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Parents Panel: What do you do for childcare while the kids are off school?

Summer camps, saving up overtime and extra hours for the childminder – here’s how our panel manage the holidays.
Jul 24th 2018, 5:36 PM 2,003 0

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AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

There’s still five weeks to go until September – and annual leave from work or endless summer camps will only get you so far when it comes to keeping the kids entertained (and looked after). This week, we asked our panel what they do for childcare during the summer months.

How do you manage childcare while the kids are off school?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly Source:

We give them a plan to get them through the day: Both of us work so this is a real challenge for us. I work from home but it does not mean I can mind the kids as I’m usually extremely busy. Now that the kids are older, they are able to mind themselves unsupervised without wrecking the place, or themselves. We would usually give them a plan for the morning, some TV, reading, playing, etc and my wife gets home about lunchtime.

- Alan Dooley

We’ve packed in the summer camps: Both of my children are minded at home, so not too much change, but my four year old did a gymnastics camp for a week and a swimming camp for a week also to break up the summer a little.

- Denise

I’m at home with them, and they keep me on my toes: Summer is definitely a more laid-back routine: morning lie-ins, casual breakfasts, no 7am alarms, no packed lunches to make and no school runs. But the constant request for food has me on my feet a lot! Also, we go somewhere at least every other day for a change of scenery/sanity, even if only to the shops.

- Ross Boxshall

image2 The Boxshall crew on a beach adventure. Source: Ross Boxshall

She’s at creche all day: Myself and my husband work full-time and our one-year-old Clíodhna goes to creche. Luckily, she loves being there and the creche make the most of the warmer months with loads of outdoor time – and even the odd ice cream!

- Ríona Flood

He’s at creche or home with me: I work three days a week so with preschool off, my son is home from creche with me for two days a week. We have loads planned, with day trips and “forest adventures”. This year we are also taking three weeks off for a trip to France- the longest time that we have all spent together since he was born!

- Olly Keegan

I used to save every day of overtime for the summer: I’m a stay-at-home-mam so the only thing that really changes for me is the bedtime routines. Back when I was working I used to save as many days as as possible (all my holiday days, bank holidays, overtime) so I could use the days during the summer. Thank god I had an understanding boss.

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- Denise Cumiskey

shutterstock_654940504 Source: Shutterstock/David Tadevosian

Now that they’re older, we can leave them at home: My kids are older so we are at the point where they can be left at home for short periods. When Karen or I need to reclaim our sanity, or just need a bit of peace and quiet we can always head out, to the gym or for a walk, for an hour or so.

- Ken Hyland

They’re around all day, but I really don’t mind: I’m a stay-at-home mum and the kids are homeschooled so there’s not really much of a change for our family. Summer holidays and the rest of the year are pretty much the same. The girls have some projects they are working on and the boys don’t notice any change to their routine at all. I don’t mind having them around all day because that’s just how we operate all year round.

- Susannah O Brien

Help! Am I being unreasonable? We’re looking for parenting dilemmas from our readers for our Am I Being A Bad Parent? feature. Drop us a line with your reader dilemma on

Plus, we’re have a two-night family break at Fota Island Resort to give away to one lucky Family Magazine reader. Enter here!

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