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March 11, 2003

Care Patchwork Quilt

Avedon writes about plans to cut US after-school care funding, and the gap between school hours and working hours. In the UK, a recent Strategy Unit report on childcare concluded that we need 180,000 more childcare workers.

The thing that's really interesting in all of this is that there's always an assumption that what families need is a single childcare solution that pretty much covers the relevant hours. Although nearly all families use mixed care solutions in practice, much of the planning is based on the assumption that childcare is reliable, stable, and delivered by a single carer. And, for the most part, ours is. Nevertheless, if everything goes according to plan, then over the course of this year, we will have sourced childcare for our kids from:

a childminder, a day nursery, an after-school club, the school's own breakfast club, informal childcare from our parents, a paid babysitter, friends babysitting as a favour or in swaps, ditto relatives, and of course various paid and unpaid creches.

Oh, yes, and that old stand-by, using our own annual leave to cover gaps. And this is all pretty normal.

Posted by Alison Scott at March 11, 2003 12:08 AM

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