The cost of holiday childcare has risen by almost 10 per cent in the North East since last year, making the region the most expensive outside of London.
Research has revealed that holiday childcare – including holiday clubs – will cost parents in the region around £133 a week per child this year.
This adds up to an eye-watering price tag of £798 for a six-week summer holiday — and much more for parents with more than one child.
As a result, many parents rely on family and friends to help with looking after their children.
Self-employed mum-of-two Sarah Hall said: “I run my own business and co-parent our two boys with my ex husband.
“My sister’s a teacher, so she’s able to help during the holidays and my mum lives in France, which means the kids can go and stay with her for a holiday in the sun during the summer too.
“If I wasn’t fortunate enough to have them, I don’t know how I’d find the money for childcare.
“I’m also part of a tight-knit group of parents at the school, who all step in to help each other, but it’s a very difficult challenge balancing work and children, especially in the summer holidays.”
According to The Family and Childcare Trust’s research, the majority of holiday childcare providers are private businesses who are able to set their own prices.
The cost of privately-run childcare in the North East is 27 per cent more expensive than the public sector on average, and parents could actually be spending upwards of £185 a week for private care.
Despite the increase cost, some mums say there has been a big increase in options out there for parents and their kids.
Cat Hopper, from Newcastle, works part time and she said: “There’s absolutely tons of things for kids to do now — whatever they’re into — including non-sports orientated ones like music camps.”
“I’m one of the lucky ones, I work three days a week but my mum’s retired so she helps with looking after our two,” she added,
“We try to go away on holiday during the summer, despite the increased cost, and so my husband and I take two weeks of annual leave to go away.
“This summer the girls are also going to a tennis camp in Gosforth for a few hours a day. The summer camps seem to be really popular and even though we’re fortunate and don’t need to rely on them, it’s nice for the children to be able to do lots of different things during their holidays.”
Ellen Broomé, Chief Executive at the Family and Childcare Trust, said: “Once again rising holiday childcare costs and increasing shortages will leave parents struggling to keep their heads above water.
“Many working parents who cannot call on family and friends to provide informal childcare may struggle to make work pay or remain in work at all this summer.
“The Holiday Childcare Survey 2017 reveals the right to request has had little impact on the availability of childcare places for parents who need holiday childcare. Families need a Government strategy to make sure that every parent is better off working after they have paid for childcare, and that there is enough childcare for working parents throughout the year.”