Working parents will be given a childcare tax break worth £2,000 per child as part of measures to be unveiled in tomorrow's Budget.
The current situation bolts too many families into financial hardship, with high childcare costs meaning that for them working doesn't pay.
From April 2015, new parents will be able to share up to a year’s leave from the birth of their child. Here's what you need to know.
A group of parents agreed they would not leave their young children unsupervised during their school holidays if they were unable to find suitable care for them.
Good Morning Britain spoke to parents dropping their children off at a school holiday club and found all of them would not leave their youngsters to look after themselves while they went off to work.
Some 25% of parents told a Good Morning Britain and OnePoll survey they had given up work to care for their child because they were unable to find a suitable alternative.
The poll also found:
- Over a third have ever left their child/children (aged between 4-16) home alone.
- Almost a fifth (19%) say they consider a child aged 9 and under to be safe to be left alone.
- One quarter spend more than £101 on childcare every week during the summer holidays.
- The average spend on summer childcare is £62.52 per week.
One third of working parents admitted they found it hard to find childcare during school holidays, a survey for Good Morning Britain found.
Some 33% of the 900 parents quizzed by OnePoll said they found it tricky to find a carer competent enough to look after their children while school was out.
Parents were recently revealed to be forced to shell out more than £100 a week to keep a child occupied during summer holidays.
In Britain the average cost of one week's holiday childcare is £114.51, with the South East of England the mot expensive at £140.88.
High childcare costs are "not the way to operate a modern economy" and a combined effort from the Government, teachers and employers to find a solution, a family expert has said.
Trust chief executive Anand Shukla, said:
– Anand Shukla
A combination of unaffordable prices, lack of holiday childcare and inflexible employers is not only causing stress for parents, but it's bad for the economy.
Most parents have no choice but to work, and should not have to take sick days to manage childcare.
This is not the way to operate a modern economy, and this is why we are calling on employers and head teachers to help parents manage the school holidays, and on government for a new childcare strategy that properly represents the realities working families face today.
Parents living in the south east of England can expect to hand over the most cash for childcare, a report has found.
According to the Family and Childcare Trust and Netmums:
- The weekly cost in the south east is £140.88 on average.
- Families in the North West have the lowest average weekly holiday childcare costs at £103.38.
- In Wales holiday childcare costs £109.66 on average, and in Scotland it is £104.28.
- A survey of parents conducted by parenting website Netmums and the Trust found that around 17% said that they had to take days off work sick last year to cover childcare.
- This represents almost a million working days lost, the Trust said, which it claims costs the economy almost £100 million each year.
Parents are forced to hand over more than £100 per week for holiday childcare during the summer holidays, according to a study.
The Family and Childcare Trust's annual holiday childcare report said working mums and dads were forking out £114.51 on average to keep their child occupied.
The report suggested holiday childcare is becoming increasingly expensive, with families facing differences in cost depending on where they live.
One in six parents admitted to calling in sick last year so they could look after their youngsters during the summer break.
Others had to go so far as to give up their jobs in order to care for their children.
Using school facilities during the summer holidays as a means of childcare "just makes sense" for a lot of parents, the head of a children's charity told Good Morning Britain.
Chief executive of 4Children Anne Longfield said it was something parents could rely on.
– Anne Longfield
It's not school as we know it. It's not formal classroom school. It's about taking part of the school and transforming it into a great place to be.
Some 116,000 youngsters are already using the 15 hours of free childcare they are entitled to from the Government, a Department of Education spokesman said.
The DfE rebuffed claims more needed to be done to tackle growing demand and said:
– Department of Education spokesman
Over 116,000 eligible children are already accessing 15 hours of free childcare a week and we have now extended this to a further 240,000 two year olds from September.
We have also introduced tax free childcare - up to £2,000 per child and for working families on the lowest incomes up to 85% of childcare costs are to be met under universal credit.
We are encouraging new childcare providers to enter the system, while cutting red tape for current ones and making it easier for school nurseries to open from 8-6, with over 800,000 places in schools, to help ensure parents can have what they want.
A childcare crisis is looming this summer, with only one place for every 15 kids across the UK, a charity has found.
4Children wants schools to open across the summer holidays so youngsters have somewhere safe to go while their parents are at work.
The children's and family charity say there are just 450,000 places in holiday clubs or with childminders available to the 6.8million children aged four and 14-years-old. This equates to one place for every 15 children.
4Children also wanted to see the Government build on free entitlements for two, three and four-year-olds, so older children can access affordable, high quality childcare from the end of parental leave until school.
A grandmother who cares for her three grandchildren on a daily basis said there were "more grandparents than parents" dropping off youngsters at the school gate, as families struggle with the cost of childcare.
Angie Bostwick told Good Morning Britain says she sees "more of my grandchildren than I did my own children", admits to being pushover but said she "loves" looking after the youngest members of the family.