Wednesday 18 October 2017

School's out and it's no holiday for mum and dad

Sarah Caden

Over the last few years in Canada, they have been rolling out all-year schooling, thus shedding the traditional months-long school summer holiday that most Irish kids still enjoy. If you're a working parent with children of school-going age, that news makes your heart lift, right? Lift with hope, before it's brought back to Earth with a pang of guilt.

For most primary school Irish children, the summer started last Friday. Which means that for most working Irish parents, a certain conversation has been running for weeks now. Running with other parents: "What are you doing with them? What camps are they doing? How are you going to manage?" And running internally: "How am I going to manage? Why can't the camps run until 5pm? Jesus, why aren't there any camps in August; not everyone has the time off/holiday home/an au pair?" And both conversations are followed, often, with the same thought: that this is no way to think about your children.

The problem is, though, that in a country where both parents have to work, those nine weeks off are incredibly difficult. And long. So while Canada points to research that says that two-month summer holidays lead to "learning loss", while the new, '45 days on, 15 days off' model does not, Irish parents might see it from a different point of view. Anything, they cry, to save them spending another panic-ridden evening researching suitable summer camps.

Please sign in or register with for free access to Opinions.

Sign In Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website

Don't Miss