Informal childcare keeps UK ticking along

Seventy
per cent of working women with dependants aged under 16 use informal
arrangements with friends, neighbours or family for all or part of their
childcare, according to a new report.

The
report, by charities Daycare Trust and One Parent Families, shows that there is
only one formal childcare place for every five children under the age of eight,
and a typical nursery place for a child under two costs £128 a week.

The
charities want informal childcare work acknowledged by Government.

Stephen
Burke, director of Daycare Trust, said: “The vast majority of families use some
form of informal childcare during a child’s lifetime. The Government needs to
acknowledge the key role of informal carers in this country, and enable
informal carers to register.

"A
network of children’s centres through the country would be an ideal way to
support, encourage and enhance the opportunities and resources for those
informal carers not working in formal childcare settings.”

Kate
Green, director of One Parent Families, said: “For many lone parents informal
childcare is the glue enabling them to hold together their work and family
responsibilities. Whether it is used exclusively or as a top-up for registered
schemes, informal care can give hard-pressed working parents the flexibility
they require. It is time the Government addressed parents’ needs by bringing
informal care within the scope of the National Childcare Strategy by developing
a system of accreditation and registration for friends and relatives who are
looking after children."

By Quentin Reade

Comments are closed.