Annual Childcare Survey shows lack of afterschool care
The Annual Childcare Survey was published recently by the Family and Childcare Trust. The survey is in its 18th year and is based on inputs from local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales.
How much does childcare cost?
The survey shows that the cost of childcare for both pre-school and school age children continues to rise above inflation. In the South West the cost of an after school club for a child aged 5-11 is now £55.28 per week, and for a childminder £61.17 per week. This is per child so for those with multiple children the costs rise quickly.
You can see how the numbers stack up where you live here:
Is there enough childcare available?
Beyond the cost of great childcare a bigger issue is often finding great childcare - many childminders and afterschool clubs are at capacity - and if there are spaces they are looking for a fixed commitment which doesn't suit today's flexible working environment.
Whilst the majority of local authorities say that they have sufficient childcare on offer for pre-school children, this falls to 26% for 5-11 years olds and just 15% for 12 to 14 year olds.
Cut a different way, 50% of local authorities say there is sufficient childcare for parents working full time, but only 14% say there is enough childcare for parents that work atypical hours.
If we dive in deeper into the South West the numbers become even starker - with only 14% of local authorities saying they have enough childcare for 5-11 year olds, and just 7% for 12-14 year olds. These are amongst the lowest of any region in the UK.
If you are a working couple - perhaps you run your own business, or have irregular shift patterns - the notion of a fixed 5 day a week childminder or nursery just doesn't work and you need a new form of on demand childcare.
What does the future hold?
Here at Kowalah we believe parents are demanding and deserving of a transformation in how childcare is delivered in the UK. New working models including home working, flexible working and a rise in parents running their own businesses breaks the traditional model of childminders and afterschool clubs.
Parents are looking for flexible on demand childcare that fits around their lives and delivers high quality personalised care to their children in their own home.
It is clear from this year's report that there is a significant shortage of afterschool childcare for families in the South West, and we'll continue growing our army of Kowalahs to help parents plug that gap.
Kowalah is a mobile app delivering On Demand Childcare across the Cotswolds by connecting parents with local babysitters and providers of childcare. Kowalah provides regular bookings for afterschool care and one off care for evening sitting and help with parties. Parents are connected with up to 5 available Kowalahs in 15 minutes giving them speed and flexibility. All Kowalahs have been interviewed and referenced providing parents with peace of mind.