Half of parents have been unable to meet their summer childcare needs. A third of parents (32%) say the cost of summer childcare is either the same or more than what they earn.
Date 19th July 2022: Pregnant Then Screwed surveyed over 27,000 parents about their summer childcare arrangements. The landmark survey found that 1 in 8 parents using formal childcare over the summer expect to spend more than £2000 for it. This data is being launched alongside Coram Family and Childcare’s 17th annual Holiday Childcare Survey, which shows that only 27% of English local authorities have enough holiday childcare available for parents in their area who work full time, down 6% on last year; and that holiday childcare costs have jumped by 5% since 2021.
More than three quarters of parents (78%) say that they need formal childcare in order to work, but due to a lack of availability and soaring costs, 4 in 10 parents will need to take unpaid leave to manage childcare over the summer.
Of the 50.5% of parents who have been unable to meet their summer childcare needs, 78% are concerned this will limit their career prospects, with 70% blaming the cost of summer childcare and 65% saying they are unable to find availability that meets their needs.
As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, more than a third of parents (35%) say that they will have to reduce spending on essentials like food, heat, fuel and clothing due to the cost of summer childcare and almost 1 in 5 (18%) will get themselves into debt. The picture is even bleaker for Black African Caribbean and Black British parents with 10% saying they will have to skip meals to pay for formal summer childcare (compared to 3.6% net).
Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said:
“We don’t just have a cost of living crisis, we have a cost of working crisis, with almost half of parents being forced to take unpaid leave as they cannot afford formal childcare over the Summer holidays. This comes at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet. The Government’s response will be that they are promoting the tax free childcare scheme but our research found that only 16% of respondents were unaware of the scheme. Promoting tax free childcare is not the solution to this problem. This needs decisive Government action and a clear strategy to ensure childcare for children of all ages is both accessible and affordable before we push more families into poverty.”
Over two-thirds of parents with a disabled child say there is no adequate summer childcare in their area. And just 11% say that there is adequate provision that they can afford. The Corum Family & Childcare report finds that only 7% of local authorities have enough holiday childcare for families of disabled children, plunging from 16% in 2021. More than a quarter (28%) of parents with a disabled child who are unable to access adequate or affordable provision say that they will have to cut back on essentials like food, heat, or clothing as a result.
Ellen Broomé, Managing Director of Coram Family and Childcare, said:
“Families across Britain are reeling from record inflation and this steep rise in holiday childcare will push many further into financial distress. Many parents, particularly mothers, will have no choice but be locked out of work altogether or struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food or rent.
“Holiday childcare is key economic infrastructure. The lack of childcare places for working parents is a serious problem – not just for families but for the country’s economic output. Children have experienced such disruption throughout the pandemic, and holiday childcare offers them a safe and fun space to stay active and connect with their friends while also helping to tackle the summer learning loss.”
In June, the Department for Education launched a new £1.2 million campaign to raise awareness of the Government’s tax free childcare offering which has existed for 7 years, and can also be used against summer childcare at certain providers, 4 in 10 parents (42%) will be taking this up. However, of those not using tax free childcare for summer, 44% do not believe they are eligible, 15% say the system is too complicated and 16% did not know about it.
Pregnant Then Screwed are asking parents to attend a national March of The Mummies protest on the 29th of October where they will demand that the Government invests in good quality, affordable childcare for all children as well as committing to other family friendly policies.
Pregnant Then Screwed also encourage anyone who is experiencing workplace discrimination due to childcare to call their helpline on 0161 2229879.
For further press information, comment or case studies from Pregnant Then Screwed please contact Lauren Fabianski, Comms and Campaigns Manager, on: [email protected] or phone: 07784 609797. Alternatively you can contact Joeli on: [email protected]
For a copy of the full Holiday Childcare Survey from Coram & Family Childcare, please contact Emma Lamberton, Senior Communications Manager on: [email protected] or phone 07908 827908.
Notes to Editor:
About Pregnant Then Screwed (www.pregnantthenscrewed.com). Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity that seeks to protect, support and promote the rights of pregnant women and mothers. We carry out extensive research into the effects of systemic cultural and institutional discrimination during pregnancy and motherhood. Our support services include: a free employment rights helpline, pro bono legal advice, a mental health support line and a tribunal mentor scheme that supports women who are considering legal action against their employer. We campaign for changes that will end the motherhood penalty and we support working mums to rebuild their confidence and find work that works for them.
About Coram Family and Childcare (coramfamilyandchildcare.org.uk) Coram Family and Childcare works to make the UK a better place for families by bringing together what we learn from our on the ground parent-led programmes and our research to campaign for solutions that parents want and need. We focus on childcare and early years to make a difference to families’ lives now and in the long term.
From 2nd July 2022 until 5th July 2022 Pregnant Then Screwed surveyed over 27,705 parents. The Pregnant Then Screwed survey was self selecting and ran via Typeform. Data was reviewed and compiled by professional analyst Peter Fabianski with over 10 years experience in data reporting roles. For more information please contact us.
To conduct the analysis in this press release, Pregnant Then Screwed removed the following respondents
- People who said that they live in “Other non-Great Britain”
- People without children
- People whose children are all under 5
- People who say they or their partner are either on or about to go on maternity/paternity leave
The sample size with those exclusions is 14,515.
The Coram Family and Childcare Holiday Childcare Survey 2022 is based on surveys from local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, which were returned to Coram Family and Childcare between April and June 2022. The report provides detail on the cost and availability of childcare for children aged 4-14 years during the 13 weeks of school holiday per year. The provision of childcare covered in the report includes Ofsted-registered holiday clubs managed by the private, voluntary and independent sectors and those run by local authorities. The use of childminders, informal childcare (such as that provided by other parents or grandparents), or holiday camps (such as for football or drama) are excluded from the report.
