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This is your biggest summer productivity problem

One of the first lessons in Primary School is maths. Not for children, but for their parents.

The equation:

This year has exactly 365 days: 104 weekend days, 8 bank holidays and 253 working days. Minus the 195 official days of school and you end up with as many as 58 days a year to scramble for care.

For families used to the work-friendly rhythms of preschool and school days, the holidays can cause a huge challenge.

“The real headaches can come during school holidays. While parents are likely only to have four or five weeks of annual leave from work each year, children have 14 weeks of school holidays. During this time, parents will have to find – and face the extra costs of – full time care", says the Family and Childcare Trust’s annual Holiday Childcare Survey. It adds: “Holiday childcare costs have risen by 5% in England since last summer, bringing the average parents now pay for one week of holiday childcare to £125 – more than double what families spend on food and drink in a week”.

It’s a significant problem for parents who risk missing workdays but it’s also a black hole for employers: according to CIPD UK employers can expect to pay at least £500 per member of staff annually.

It’s no surprise then that back-up care is picking up steam. A growing number of leading employers already offer childcare but the end of preschool and the school holidays leave a gap for parents with school aged children. With low recruitment and retention and parents at the peak of their careers, organisations are seeking every advantage that they can find.

Back-up care is on the rise too: in 2017 12,000 families were registered and over 150,000 lives covered by back-up care. Smart employers are taking it even further and leveraging spaces in their own workplace nurseries for back-up care families – providing care on demand when families need it most.

Parents have the hard part juggling work and family. And Bright Horizons and Back-Up Care is here when you need it.

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