The future of working has been emphatically changed by the Covid-19 global pandemic. The question has been answered, yes people can work remotely and still be productive. However, on the flip side, we have also recognised the need for regular social interaction. Organisations are expecting a new style of hybrid working, a few days in the office and the rest working remotely. Businesses are seeing the opportunity to cut costs by downsizing their office needs and employees are seeing the benefits of more flexible working patterns. Surely a win for working parents? But where is the affordable and flexible childcare to match this new hybrid working?
Is the UK a family-friendly country for working parents?
Unfortunately, it’s not new news that the UK has been named as one of the least family-friendly countries in Europe by children’s charity Unicef. Unicef based its rankings on a range of family-friendly government policies including affordable childcare and preschool education.
With private nurseries only offering places based on a commitment to a minimum number of hours weekly, the costs are eye-watering. This is matched with a lack of flexibility, it’s either the day, morning or afternoon slot with strict drop-off and pick-up times. And I know, I’ve had a slapped wrist for dropping off late…my son was 2 years old at the time…really? And just when you think you’ve reached the honey pot and they start school – many parents report that after-school clubs are full, with waiting lists longer than a Gordon Ramsey restaurant. Don’t even mention the headache of sorting childcare in the school holidays.
Lack of flexible childcare hinders gender diversity in the workplace.
The sad part is that a lack of flexible childcare has a negative impact on keeping women in the workforce. The gender pay gap means women earn on average 15.5% less than men (ONS). The knock-on effect is that women are more likely to sacrifice their lower paycheque to take care of the family.
“There is no time more critical to children’s brain development – and therefore their futures – than the earliest years of life,” said Unicef’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “We need governments to help provide parents with the support they need to create a nurturing environment for their young children. And we need the support and influence of the private sector to make this happen.”
Help is at hand. GrandNanny is a new kind of childcare service providing affordable, flexible and reliable childcare. We are the UK’s first intergenerational childcare service, matching working families with midlife+ neighbours to provide childcare. All of our GrandNannies have enhanced DBS checks, training and years of experience.
“This is my childcare fantasy!”
Rebecca H. Media Consultant & Parent, Sydenham.
We try to balance affordability with fair pay for the important work that GrandNannies provide. In our recent survey, 100% of parents told us that paying the London Living Wage was important to them. By paying the London Living Wage, you can ensure that London-based GrandNannies earn enough to live in our beautiful, but expensive city.
Questions or want to find a local GrandNanny in your area? Get in touch to hear more about our flexible, friendly and fuss-free service.