Live updates

Holiday childcare costs 'over £100 every week'

Parents are forced to hand over more than £100 per week for holiday childcare during the summer holidays, according to a study.

The cost of holiday care is around 1.7% more expensive than last year, the survey says. Credit: PA

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 schools for childcare 'just makes sense'

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.

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.

– Anne Longfield

Advertisement

Govt: Over 116,000 'already accessing free childcare'

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:

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.

– Department of Education spokesman

Charity warns of 'one childcare place for every 15 kids'

A childcare crisis is looming this summer, with only one place for every 15 kids across the UK, a charity has found.

High demand is expected for childcare places this summer. Credit: PA

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.

There are 'more grandparents at school than parents'

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.

1.9m grandparents took leave 'to care for grandchildren'

Some 1.9 million grandparents have been forced to give up a job, reduce their working hours or taken holiday to care for their grandchildren, it has emerged.

These figures suggest that grandparents have given a total of £8bn in the past year for a range of grandchildren's needs. Credit: PA

According to an Ipsos Mori poll commissioned by charities Grandparents Plus, Save the Children, and The Family and Childcare Trust, elderly relatives are cutting into their work to provide free childcare.

Expert pointed to the rise in childcare - 27%, as the root cause behind the growth in elderly childcare.

The survey also found grandparents were spending 12% of 1,000 on their grandchildren every year, with a further 17% spending between £500 and £1,000.

Advertisement

SNP childcare plans 'leave 21,000 job shortfall'

Plans by the Scottish government to get more women into work by providing free childcare involve "wishful thinking" in their costing, the Treasury has said.

The SNP has pledged to provide all three and four-year-olds, and vulnerable two-year-olds, with 1,140 hours of childcare per year by 2020.

It estimates that the policy could result in about 104,000 women entering employment and an additional £700 million in tax revenue which would help pay for the additional childcare.

But Treasury analysts said of the mothers affect by the policy only around 83,000 are not employed.

Even if every mother out of work moved into work - in itself highly unlikely - there would still be a shortfall of 21,000.

– Treasury analysts

A spokesman for Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

In terms of our childcare commitments and boosting the number of women in work, it is our commitment to stop wasting money on Trident and on contributing to the running costs of Westminster that gives us the ability to invest in these other priorities.

– A spokesman for Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney

Scottish independence childcare plans 'don't add up'

Childcare proposals for an independent Scotland aren't financially sound, according to analysts at the Treasury.

The SNP estimates that the policy could mean enough women enter work to add £700 million in extra tax revenue. Credit: PA

The Scottish Government has pledged to provide widespread childcare, and estimates that the policy could result in about 104,000 women entering employment.

But as part of analysis of the fiscal implications of a Yes vote in the referendum, the Treasury says this number will be significantly lower.

The Treasury's analysis comes after a paper by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) published in April stated that the Scottish Government had provided no evidence that its plan would get more women out to work.

Mums: Childcare tax break is not enough

Mothers at a toddler group in Hertfordshire said today's announcement that childcare tax break for working parents will be worth £2,000 per child, instead of the £1,200 initially proposed, is a help - but not quite enough

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

Load more updates