Some 40% of working mums say they have to deal with last minute childcare problems regularly, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
The survey of 114 working mums found 33% said they had not suffered any childcare nightmares and had very comprehensive cover. Twenty-six per cent had occasionally had problems, for instance, having to change provider.
One woman said her childcare provider was closed by Ofsted and she had to find another one quickly. Another said that when she moved she had to book a nursery place and pay a deposit, relying on an Ofsted rating. She said it was “totally misleading” and her first settling-in session and meeting with the owners left her “horrified”. “I had a panic to find a new nursery and lost the whole deposit (£600+). At least my tot is happy now in a good nursery that exceeds its Ofsted rating in every respect,” she says.
Another mum said her childcare provider was charging different prices for different families and staff were leaving. “One parent was not charged any fees during the holidays, yet others were,” she says, adding that she eventually took her children out of the nursery.
Having a supportive employer made life much easier, said mums. One said: “I am fortunate that I have always had flexible and supportive bosses as inevitably there will be occasions when either the child is ill/ mum is ill or other unexpected thing comes up…It is really difficult, but does not get any easier as children get older, especially with all the cuts to services. Sadly it's the most vulnerable children who will suffer.”
Another echoed her sentiments, saying simply “childcare for children with mild illnesses is a nightmare”.