Parents to spend over £500 in childcare costs over the summer

Parents to spend over £500 in childcare costs over the summer

Financial services company, Hargreaves Lansdown, have found that 60 per cent of children have working parents, and 1 in 20 families will spend over £500 on childcare during the summer holidays, way above the average cost of £250.70.

Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst from Hargreaves Lansdown, said:  “What do you get when you subtract two weeks off work from six weeks of school holidays? Four weeks of stress and on average, a £250 childcare bill.”

Some families are hit with bills much higher, with a reported 5% of parents surveyed by Hargreaves Lansdown expected to fork out over £500.

“There are things you can do to cut the cost of the break – including shaving the tax off the cost of your childcare bill; taking advantage of flexible working options; or hunting down hidden bargains,” she adds.

The Grimsby Independent highlights different ways to save on childcare costs over the summer months.

  • Booking holidays and childcare early enough can save you some money.
  • Parents can take advantage of the Government’s tax-free childcare where they can get tax relief on their costs; and if the setting is Ofsted-registered, they can get a fifth off the bill as well.
  • Find out if your employers offer a flexible-working policy.
  • Parents can also speak to their families and friends and try to share childcare; for one day of annual leave, they might get two or three days of childcare.
  • A lot of schools provide holiday clubs, some might be a cheaper option than private childcare.
  • Some childcare settings can also do sibling discounts as well as other discounts.
  • If parents have several children, getting an au pair might be the most cost-effective way. There are many au pairs looking for a summer placement, and it might cost as little as £75 per week, plus a room and board.

Story by: Grimsby Independent


‘Outstanding’ Keighley nursery

‘Outstanding’ Keighley nursery

The education watchdog, Ofsted, has awarded Al Hikmah Nursery in Utley “outstanding” after their latest visit in April. The award was upped from a good rating on their previous inspection.

The nursery, run by the Jamiat-Ahl-E-Hadith-Keighley Committee, looks after 14 children aged two to four.

Ofsted inspector, Julie Dent, commended the nursery for the quality of teaching and learning, the children’s development, as well as the effectiveness of leadership and management.

Ms Dent added that the leadership is outstanding and inspirational, and that leads to staff being passionate and caring about their jobs.

Staff also said they feel supported by the management and their personal development is suited to their individual needs.

“Teaching is outstanding. All staff have a thorough knowledge of children’s learning needs.

“Activities are exciting for children, and staff are highly skilled at tailoring their teaching to reflect children’s individual stage of learning and their emerging interests.

“Children continuously show enormously high levels of engagement, curiosity and concentration. Staff constantly encourage children to solve problems and think critically.”

The report continued to say that the children at the nursery were polite and confident and understand the significance of taking a turn and their responsibilities.

To improve the quality of Al Hikmah Nursery even more, the inspector suggested that the nursery should find a way to enhance opportunities for children who like to play outdoors.

Shohab Ali, a trustee at the nursery, said to the Keighley News: “Teaching and learning, behaviour, and progress shown by our students was highlighted as key strengths.

“We believe Ofsted summed up the work shown by the management, all the way down to the volunteers, brilliantly.

“We would like to thank all of our supporters, parents and most importantly, the students, who are a credit to our establishment.

“This report gives us, the management, an excellent platform to develop our nursery and other services from this site.”

Story by: Keighley News


Young children and grief: How to help them through

Young children and grief: How to help them through

One of the most heartbreaking things for any parent, guardian or loved one of a young child going through a difficult time is that it’s impossible to protect them from the pain of loss. However, you can equip them with the coping tools to deal with grief and learn what you can do to help them through this process. Children are naturally curious and inquisitive and even if they don’t totally understand death, they are very much aware of it.

Processing the grief that comes with death can feel confusing for small children and they can experience an array of emotions. Expect little ones to move between feelings of frustration, anger, sadness and even happiness or excitement.

Grief is complicated at any age but especially for small children who may be experiencing it for the first time, so knowing different ways to help can be important.

Explain the situation

Children need facts, this means you don’t need to use mild alternatives but bear in mind that they also don’t need harsh realities and lengthy explanations. It’s a delicate balance due to the fact that younger children can’t process long accounts of what the situation is – so be honest but brief.

Children a little older may need the name of an illness to better understand the situation but a succinct explanation such as “his heart stopped working which meant he couldn’t live any longer” is more appropriate for younger children.

Be patient

All children grieve in different ways, so be patient. Some children may regress and you may notice extreme mood changes. As mentioned, they can even display feelings of happiness or excitement so try not to mistake them playing for no longer being upset  – playing can even help them avoid becoming overwhelmed. It’s common for children to be depressed or anxious and they can even feel guilty or angry.

