Third of working parents struggle to find childcare during the summer

Flexible working fatherThe summer can bring challenges for families and it seems the UK’s employees aren’t always that sympathetic. A new survey by Cotton Traders has found that almost a third of parents struggle to find childcare across the summer holidays (29 percent) and overall a quarter of parents have to take unpaid leave from work to cover childcare.  The survey of 1,500 UK adults also found that 36 percent find it difficult to get time off work in the summer to spend time with family; almost half of parents (48 percent) think that having a more flexible workplace would help with this; 29 percent of parents dread the summer holidays due to the stress of finding childcare and 26 percent of parents work from home during the school holidays to spend more time with their children.  There’s a lot of pressure on parents – 34 percent said that their children would be disappointed if they didn’t go on holiday abroad and 31 percent feel pressurised to do this.

With so many struggles for working parents it’s no wonder that 35 percent of parents claim that they would pay fines to take their children out of school in term time, claiming that they would still save money. In fact, 45 percent claim to have done so previously.

The survey also revealed:

  • A huge 39 percent of parents have to miss out on summer events such as sports day, plays and early finishes due to work
  • 41 percent rely on family and friends to look after their children in the holidays
  • Over a quarter (28 percent) of parents have to take different days holiday to each other to ensure that someone is free to take care of the children
  • Half of parents wish they could spend more time with their families over the summer break

Said Nick Hamblin, Managing Director at Cotton Traders: “The summer should be about creating memories, whether this is a camping trip, family BBQ or even just a picnic in the park. It’s a shame to see in our survey that so many parents are struggling to balance work and childcare needs over the summer. 36 percent find it difficult to get time off work over the holidays and over a quarter of parents even have to take unpaid leave.

“There are plenty of ways employers can try and help these families, such as letting employees choose their own hours. Almost half of parents (48 percent) think that having a more flexible workplace would help over the summer months.”

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