You are here: News Holiday childcare costs in Scotland hold steady – but still too high for many families


Holiday childcare costs have risen by one per cent in Scotland since last summer, bringing the average parents now pay for one week of holiday childcare to £124.

The Family and Childcare Trust’s 17th annual Holiday Childcare Survey finds that the summer holiday comes with an average price tag of almost £750 for six weeks of holiday childcare per child. Costs in Scotland are lower than the British average of £133 per week.

But despite flat lining prices, shortcomings in financial support still pile on the problems for families. Universal Credit helps low income families to pay for childcare, but it is often paid too late to help them manage the higher holiday costs. It is paid in arrears meaning that parents have to pay their holiday club bill before claiming back support, rather than getting the extra support when they actually need it.

High costs in Scotland are only half the picture: many parents may struggle to find childcare. Scottish local authorities are not required to monitor the availability of childcare in their areas, meaning that seven in ten local authorities do not know if there is enough holiday childcare available this summer for working parents. Only one in ten reported that there was enough childcare in their area for working parents.

Ellen Broomé, Chief Executive at the Family and Childcare Trust, said:

“For too many families, the long summer holiday is a time of stress and expense as they try to patch together a solution despite the gaps in availability and financial support. While parents will be relieved that costs are levelling off, they remain high and many will again struggle to find and pay for childcare.

“The Scottish and UK Government need to work together to make sure that every family in Scotland can find childcare they can afford over the long summer break.”

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Contact: Megan Jarvie, Head of Policy. Telephone: 0207 940 7528, mobile: 07538 334 772, email:

Notes to Editor

  • Full regional breakdown of costs and change since 2017 (weighted):
  • Sufficiency for Scotland, by proportion of local authority


  • Information was gathered from 95 per cent of local authorities in Britain between April and June 2018 through surveys and Freedom of Information requests. Full methodology can be found in the report.

About the Family and Childcare Trust

The Family and Childcare Trust 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.