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KIDS/Mencap survey about holiday childcare - is it difficult to get?

(25 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Sep-11 21:26:52

Hello, wondering if any of you could possibly help out with this?

Mencap and KIDS have been in touch - they're worried parents are having difficulties accessing childcare for their disabled children during the holidays.

They've put together a survey to try and get a national picture of how things stand wrt holiday childcare for disabled children and young people. They'll be using the survey results to produce a briefing paper, and hopefully to make a bit of a noise around the issue so that the challenges faced by families are recognised and acted upon.

If you can grab 5-10 mins to fill it out, do have a look at their survey. And if you can, let us know here on the thread about any difficulties you've encountered - we'll make sure to pass your comments on.

Thanks v much,


ouryve Wed 21-Sep-11 22:21:50

Is this survey only for those in work or looking for work? I'm a full time SAHM/Carer and the closest option is "unemployed" which is not how I regard myself.

anonandlikeit Wed 21-Sep-11 22:35:07

no its not only for those working, it asks why you needed childcare? Work/ Break? it also asks if you dont work why? Lack of childcare? Carer?

Its quick & easy

rosie39forever Thu 22-Sep-11 08:00:17


KatyMac Thu 22-Sep-11 08:05:37

I tried to offer childcare for children with additional needs; our council wants us to register as foster carers so we can offer respite care (we can't as we have no spare bedrooms for overnight) but we thought it was a natural extension of our childminding business to offer ad-hoc or regular childcare.

isw Thu 22-Sep-11 08:44:13


TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 22-Sep-11 08:51:38

ouryve, I take your point, I don't see myself as unemployed either but the next question gives you the choice to tick full time carer or a few more options smile

our main issue with childcare/respite is that alongside dd3's issues she's also a BSL user, something no one in our area seems to be able to provide for.

BakeliteBelle Thu 22-Sep-11 10:19:07


Mouseface Thu 22-Sep-11 16:35:45

Done. I put unemployed and then the next question had the reason for being unemployed which is full time carer, I ticked that Ouryve smile

RogerMelly Thu 22-Sep-11 16:46:28

sorry but this is going to come accross as really shitty but my daughter has SLD and mencap have told social services that my daughter is too disabled because of her toileting needs (!!!) to attend their youth club. I find it disgraceful.

I haven't got any respite over the holiday period, let alone childcare. I think my local authority would be quite happily let us rot in peace tbh

Mouseface Thu 22-Sep-11 16:48:18

sad Roger

RogerMelly Thu 22-Sep-11 16:54:10

Katymac, I would happily use you for daycare of a wekend as a foster carer but my social services think this is an 'old fashioned' way of receiving respite! I personally think it is ideal and worked for us in a previous area. My dd went out to a foster carers house for 5 hours every other saturday andm it was an absolute godsend and my daughter formed a beautiful relationship with the carer. I really wish SS would be more open minded about this kind of arrangement. My daughter isn't mainstream and she never will be and I am getting really rather sick of councils, la's, ss etc expecting her needs to fit into an inclusive 'social' setting and something they approve of on paper when everything they suggest is inappropriate

KatyMac Thu 22-Sep-11 16:58:16

There isn't an easy way of childminders making themselves available to parents of children with additional needs; however with our ratios we are often a good place for children who need additional care

As we won't/can't be foster carers our council won't let us advertise as respite.

CardyMow Thu 22-Sep-11 21:04:55

Holiday childcare isn't the only issue - Childcare for SN children is woefully lacking. In my (very large, near enough City-sized) Town - there are TWO childminders that are willing to take on SN dc. I put my asd 13yo in with one while I went back to work. She gave me 4 weeks notice ON THE FIRST DAY because DD having a meltdown made her late for a pre-school pick up. The other one is full. With a waiting list. So after just 4 weeks back at work - I'm going to have to give up because I can't find any childcare for DD.

RogerMelly Fri 23-Sep-11 09:01:20

Yes hunty, I think it gets alot worse when they get older aswell. My daughter is going to need 'looking after' ina dulthood aswell, I can't really see a queue of people offering this service. Maybe the government needs to admit that it impossible for some carers to work at all and instead of taking services off them, they should be supporting them to carry on with their caring responsibilities and acknowledging that it is actually a JOB

BakeliteBelle Fri 23-Sep-11 10:10:28

Roger, I totally agree that children with the highest needs seem to get the least childcare options. How the hell does MENCAP get away with discriminating within their own childcare services? It is so wrong it is just laughable. Equal rights to childcare? Why is this never legally enforced anywhere?

