Cost of school holiday childcare soars as charity calls for support

Coram Family and Childcare found that parents across Scotland are paying an average of £157 per week for childcare.

Cost of school holiday childcare soars across Scotland as charity calls for help Getty Images

A charity has called for more support to be provided to families after new figures revealed the cost of school holiday childcare in Scotland has risen to £157 per week.

Research by London based charity Coram Family and Childcare found that the cost of holiday childcare has risen 3% across the country since 2022.

The research, based on surveys from local authorities between April and June, found that parents are paying out an average of £157 per week for childcare.

In Scotland, there has been a drop in the proportion of local authorities reporting sufficient childcare – down 15% for 12-to-14 year olds, down 14% for children living in rural areas, down 12% for parents working full time and down 11% for eight-to-11 year olds.

No local authorities in Scotland reported having enough holiday childcare in all areas for disabled children, working parents, parents working atypical hours or children in rural areas.

Wales has the highest weekly price at £168, followed by Scotland at £157 and England at £156.

Six weeks of summer childcare for each school-age child could cost almost £1,000, according to the Coram Family and Childcare charity’s annual survey.

The charity is calling on the Government to extend childcare funding announced in the Spring Statement to include support during school holidays.

Megan Jarvie, from Coram, said: “The high of cost of holiday childcare is going to put a further strain on families’ already stretched budgets. Even if families are able to afford these costs, many will struggle to find a place as we have found shortages right across the country.

“Starting school doesn’t mean that childcare needs end. Instead, many find that it becomes more challenging to find options that are right for their family, particularly during the long school holidays.

“New Government funding to help improve childcare options during term time is welcome – but families need childcare right through the year.”

Coram is also calling on those in charge in England, Scotland and Wales to increase support for family information services to provide good quality holiday childcare information and ensure access to local provision that meets families’ needs, expand provision of school holiday activity and food programmes, and improve the accessibility of holiday childcare for children with special educational needs and disability.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, backed by £200m per year to 2025, provides healthy meals, enriching activities and free childcare places to children from low-income families over the holidays.

“We are also investing £30m to test new and innovative approaches to short respite breaks for families of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.”

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