What are the cheaper alternatives to rising childcare costs?

A survey today found that the average cost of one week of holiday childcare is £138 per child (Picture: iStockphoto)Children might be looking forward to the summer holidays, but for working parents the break leaves many with a massive childcare headache.
After a report today revealed that the average childcare costs per child would leave parents facing a typical bill of more than £800 per child, many will be unable to afford such high costs.
So what are the alternatives options for struggling mums and dads?
Local councils often run play schemes for children during the summer holidays, at libraries and leisure centre, and are a good place to start.
In some areas of the country, a childminder can work out cheaper over the six week holiday. The website childcare.co.uk has hints and tips on how you can find a reputable child carer.

Sainsbury’s has announced summer holiday clubs across the country for just 7.50 a day (Picture: iStockphoto)Although not all jobs allow working from home, it could be worth talking to your boss about working reduced hours – or even working from home.
Here are some of the cheaper alternatives being run in some of the major cities.
For many in the capital, help could be at hand from an unlikely source, Sainsbury’s.
The supermarket has announced summer holiday clubs across the country for just 7.50 a day, which the company hopes to stimulate competition and bring prices down.
Nine of the centres will be run across London, with the £7.50 price including activities, healthy lunches and snacks. The costs are low as the holiday clubs are subsidised by the retailer itself.

Local councils are a good place to start, with a number offering free youth clubs in the summer (Picture: iStockphoto)Other alternatives include council run playschemes which can be found on your local councils website.
Community nurseries also serve areas such as Lambeth and Southwark, with monthly costs working out £500 cheaper than private nurseries.
Aspire active camps provide sports and activity childcare during every school holiday at Alderbrook School in Solihull, Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall, Hagley High School, Bishop

Community nurseries are also increasing in popularity as an alternative (Picture: iStockphoto)Academies tend to run from 10am to 4pm, with half days also available from 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 4pm. There’s also extra time available from 8 to 10am and 4 to 6pm.
Prices range from £17 per day to £30 day.
The Strings Club is an award-winning Ofsted-registered playscheme with a particular emphasis on music
Each day runs from 9.30am to 4pm and features musical workshops and creative activities alongside high-quality guitar, violin and ukulele classes led by top strings teachers.
A number of local playschemes can also be found here.

Active Kids holiday clubs will be available in Manchester (Picture: Getty Images)Leigh and Warrington will have Active Kids holiday clubs runs by Sainbury’s for £7.50. The council will also be running play schemes throughout the summer.
Bolton council will be offering a range of free and low cost activities for children and young people through the summer for local communities, which residents can look up here.
Local play schemes such as the one at Highfield Primary School are a cheaper alternative than what’s already on offer, with prices ranging from £22 to £30 a day.

Local playschemes and youth clubs in Leeds work out cheaper than private nurseries (Picture: http://www.gallerysk.com)Leeds Beckett University will also be running a Camp Carnegie sports camps from Monday 29 July until Friday 30 August, each week from 10:00 – 16:00.
There are a number of lottery funded free youth clubs in Glasgow providing free activities during the summer as well as ‘Summer in the City’ camp which runs children’s school holiday camps at Jordanhill and Craigholme in the city.
Costs start at £25 a day.
Across the country, a number of families have also turned to nanny sharing, to cut costs in half. nannyshare.co.uk has proved popular for those willing to find other local families looking for childcare.

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