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Holiday childcare in Wales: We want your views

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.

A number of organisations are calling for childcare to be more affordable Credit: PA

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:

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  • Twitter: @ITVWales


Charity: Families struggling with costs of childcare

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.

Parents forced to call in sick during school holidays

Holiday childcare costs in Wales has increased by 2% in the last year. Credit: PA

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.

"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."

– Anand Shukla, Family and Childcare Trust

10,000 free books for children living in Wales' disadvantaged communities

It's hoped the books will highlight to parents the importance of reading Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

New funding has been announced today by the Welsh Government, to provide 10,000 free books to children in Wales' most disadvantaged areas.

Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty Vaughan Gething has revealed children living in 'Flying Start' areas will benefit from the books to help with continued learning at home.

Each child eligible for the scheme will receive a book bag containing a bilingual and an English language book, a set of crayons and a scribble pad.

Flying Start aims to make a difference to the lives of children under the age of four and their families, in the most deprived communities.

It's hoped the extra books will highlight to parents the importance of reading with their children, to improve their language development.

The books, costing £100,000, will be available from this month.


Study aims to improve quality of life for children in care

Children in care: study could lead to £5m lottery funding Credit: PA

A new study commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund today is aiming to explore and develop new ways of transforming the life chances of children and young people in care in Wales over the next 10 years.

The study could also pave the way for a new £5 million investment which could dramatically improve the outcomes of children in care in Wales. The latest figures show that there are nearly 6,000 children in care in Wales, an increase of 20% over the last five years.

  1. Sarah Hibbard

Children encouraged to connect with nature

How much contact do your children have with nature? Not enough, according to the RSPB.

It surveyed children across the UK to find out how connected children are with nature.

Kids in Wales scored the lowest in Britain.

The RSPB believes this generation's lack of contact with wildlife is one of the biggest threats to nature in Wales.

RSPB call for more outdoor education

The study shows children aren't getting involved with their natural surroundings and more education is needed outside the classroom to improve a child's health and wellbeing.

For the first time, we have created a baseline that we and others can use to measure just how connected to nature children really are. By adopting this new approach, we can all monitor children's connection and we are recommending that governments and local authorities take action to increase it through policy and practice decisions.

– Katie-jo Luxton, RSPB Cymru Director
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