Saturday 23 February 2019

Half of Irish mums take their children out of school to cash in on low cost holidays

The research found that Irish mothers feel that the summer puts financial pressure on their family.
The research found that Irish mothers feel that the summer puts financial pressure on their family.

Patricia Murphy

More than half of Irish mothers admit to taking their children out of school during term time to avoid paying high prices during peak holiday season.

Research has shown that 53pc of Irish mums remove their kids from school for family holidays abroad to save money but just over a quarter of them inform the school of their plans.

Only 27pc of mothers bring school material including books away with them on holiday to make up for the progress missed by their children away from the classroom.

The research, conducted by parenting website Mummypages.ie, also found that Irish mothers feel that the summer puts financial pressure on their family.

Three quarters of mothers fret about the high cost of summer time childcare, summer camps and increased family activities during the school holidays and 35pc of mothers feel that their kids have too much time off school.

Although the study found that almost half of mothers are relieved when their little ones go back to school after a break, 53pc of mothers feel guilty that they don’t spend enough time with their children while they’re off.

The majority of Irish mothers rely on relatives to watch the kids during the holidays with 45pc of women leaving their kids with a family member while they work. More than 30pc of Irish mums and dads take their annual leave during the summer to help cope with the children.

Laura Haugh a spokesperson for MummyPages.ie said: “Children in Ireland receive 69 days holidays in primary school and 85 days holidays from the annual school term curriculum in secondary schools.

"These figures do not include weekends or public holidays and can present great difficulties for working parents who need to organise childcare for these days. The average employee receives just 21 days annual leave so even if both working parents use up all of their entitlement to cover the school holiday, they will still fall short," she said.

“Irish schools have one of the highest amounts of term holidays in Europe. The State schools in England, Wales, Germany and Denmark give their students an average of six to seven weeks holidays. This is a much more manageable number for parents who work; it also allows both teachers and pupils to maintain good study habits and learning momentum.

"Many of our mums report that their secondary school children have completely forgotten how to study by the time they return to school in September," she said.

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