Parents of disabled children bemoan summer childcare options

Two-thirds of parents of disabled children are dissatisfied with the summer holiday care that is available, resulting in a serious impact on their ability to work, according to a survey by Working Families.

The work-life balance charity polled 75 parents of disabled children belonging to its Waving not Drowning network over whether they were happy with the care that was available for their children during the summer holidays. Parents said they faced a postcode lottery when looking for childcare and many found nothing that meets their needs.

A quarter of parents ended up having to take unpaid leave to cover the period and 39% felt their responsibilities prevented them from progressing in their careers or limited their ability to change jobs. Over three-quarters said it was very difficult balancing work and care responsibilities in the summer and 3% said they had to leave their job because of a lack of childcare during the holidays.

Janet Mearns, who coordinates the network, said: “Working Families wants to see better quality and quantity of childcare for disabled children so that both parents and children can make the most of their summer.”

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