Parents feeling the pressure over summer childcare

With just over two weeks more to go of the summer holidays, a Koru Kids survey looks at the stress on parents who are trying to manage work and childcare.

crazy kids and stressed mum


Over half of parents think the stress of covering the summer holiday period has a negative impact on their career, according to a new poll timed to coincide with the weekend parents perceive to be peak holiday stress.

The poll by childcare service Koru Kids finds 57% of parents said the stress of finding childcare in the summer is having a negative impact on their career, with six in 10 (60%) saying that they always feel tired, nearly two in five (36%) feeling that they are constantly behind on their work and a third (28%), mainly mums, feeling that others are more likely to get promoted as a result of them being more productive.

Financial stress is another big stress factor with, on average, parents taking fie days of unpaid leave over the summer to cover the holiday period while more than half of parents (56%) have struggled to take the same time off work together over the summer holidays so that they can cover the six weeks. More than two in five families (47%) say they cannot go on a family holiday together over the summer.

The poll asked parents when was the most stressful point in the holidays, with most pointing to 20th August as peak stress day.

Rachel Carrell, Founder of Koru Kids comments, “There are 13 weeks of school holidays in the UK and, on average, just six weeks of leave available to parents. As a result, parents are stressed to the max, out of pocket financially and losing out on precious time together as a family as parents pool together to try and cover as much childcare as possible in these six long summer weeks.”

She continues: “Childcare funding needs to be available all year round, not just in term time, and at rates that make holiday care affordable for families.”

While tax credits and Universal Credit can be used all year round for Ofsted-registered childcare, including holiday schemes, the 30 hours ‘free’ childcare for three and four year olds with working parents is based on term-time hours. It can be stretched over the whole year, but that results in significantly fewer weekly subsidised hours.

Cost and availability of holiday childcare is a huge issue for parents.  Although costs have not risen this year in line with inflation, they are still up on last year and less than a quarter of English councils say there is enough summer holiday childcare in their area for parents who work full time, according to a survey by Coram Family and Childcare.

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