Perennial, a charity which helps those who work in the horticulture industry, is reaching out this summer to all parents who may struggle to cope with additional childcare costs during the long school school holidays.
It costs families an average of £124.23 per week for full time holiday childcare and many parents pay more than twice as much during the holidays as they do for after-school clubs during term time. Most working parents are unable to take 13 weeks annual leave to look after children in holiday periods, so must incur childcare costs instead.
Perennial can support people working in horticulture with childcare costs, holiday activities and clubs, so they can continue working, and help meet the costs of additional food required over the summer break. The team can also help people access other sources of support depending on their situation.
Julia Hayne, Director of Services at Perennial, is keen to remind people about how Perennial can help during these times. She says:
“Every parent wants their child to enjoy their summer break from school but for people working in horticulture, summer can be a busy season and it can be difficult to take time off work to look after children during the day.
“We understand that many parents and carers, despite careful budgeting, worry about the rising costs of raising a family, especially in the school holidays. We’re here to help alleviate some of the holiday stress with advice and financial support for families with at least one parent working in horticulture.”
For families whose children are in receipt of free school meals, which are not provided during the school holidays, the extra food costs associated with the summer break can put additional strain on already stretched budgets. Almost two-thirds of children experience hunger1during term time but some families have to find an extra £30 a week in holidays.
Julia continues: “It doesn’t take much to push a carefully planned monthly budget over the edge. Many of the people we help are successfully managing their money but we understand how extra meals, holiday childcare and activities can cause additional stress and we’re here to help with that. I’d like to encourage anyone who is worried about the forthcoming school holiday to contact us to find out how we can support them.”
Perennial helps people like David* and his wife Hannah who contacted Perennial last year before their children’s summer break. Hannah works full time and David is a self-employed gardener.
During term time David takes their two children to primary school and Hannah picks them up so they avoid paying childcare costs. In 2017 Hannah took time off work to cover part of the holiday period and then relied on a friend to help with childcare. This was not possible last year and as summer is David’s busiest period, he was unable to take time off.
The family had found a two week summer holiday club offering outdoor activities provided by their local authority, which both children could attend. Perennial supported the family by helping them pay for the summer school costs, allowing the couple to continue working and their children to enjoy an amazing holiday experience with their friends.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals
If you, or someone you know, works in horticulture and needs additional support over the summer break, contact Perennial in confidence on 0800 093 8543, email firstname.lastname@example.org request support online at www.perennial.org.uk/holidayhelp
1National Education Union report