A workingmums.co.uk poll shows parents are in favour of emergency childcare.
The majority of mums would use emergency childcare – where an employer helps with back-up care in an emergency such as illness – if it was available, according to a workingmums.co.uk poll.
The poll found 54% would use emergency childcare, 22% would not and 24% said they were unsure.
One of those who was not sure said: “I wouldn’t want to leave my children with ‘random’ childcare facilities.”
This concern about not having regular contact with the childcare provider was echoed by a mum who said she would not be happy to use emergency childcare. She said: “My daughter would struggle with someone unknown and I therefore would feel uneasy about it.”
A growing number of employers provide emergency childcare through organisations like My Family Care and individual parents can also access emergency nannies through providers like Tinies or emergency nursery care via providers like Bright Horizons.
My Family Care, for instance, operates a network of DBS/PVG-checked nannies and childminders and has places at Ofsted-registered nurseries and holiday clubs. It says it can arrange backup childcare, across the UK, with as little as 30 minutes’ notice for nurseries and childminders and two hours’ notice for nannies. It operates from 7.30am in the morning onwards five days a week.
Employers pay a per parent membership fee for MFC to provide emergency access to childcare. Although parents pay for the childcare, My Family Care encourages employers to treat it as a claimable expense. Over a million parents are currently registered.
For employers, My Family Care says the provision of emergency childcare provides a range of benefits, including reducing absence. They cite figures showing over 90% of working parents suffer multiple childcare breakdowns in any given year and say the average working parent in the UK suffers nine episodes of last minute childcare problems a year.
For those who are worried about continuity of care and who might look after their children, there is the possibility of saving ‘favourites’ if you use the service on several occasions and of meeting up with potential providers beforehand.