PTS Full data overview
2.5% Mixed Race
1.8% Asian or Asian British
0.9% Black African Caribbean or Black British
97.8% 26 or older
South East 20%
North West 12%
South West 11.5%
Yorkshire & Humber 9.7%
West Midlands 7.3%
East England 6.5%
East Midlands 6.2%
North East 5.1%
Northern Ireland 1.4%
Other GB 0.2%
Heterosexual Relationship 88.6%
Single Parents 8.8%
Same Sex Relationship 1.7%
Full Time Workers 43.5%
Part Time Workers 43.2%
Self Employed 11.5%
4.4% Currently Not in Employment
(5.2% overlap e.g Part Time Working Student)
77.3% of respondents have a partner that works full time
11.1% of partners are self employed
8.5% do not have a partner
4% have a part time working partner
1.3% have unemployed partners
0.4% have student partners
44.7% have 2 children
41.7% have 1 child
11% have 3 children
1.9% have 4 children
0.7% have 5 or more children
65.9% have 1 child under the age of 5
25.4% do not have a child under 5
8.2% have two children under 5
0.5% have 3 or more children under 5
6.4% have a child with a disability
Section One – Parents who have a child with a disability.
Sample size 936.
Of the respondents who said they had a child with a disability, over two thirds (66.9%) say there is no adequate summer provision in their local area.
A few ways to frame this next bit:
- Of people with a disabled child who say that there is adequate provision in their area, two thirds (65.9%) cannot afford it.
- 1 in 5 (21.8%) parents of a child with a disability say that there is adequate provision in their area for summer childcare, but they cannot afford it.
- Only 11.3% of parents with a disabled child say that there is adequate provision that they can afford in their local area.
Of all parents with a disabled child who cannot afford provision in their area or live in an area with no adequate provision
- More than half (52.8%) say that they or their partner will have to use their holiday entitlement.
- More than a quarter of parents (29.8%) say they will have to take unpaid leave.
- Almost a third (31.6%) say that they will have to reduce their hours.
- More than a quarter (27.6%) say that they will have to cut back on essentials like food, heat or clothing.
- Almost 1 in 5 (18.6%) say that they cannot work as a result.
Over two thirds of parents with a disabled child say there is no adequate summer childcare in their area. And just 11.3% of them say that there is adequate provision that they can afford.
More than a quarter of parents who are unable to access adequate or affordable provision say that they will have to cut back on essentials like food, heat, or clothing as a result.
Section Two – Reliance on childcare to be able to work
More than three quarters of respondents (77.9%) say that they need formal childcare to work.
This number is higher for Black African Caribbean or Black British parents 85.3%, Asian or Asian British parents 84% and Arab parents 82.8%.
84.2% of Londoners need formal childcare to be able to work.
19.7% of parents in the Northeast rely on friends and family in comparison to the national average of 14.2%.
The more you earn, the more you rely on formal childcare. 67.9% of people who have a household income of less than £50k rely on formal childcare whereas 90.1% of households who earn more than £100k rely on formal childcare.
Section Three – Money spent on formal and Summer childcare
59% pay £65 or more per day per child for formal childcare
21.1% pay £85 or more
13.7% pay more than £100 per day
18% of parents are paying more than £100 per day for formal childcare (when asked for total spend, not per child).
1 in 8 parents who will use formal childcare (12.5%) expect to spend more than £2000 on formal childcare over the summer.
Half of parents (50.6%) expect to pay £800 or more.
More than a third (35%) say that they will have to reduce spending on essentials like food, heat, or clothing due to this cost and almost 1 in 5 (18.2%) will get themselves into debt.
10.3% of Black African Caribbean or Black British parents will have to skip meals to pay for formal summer childcare (compared to 3.6% overall).
18.3% of parents will have to take on extra work. Of those taking on extra work, 83% will be increasing their hours at their existing job.
47.9% of parents believe they would earn more money if they did not have to consider the costs of summer childcare.
More than 1 in 4 parents (26.4%) would work more hours if they did not have to consider the costs of summer childcare.
30.8% of parents would spend more on luxuries if they did not have to consider the costs of summer childcare.
44.7% of parents say that the cost of summer childcare is more than half of what they earn with 34.7% of those parents saying it’s more than what they earn in total.
57.8% of parents say that the cost of summer childcare limits the amount of childcare they can use.
More than 1 in 10 parents say that the cost of formal childcare prevents them from accessing any at all.
30.7% of parents say they will have to cut down on necessary expenses such as food, energy, petrol and clothing in order to pay for summer childcare (we asked this question twice and it gave two different stats) and 59.4% say they will have to cut down on other expenses such as days out, treats and holidays.
Section Four – Summer childcare access
More than half of parents (50.5%) have not been able to meet their summer childcare needs.
Of these parents 70.4% said this was due to the cost and 65% cannot find availability. More than three quarters of these parents (78.3%) are concerned this will limit their career prospects with 69.1% believing they will be viewed negatively by their employer, 49.2% consider themselves unlikely to get a promotion as a direct result and 15.5% believing they are likely to lose their job as a result.
(From a different question) More than a quarter of parents (26.3%) are unable to find summer childcare locally with the availability they need.
Section Five – Summer childcare and work
39.6% of parents need to take unpaid leave to manage their childcare needs over the summer holidays.
63.5% of parents will have to make a flexible working request to manage their childcare needs over the summer holidays.
36.4% of parents said their partner will continue to work as normal through the holidays.
Section Six – Tax Free Childcare
41.6% will be using tax free childcare over the summer holidays. Of those not using tax free childcare over the summer holidays 44.4% do not believe they are eligible and 15% say the system is too complicated and 15.6% do not know about it.