For most working parents with the average 4 weeks of annual leave, there is a significant shortfall in time available to care for the kids during the holidays. It’s often referred to as ‘juggling work and caring responsibilities’; but a more accurate description is mission impossible.
And it’s a mission impossible that sees many chose (or feel forced) to instead drop out of the workforce.
Many families rely on school care and vacation care arrangements to plug the gap of 10-15 weeks of school holidays with only 4 weeks leave.
Children over the age of 12 are not eligible for these care arrangements. At age 12 (usually around Year 7 and older) many are unsupervised either at home or elsewhere, according to 2012 data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.