As families gear up for the school summer holidays, Coram Family and Childcare’s 18th annual Holiday Childcare Survey published today reveals significant gaps in the availability of holiday childcare in England, with drops across all categories of provision over the last year.*
The survey finds that under a quarter (24%) of local authorities have enough holiday childcare for parents working full-time, a decrease of 2% on 2022, and 23% have enough for children aged 8-11, a 7% decrease on last year. Availability of holiday childcare for disabled children has also continued to fall, with just 5% of local authorities reporting they have enough to meet local demand, down from 7% in 2022.**
Today’s survey also finds that, amidst ongoing cost of living pressures, the cost of holiday childcare across Great Britain has continued to rise, with a 3% increase since 2022. A place at a holiday club now costs an average of £157 per week, which is 2.3 times higher than what parents pay for an after-school club during term time. This means that families face costs of £943 for six weeks of holiday childcare for each school age child - £538 more than they would pay for six weeks of after-school childcare during term time.
There are significant differences in the cost and availability of holiday childcare depending on where families live, with parents in inner London paying up to 25% more for places than those in the East of England (£177 per week compared to £142). There are also huge price differences within the same area, for example in the East Midlands, where some holiday childcare places cost 104% more than the national average, while others are 58% less.
In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced £289m funding to support the development and extension of wraparound childcare. However, this will only focus on term time childcare, rather than the year-round childcare that most working parents need. Coram Family and Childcare is calling for this funding to be increased and extended to support childcare during school holidays, addressing the shortages and making a real difference for families.
The charity is also calling on the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments to:
- Increase support for Family Information Services to provide good quality holiday childcare information and broker access to local provision that meets families’ needs
- Expand provision of school holiday activity and food programmes running in each nation to improve access to affordable, high quality childcare for all children who need it, prioritising children with SEND
- Improve the accessibility of holiday childcare for children with SEND through providing funding, training and support to holiday childcare providers, trialling different approaches through the school holiday activity and food programmes running in each nation
Megan Jarvie, Head of Coram Family and Childcare, said:
Notes to Editors
- For a copy of the full report, comment and case studies, please contact Emma Lamberton, Senior Communications Manager, Coram: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07908 827908
- *The survey asks local authorities to report on sufficiency of holiday childcare in the following categories: 4-7 year olds, 8-11 year olds, 12-14 year olds, disabled children, parents working full time, parents working atypical hours and children in rural areas. England has seen an overall decrease in sufficiency of holiday childcare across all categories – see the table below.
- The report is based on surveys from local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, which were returned to Coram Family and Childcare between April and June 2023. The report provides detail on the cost and availability of childcare in Britain for children aged 4-14 years during the 13 weeks of school holiday per year.
- The provision of childcare covered in the report includes holiday clubs registered with an official regulator (Ofsted in England, Care Inspectorate in Scotland, and Care Inspectorate Wales), managed by the PVI sector and those run by local authorities. The use of childminders, informal childcare (such as that provided by other parents or grandparents), or holiday camps (such as for football or drama) are excluded from the report.
About Coram Family and Childcare
Coram Family and Childcare works to make the UK a better place for families by bringing together what we learn from our on the ground parent-led programmes and our research to campaign for solutions that parents want and need. We focus on childcare and early years to make a difference to families’ lives now and in the long term. Before August 2018, we were known as the Family and Childcare Trust. For more information, please visit:
Coram is the UK’s oldest children’s charity, supporting children to have the best possible chance in life since 1739. We work as a group of specialist organisations helping more than a million children, young people, families and professionals every year.
We support children and young people from their earliest days to independence, creating a change that lasts a lifetime. We help build their confidence; we help them to develop skills; we uphold their rights, we support practitioners in the areas of fostering and adoption and we find loving adoptive families for the most vulnerable children.
We work in over 2,000 schools supporting nearly half a million children, run London’s largest Regional Adoption Agency and provide free legal advice for thousands of children and families who need it every year.
For more information, please visit:
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