Shared Child Care over the summer holidays
The school summer holidays can strike fear into the heart of any working parent. 6 long weeks with no school or childcare can be a juggling act between parents at the best of times, but for separated parents it can be even harder. The added expense of holiday clubs and other activities can really put a strain on the finances too. So how do separated parents cope with the situation? Here are some examples of how some parents have made arrangements this summer…
Couple One: Separated with 3 children aged 11, 9 and 4. Both parents work full time. They have a 50/50 shared care routine for the children.
Each parent took 2 weeks off work each at different times so 4 weeks was covered straight away. The final 2 weeks was covered by a mixture of the following help: Holiday club through the school, Grandparents, Neighbours and Friends. Luckily this couple still communicate well about the children and have been prepared to swap days with each other to help out when necessary.
It does illustrate how important it is for parents to have a support network through friends and family for childcare cover. Without that free help, this couple would have struggled to pay for holiday club for all 3 children for the 2 weeks. The total cost of that would have been £750 which is a crippling amount.
Couple two: Separated with 2 children aged 12 and 10. Both Parents work full time. The Dad usually only sees the kids every other weekend.
The Dad took 10 days off work and took the children away on holiday. The Mum managed to take a week off work which meant she had just under 4 weeks to cover. She was able to work from home for most of that time and had help from family and friends to muddle through. She sent both kids on an activity holiday for the final week at great expense but felt it was the only way to cover the time without the kids going crazy with boredom whilst she tried to work from home.
Fortunately there are many kids clubs, activities, camps and holidays that run through the summer to help parents to continue working. And again this Mother would have struggled without the help of family and friends.
How can mediation help?
Care of the children is sometimes a big issue that needs resolving after couples separate. If the relationship between the parents is strained or communication is poor then it can be very difficult to find middle ground where both parents feel the arrangements are fair. This is where mediation can be very useful to resolve issues on neutral territory with the experienced ear and guidance of a mediator who will help the couple to reach agreement in an impartial way.
If you would like to find out more about our mediation services and how we may be able to help you to resolve issues with an ex-partner about childcare please phone Frances now on 0117 924 3880.