the day (not ideal). We also take some time off during holidays where we can, as we feel it's important for kids to get to mooch around the house doing nothing much.

Re this:

QUOTE
2. Their boss is trying to get them to try something new (ie; get with the times) and they don't like it, they're stuck in their old ways and don't want to change... so they'll leave.


We very much found this with our LDC a few years ago, about eight months after DD1 started there. A whole lot of people left, and we were worried, but it turned out that higher standards were being put into place. It went from good to fantastic. The good people stayed, though a few did leave recently when the new standards came in (they were great carers who were older and who had been doing it for years, but didn't want to get qualified).

#9 *Lib*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

QUOTE (IVL @ 21/01/2013, 11:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am not sure what hours you will require but if it is fulltime $300 is really on the low side. We pay our nanny $26 per hour but she is qualified, we then pay super, tax, insurance etc on top of that. We have her around 50 hours per week at the moment. Even for an unqualifed casual arrangement the lowest I have seen advertised has been about $18 per hour, that is usually for up to 3 children.

There are always loads of babysitters/nannies advertising on the find a babysitter website that are often uni students looking for some pocket money during the holidays, you may be lucky enough to find one that will be available for the longer term.

Good grief, your childrens experience as their last last PYC care sounds horrible. I can understand why they and you would be so reluctant to attend another. I hope an appropriate complaint was made and followed up.


That would be $300 each, so $900 a week.

#10 *Lib*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE (Jane Jetson @ 21/01/2013, 11:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We very much found this with our LDC a few years ago, about eight months after DD1 started there. A whole lot of people left, and we were worried, but it turned out that higher standards were being put into place. It went from good to fantastic. The good people stayed, though a few did leave recently when the new standards came in (they were great carers who were older and who had been doing it for years, but didn't want to get qualified).

Thats what I was thinking!! They could do with a tidy up and some more experienced carers, so I dont see it as definitely a bad thing!

#11 JRA

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:39 AM

$900/week, plus super?. Is this only for the holidays?


IF only for the holidays, the daycare girls probably wont be interested as they probably need a full time job, not just holidays. A uni type student is more likely.

What hours are you expecting? 40hr week, so from 9-5?  Or do you need longer?  You are getting down to a cheap rate for a Nanny at that. Would you be doing super etc on top of that?

Good luck

#12 Julie3Girls

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

it's a hard juggle.
I only work part-time, so we only to manage care for a couple of days a week.

I do a combination of things ...
- annual leave day for me
- annual leave or RDO for my husband - he gets RDOs so he will often try and save up some for the school holiday period.
- grandparents .. thank god for grandparents!!
- juggling working hours - working fewer, longer days.

So far we have managed it, without needing to use vacation care. If I was full time working though, I think I would have to.

The nanny idea is great ... definitely a market there for it, maybe put up a notice asking for a uni student? Great way for a uni student to earn a bit of cash, even if it's only for part of the week?

In your position, you could also add your sister (and her husband?) into the mix - each of you taking a day a week of leave and having all of the kids. I know you said you can't manage a regular Monday off for example, but given the holiday dates are known, so plenty of notice, wouldn't you be able to arrange annual leave?
Even if between you, you only manage some of the days, it does mean a few days a home for the kids, and saves on vacation care.

I don't think some vacation care is a bad thing. It gets them up and doing things, most of the programs tend to be fun.

#13 MissingInAction

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Sorry, I kinda went off on my own tangent when I replied before and forgot to actually answer the question!
I would put an ad in the local uni notices (targeting the education students) for someone to care for your kids over the holidays.  Or the local TAFE if you dn't have a uni nearby.  


#14 JRA

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

and remember you wont, or are very unlikely to get CCR for a Nanny in the above circumstances

#15 *Lib*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

QUOTE (JRA @ 21/01/2013, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
$900/week, plus super?. Is this only for the holidays?


IF only for the holidays, the daycare girls probably wont be interested as they probably need a full time job, not just holidays. A uni type student is more likely.

What hours are you expecting? 40hr week, so from 9-5?  Or do you need longer?  You are getting down to a cheap rate for a Nanny at that. Would you be doing super etc on top of that?

Good luck


Probably 8-4 for 3 kids (7, 8 & 8) I did think the day care chicks would want more regular work than that, thats why I thought a Nanny?

QUOTE (Julie3Girls @ 21/01/2013, 11:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
it's a hard juggle.
I only work part-time, so we only to manage care for a couple of days a week.

I do a combination of things ...
- annual leave day for me
- annual leave or RDO for my husband - he gets RDOs so he will often try and save up some for the school holiday period.
- grandparents .. thank god for grandparents!!
- juggling working hours - working fewer, longer days.

So far we have managed it, without needing to use vacation care. If I was full time working though, I think I would have to.

The nanny idea is great ... definitely a market there for it, maybe put up a notice asking for a uni student? Great way for a uni student to earn a bit of cash, even if it's only for part of the week?

