Organizing Around Your Child’s Vacation Schedule

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Many working parents have come to dislike when their child stays home from school because of school vacations and holidays. On most of these days, parents will still be required to work while the child stays home. Because of the holidays, some sitters will not be available to take care of your child. Understanding how to organize your schedule along with your child’s schedule can help you in the long run.

Planning ahead is essential and can help you avoid frustrating situations. Have your child bring you extra copies of his or her school schedule or check the school website, and keep it visible at all times (i.e. on your fridge or near your work desk). This alone can help you to plan accordingly and allow you to either take a vacation with your child or seek the help of a sitter for those specific days and times your child will be home alone.

Since it can be difficult to get the same exact vacation time as your child, more planning will often be needed. Perhaps you can have family members spend some time with your child, at your house or theirs. Spending time with other members of your family is often beneficial for your child and family tends to be more reliable in providing care. If your child is older you have the option to provide indirect supervision. Indirect supervision means providing a safe environment with a schedule of activities to do, like checking in with you or another adult. This option should only be considered for mature preteens and teens, and is never the preferred alternative.

If you or your spouse have some flexibility in your work schedule, you may try and work out a plan where Mom is home in the morning and Dad is home in the afternoon (or vice versa). This way, at least one parent is home at all times.

If you cannot take time off work, there is the option of hiring a student from high school or college to help out. Some schools offer job-placement services for students looking for work during the holidays. Always make sure to check references before hiring someone to make sure they are the right fit for your child. For longer vacations, especially during summer months, you can search for nearby camps your child can attend while you are at work. There they can build relationships and improve their social skills. For shorter holidays, check out local special holiday programs for children.

For some parents with younger children, it tends to be difficult to leave your child in the care of others. Another possible option could be to work from home. While this would be ideal, this option is not always available. Check in with your employer or HR department to see if you can do any work from home.