The school holidays can be a fantastic time of the year for kids. There’s no chaotic morning rush as everyone tries to find their uniforms while packing lunch and books scattered about. Parents don’t need to worry about balancing a cup of coffee while signing that overdue excursion form and finding the car keys, before trying to beat the morning traffic to the office.
For working parents, however, the school holidays can present another set of complications. Many families have both parents working full-time, which creates a greater level of difficulty. How do you balance family time when you have to be in an office from 9 to 5? With children receiving around 13 weeks of school holidays per year and workplaces only offering four, there will inevitably be times when parents can’t be home to look after the kids during the school holidays. So, what can you do to manage those times to ensure your kids still receive attention and aren’t spending all their time in front of the TV?
Look into holiday programs
Holiday programs are a fun and convenient way for parents to get the kids out of the house, while still having them enrolled in worthwhile and educational activities. With everything from coding academies and science excursions to sports camps and musical programs, your city will offer a range of options. Parents who just need a day here and there can choose a single-day class, while those who need a bit more breathing room can choose camps that run for up to a week.
Enlist the help of family
For as long as there have been children, there have been grandparents. If you have family who live nearby and willing to help out, you can thank your lucky stars! Many grandparents will be happy to take the kids for the day and enjoy their company as they go about their normal activities. You may even be lucky enough to have grandparents who will amuse the kids by taking them to the movies, to the local pool, or out for an adventure.
Arrange Flex Time
You may be able to arrange flexible working times with your employer. For example, instead of working the standard 9 to 5, your employer may let you work from 7 to 3, allowing you to get home to your kids earlier. If both parents are able to arrange flex time, you can schedule your working days so that someone is always home to look after the kids. The downside of this is that you won’t be able to spend as much time together as a family.
Work from home
If you can arrange it, working remotely from home is even better. Some employers will let you work from home if your child is sick, while others are happy to organise a one-day-a-week work from home arrangement. If you some of your work can be done remotely, remaining in touch with your team through online chat and video calls, this might be a viable option for your household.
Leave for a working holiday
Possibly one of the best things you could do is to arrange a working holiday. Some employers are part of accommodation programs such as Punthill’s Corporate Travel Program. These programs let you travel for work while bringing the family with you. And while you’re attending meetings, the rest of the gang can enjoy free WiFi, splash about in the swimming pool and use the convenient public transports to head into the heart of some of Australia’s best cities.