Our annual holiday childcare survey monitors cost and availability of childcare during school holidays across Britain. The 2014 report also included our joint survey with Netmums of parents’ experiences of holiday childcare. The key findings are:
- Holiday childcare is 1.7% more expensive than it was last year and the average holiday club now costs £114.51 per week.
- 35% of parents found it difficult to find holiday childcare they could afford: 25% of parents had been forced to cut their hours, 17% said they had taken days off sick and 12% of parents had given up a job.
- This loses the UK economy nearly a million working days – and £100 million – every year.
- Only 27% of English local authorities and 6% of Welsh local authorities had enough holiday childcare for working parents. The situation is even more acute for parents with school aged children, in rural areas and disabled children.
The Family and Childcare Trust wants all parties to commit to an independent review of childcare funding and a new long term childcare strategy that delivers the childcare that children, parent and providers need. In the short term, we recommend that:
- The Government should make sure all parents benefit from family friendly work through a campaign for parents on their rights and entitlements at work.
- Where there is insufficient holiday childcare, central government should help local authorities fill these gaps and work with parents hold them to account if they fail to do so.
- The Department for Education should work with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Home Office to ensure sufficient activities and childcare for older children.
- Local authorities and the Education Funding Agency should work with schools to make sure school premises and facilities are used to provide childcare and activities over holiday periods.
Holiday childcare 2014 infographic - comparing holiday childcare costs across Britain
Every year the Family and Childcare Trust collects statistics about childcare costs and availability in Britain.
Our data – collected from local authority Family Information Services – makes it possible to monitor changes in childcare costs and supply from year to year.
All our reports are widely used by policymakers and academics in all parts of the UK and beyond. For further information about the surveys please contact Jill Rutter,Head of Policy and Research.
Annual Holiday Childcare Costs Survey series