Our complex, doubly incontinent, severely disabled children are too expensive for this country to afford any equality it seems. Yet in some areas (mine thank God) there are childcare schemes that cater for the most disabled. It can be done.

Bespoke childcare for those with complex needs should be a national thing and should be both childcare and respite - whatever is needed. Surely the cost of averting crisis and keeping parents in the job market is worth it.

glittery Fri 23-Sep-11 12:36:00

"Once we know what the situation is for families across the UK"

It doesnt give Scotland, Wales or N.Ireland as an option for "Where do you live?" so its only for England and not a "national" study as such.
Is there another version of the questionaire for other areas of the UK?

saintlyjimjams Sun 25-Sep-11 06:32:35

Impossible for us (severely autistic, severe learning disabilities, 12 years old).

It's why I tun my own business from home. No employer is going to want to employ someone to work school bus hours. We get direct payments but it's very hard to find someone who can cope with ds1 so I usually buy in an extra pair of hands so I can get the kids out the house - doesn't help with work though.

Locally our council are (illegally) refusing to pay for services they class as 'childcare' - so for example if they've been sending a carer to your house to look after your teenage boy after school while you work they will no longer pay. I know blanket bans are illegal, they seem unaware of this.

Agree with Roger as well. A lot of our problems in accessing suitable childcare have been as the result of misguided inclusion policies.

My son does attend an excellent respite centre but there are loads of families needing their services so they can only provide respite rather than childcare services (if the sort ds2 and ds3 can access without problem at times when I want whenever I want).

BakeliteBelle Sun 25-Sep-11 19:28:16

A lot of our problems in accessing suitable childcare have been as the result of misguided inclusion policies

So true saintly. It's a case of, 'we'll include everyone except you'. Excluded by inclusion. There's a massive backlash against this sort of unthinking inclusion amongst some parents I know.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 25-Sep-11 21:12:47

Oh dear, Glittery, sorry about that - we'd understood that it was a national survey. We'll have a check and get back to you.


RogerMelly Mon 26-Sep-11 18:19:54

I xcompletely agree bakelitebelle and jimjams sad

r3dh3d Tue 27-Sep-11 13:21:03

Done. But Pfft. The survey doesn't really give you space to say "because we have no access to anything at all via the official channels, we have had to pay through the nose for 1:1 private care through the holidays. But no, that does not mean we are accessing childcare. It means we are spending the money set aside to last DD1 for the rest of her life, to support her now because the people who ought to, won't."

As far as the survey is concerned, we are just peachy. (not Peachy, peachy. grin)

peggyblackett Tue 27-Sep-11 21:05:18

DOne. I am in the same position as you r3dh3d - we spend an absolute fortune on childcare, just so that I have the privilige of going out to work - haha. Anyone reading my survey results would assume that my LA is providing heaps <manical laughter> - which it is clearly not.

The holiday SN childcare situation is truly shoite.

magso Thu 29-Sep-11 16:00:36

I agree there are children who cannot access any childcare. Mencap run a sn holiday play club - which ds enjoys but it only runs 10 am -3 and you get allocated only a few ( 3 this summer) sessions. It is clearly not intended to allow parents to work. The club excludes children with challenging behaviour and those who need one to one care have to bring their own carers, which on top of the play fee makes it very expensive for parents. Actually when I first signed ds up to the mencap club I thought he was too able/ ablebodied to be allowed to join in - but actually it is the opposite - he was excluded last summer after having a meltdown, and I actually kept him off one day this year when he seamed a bit tense and I feared a meltdown was a possibility rather risk a meltdown with staff that did not know him well enough to side step it and get a second exclusion.
Providing childcare that is suitable and safe for each individual childs needs is very expensive.

RogerMelly Thu 29-Sep-11 17:28:12

I think this thread indicates that no-one is providing 'childcare' for the most severely and complexly' disabled children, no-one at all.

Oh except a parent angry

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