In your position, you could also add your sister (and her husband?) into the mix - each of you taking a day a week of leave and having all of the kids. I know you said you can't manage a regular Monday off for example, but given the holiday dates are known, so plenty of notice, wouldn't you be able to arrange annual leave?
Even if between you, you only manage some of the days, it does mean a few days a home for the kids, and saves on vacation care.

I don't think some vacation care is a bad thing. It gets them up and doing things, most of the programs tend to be fun.

Its not because I can't get the time off, its because of the business I am in, the clients I deal with need the continuity of dealing with the same person from woe to go.

I think vacation care is great, it just leaves them so exhausted by the end! This time they haven't been on nearly as many excursions, my sister and I had a week off each and kept them with us for the 2 weeks, so they've only been in for 6 of the 8 weeks, but they are just so drained sad.gif


#16 JRA

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

I can understand that about holiday program. I look at the program for our school and wonder "but surely they kids need a break".

I would try uni/tafe, given your further clarification. Often a Nanny is wanting something more permanent.

Are there any uni students at your sporting club that you could approach.

#17 fooiesmum

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

I have 1 DD - she loves dancing, and her dance school have a week long holiday program each holidays, it's started today & is 09:00 > 15:00 for 5 days, maybe if your little ones are into a sport there are similar camps available?

With your sister & you together, is it possible for one to start early and collect the kids and the other to finish late and have them in the morning and try and do something little each day? Early morning swim, then into the office by 10:00 etc?

One of the teachers at dance school child minds, she has her cert 4, first aid cert etc - she's keen for work whilst the school has been closed over the holidays so she's had my DD on a Wednesday - from 09:00 > 17:00, they go out and do things together and I've been working from home.  

State sport & rec will have camps etc - does that help at all???? original.gif

#18 Banana Pancakes

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

$900 a week is probably similar to what many employees would get in a centre as a untrained person so I think many people would jump at the opportunity. Especially seeing its a ratio to 1:3 children not 1:15.

I found a great babysitter via gumtree. I thoroughly checked out her references and her first aid and she has been wonderful. The kids adore her and she has proven to be very reliable.

In your situation I would aim to get a babysitter 3 days a week and then 2 days at vacation care just to break the week up a bit.

#19 Julie3Girls

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

QUOTE
Its not because I can't get the time off, its because of the business I am in, the clients I deal with need the continuity of dealing with the same person from woe to go.

I think vacation care is great, it just leaves them so exhausted by the end! This time they haven't been on nearly as many excursions, my sister and I had a week off each and kept them with us for the 2 weeks, so they've only been in for 6 of the 8 weeks, but they are just so drained

Maybe rather than taking a whole week in one go, you could arrange to take just the one day during the week. Not sure what sort of business you are in, but surely your clients should be able to cope with you having an individual day off?  Then your sister does the same.
And make sure you include your husbands in this as well - you said you and your sister both took a week off to look after the kids - did the dad's take time off?

Anyway, so instead of 5 days in one week, you take one day a week over the 5 weeks. And it breaks up the week for the kids. They are still going to vacation care, but not that solid every day of the week.  Breaks up the routine, makes it more relaxed.

Listen to parents who have their kids at home full time during the holidays, and you usually hear them trying to work out what to do to entertain the kids - I know I will have a couple of days at home, and then we'll go out and do something to get them busy and active and stop them from being bored at home.

#20 *Lib*

Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

QUOTE (Julie3Girls @ 21/01/2013, 12:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe rather than taking a whole week in one go, you could arrange to take just the one day during the week. Not sure what sort of business you are in, but surely your clients should be able to cope with you having an individual day off? ?

I'm a funeral director, so we like to offer the continuity, so that the families that we are dealing with don't need to swap staff, they deal with the same person for the duration.

Thank you for all of the suggestions, its certainly food for thought! I will do some searching of camps and activities for the next holidays and see how we go! Thanks!

#21 Queen Yoda

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

QUOTE (Banana Pancakes @ 21/01/2013, 11:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In your situation I would aim to get a babysitter 3 days a week and then 2 days at vacation care just to break the week up a bit.

I think this is a great suggestion for your circumstances *Lib* and something worth investigating.

First time I have used vacation care this month and I have been very pleasantly surprised.  Each week, there is one day where there is an excursion for all kids, one day where there is an excursion for a subgroup of kids (eg. today is Kinder-Y2 kids going to a movie, other kids stay behind - I think they are planning a treasure hunt for tomorrow), a "chill out day" and an "active day".  DD1 loves it!

#22 libbylu

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

I mix it up too.  A couple of days in the school holiday program, a couple of day swaps with friends, a couple of days with grandma and a couple of days at home with either DH or myself, and then we have it covered.

If yourself, you sister, her husband and your husband each took just one day off each during each school holidays then you would have four days covered.  Then you could hire a nanny for two days per week or something.




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