As a child the summer holidays seemed to stretch endlessly, excitingly ahead of you. School was out and the next month, if you were lucky, was full of lazy, hazy days spent with friends. But for parents, it can feel quite different. Pressure to find childcare, to keep children entertained, to live up to the ideal of parenthood exacerbated by social media, all add up to create what family activity app, Hoop have termed ‘FOSH’, or Fear of School Holidays.
The overall cost of the summer holidays is a significant factor when it comes to FOSH. It is estimated that parents will spend £7.7 billion in total to entertain their children this summer. As a result, more than three quarters of parents (76%) say that they can’t always afford the cost of activities for their children in the school holidays, while 16% admit to borrowing money to fund their summer fun.
Hoop’s research revealed that a quarter of parents of 5 to 16-year-olds, which equates to 2.7 million parents in the UK, dread the school summer holidays. This equates to more people than suffer from common fears such as flying, snakes, needles or confined spaces. The biggest struggles for parents include keeping the kids entertained (50%), balancing childcare with work (48%) and money concerns (66%).
In an attempt to save money, 58% of parents rely on family members or friends to help look after their kids, adding up to an average of nine days’ worth of childcare. What’s more, a savvy 59% of parents keep their eyes peeled for free activities.