The Six Weeks Holidays and Childcare

Half term is over and before we know it the six week summer holiday will be upon us. Do you have plans? It’s usually the time for holidays and fun, but with things being so much more expensive during the school holidays many parents choose to have their holidays at other times of the year and carry on working during the school holidays leaving their children with family or carers.
Cotton Traders have done a survey into what happens during the six weeks of summer.

The majority of respondents (44.10%) said their children would be spending the most of their summer holidays at home with non/part time working parents and 24% said they would be at home with full time working parents on annual leave. 

The main reason for children spending the summer holidays with working or non-working parents is due to convenience (23%) and money (21%) sadly, only 20% said this was due to gaining family quality time.

This is a sign of our times. We tend to think of things in terms of monetary cost first, even though we might love spending time with our children, our first thoughts always tend to be…can we afford it?

The majority of respondents (43%) said they wouldn’t be budgeting for the summer holidays as they couldn’t afford to.

Again, a sign of our times. Of course you can’t take your children out of school to go on holiday when it’s cheaper, but it’s so expensive during the main holidays that many parents have no choice but not to holiday at all. Okay, holidays are not an essential part of life, but they are great for recharging the batteries, spending quality time with your family and creating lots of wonderful memories. (Most of my happy childhood memories are about our family camping trips!)

Of those parents taking annual leave to look after children, 28% said they were having to take separate holiday weeks to their partner.

This makes sense in terms of childcare costs, six weeks is a long time and many people cannot afford to take six weeks annual leave (I suppose this is where it comes in handy being a teacher?) so why not share the childcare with your partner with both having separate holidays and cutting the childcare costs?

According to the results, the average age that parents think a child that can be left unsupervised during the school holidays is 13 years old. (About year 9 at school)

I’d agree, but is it really advisable to leave  a 13 year old alone for many hours a day, several days a week. Some 13 year olds are more mature than others, but what about those that are not? 

more families will be taking holidays in the UK (35%) this year than abroad (34%) and of those 23% who said they wouldn’t be or weren’t sure whether they would be taking a family holiday this year, a whopping 66% said it was because it was too expensive.
Interestingly, 11% of respondents said they wouldn’t be taking a family holiday this year as it is too expensive.

Holidays are expensive. We went on one last year that I’d won in a competition, but even though the holiday was free, we still had to pay travel and we spent loads while there. There are cheaper alternatives to taking a break if you wish, you could invest in a caravan or tent, it’s a bit expense to start with but then your future holidays are cheaper. 
It’s a shame that holidays are so much more expensive in the summer, maybe now that there is so much less money around to be spent on holidays and with all the new laws about taking children out of school, the holiday companies could re-think their costing?

A massive 18% of children will be spending this summer with grandparents; massively outweighing those spending it with other relatives (7%) or in paid (3.5%) or free childcare (1%). Of those who will not be spending the summer with grandparents, the main reason was simply due to them not living close enough (21%)
On average, respondents identified that 1.5 weeks will be spent with grandparents or other relatives throughout the six week holidays.

Good old grandparents! It’s often a win win situation, the grandparents love having their kids around for a little while and it’s cheaper for the parents. Kids often love staying with grandparents too. Of course it’s handy having some willing aunts and uncles around too.

Interestingly, parents surveyed said the main benefit of children spending the summer with grandparents was to save money (21%) as opposed to the relationship (20%) or trust (15%) aspect.

Again, the main reason for everything has to be money!!

So what are your plans for the summer? Will you be going on holiday or sending the kids off to stay with the grandparents.

This year we will be doing neither as we wait for Star to recover from her operations. Maybe if she recovers soon enough we will be able to take a short break somewhere. 

If we are short of money we tend  to go for day trips instead of a main holiday, this means the kids get the chance to spend a day on the beach or somewhere else really nice and for a lot less cost. Of course you need to eliminate the relaxing part of a holiday if doing this, day trips are tiring!

If you want to tell the world about your amazing holiday and offer some useful tips, then send some of your best snaps to, and you’ll receive a 10% on line discount code for all Cotton Traders clothing. 

Having fun on the beach!

Survey results supplied by Cotton Traders.

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