Summer in the City

The summer school holidays in most countries are halfway over. Does this mean parents are breathing a sigh of relief? Does it mean the complicated logistics of organising the holiday daytime care and activities are almost over, as the new school term approaches?

More and more people are living in cities. The classic group of young graduates are still flocking into the capitals and big urban areas with the hope of finding a job. However, the latest statistics show, that for the first time since the 1920s, cities are growing again, as due to financial and economic constraints young couples, who have now expanded their families are stuck in the city, no longer able to afford the larger family home in the suburbs. This also means that children are now mostly spending their summer holidays in the city too.

Long gone are too the nostalgic scenes of children spending all summer holiday at grannie’s house with chafed knees, dirty fingernails and knotty hair, smelling of straw and sunshine, working up an appetite running around outdoors from sunrise till sunset.

As grandparents are also still in work, families are yet again juggling their work commitments with trying to organise meaningful summer daytime activities for their children, through nannies, day-camps, holiday camps, scout camps, and sharing the holidays between family members.

With an average of 10-12 weeks of school holidays, and 3-5 weeks of paid leave of the parents, there is a gaping hole of at least 5 weeks of the children’s summer holiday to be organised. And paid for. And this can make summers very expensive.

COFACE is organising an event on the 9th October about what regional and local authorities can do to facilitate the lives of families. Would this be a potential topic to be discussed? Let us know!

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