‘63% of working mums lack sufficient summer holiday childcare’

A new survey finds 63% of working mums with primary school-aged children are worried about childcare over the summer.

Summer Holiday Childcare


Nearly two-thirds of working mums – and 76% of single mums – with primary school age children do not have sufficient childcare for the six-week school summer holidays, according to a new survey which highlights the Summer holiday childcare challenge that many parents face.

The survey by the TUC and campaigner Mother Pukka is based on responses from 36,000 mums and was conducted from late June. Sixty per cent of mums said they would find managing childcare in the holidays more difficult this year than previously.

Of those who said they would find summer childcare more difficult this year:

  • Nearly one in five (18%) said they had used all their annual leave allowance already to accommodate home schooling during previous lockdowns.
  • One in five (20%) do not have their usual network of friends or family that they can rely on to help with their childcare this year.
  • Around one in eight (13%) told the TUC they don’t have access to their usual school holiday summer clubs.

Mums told the TUC they are juggling a variety of means to try and manage their childcare during the school holiday – and many are relying on being able to work more flexibly than before to help them cope:

  • Nearly half (48%) of mums said they were managing caring responsibilities through some form of flexible working.
  • Around two in five (39%) will have to combine working from home with childcare.
  • More than one in four (27%) will work more flexibly than normal.
  • One in eight (13%) will have to reduce their hours at work.
  • One in eight (13%) will have to take unpaid leave.

The TUC is calling on the government to invest more in childcare, introduce a legal right to flexible working from day one with a duty to include available flexibility in job adverts and introduce 10 days’ carer’s leave paid on full pay, from day one in a job, for all parents.

The survey has been criticised by dad campaigners who say that framing childcare as a women’s issue rather than a broader parenting issues contributes to it being sidelined.

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