Supporting you and your Family during the Summer Holidays

Image of field and sky

Working whilst taking care of family can be a daunting prospect and finding ways to keep children occupied during the summer holidays when your usual sources of support may not be available can present another challenge for busy parents.

These are extraordinary circumstances and whilst the expectation is that you continue to work your contracted number of hours as much as possible, you may need to take a flexible and pragmatic approach as to when you work your hours depending on your personal circumstances.

Do also make use of your annual leave and take breaks to have some time together as a family, it is important that we all take time out from work, especially given the pressures caused by the current situation.

Below we have collated some useful sources of information on activity ideas, childcare provision and support, both within the University and the Sheffield area, to help support you and your family during the summer holidays.


Local Resources

Sheffield Parenting What’s On Summer 2020

The Sheffield Parent Hub is continuing to offer support to parents on a range of issues. Support can be offered over the phone or via video chat and a number of the group programmes are being run over July and August via Zoom.

Find more information on available services and download a copy of the What’s On Guide here.

Sheffield Directory

The Sheffield Directory is an online portal for children and family services, events, activities and childcare in the Sheffield area.

A number of holiday schemes are planning to reopen for the summer with social distancing measures in place. Details of these schemes are listed in the directory here, please note that not all those listed are reopening so you may need to click through directly to their websites to find the most up to date information on their summer plans.

Summer Holiday Childcare Directory - Sheffield City Council have also collated a list of childcare providers who are open over the summer holidays during the pandemic.

Places to go around Sheffield

Let's Go with the Children is still operating and can help and support you with ideas and information to keep you safe and your children entertained this summer. Please check directly with venues before visiting.


Screenshot from Summer Activity Guide

Summer Activity Ideas

Summer Activity Programme

We have collated some activity ideas from colleagues to keep children busy over the summer holidays including story writing, creative baking and exciting experiments.

Please click on the image to the right to view the guide.

Emma from the People Development Team, has also shared her method for making balloon animals as part of the Summer Activity Guide:

Department for Education - My Activity Passport

My Activity Passport developed by the Department for Education is an editable activity checklist for children under 11. Although social distancing may mean some activities are not currently feasible, you can tailor the remaining activities to suit your child and their interests.

For additional activity ideas, the National Trust has a similar list of 50 things to do before you're 11¾.

Twinkl - Home Learning Hub

This Hub provides a new set of free, daily activities for every day of the week for children up to 16 that you can access and download whenever you need inspiration.

MoveMore Sheffield Healthy Holidays Active Challenge

MoveMore's 30 Day Active Challenge is designed so that families can stay active during the summer holiday period.

Download the 30 Active Days calendar here.


Two boys playing

Managing Children’s Wellbeing

  • Family Wellbeing Resources - these pages contain information and advice about keeping your family well during the Coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
  • Young Minds have lots of advice, tools and guidance for supporting your child through the Coronavirus pandemic, including a Parent to Parent Advice Guide and a parent helpline.
  • Action for Children have pulled together lots of practical advice on family life and homeschooling including tips for helping your family to cope emotionally with the pandemic and for dealing with parental guilt.


University Support

The Parents Network

The Parents Network is a support community for parents at our University.

Find out more information, including support and resources for parents and carers working from home and looking after children here.

Employers for Carers

In line with our commitment to provide support for staff who need to balance their working commitments and careers with caring responsibilities outside of work, our University recently became members of Employers for Carers, Carers UK's business forum.

More information is available here.

Staff Helpline - 0800 028 1947

The staff helpline and counselling service is provided by an independent external provider, Health Assured and is a means for all staff and their immediate families to access practical help, information, advice and support to address and resolve problems and issues they may be facing at home or at work.

The service is free, independent, confidential and available 24 hours a day.

More information is available here.