Make it clear that it’s perfectly normal to feel these things with what they’re going through and help explore ways to express it. For example, drawing can be a great help.

Encourage them to talk

Once the child has had the loss explained to them they will need some encouragement to talk about it. Depending on the situation, this may be painful for you, but speaking openly is the best course of action and is healthy for all involved.

A great way for them to feel comfortable about opening up is for you to talk about how you are feeling about it – this shows them it’s okay to be honest about their feelings. Children like to act like the grown-ups around them and so opening up will help them open up to you in return, but bear in mind that bottling it up will make them feel they have to as well.

Be creative

Encouraging them to be creative can help children to say goodbye. If the death is sudden, or they didn’t get to say goodbye in person, finding other ways of helping them to do so can help small children process grief. As previously mentioned, drawing their feelings can be helpful and creating a memory book can also be a great coping mechanism.

Make sure you are also receiving support

If you are a parent or guardian of a young child attempting to cope with grief, the chances are you are also grieving. If this is the case you must make sure you are receiving appropriate support. In order to offer what the child requires, you need to care for your own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.


If they have stated they don’t want to go to the funeral then don’t force it, but equally, if they have expressed that they want to go make it clear what to expect and what they’ll see. You will need to use age-appropriate judgement with this as a funeral is clearly an emotionally intense experience.

Routine can help

If your child has made it clear to you that they’d like to return to school, or whatever their ‘normal’ routine was in the first place then allow that to go ahead. Work with them and the way they feel. A normal routine can really help them process grief – so wherever possible also continue with regular mealtimes and bedtime.

Whether you need help arranging a funeral, or advice on grief, loss and bereavement the site Beyond can help with expert information you can trust. Child Bereavement UK is also a great point of reference – they offer advice via videos, articles and information sheets and you can get in touch with them via phone and email.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach as all children are different, but the more you know, the easier it will become to find ways of helping.


Altrincham nursery nurtures partnerships with local parents

Altrincham nursery nurtures partnerships with local parents

Elmscot Day Nursery and Nursery School Altrincham has been building and nurturing partnerships with local parents, even before their child starts attending the nursery.

Going above and beyond for families who register for a place, Elmscot Altrincham frequently holds Stay and Play sessions exclusively for new families at the nursery.

Providing the opportunity to become familiar with the nursery is important for both the child and parent. They are able to get to know the new surroundings, build relationships with the practitioners and get an insight into some of the amazing activities that happen throughout the day.

This isn’t the first time the nursery has shown their dedication to local families. In October 2018, Elmscot Altrincham achieved the national Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA).

Lucy Yarnell, Nursery Manager at Elmscot Altrincham said: “We take great pride in building strong bonds with the parents and carers whose children attend our setting. For us, this is just as important as forming relationships with the children themselves. We get to know families on a whole different level, which means we are able to provide care and support in ways beyond other childcare settings in the region.”

Elmscot Altrincham is part of the Elmscot Group of Day Nurseries and Nursery Schools, providing outstanding childcare and education to over 1,800 children across Cheshire.

To find out more about Elmscot Day Nursery and Nursery School Altrincham and the incredible facilities or to register for a place, please contact the Nursery Manager directly on 0161 980 0488 or email


Birmingham nursery schools going over budget to clothe and feed children

Birmingham nursery schools going over budget to clothe and feed children

Across Birmingham, nurseries are contributing £11.5 million a year more than the funding they receive on things like feeding and clothing children.

Birmingham has the highest number of nurseries in the country, and is struggling due to budget cuts, which impact on children and their families.

As reported by Nursery World, analysis conducted by The Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC), in partnership with Birmingham’s nursery schools, shows the benefits of the work nursery schools do, and points out the importance of money being available for them, something they hope will still be available to them in the spending review due later this year.

Local MP, Jack Dromey, and shadow early years minister, Tracey Brabin, launched the report on 25th May at Castle Vale Nursery School.

The report includes case studies to show how nursery schools go above and beyond their budgets to help children, especially those in need of special education and those with disabilities.

It continued to give examples of how other services have not met even the basic needs of children, like providing food and clothing.

As Nursery World reports, one nursery school case study said: “N is developmentally behind his peers and has poor social and emotional development. He needs constant reassurance, nurture sessions and guidance from the educational psychologist…the family needs lots of support…N is not adequately dressed and usually hungry, so we provide a uniform, shoes, coats, breakfast, snacks, lunch and tea.”

The funding for year 2019/2020 has not yet been set, which means that nursery schools across the district fear substantial budget cuts.

The hope is that the report will highlight the amazing work these settings do to ensure every child receives a quality education, is fed, watered, and clothed, with the aim of maintaining funding for their amazing work!

Story by: Nursery World


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