Parents faced Easter childcare woes as record numbers of providers closed doors during school holidays

As the Easter holidays loom, national charity 4Children is warning of a growing crisis in holiday childcare availability and the damaging impact it could have on working parents and those seeking to join the workforce.

Earlier research

Research published earlier this month by the Department of Education (DfE) surveyed parents in England on their views and experiences of childcare. It revealed that for 60% of working parents, the formal childcare providers they used during term time ceased to operate during school holiday periods. 4Children has calculated that this figure has increased by 13% since 2010, despite Government’s attempts to increase the supply of childcare.

The report

The report found further evidence of stalled progress in the number of parents who had access to holiday childcare:

Of working parents with school aged children, one in five (21%) said they found arranging holiday childcare difficult or very difficult – no improvement since 2010 (also 21%)

Two in five (39%) parents who did not use holiday childcare said they would be likely to use it if it was available – up from 37% in 2010 – suggesting significant unmet demand.

In the Budget 2016, the Chancellor announced additional funding for some secondary schools to provide extra-curricular activities, which may help some parents of older children with their childcare arrangements during term time. However, this new funding will not be available for at least two years, and the charity is warning that without urgent action to address the decline in holiday childcare availability, family stress will peak around the school holidays and efforts to encourage parents into work will be undermined.

This article has been directly sourced from 4 Childen, find out more at:

26 Mar 2016

Disabled children missing out on play

Former Home Secretary Lord Blunkett, and the national deaf-blind charity, ‘Sense’, launched a national report entitled the ‘Case for Play Report’ at the end of February investigating the provision of play opportunities for disabled children up to five years old.

It has since emerged that the report reveals that disabled children in England and Wales are missing out on play opportunities that are vital to their development.

The report identifies a lack of attention by government, insufficient funding at a local level and negative attitudes towards disabled children and their families.

Sense is campaigning for changes to the way play services are designed and delivered and plans to produce a series of toolkits for parents, providers and commissioners of play.

Find out more:

Read the report and recommendations here:

This article has been directly sourced from Play England at:

23 Mar 2016

‘Play in Parks’ Summer 2016 dates announced

A series of dates for Birmingham PlayCare Network’s ‘Play in Parks’ scheme have recently been announced by the organisation, scheduled to take place during Summer 2016.

Planned workshops

The planned workshops span across six different areas of Birmingham, taking place between 25th July to 26th August. Emma Payne, Business Development Manager at Birmingham PlayCare Network said:

“Implementing the ‘Play in Parks’ scheme gives us an opportunity to showcase to people and families high quality play work. We’ve been running this for 14 years now and have children that come to Moonlit Park, Five Ways year after year in the summer holidays.”

Planned dates and venues for the workshops include:

  • 25th July – 29th July
11am – 4pm
Summerfield Park, Dudley Rd/City Road, Soho, Birmingham, B16 0LP
Funded by Children in Need
  • 2nd August
11am – 4pm
Thelbridge Park, Thelbridge Road, Longbridge, Birmingham, B31 4ND Funded by Family Optima
  • 4th August
11am – 4pm
Benmore Estate, Benmore Road, Birmingham City Centre, B13 8JT Funded by Family Optima
  • 9th August – 12th August
1pm – 4.30pm
Birchfield Secret Garden, Handsworth, Birmingham, B20 3RA Funded by Groundwork and Active Neighbourhoods.
  • 15th August – 19th August 11am – 4pm
Bloomsbury Park, Oliver Street, Nechells, Birmingham, B7 4NX Funded by Children in Need
  • 22nd August – 26th August 11am – 4pm
Moonlit Park Bellbarn Road, Birmingham, B15 2BL Funded by Children in Need

‘Play in Parks’ has been delivered to in excess of 15,000 children from over 100 different park locations in Birmingham. To find out more contact Emma Payne at:

20 Mar 2016

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