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Is there no obligation to provide childcare?

(103 Posts)
LogonMounstuart Sat 19-Jul-14 17:45:02

I have posted before about my struggle to find childcare as DS1 starts school. There is an accute shortage of childminders and no wrap around care at the school. All before and after school clubs are linked to schools and only offer places to pupils of those schools. Massive shortage of school places with children in catchment not getting a place so no choice to move schools...

So my question is- is there no obligation e.g on LAs to provide the option of childcare?

As it stands parents of children attending my sons school either employ a nanny or don't work (neither of which we can afford to do).

It just seems so unfair that if you end up at this school you have to stop working (or in jobs that are more flexible than mine significantly curtail working hours). I need to work, but I want to too. I have worked a long time to build a successful career. I am still so stuck and running out of time sad

fledermaus Sat 19-Jul-14 17:48:56

I don't know the answer, but would be interested as we are in the same position.

KittyandTeal Sat 19-Jul-14 17:52:38

As far as I'm aware there is no obligation to provide childcare.

Have you thought/ spoken to anyone about a possible nanny share? Lots of kids at my old school used to do that.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 19-Jul-14 17:57:51

An after school only Nanny wouldnt cost much more than a CM surely?

What are your plans for the school holidays?

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sat 19-Jul-14 18:02:09

"So my question is- is there no obligation e.g on LAs to provide the option of childcare?"

No, only to signpost other childcare. It would never be possible anyway - they cannot force people to be nannies or CMs and after school clubs will always have limited places.

Do you know why your school doesn't run one?

Could you investigate a nanny share after school with others using nannies?

redspottydress Sat 19-Jul-14 18:20:05

You could set up your own after school club and employ people to run it. It's much easier than pre school childcare.

fledermaus Sat 19-Jul-14 18:21:52

A nanny costs about double what a CM does, before you even consider all the extra hassle of being an employer.

PedlarsSpanner Sat 19-Jul-14 18:24:21

No, no obligation, sorry

Petallic Sat 19-Jul-14 18:30:54

I thought there was an obligation to ensure sufficient childcare. This may have changed since I last worked though. My local authority conducted an audit of childcare places to ensure it met the needs of the local area.
Mostly they were interested in the 2,3,4 age range but this link says they're responsible for ensuring sufficient childcare up to age 14.

Petallic Sat 19-Jul-14 18:31:21

Sorry link here

insancerre Sat 19-Jul-14 18:31:46

Have you asked all the local nurseries as many do after school clubs?

Petallic Sat 19-Jul-14 18:40:02

Page 14 of the above link states:

"Part B: Securing Sufficient Childcare
Outcome: parents are able to work because childcare places are available, accessible and affordable and are delivered flexibly in a range of high quality settings.
*To secure sufficient childcare places, local authorities are required by legislation to:
B.1 Secure sufficient childcare, so far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children*

In my LA there was a business support team that conducted the childcare places audit and whilst they didn't open new childcare themselves directly. They received a stream of people interested in opening or expanding existing childcare within the area and the business support team were able to direct applicants to where there was a demand for places and I know there was a small grant available too, which you were more likely to be granted if offering childcare to the target age range / area.

So try to speak to FIS and the business support team if you are struggling to access suitable childcare in your area OP.

PedlarsSpanner Sat 19-Jul-14 18:40:58

Interesting link, thank you

nannynick Sat 19-Jul-14 18:59:02

B.1 Secure sufficient childcare, so far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children).

It's the reasonable practicable bit... if no providers want to provide the care in an area, they can't force them to do so. They can encourage childcare providers to register but what else can they do?

Maybe this issue should be taken up with the school - if there is enough demand then they may provide breakfast/after school club. Is there enough demand though?

BranchingOut Sat 19-Jul-14 19:00:06

I think this is the huge drawback of childcare being provided within a market-based system, rather than in a state-provided system as in some other countries.

