When their father is injured in an accident, life changes for the Johnstone family. Unable to afford their home, they have to move to a small London flat. Carol can no longer go to ballet school and Tim is heartbroken as he must leave his beloved dog, Jelly, behind. Then, it seems, their wishes are granted: in an extraordinary twist of fate, Tim inherits a dilapidated country house, Caldicott Place, where the family - including Jelly - can live together. But the house is badly in need of repair and they have no money, so a solution is found - the family start to look after wealthy children in the school holidays. Although they dread the prospect of sharing their newly found home with rich spoiled children, perhaps friendships can be found in the unlikeliest places.