Holiday childcare costs have risen by four per cent in Wales since last summer, bringing the average parents now pay for one week of holiday childcare to £125.
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 Wales are lower than the British average of £133 per week.
And shortcomings in financial support can 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 Wales are only half the picture as many parents may struggle to find childcare: only one in five local areas have enough holiday childcare for parents working full time. Although this is a significant improvement since last year when only one in ten local areas had enough holiday childcare, there are bigger gaps for disabled childcare, 12 to 14 year olds and children in rural areas.
Ellen Broomé, Chief Executive at the Family and Childcare Trust, said:
“Now is the time to urgently address childcare policy for school age children. 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. This price rise is another blow for families already struggling to find and afford childcare over the long school holidays.
“The Welsh and UK Government need to work together to make sure that every family in Wales 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editor
- Full regional breakdown of costs and change since 2017 (weighted):
- Sufficiency for Wales, 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.