If a provider does not want to offer after school care then there is no mechanism for making them do so. Likewise, there is no subsidy for unfilled places or ongoing running costs, so everything has to be self-sustaining.

The only thing I can suggest is that you try to galvanise other parents to lobby the LA and/or get in touch with possible providers, in the hope that something might open up in a year or so.

nannynick Sat 19-Jul-14 19:01:26

I agree, contact Family Information Service, let them know you are struggling to find care. Then at least they know someone is looking for childcare in your location.

nannynick Sat 19-Jul-14 19:10:46

I was agreeing with Petallic.

Not sure if a state-provided system would be any better, as there would have be decisions made over where it was financially viable to have those care facilities.

LogonMounstuart Sat 19-Jul-14 19:11:25

Thanks for responses- some really helpful information.I have worked closely with the FIS and they are aware of the accute shortage of childcare in the area. No nursery with school pick ups around here.

School doesn't offer wrap around care as there isn't the demand. It's intake has a significant number of parents who don't work.

There is a group of us who are in the same position. we are meeting with LA this week.

We can't set up our own childcare as we work full time and have kids! A nanny isn't an option for us. We will cover school holidays using annual leave.

LogonMounstuart Sat 19-Jul-14 19:19:29

Petallic. Thank you that is really helpful and just what I was looking for and not finding!

I can't wait a year for something to open up. I can't rock up at 9.30 and leave at 2.30 in a full time job for a year! I will be sacked before Christmas at this rate!

lovelynannytobe Sat 19-Jul-14 19:24:14

Why is nanny not an option? Have you looked at nanny shares? As you say there are other families in the same boat it would seem the best solution ...

Karoleann Sat 19-Jul-14 19:39:22

I think its unfair too and I think all school should offer wrap around care for their children. In fact it may lend itself to one of those online petitions that force the government to debate things?

lovely - after school nannies are fairly easy to find in London, but elsewhere its really difficult to find someone good and reliable who only want to work after school - which is one of the reasons why so many people go down the au pair route.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sat 19-Jul-14 21:23:50

Karole, I think most after school clubs on school premises aren't necessarily run by school staff ie I'm not sure schools can be compelled to offer them.

So they have to be at least break even ie there has to be enough demand to pay staff, electricity, snacks etc

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 19-Jul-14 22:04:01

I think your discounting a nanny too soon (given that's the only option in existence).

A nanny-share, NWOC, semi-retired nanny, inexperienced nanny, younger nanny, mum/grandma/student keen to earn a bit of extra money will all come in at a reasonable rate. How much are childminders in your area?

OscarWinningActress Sat 19-Jul-14 22:10:49

What about a teenager? Not sure how old your children are but when I was in high school I used to go and meet the kids after school and stay with them until Mum or Dad came home.

LogonMounstuart Sun 20-Jul-14 07:55:34

Bottom line is we just can't afford a nanny they want £9.50-£12.50 an hour NET even if they have their own children, more for a nanny share. All of these are few and far between around here anyway. Chilminder if you can get one is £4.50/£5.00 an hour gross. After school club in the other schools which have them £12 a day.

We live in a tiny rented house. I wouldn't want my kids based here all day. I don't think my landlady would be keen on renting to us if the kids were home all day and I really want to avoid having to move until I have both kids in the same school.

Could we cut spending right back to the bone and afford a nanny? Possibly but it would be a gamble as to whether we would manage without going into debt. It would only take a large bill. There are many things I would make that level of sacrifice for for my kids but I really don't want to have to do it for a nanny which isn't a form of child care I would really want for my kids (although I know it works really well for others I don't think it would be best for the needs of my children).

I know people mean well saying just get a teenager or local student or mum to look after your kids. This is basically what the school suggested. But my point is I want the option of some form of good quality OfSTED registered (preferably group) child care for my child. All of the parents in the 6 other local schools (that we are not eligible for a place in) have that. Just because ours is the school with the areas of social and economic disadvantage in its catchment we don't. That seen wrong and in the long term not in the best interest of those children

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