According to research by the Family and Childcare Trust almost a fifth of parents in Wales had to call in sick last year, in order to manage childcare during the summer holidays.
We want to hear your views on this, and we'll feature some of the best on our website. You can get in touch in the following ways:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: search ITVWales
- Twitter: @ITVWales
A lack of holiday childcare means around a fifth of Welsh workers will call in sick to look after their children over the summer break, according research by the Family and Childcare Trust and Netmums.
The Chief Executive of Children in Wales, Catriona Williams, says families are under a lot of pressure due to the rising costs of childcare and they're having to rely on family members to look after their children.
Almost a fifth of parents in Wales had to call in sick last year, in order to manage childcare during the summer holidays.
That's according to new research by the Family and Childcare Trust, and Netmums. Both are calling for more affordable childcare to be made available.
Their research also found a further 12% of parents had been forced to give up their jobs entirely, causing the Welsh economy to miss out on nearly 50,000 working days every year.
– Anand Shukla, Family and Childcare Trust
"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 our 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."
Part-time childcare costs for a family of two children have overtaken the average UK mortgage bill by 4.7 per cent, according to new research.
The report by the Family and Childcare Trust shows that in Wales, where average mortgage costs are £5,252 per year, part-time childcare costs are 36 per cent higher at £7,139 per year. Full-time childcare would cost £10,760 which is 105 per cent more than the average mortgage in Wales.
Parents in Wales also face the worst gaps in provision, an issue that has not improved over the last five years. Only 11 per cent of local authorities had enough childcare for 5-11 year olds, compared with 35 per cent in England. No local authority had enough childcare in rural areas.
The Family and Childcare Trust believes governments should:
• Extend free early education to all two year olds.
• Make better use of school premises to provide flexible childcare provision.
• Uprate Working Tax Credits to account for rising childcare costs.
• Effectively enforce the duty on local authorities to provide sufficient childcare.
Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns has been talking about the commission into affordable childcare she's chairing for the Welsh Conservatives. Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies announced her appointment at the party's conference in Swansea.
Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies will use his conference speech in Swansea to announce that he's setting up a commission to look at ways of providing what he calls 'proper, affordable childcare.' He's appointed Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns to head the commission. He'll tell delegates:
I want parents across Wales to look at the Welsh Conservatives and see a party that “gets it” and is doing something about it.
I want young people across Wales to look at the Welsh Conservatives as a party leading the way for aspiration.
So today, I’m pleased to announce that my Shadow Minister for Education, Angela Burns has set up a Commission to look at how we can provide proper, affordable childcare.
– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition
Following on from some of the great work already undertaken by the UK Government in this field, Angela will work with professionals from representational organisations and business to see how we can help parents across Wales to be as aspirational for themselves as they are for their children.
Engagement in real policy development is the only way we can sell ourselves as the party that ‘gets it.'
For many families, one of the larger monthly costs is child care. And now one nursery owner from Cardiff is calling for a change in regulations to make the care more affordable. But would fewer regulations also mean lower standards? Nicola Hendy reports
A Barry nursery owner is calling for childcare staffing regulations to be relaxed.
Abeer Bafiqih runs the Daisy Day Nursery in Barry and Cardiff looking after children up five years old. She believes regulations around staffing levels could be relaxed.
She said: "We face the same costs as all other business such as rates; our salaries are probably higher because we are so labour intensive, because of the legislation around ratios.
"If we had maybe more children per adult maybe in the older age ranges, that would lower our salaries costs and that in turn would impact on the fees we charge."
Strict guidelines govern the way a childcare business is run and the number of staff needed. For children under 2 there has to be 1 adult to 3 children, youngsters between 2 and 3 need 1 adult to 4 children and children aged 3 to 8 need one adult to every 8 children.
The Children's Commission is currently looking at relaxing the restrictions on the ratio of staff to children in England, but the Welsh Government say they have no plans for change.
Gill Rutter, of the Daycare Trust said: "We think that changing the ratios risks compromising safety. It also may not save parents any money in the long term. Why should nurseries, why should child minders pass on those savings to parents if they change the ratios."
For many parents bringing their children to nursery is all part of the daily routine, but child care doesn't come cheap. Nicola Hendy reports