Bridging the childcare gap

Families and friends are bridging the childcare gap for over two
thirds of working mothers, a report from two leading childcare
charities has found.

Seventy per cent of employed women use informal childcare and 42
per cent of working lone parents use only informal childcare during
term time, rising to 71 per cent during the school holidays.

But the report points out that there is only one formal
childcare place for every five children under the age of eight, and
that a typical nursery place for a child under two costs £128
a week.

Families in disadvantaged areas use other relatives and friends
to meet their childcare needs more than families living in less
disadvantaged areas, the report adds.

The authors of the report, the Daycare Trust and One Parent
Families, have called on the government to enhance schemes to allow
relatives and informal carers to register as childcare providers
and to ensure that children’s centres provide support to
informal carers.

They are also asking the government to provide opportunities for
parents to experience formal childcare through a series of taster
sessions, and explore childcare packages to support the transition
to work for lone parents.

“Informal Childcare: Bridging the childcare gap for
families” £5 from the Daycare Trust on 020 7840 3350.

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