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Over a quarter of parents say they have a childcare crisis once a week or more, according to a workingmums.co.uk poll.
The poll showed 28% of respondents say they have suffer a childcare crisis once a week or more. Some 22% have a crisis once a month or more; 26% every few months; 9% once a year or less; and 16% say they never have a childcare crisis.
Of those who have a crisis every week, one mum said: “I have no parents here and struggle to find someone to pick up from school that I can trust.”
Another simply replied that she is constantly struggling with childcare. Of those who had a childcare crisis less frequently, sickness was the main cause.
The poll shows how many parents are struggling just to get through the week because of inadequate childcare.
Analysis by the charity 4Children, released this week, shows the school holidays are a particular problem for many parents since the number of childcare providers which are not open during school holidays has risen by 13% since 2010.
A survey of parents by the Department for Education showed that for 60% the formal childcare they used did not operate during the school holidays.
4Children says the number of parents who say they would be very likely to use holiday childcare if it were available has risen by 37% since 2010.
One in five parents continue to find arranging holiday childcare difficult or very difficult, with no change reported since 2010.
The Family and Childcare Trust’s annual Childcare Survey shows after-school childcare is also a big problem for many parents, with a steep decline in the numbers of local authorities reporting enough after-school childcare.
In England just 9 per cent said they had enough, compared to 28 per cent in 2011.
Preschool childcare is also a problem. Despite childcare prices rising just above inflation throughout Britain for the first time in eight years, more councils reported gaps for free early education places for three and four year olds, according to the annual survey.
4Children says that without improvements in available childcare it will be hard for the Government to increase parents’ employment levels.