With as schools close for the long summer holidays, parents (and their employers) will be worried to read that Wales and the East of England have both reported that they do not have enough holiday childcare across all age groups and needs.
The Family and Childcare Trust’s 15th annual Holiday Childcare Survey shows that 88% of local authorities in England, 78% in Scotland and 100% in Wales report that they do not have enough holiday childcare to meet demand.
Chief executive Julia Margo said: “Once again British families face a summer holiday of high costs and limited choice when it comes to finding formal childcare.”
The 2016 survey, which can be found here, sets out a number of recommendations intended to ease the burden on parents across Britain, bringing together local authorities, schools and organisations to develop local strategies.
The Trust said that it wanted to make sure that local authorities produce accurate and timely online information listing holiday clubs and activities for parents.
At least five million children live in local authorities with insufficient holiday childcare although, for those parents who can find provision, the good news is that prices are finally falling.
Average prices have gone down across Britain by 1.9% since last year’s survey, with the price of one weeks’ holiday childcare now averaging £121.12. This goes against the trend of rising prices which, since 2010, has seen costs go up by 21.9%.
Julian Foster, Managing Director at Computershare, sponsors of the survey, said: “It’s vital that parents get the support they need to balance their work and family lives, and organisations too benefit when employees are not dealing with great pressures over childcare.”