Your kids are probably already talking about March break; they can’t wait to be on vacation from school. You, on the other hand, might not be quite as excited. March break can be a stressful time for busy and working parents. Working parents usually don’t get as much vacation time from work as their kids get from school, so you may need some extra support. Since most kids are off at the same time, the sooner you make your child care arrangements for March break, the better. But what are your options?
Take time off
If you can swing it, working from home or taking the time off is a great way to take a break from your normal routine and make March break special for you and your kids. Visit the aquarium or catch a matinee of that new animated film – or just stay up past bedtime eating pancakes in your PJs. You can do fun activities, go on outings, and spend quality time together making memories. Since you’re already taking the time off work, it could be opportunity to plan a family vacation. This option may not be feasible for all parents, but perhaps you and your partner can split the time, each taking off half the week or alternating days.
Family and friends
If you’re lucky enough to have friends or relatives willing to help you out, you might as well take advantage. So you don’t feel guilty, offer to reciprocate playdates with a stay-at-home friend or neighbour by watching their kids on the weekend. You can also check if your kids’ grandparents are available. They’ll be thrilled to spend time with their grandkids, and might even let them stay the night. It can be difficult to depend on the kindness of others for a whole week, so make sure you have a solid plan B in case these arrangements fall through.
Hire a caregiver
For a dependable, convenient and personalized child care option, use BookJane to help you find a qualified child care provider in your area. The benefits? They’ll come right to your home and give your children their undivided attention. Plus, you only have to book them (and pay them) for the hours they’re needed, which works well if you don’t need child care full-time for the whole week. Having a babysitter at home is a fun break from your kids’ usual routine, and you get the peace of mind knowing your kids are in good hands while you’re at work. If your kids really hit it off with their Jane, you can use them to watch the kids on future date nights!
Child care centres
Many daycares, child care centres, and before-and-after school programs that you might already use regularly offer extended services to coincide with school holidays like March break. While this may seem like an obvious choice, getting ready and going to a child care centre feels a lot like the same old routine of going to school, not like a break for your kids. However, it is a fun, safe place your child can spend the day. Spots fill up fast and priority is usually given to parents who use their services year-round, so reserve your spot as soon as possible.
March break camps
Many community centres, YMCAs, museums, and after-school classes offer week-long programs during March break. They cool thing about these is they’re interest-based, with camps focused on everything from sports to science to art. This will be a similar routine for you, with packing a lunch and doing drop-off/pick-up, but it’s a blast for the kids, who’ll get to learn new skills in subjects that interest them, participate in awesome activities, and make new friends. Book your spot early; programs like these also fill up fast, and some can be quite pricey.