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Summer Childcare: Problems for Parents of Disabled Children
Nearly 70 percent of parents of disabled children are not satisfied with available summer childcare.
Working Families, the work-life balance charity, has carried out new research on the difficulties faced by parents of disabled children in finding summer holiday care. The research looked into whether parents were happy with the care that was available for their children during the summer and the effect on parents’ ability to work. Members of the charity’s UK-wide Waving not drowning network were contacted for the research.
Responses showed that only a third of parents surveyed were satisfied with the summer holiday care that was available for their children. Parents face a postcode lottery when looking for childcare and many find nothing that meets the needs of their children. Over half of respondents who had access to information about summer childcare said it was not helpful to them.
The problems are resulting in a serious impact on these parents’ ability to work. A quarter of the parents took unpaid leave to cover weeks where there was no childcare available. Of those surveyed, 39 percent felt their responsibilities prevented them progressing in their careers or limited their ability to change jobs.
The research demonstrates the real strain felt by many families with disabled children. Over three quarters of parents said it was very difficult balancing work and care responsibilities in the summer. 3 percent had to leave their job because of lack of childcare during the summer holidays.
Parents who took part in the survey reported that they were limited in their choice of jobs and are forced to reduce their hours and miss out on income during the holidays.
Janet Mearns who co-ordinates the Waving not drowning network said: “Our network members had flagged up summer childcare as a problem area and we wanted to see exactly what the areas of difficulty were. Working Families wants to see better quality and quantity of childcare for disabled children so that both parents and children can make the most of their summer.”
REHACARE.de; Source: Working Families
- More about Working Families at: www.workingfamilies.org.uk